As a student services specialist for the graduate program in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner (UVM '84) has been a guiding force for students from application to graduation for the last eleven years. "It's an honor to work closely with these incredibly smart, dedicated students who are doing such vital work to help ensure the health of our state and planet," she says.
Part of her role is assisting the Rubenstein faculty gift committee with awarding student grants from philanthropic gifts. It was Carolyn's involvement with this process that inspired the idea of naming the Rubenstein School Graduate Program as a beneficiary to her own 401k, creating a designated bequest to fund the Goodwin Kuefffner Graduate Program Fund. This endowment will offer grants to Rubenstein graduate students to advance their professioinal development and leadership skills.
A transplant from the deep South, Carolyn's bond with Vermont is now more than thirty years strong. "Something about the lovely small towns, lush green landscape, and mountans of Vermont resonates deeply with me," which fueled her desire to support the work of students researching the local enviornment.
"I love the idea that these funds will provide a continuing legacy of special grants to assist these remarkable environmental leaders in continuing their essential work into the future."
Carolyn was pleased to learn that bequests of this sort are not subject to taxes in the way they would be if passed on to indivduals, so the full amount can be used to accomplish her vision for the gift. "I have been surprised at how much joy making this gift has provided and how easy it has been to complete," she says.
"Carolyn has given so much of herself to the graduate program in the Rubenstein School. On a daily basis, she energizes students to do their very best to develop and hone their leadership skills," says Rubenstein School Dean Nancy Mathews. "Because of her generosity and passion, Rubenstein School graduate students will gain enduring support to become environmental leaders and change-makers."