Steven Kowalik will always remember the support he received as a student at Wayne State University. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without the assistance I got from Wayne State,” he said.
In addition to receiving financial assistance, Kowalik was supported by faculty members, especially as a graduate student. He was struggling to complete his final semester due to challenges in his personal life. Kowalik thought he would have to drop out, but the department chair offered him an extension to complete his remaining coursework over the summer. Kowalik said, “His willingness to give me a break motivated me to finish. His work on my behalf to help me succeed has stuck with me.”
When Kowalik was making his estate plans, he wanted to give back and provide students with that same kind of support. He has included Wayne State in his will and plans to create the Steven P. Kowalik Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) Endowed Scholarship. Kowalik is a member of the LGBTQI community, and his scholarship will support students who advocate for that community’s concerns.
Kowalik decided to make a planned gift instead of a cash gift to ensure he will be financially secure in his retirement. But he fully expects there will be money left over in his estate to support his scholarship. “I firmly believe I can live comfortably and do the things I want and give back,” he said.
Kowalik’s advice to current students is to ask for help when they need it. “You shouldn’t hesitate to ask for assistance from your instructor or the chair of the department,” he said. “Don’t drop out because of personal or financial reasons. There’s probably someone who can help you through life’s rough patches.”