Joe Ipacs | Susan K. Ipacs Nursing Legacy Scholarship And PN2RN Nursing Legacy Scholarships
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio especially cherishes the times we can help celebrate or remember a loved one while making a difference in others’ lives. Joe Ipacs recently established a second scholarship in his wife’s memory to support nursing students at Hocking College. Sue Ipacs was a nursing instructor and Associate Dean of the School of Nursing at Hocking College.
Joe recently visited with us at the Foundation to share some of his story and to help us get to know Sue Ipacs – the scholarships’ namesake and a remarkable person.
Why did you first establish the Susan Ipacs Nursing Scholarship?
I think all of us want to have some sort of meaning to our life – to leave an imprint behind. The scholarship is one way to convey in Sue’s death who she was in her life. And in some way, I want the world to know what I’ve lost; what the world’s lost.
Why is this fund an especially fitting tribute to Sue?
Sue always had a compassion for those with hardships. It was her character, but it also manifested itself in her work. This scholarship supports students who have financial need, but have also shown they are hardworking and motivated in their first year of study.
Why did you decide to work with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio?
When I was looking to set up this scholarship, FAO was a breath of fresh air. FAO was so flexible in accommodating me and what I was hoping to accomplish with this scholarship. I wanted to do something that made a difference and I had so much input to make sure the scholarship reflects what I want it to honor.
That’s why I deeply appreciate the administrative fee from FAO. It’s so reasonable so that I know every dollar is a tremendous return on investment. Every dollar is making a difference. I wanted this scholarship to make a difference in the world I live in and in which Sue spent her life. It’s connected to us because it’s in our backyard; it’s in my, and in her, community.
What has been your experience with the scholarships been so far?
At last year’s award ceremony at Hocking College, the scholarship recipient found out I was in the audience and came to meet me. It validated that I’m doing the right thing with this scholarship – that Sue’s spirit continues.
And theoretically, this scholarship will go on as long as human beings are around. This scholarship, like my wife, continues to give. It is a reflection of her caring. It captures who she is so much more than a gravestone and is so much more alive. It’s affecting people’s lives.
What does “philanthropy” mean to you?
At the risk of sounding trite, major religions believe the purpose of life is to love. That’s how Sue lived and I’m motivated to emulate her. Philanthropy is a way to express concern or affection for one’s fellow human being, but by implementing it. You put that affection into action and do something about it. It is to be helpful to those who are less fortunate, to show gratitude for my circumstances by returning it to the world and community.