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Louisville Seminary supporters recognized for philanthropic endeavors

Aug 27, 2015


August 27, 2015 (LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary trustees, past and present, are due to receive accolades for their commitments to philanthropic endeavors.

Paul and Carol SchaapOn Thursday, November 12, the Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will honor A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap (pictured) with the Max M. Fisher Award for Outstanding Philanthropist. The award is presented to an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional philanthropic generosity and whose demonstrated philanthropic commitment encourages others to take leadership roles in philanthropy.

Paul (a Louisville Seminary trustee from 2006-2014) and Carol are longtime supporters of institutions, such as Louisville Seminary, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Wayne State University, Hope College, Detroit Public Television and many others.

For Louisville Seminary, the Schaaps developed a plan to provide full merit scholarships to an increasing number of the best candidates for ministry. To date, they personally have contributed $1,316,994, and the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation has contributed an additional $2,095,000 to The Reverend Arnold O. Schaap Presidential Scholarships. The scholarship program is named in honor of Paul’s late father who was a Louisville Seminary graduate. Sixty-two separate scholarships have been awarded to 24 recipients since the program began in 2007. These scholarships provide up to $20,000 toward tuition, fees, books and living expenses and are renewable for up to three years of full-time graduate level study in preparation for pastoral leadership.

“Paul and Carol Schaap have taught our school that excellence is contagious,” said Louisville Seminary President Michael Jinkins. “And their generous spirit has helped us toward establishing an institution-wide culture of generosity.”

Beyond Louisville Seminary, the Schaaps have funded scholarships for deserving students of Detroit Merit Academy. Of particular note was their early commitment, through the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation, to the Foundation for Detroit’s Future (the so-called “Grand Bargain”) with a pledge of $5 million over 20 years. They were the first family foundation to step up and publicly demonstrate true philanthropic leadership that led to this historic cornerstone in the foundation of the “new” Detroit.


GingerMerkleF05-FileCopy-for-webOn Wednesday, November 18, the Indianapolis Chapter of the AFP will honor Louisville Seminary Trustee and Institutional Advancement Committee Chair Virginia R. (Ginger) Merkel (pictured) with the 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award. The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in volunteer fundraising, and in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for major fundraising projects for more than one nonprofit organization.

Nominated by the American Red Cross, Merkel has served that organization for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities, including her current roles as a life board member of the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis as well as the founding chair and immediate past national chair of the Tiffany Circle. The Tiffany Circle is a society of women who are committed to serving the American Red Cross through leadership and philanthropy.

Merkel also served on the board of directors for the Synod of Lincoln Trails, the Hoosier Salon, and Conner Prairie and was the treasurer of the Clan Ross Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization which participates in educational celebrations of Scottish heritage. She is an elder and choir member of Second Presbyterian Church (Indianapolis).

“This is such a well-deserved honor,” said Louisville Seminary Trustee Chair Pamela Kidd. “We have all experienced Ginger’s passionate and relentless efforts on behalf of organizations she is part of. Louisville Seminary is fortunate to be one of those!”

AFP is the professional association of individuals and organizations that generate philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions. Founded in 1960, AFP advances philanthropy through its more than 30,000 members in over 200 chapters throughout the world.
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