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Forging New Paths

January 6, 2020 by Rebecca Ruark

Scholarship for Carey Business School celebrates love and lifelong learning

This story first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Planning Matters, a newsletter published by the Office of Gift Planning.

When Frederick Kauffman was a young man, he came to a crossroads and had to decide whether to follow the path of industry or the path of academia. He chose academia, and built a successful life out of pharmacology research and teaching at three universities before he retired. But he didn’t travel his path alone. His wife Ella, a passionate public health nurse, was always at his side. When Frederick’s academic career brought the family to Maryland, Ella decided to further her education, earning her master’s degree in public administration from Johns Hopkins in 1989. With Ella’s passing, Frederick has honored her memory by establishing the Ella S. and Frederick C. Kauffman Scholarship Fund at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

We talked to Frederick about Ella, about their life together, and about what his commitment will mean for students.

Frederick and Ella Kauffman began supporting Johns Hopkins through charitable gift annuities in 2005. Frederick named a scholarship in their names to honor Ella, a 1989 graduate of the Carey Business School.

What inspired this commitment to the Carey Business School?

Ella’s life. While I pursued my academic career, Ella became a mother to our children, Elizabeth and Andrew. It wasn’t until we returned to Maryland that she went back to work and school, and she was very proud to have graduated from such a fine business school. I thought this scholarship would be a good way to acknowledge Ella, in tribute to her long and interesting and wonderful life that I was privileged to share.

Can you tell us about Ella’s career?

Ella had a long career with the Visiting Nurses Association, and she was working as a nurse when I first met her. After we moved, she worked in Chicago’s North Side, an area of great need. When we returned to Maryland, she was in charge of various public health stations, and she kept up her work when we moved to New Jersey. Ella retired before I did and suffered a stroke in 2002, which meant I became the chief cook and bottle-washer for the last 12 years of her life. But they were 12 good years.

What was your life together in academia like?

At my first academic appointment in Buffalo, Ella was a part of a women’s club consisting of wives of faculty members. They had the joking privilege of obtaining their “PhTs” — instead of PhDs — short for putting hubby through. Joking aside, she really did help me. It definitely takes two. Over my career, I was very fortunate to teach thousands of students.

Can you tell us about your history of giving to Johns Hopkins?

Ella and I began supporting the university through charitable gift annuities in 2005. This scholarship is a way to deepen our commitment, honor Ella, and help students in the business school that benefited her so much. By making additional, outright gifts to financial aid, I’ll be able to see the first student awarded the scholarship in the fall of 2020.

How do you think Ella would respond to this tribute?

I remember us talking about her continuing her education at Carey Business School. She was so enthused. She received a scholarship from a local business that helped us out. It definitely encouraged her to continue with her education, and that’s what we hope this scholarship will do — encourage young people to pursue the path that Ella did. I feel privileged to be able to do that, and I’m sure she would feel privileged, too.

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Topics: Alumni, Carey Business School, Support Scholars