Hub Bury '35 and John Carapella '34 graduated from Allentown High School in 1930. Bury took a year off to work prior to starting college, but both ended up at Muhlenberg and graduated within a year of each other.
Bury remembers Carapella as a pre-med student who studied hard and graduated near the top of his class. A lifelong Allentown resident, Carapella was the son of the owner of a hot dog stand on Seventh Street a few doors down from the Livingston Club, which boasted Gen. Harry C. Trexler as a member. While at Muhlenberg, Carapella was a member of the Ciarla staff as well as the Phi Sigma Iota and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies.
Carapella went on to complete his residency at Thomas Jefferson University and became a general practitioner in Allentown. He married later in life, and he and his wife, Josephine, never had children. "She passed away in Phoebe Home after suffering from Alzheimer's," Bury says. "After her death, John moved in with his sister."
Carapella passed away on Sept. 24, 2006. While he had made some modest gifts to Muhlenberg over the years, with urging from his friend Hub Bury, Carapella also named the College in his will. His estate included gifts of more than $300,000 each to Muhlenberg College and Thomas Jefferson University.
The gift to Muhlenberg was unexpected, and in keeping with Carapella's modest demeanor. Bury describes him as a quiet man who did not talk much about personal matters. "John was also generous with his money and frequently bought lunch for anyone who ate with him," Bury says. Prior to his death, Carapella assured Bury, who is a member of the Circle of 1848, that he intended to match Bury's generosity, which includes charitable gift annuities and pooled income gifts designated to the College. It was a promise he kept.
The Muhlenberg Board of Trustees has designated that unrestricted bequests like Carapella's be added to the College's endowment. Because endowed funds are permanent assets that generate yearly income, increasing the endowment allows the College to offer better financial support and academic programming opportunities to our students and faculty.
"Building the endowment is crucial if Muhlenberg is to remain competitive, and is therefore one of the College's highest priorities," says Deb Kipp, Associate Vice President of Development. "We are most grateful to Dr. Carapella for remembering Muhlenberg in his estate plan. By applying his gift to endowment, his generosity will benefit the College community as a whole for many years to come."
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