Thoughtful Planning:  Professor’s Gifts Will Support First-Time Student International Travel

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Dr. Ian Mather with Fran, Elizabeth, and Stephen in Heidelberg, Germany, 1990

It comes as no surprise that Dr. Ian Mather’s lifelong passion for travel and education is the impetus for establishing the Mather Family International Travel Scholarship. He grew up in the U.K. and credits his high school geography teacher with giving him the travel bug. Now a Professor Emeritus, Ian still travels extensively for scholarly research and personal enjoyment.

Ian’s 37-year tenure in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences started in 1975 and includes many research meetings and sabbaticals in the U.S. and internationally in Germany, Italy, Denmark, Holland, China, Russia, and Australia. His late wife Frances and their children Stephen and Elizabeth accompanied him on some of his travels. Ian saw firsthand how the experience enriched his young children’s minds and life perspectives.

“Travel and education go hand in hand. We become much better people by traveling, living abroad, and being in the minority,” says Ian, who always encouraged students to go abroad for the junior year.

The endowed scholarship, created in 2011, will provide travel stipends for students traveling outside North America for the first time to participate in international internships, volunteer programs, or education abroad opportunities.

Ian’s generous commitment is a five-year pledge, augmented by a bequest in his will. His financial planning of a cash gift with a planned gift allows him to enjoy the benefits of helping students travel abroad during his lifetime. He plans to throw an annual crab feast celebration for the students to share their experiences with others who enjoy and support international travel.

“The University has been very good to me in my career and life, with my interests and research … and opportunities to go on sabbatical,” he says. “This is a way for me to give back to Maryland.”

 

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