Dr. James L. Raper, ’79
Expanding University Initiatives
Endowing Employee Talent

Giving Back and Creating a Legacy

“Giving back to others is an essential part of a successful career, as well as the creation of a meaningful legacy,” said Dr. James L. Raper, ’79.

Jim chose to attend Kent State as it was close to home and offered the nursing program he was seeking. He is giving back as an alumnus because he realizes the important role his Kent State experience played in his career and knows that innovation at Kent State can change the future.

Through planned giving, Jim and his husband, Scott Holtham, established The Dr. James L. Raper Research & Innovation Catalyst Endowed Fund, as well as The Dr. James L. Raper Endowed Professorship.

“We really want our gift to be used to support academic excellence in nursing research and education,” Jim said.

Jim currently serves as director of the 1917 Outpatient, Research and Dental Clinic, and is also a professor of medicine and nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He remembers his time at Kent State as a time of exceptional education and innovation.

“All my professors and instructors were well prepared to provide the education I received,” Jim said. “In addition, Kent State’s hospital affiliations afforded me the opportunity to have meaningful clinical experiences. I remember coming to campus early several days a week and taking the university bus to Cleveland area hospitals where I had clinical rotations in obstetrics, psychology, acute/chronic, medical/surgical and pediatric nursing.”

Kent State also provided Jim with friendships and fond memories.

“My classmates were wonderful,” Jim said, “and some of my most memorable experiences are from all the Physical Education classes I took as electives, including ice skating, ballroom dancing and skiing at Brandywine. I also really enjoyed my ROTC classes. A favorite memory is Thursday nights in downtown Kent, listening to the Buckeye Biscuit Band.”

Giving back to Kent State is not new to Jim.

“I have tried to support my alma mater by contributing to annual scholarship drives,” Jim said. “I enjoyed speaking with the students calling to request my continued support, and often spent time encouraging them to soak up the college experience and reassuring them that their years at Kent State would prepare them for life after college.”

Jim recommends other alumni consider ways to make the greatest impact in an area of personal meaning.

“I am very thankful I had the good fortune to experience an undergraduate education that prepared me to pursue graduate education and embark upon a life of meaningful service, while providing me and my family with joy, contentment and success,” Jim said. “As I contemplated my retirement, I chose to reflect on how much my initial college education influenced my career choice and contributed to much of my success. It seemed natural to think about how I could make a significant contribution to others in this area.”

If you would like to learn how you can support our outstanding Kent State students and programs through a provision in your will, contact us at giftplan@kent.edu or visit our website at www.Kent.edu/legacy.


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