Zug Family Ties Move College Forward
by Barbara Stambaugh
March 14, 2007
In 2003 Tom Zug '68 attended his 35th reunion— with an added bonus. He was accompanied by his father, Tom '33, who was enjoying his 70th reunion, and his Uncle Richard '28, for whom it was the 75th. From left, Tom '33, Tom '68, Milt Davidson '33 and Richard '28.
It's a bit of magic, really, what endowed scholarships can do—they can change the future. And while helping others and contributing to the success of tomorrow's leaders, scholarships also honor the past.
Tom Zug '68, his brothers, sisters and cousins established scholarships for his father, Tom '33, and his uncles, Richard '28 and Harry '34, all of whom are now deceased. After Zug met one of the recipients and saw how meaningful the scholarship was to her, he established one in his own name as well.
“My father and his brothers made such a difference in our lives,” Zug says of his family, in which connections to Dickinson are plentiful, including his brother, Graham '74; sister, Susanne Zug Thompson '72; brother-in-law, H. David Thompson '68; nephew, Tyler Thompson '99; and cousins Emily Zug Huebner '64, Jeanette Zug '65 and Jeffrey Huebner '91. “This is a terrific way for us to honor Tom, Harry and Richard—whose alma mater meant so much to them.”
Zug, his father and his uncles all have been very active in the life of the college. Tom is the Alumni Council's development committee chair, and his father and Uncle Harry were trustees. They all believed in philanthropy and in the power of a Dickinson education, so naming scholarships for them was a natural progression.
Zug, a Philadelphia-area business person, says endowed scholarships not only benefit the college by attracting the best and brightest applicants, they also help deserving students who might not otherwise be able to attend.
“Now is a great time to do this,” he says. “The college is on the move. This can be a very personal way of being a part of Dickinson 's success.”
The scholarships named for Zug's father and uncles are the closest to his heart—but he finds that the one he established in his own name has important advantages in clarifying his philanthropic planning.
“It is a financial goal for me each year,” Zug says. “It causes me to focus. Of course there is the tax motivation to get things taken care of by Dec. 31, but there's also the knowledge of how important it is for the college and the satisfaction of helping others. My will is also set up to make sure the balance of the scholarship will be funded.”
Zug, who was a history major with a penchant for economics classes, says one reason he feels strongly about these scholarships is the difference Dickinson has made in his own life.
“The education I received at Dickinson, both inside and outside the classroom, has had a major impact on my life,” Zug says. “It has always been my goal, in recognition of what my Dickinson education has meant to me, to give back to the college. It's my hope that I can be part of an increasing tradition of philanthropy to Dickinson —one that will enable future generations of students to benefit, as I have, from a Dickinson education.”
Zug also hopes to inspire others to include language in new scholarships that will ask the recipients—without obligating them in any way—to someday replace the funds they've been given, if they are financially able to do so.
“In that way, the financial benefits to future generations keep going and growing,” Zug explains. “Someone who went before has been there to help us. For me, it was my parents. I was lucky. For someone else, it may be one of these scholarships. It's my hope that future recipients of these scholarships will someday establish scholarships for others as well.”