The Kutztown University Foundation has received a $2.4 million bequest from the estate of Joyce Kutz Wehr ‘46. It is the largest gift in the history of Kutztown University. The funds will go into the Charles A. and Joyce Kutz Wehr ‘46 Endowed Scholarship, which is available to full-time KU students majoring in either elementary or secondary education who exhibit qualities of academic excellence necessary to be a successful teacher.
“This remarkable gift is the living legacy of a woman who dedicated her life to teaching,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president, Kutztown University. “What she has done is to extend her ability to assist students for generations to come. This is a wonderful gesture and we are deeply grateful for her support of our students and her confidence in Kutztown University’s ability to produce the highest quality educators.”
Wehr died Jan. 1, 2016, at the age of 89. She was the daughter of the late John W. and Sadie Kutz who graduated from Keystone State Normal School, the predecessor to Kutztown University, in 1912 and 1920 respectively. She was the widow of Charles A. Wehr, who died June 3, 2000.
Born in Maxatawny Township, she was a 1943 graduate of Kutztown Area High School and a 1946 graduate of Kutztown State Teachers College. Wehr taught in the Allentown School District for 34 years, the last 23 years at Union Terrace School, Allentown, where she retired in 1981.
Wehr served as a member of the Kutztown University Alumni Association board when it was first formed in the 1980s. She and her husband established four different scholarships at KU to assist deserving students: the John and Sadie Kutz Scholarship established in 1987, the Calvin E. Afflerbach and Mamie H. Afflerbach Scholarship established in 1991, the Kutz-Henderson Scholarship established in 1994, and finally the Charles A. and Joyce Kutz Wehr Scholarship established in 2000. Through these scholarships and generous gifts to other funds, Joyce and Charles had already contributed more than $90,000 to the KU Foundation over a 34-year period.
“The generosity of our donors is what enables the Kutztown University Foundation to provide hundreds of scholarships each year to outstanding, deserving students,” said Tracey L. Thompson, executive director, Kutztown University Foundation. “Joyce Kutz Wehr ‘46 has created an extraordinary legacy, and through her philanthropy many of our students will see their dreams come true, not just today but for years to come.”
Prior to this bequest, the largest single gift in the foundation’s history was $1,577,991, received in June 1996 from Arthur L. Wiesenberger, one of the foundation’s most generous benefactors. Since its inception in 1983, the foundation has raised more than $73 million dollars from more than 44,000 donors.