Day of Giving is Sept. 27, it’s a day to celebrate our donors and to educate students about how alumni contributions of time, talent and treasure help current student and enrich the University. This is the first of three stories we are running this week to mark Day of Giving.
Walt Osip ’49 and Peggy Welp ’48 met at University of Detroit as students pursuing degrees in chemistry. It would be the start of a school legacy that now counts several of their six children and their spouses as alumni of the University.
Walt and Peggy were married for more than 54 years when he died in 2005; she passed away in 2018. The grandparents of 11 were lifelong supporters of Detroit Mercy and often gave credit for their happy and successful life to the University and the education each received.
To honor their parents and the role Detroit Mercy holds in the family, their children and their spouses created the Walt and Peggy Osip Endowed Scholarship to support undergraduate students studying Chemistry or another science-related field. They created the scholarship out of the estate their parents built up over their life together.
The gift just happened, said brothers Tom and Bill Osip.
“This was not pre-arranged,” Tom said. “It just sort of came up.”
Bill ’87 said he and his siblings realized, when the estate was settled, that they were all in a fortunate enough position to create a legacy for their parents at a place they loved.
“This is not money I earned,” Tom said. “When you get that kind of money, you’re obligated to share it. We thought a scholarship would create a longer-lasting legacy.”
“That’s the way you have to look at it,” said Bill, who received a scholarship to attend the University and who also met his wife while a student. “With a scholarship, you’re able to affect somebody’s life.”
The six children created a $50,000 endowed scholarship.
The Osip scholarship has been affecting students’ lives for four years now and Tom says he is glad his parents live on through the scholarship.
Peggy and Walt were both studying Chemistry and Peggy was one of “what was probably a thin crowd of women studying chemistry,” Bill said. Walt came to the University on the G.I. Bill after serving in World War II, during which time he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was a prisoner of war. Both had careers in chemistry; Walt went into sales.
“When you look back at it,” Tom said. “A number of our parents’ lifelong friends were U of D people. So, it wasn’t just the education they received at the University, but also great friends who became like family members and who we spent holidays with our whole lives.”
And there were other memories, too.
“Our parents were very die-hard University of Detroit Mercy supporters,” Tom said of his parents. “My dad had basketball season tickets for years. We went to an awful lot of games.”
Detroit Mercy continues to hold a special place in the heart of the family. Tom is reminded of this every time he receives a letter from the grateful recipients of the scholarship in his parents’ name.
To support the Walter and Peggy Osip Endowed Scholarship or to create a scholarship in your name or the name of someone you love, call 313-993-1250.