As a physics major at Wheaton, Paul Ziemer ’57 made a new friend when he joined the concert band: physical education major Marilyn Wright ’58. The band buddies became husband and wife in the fall of 1958.
Wheaton not only introduced the Ziemers to each other; Paul, a professor emeritus of health physics at Purdue University, traces the path of his 50-year career back to the physics faculty at Wheaton, who arranged the internship that resulted in his first job at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. The opportunity led to Paul receiving a graduate fellowship from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and earning his doctorate at Purdue, where he began teaching in 1962.
Wheaton alumni have touched Paul and Marilyn’s lives in significant ways over the years. “When we first moved to Lafayette, Indiana, we selected a church based on the fact that the pastor, Rev. Norbert Johnson ’50, was a Wheaton graduate. That was our first contact with the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination, and we have been lifelong members ever since,” Paul says.
The College even introduced one of their daughters, Lori Ziemer Scott ’87, to her husband, James ’86.
In 2011 and 2012, the Ziemers utilized the IRA charitable rollover provision to make efficient, tax-saving gifts to the school that brought them together.
“As Wheaton graduates, we have made it a practice to support Wheaton over the years. We would still do so regardless of the IRA situation, but the existence of the IRA legislation for charitable gifting has provided a means of making more substantial gifts than might otherwise be practical for us, particularly in terms of our regular retirement income,” says Paul. “We designated this year’s gift (2012) to support the Class of 1957 Student Lounge on the fifth floor of the Billy Graham Center where the Biblical and Theological Studies department moved. For 2013 we expect to again make a gift through our IRA, and in this case we will designate it for the anniversary gift for the Class of 1958.”