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Calculating the Benefits: Phyllis Schumacher, Ph.D., Establishes Family Scholarship

Phyllis and Milt Shumacher

Phyllis Schumacher, Ph.D., and her husband, Milt

For Phyllis Schumacher, Ph.D., retired professor of mathematics at Bryant University, her 46 years of being part of the Bryant community is a wonderful time to reflect back on.

“Bryant University has meant a lot to me, my husband and our three sons,” she says. “More than simply a place to work, Bryant has connected us to a network of friends, social and cultural events, and opportunities to learn and share knowledge. I couldn’t have chosen a better place to build a career.”

A career that spans almost five decades and produced dozens of collaborative papers with colleagues in a variety of disciplines—not to mention thousands of students with a better grasp of mathematics, statistics and how to apply these disciplines to successful careers.

“Teaching students and ensuring they understand has always been my number one focus, and I’m fortunate to have worked in an environment that supports that,” Schumacher continues. “At some bigger universities disciplines with smaller enrollment might not get the same level of encouragement that Bryant provides.”

As college education and accessibility continues to be a hot topic, Schumacher has decided to give back in a big way to the University that has “allowed her entire family to benefit in many ways.” She and her husband, Milt, and their sons Kris, an entrepreneur, Erich, an adjunct professor at Bryant, and Brad, a Bryant Information Technology grad, agreed that Bryant has allowed all of them to benefit from their relationship and they wanted to reciprocate in a lasting way.

“The Schumacher Family Scholarship is the culmination of decades of shared experiences with a welcoming and inclusive community that has been a second home to my family and me,” she says. “It’s important to me that young women interested in STEM have more opportunities to study at an institution like Bryant.”

After working with the University’s development office to make her family’s vision a reality, she recommends the process to any retiree who is considering leaving a living legacy at Bryant. “Creating an endowed scholarship through an IRA is a really nice and uncomplicated way to maximize the benefit and minimize the tax burden,” she says. “We are pleased to be able to do this.”

“The generosity of Phyllis and her family is charitable and impactful,” says Veronica McComb, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bryant University. “Scholarships allow us to recruit the brightest students, regardless of their economic status, which elevates our work and reputation. Her addition to our financial aid offerings will contribute to our success in perpetuity, and for that, we are grateful.”

Schumacher and her husband may be retired, but they’re still active—in the community, on their 80-acres of land in the heart of Rhode Island, in the church and at Bryant. “My time at Bryant was a positive time for me, for my family, even my grandchildren spent a great deal of time on campus as children,” says Schumacher. “We continue to be active on campus and can’t imagine a life without Bryant.”

Easily Create Your Own Legacy

The Schumacher Family STEM Endowed Scholarship Fund, to be awarded to a female student studying mathematics, is a wonderful way to celebrate the Schumacher family’s legacy at Bryant and support the next generation of women in STEM fields.

When you consider starting a scholarship fund that is structured in a way that is meaningful to your family, there are multiple ways to fund a gift to Bryant to fulfill your wishes. When retirement plan assets are given to loved ones, a portion of those assets will be consumed by income taxes. Instead, leave nontaxable assets such as cash, real estate or life insurance to your family, and consider using your retirement plan assets to make gifts to tax-exempt charitable organizations like Bryant. To name Bryant as a beneficiary, simply contact your plan administrator to get a change-of-beneficiary form or download the form from their website. Name Bryant as a beneficiary for the desired percentage and return the form to your plan administrator, then let Bryant know of your generous gift, and keep a copy for your records. For more information about planned giving, please reach out to Ed Magro at 401-232-6528 or

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