As a young man newly arrived in the United States, Erv Boschmann never could have imagined he would rise through the academic ranks at Indiana University, retire 40 years later and share his good fortune with a $50,000 donation for scholarships.
When he was 20 years old, Boschmann’s father bought him a one-way ticket to the United States, where he planned to study chemistry. He arrived in Kansas in 1959 with $50 in his pocket, speaking German and Spanish but no English.
Boschmann succeeded in the academic world, earning a Ph.D. degree in chemistry, and then embarked on a long and distinguished career at Indiana University. He began as a professor of chemistry at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in 1968 and retired March 1 as interim dean of the IU Kokomo School of Business.
Through those years he and his wife, Priscilla, made a habit of giving, including numerous gifts to IU. Their most recent donation of $50,000 funds the David and Anna Global Scholarship. They previously established the Seltzer Student Scholarship for International Study at IU Kokomo, in addition to creating a scholarship for chemistry students at IUPUI and a faculty summer fellowship at IU East.
“To see what we can do is really amazing,” Boschmann said in a press release. “This is a country of opportunity, for anyone who wants to work. I knew education was the road to success. I had no other options in mind.”
The Selzer Scholarships help students participate in the short-term overseas opportunities available. The David and Anna Scholarship funds longer-term overseas opportunities.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie pledged to match the interest from that gift, to provide $5,000 per year in scholarships.
IU honored Erv and Priscilla Boschmann’s generosity with induction into its most prestigious donor recognition society, the President’s Circle, in October 2013. It recognizes those whose lifetime giving has reached $100,000.