Jack '70, P'01 and Diane (Schmidt) Ladley '70, P'01 at the Campaign Kickoff on April 26, 2008.


Philanthropy Times Two

John D. '70, P'01 and Diane (Schmidt) Ladley '70, P'01
Endow Scholarship in Mathematics

August 20, 2008

Alumni couple Jack and Diane Ladley, former math majors at Muhlenberg, recently made a gift to endow a scholarship as part of The Talents Entrusted to Our Care: The Campaign for Muhlenberg College. The Ladley Scholarship in Mathematics will be granted each year to a student of need who is majoring in math.

“This has been on our minds for awhile,” says Jack. “Our objective is to encourage more students to pursue math as a major and in their career planning. The education that I received in mathematics, coupled with the liberal arts background has served me well.” Jack is an actuary who retired from Ernst & Young in 2005, but maintains his own consulting practice. Diane used her math background in the engineering department of the former Bell Atlantic after graduation. Both Diane and Jack count Professors Stump, Kostenbauder, Wagner and Nassar as favorites, as well as Mr. Dedekind, the Registrar when they were students.

“We’ve been strong supporters and chairs of the very important Muhlenberg Fund, but hadn’t yet made a gift to endowment,” adds Diane. “We know that endowment gifts are the highest priority in The Talents Entrusted to Our Care Campaign, so this seemed like a great time to establish this scholarship.”

Jack Ladley and Diane Schmidt, both Class of 1970, knew one another from their math classes but actually connected when Diane was working the front desk at Walz Hall. “I had desk duty, which meant checking female students in before their curfew,” recalls Diane. “Men could go wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. But women had to check in and were subject to very strict rules then. I was the ‘desk cop’ as my work grant activity.”

These late-night discussions, mostly centered on football and not math theorems, Jack recalls, led to a strong relationship, and ultimately their marriage, in 1971.

Fast forward thirty-seven years, and the two are as devoted to each other – and to Muhlenberg – as ever. Their list of volunteer activities is impressive. Diane, who served as secretary of the Executive Council and Delta Phi Nu honor societies and was a member of the Math Club and the Dining Committee while a student, has served as Class Fund Chair for the Class of 1970 almost since graduation. She and Jack just completed a three-year term as National Chairs of The Muhlenberg Fund and Jack recently joined the Board of Trustees.

Over the years, the two have served as members of the Parents Council, the Alumni Board and the Alumni Regional Association; as Phonathon, Career Network and Alumni in the Classroom volunteers; and as Reunion Chairs for their class. Both are members of the Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Society, the Circle of 1848, the Lifetime Giving Society and the Alumni Trust Fund. Both received Muhlenberg’s Philanthropy Day Award in 2002.

The Ladleys, who reside in Bucks County, have two children, Eric and Alison, who is Class of 2001. Two of their nephews, Douglas and Christopher, are also Muhlenberg alumni, Classes of 1997 and 2006, respectively.

“Neither of us could have afforded to go to Muhlenberg without financial aid,” says Jack. “Allowing deserving students access to a Muhlenberg education was important then and continues to be important now. That’s one reason we want to give back to the college that has given us so much.”

For more information on establishing scholarships at Muhlenberg, contact the Office of Development at 484-664-3247 or talentscampaign@muhlenberg.edu.

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