Marquette campus in the spring.


Med students walking on campus

Marquette Dentistry alumnus Jeff Carpenter (Dent ’86) is part of a dental legacy bridging from 1924—the graduation year of fellow Marquette alumnus Dr. Willard VerMeulen, whose practice Jeff first bought—to future generations of dental students, thanks to his recently documented $1 million estate gift to scholarship.

“I’m concerned about the cost of education and wanted to help students,” Jeff said. Since Marquette had prepared him so well for his own dental career, he wanted to create a similar path for future Marquette dentists.

After reading one of our previous issues of Explorer, Jeff reached out to learn more and discovered that a planned giving approach allowed him to structure his support at a level that accomplished his desired impact.

The scholarship will provide tuition for one future dental student each year, with the recipient receiving support until graduation. In addition, Jeff’s commitment also honors his parents through the establishment of the named Dr. Herbert and Susan Carpenter Scholarship Fund. Jeff bought his father’s practice later in his career, and the two worked alongside each other until Herbert retired.

“I’m very pleased with what Jeff is doing,” Herbert said of his son’s charitable choices. “It makes me very proud.”

Jeff explained his gratitude about his parents’ ability to help with his own schooling costs. “I was fortunate,” he said. “With this gift, I’d like to provide a boost for students that empowers them to lower their debt so they can graduate and make a little money. My hope is that it inspires recipients to give back, too, and continue to pay it forward.”


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