The Cowpers Include The High in Their Estate Plan

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Jessica, Jim and Danielle Cowper

I met Jim Cowper '77 shortly after I started working at U of D Jesuit in January 2004. He was a leader and key member of the Development Committee. He was always supported The High with his time, talent and treasure. Jim and his wife, Cindy, included The High in their estate plan in 2004. I was always curious why they decided to do that at a relatively young age. Here is Jim's explanation.

U of D Jesuit, giving, the Cowper household, it all just fits. I was the youngest of four children, my three older sisters attended St. Gerard and I attended Christ the King. Christ the King was a huge feeder to Catholic Central. I always assumed the high school located at "6565 West Outer Drive" was next for me. Until I went to CC and U of D High open houses on the same day. CC held a wrestling match, U of D simply offered tours of the school. I decided that night, U of D High, that building, that neighborhood, those students, I found my new home, and I have never left.

My wife, Cindy, attended Birmingham Public Schools, but when it came time to enroll our daughters in school it was Catholic schools all the way, St. Hugo and Mercy. Cindy was immersed in the U of D Jesuit culture from day 1 by me and my classmates, talk about a baptism! She volunteered for most everything at St Hugo, ran the auction, craft shows, coached both jv and varsity cheerleading and was the president of Mercy Pompon Boosters.

My family had a tradition of giving and service, my grandmother worked for the parish priest, my dad was an usher and my mom cooked for the funerals and cleaned the altar. We were raised in a spirit of giving back. St Ignatius, U of D High, it all just fits.

All along, U of D Jesuit gifting was a natural in our household. Cindy and I were 45 when we made our planned gift to U of D Jesuit. We felt it was something we wanted to do sooner rather than later, as an example to our daughters. As the girls entered Mercy, Cindy, the convert, deemed the "gifting was to be equal" to both schools, we were able to contribute to both schools, hopefully encouraging our daughters to do the same.

I am absolutely convinced any of our good fortune evolved from a spirit of giving, any success and happiness has been a result of giving first. U of D High is a proud extension of our family, as one strives to protect and grow their family; we have chosen to treat U of D in the same manner. My involvement with my classmates, the two major capital campaigns, scholarship auctions, reunions, sporting events, and every Cub I run into is a gift to me, and my family. Our household is proud and grateful to share in the U of D Jesuit tradition, our giving is simply a way of saying thank you. My Dad used to say "give till it feels good" Every time I see a UD Jesuit bumper sticker, enter the building or hear the fight song, it feels good!

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