Paula and Michael Koppisch ’60 - Endowment Giving - McDonogh School

Paula and Michael Koppisch ’60

Endowed Scholarship helps students succeed 

It was with a great sense of gratitude that Claude Koppisch '35 sent his son, Michael '60, to McDonogh. Claude held fond memories from his time as a scholarship student, and he often acknowledged how the School helped to shape his experiences in life. Michael was keenly aware of his father’s appreciation for McDonogh and the pride Claude felt in sending Michael to McDonogh for 12 years, “When I heard him tell stories about the Headmaster, ‘Doc’ Lamborn; the Head of the Lower School, Mrs. Dawson; and Herb Peters who worked in the locker room—all of whom I knew and greatly respected—I understood how strong his attachment to the School was. I felt particularly close to Herb, who would jokingly remind me (when I was in the first grade) that he had tied my father’s shoes, too!”

As an alumnus, Michael had also developed a real appreciation for McDonogh, and the two men enjoyed this special connection. They shared a most meaningful moment when attending their 50th and 25th reunions together in 1985. Their bond was the impetus for Michael and his wife, Paula, to establish The Claude and Hedwig Koppisch Endowed Scholarship in his parents’ memory.

“Our reason for endowing the scholarship is threefold. Helping McDonogh students succeed would have made my parents very happy. Also, having spent my own life as a university professor led me to understand how central a role teachers, especially those who teach from kindergarten to twelfth grade, play in the lives of their students. At McDonogh, I had some of the best teachers imaginable. My French teacher, Marion Sparks, had a profound influence on my choice of a college and a career.

“Furthermore, I wanted to recognize in a meaningful way our School’s movement toward a more diverse, representative student body. Above all, the scholarship is intended to help students, especially students of color who might not otherwise have the opportunity, reap from a McDonogh education the same rich benefits that my father and I did.”