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Ouwehands Fund Classical Music Endowment at Center for the Performing Arts

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Pieter and Lida Ouwehand

Pieter and Lida Ouwehand of Ferguson Township have used an IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution to immediately support the Pieter and Lida Ouwehand Endowment for the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State.

“Pieter and Lida are passionate about the performing arts and classical music in particular,” said George Trudeau, director of the Center for the Performing Arts. “Not only are they faithful audience members but, through their philanthropy, they are providing funds to ensure that the center will continue to flourish now and far into the future.”

The Ouwehands created the planned future endowment in 2013 as an estate gift that will be used to support classical music programs and activities. This new gift adds funds immediately, rather than waiting for an estate distribution, so the Center for the Performing Arts can benefit in the near term and the donors are able to witness the impact of their support during their lifetimes.

The gift came through an Individual Retirement Account Qualified Charitable Distribution, a method of tax-free charitable giving for IRA owners age 70 1/2 and older that was recently made permanent by Congress.

“Using the IRA rollover QCD route was a great way for us to move some funding into the endowment,” explained Pieter Ouwehand, speaking at a recent meeting of the center’s Community Advisory Council. “We hope to see some impact from that funding as soon as the coming year. That will be very satisfying for us as donors, and I hope that other donors will be inspired to consider using the same method.”

The Ouwehands have been involved with the arts in Centre County since they moved to State College in 1994. They are Director’s Circle-level members of the Center for the Performing Arts, and in June Pieter will complete his second three-year term on the Community Advisory Council. He also is a member of the Music at Penn’s Woods Advisory Council.

Before retiring in 1993, Pieter was a chemical engineer with Merck & Co., Inc., in Rahway, N.J. His work with Merck took him to several countries in Europe, plus Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

They regularly attend performances presented by the Center for the Performing Arts, Music at Penn’s Woods and the Penn State School of Music.

Pieter also volunteers with Special Olympics, Nittany Valley Symphony and Meals-on-Wheels.

Supporters like the Ouwehands are invaluable partners in fulfilling the university’s land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom, expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty, enhance the university’s ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty, and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The university’s colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.

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