Lower Columbia College students just got another helpful boost toward achieving their goals.
Richard Nau, an investor, philanthropist and retired Longview pathologist, will contribute $60,000 to LCC’s Student Success Fund in the form of an endowment. It’s the largest contribution to the fund since its inception in 2013.
The Student Success Fund provides financial assistance to students most at risk of abandoning their education due to miscellaneous expenses. Most gifts from the fund are below $500 and can help cover things that would otherwise become a barrier to education, including rent, childcare expenses and extra tuition not covered by state or federal grants.
Nau said he was inspired to give after he read about LCC president Chris Bailey’s 500-mile walk with his family to raise money for the fund two years ago.
“I was impressed when they said that the relatively small amount helped a couple of very needy people stay in school and complete their education,” Nau said. “That really impressed me.”
Nau grew up in Pennsylvania and received his bachelors degree in geochemistry and geophysics at Pennsylvania State University and received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He arrived in Longview in 1974 and has been here ever since.
“I made a good salary as a physician but the money (I’m donating) is not what I made (as a doctor),” Nau said Friday. “It’s what I have earned from my investing. Yes, I earned a comfortable income, but I saved it and I invested it and that’s where this is coming from.”
Nau said he is interested in distributing his money both broadly and wisely so that it can do the most work after he dies.
“The Salvation Army and Boy Scouts are on my list... when I die they’ll get some money,” Nau said.
According to trustees’ documents at Penn State, Nau donated at least $2 million in 2007 to create the Richard C. Nau Endowment for the Earth Sciences, Engineering and Development in Africa and the Richard C. Nau scholarship in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
Nau said he was interested in having Penn State invest some of his money in the development of third world countries, “to help develop the natural resources and assets in third world countries,” Nau said. “Where the people will benefit, not just the rulers and the rich.”
Nau has also made other contributions locally, including donations to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Community Home Health and Hospice and Lower Columbia CAP. Nau also helped establish en endowment fund with the late Rob Quoidbach to assist with continuing education for St. John Medical Center staff.
Nau has given to LCC in the past.
“I have no association with LCC, but I think a community college or college is an asset to the community,” Nau said.
“We are most appreciative of not only Dr. Nau’s service to our local community, but his continued involvement with LCC through the Student Success Fund,” said LCC Foundation Vice President Kendra Sprague. “Dr. Nau’s investment in this integral program promotes the continued well-being of our community and our students who are trying to better their lives through education.”
The money will be placed into an endowment fund, Nau said, so that it will always be there to support the regular functioning of the Student Success Fund itself.
“His gift... will help permanently endow the fund to assist students in need for generations to come,” Sprague said.