The Gift of a Lifetime
Roanoke College had always been a part of Harry Breithaupt's life. He grew up just behind the campus on High Street and throughout his childhood, he would play on the campus grounds, dreaming of becoming a student. When he finally did enroll as a member of the class of 1935, Breithaupt decided he would also join the Kappa Alpha fraternity. Throughout his life, including his time with the U.S. Navy in World War II and his career as general counsel for Association for American Railroads, he carried with him a close feeling of brotherhood for Roanoke College, and for his KA brothers. "Harry was one of those people who felt that his word was his bond," recalls George Seals '70, Roanoke College Director of Planned Giving. "So when he pledged his support of the College and his fraternity, he saw that as a lifelong commitment."
Breithaupt worked with the College Development office to create planned gifts that would continue his support of his fraternity and his alma mater long after his death. Trusts were designed to provide a gift of over $1 million to the College endowing multiple scholarships and awards and an additional $1 million to the national Kappa Alpha Order (the largest single donation in the organization's history).
Though the process of setting up the gifts took several years, Breithaupt knew that by endowing the scholarships, the effort would allow several students every year to pursue their dream of a college education. He was pleased that he could continue to support Roanoke students, even if he wasn't around to see it himself. "Harry always told me how much the College had meant to him throughout his life. And he felt strongly about giving the opportunity for an outstanding education to students who couldn't otherwise afford to attend," said Seals. "He felt it was just part of his commitment to support these two organizations he cared for. They gave so much to him during his time at the College. So this was his way of giving back." Today, students continue to dream about attending Roanoke College. As a result of the Harry Breithaupt '35 Endowed Scholarships, students will forever have an opportunity to receive financial assistance and to remember with gratefulness the Breithaupt name.