A generous gift from a Kalamazoo College alumna and her spouse will support the institution’s students and its strategic plan, Advancing Kalamazoo College: A Strategic Vision for 2023, by funding the Judith and William Bollinger Endowed Professorship in Computer Science.
“We are deeply honored and grateful to the Bollingers for this wonderful gift,” Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez said. “This endowment will strengthen our Computer Science Department and invest in its faculty while empowering students to attain more of the skills that employers demand. It will benefit students and their achievements beyond their years at K.”
The computer science program at K has experienced a greater than tenfold increase in the number of majors in the past 10 years, and the department’s offerings are also in great demand from nonmajors. The increased interest from students makes the addition of an applied computer science faculty member a valuable and vital investment to ensure students access to the classes they want.
“In computer science, we put a really high priority on issues of access and equity, and we have for a long time,” Computer Science Chair Alyce Brady said. “That means one of the aspects that we’re really interested in—thanks to this endowment—is expanding our reach to address students beyond just the computer science majors. With an additional faculty member, we would hope to provide for more students and continue our focus on developing a curriculum that allows everyone to thrive.”
Provost Danette Ifert Johnson noted that the gift “represents the value of what we do at K and the fact that there are folks outside the institution who believe in what we do. That speaks not just to the kinds of experiences that our students have, but the real impact that our students make in the world as graduates.”
One of those graduates is Judith Bollinger ’77, a Kalamazoo College trustee. After graduating from K with a B.A. in English, she earned her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania before working at Goldman Sachs for more than 13 years. In 1999, she joined ABG Securities as a research director and executed the company’s merger with Sundal Collier as its CEO in 2001. Bollinger was the board chair of ABG Sundal Collier, before serving as the chair of its foundation for Women in Finance beginning in 2019.
Her husband, William Bollinger, co-founded Egerton Capital Limited, a London-based asset-management firm in 1994 and remains a limited partner. He attended the University of Texas, earning a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business administration.
In designating the gift, the Bollingers noted that the knowledge and skills gained by a computer science education are applicable and necessary in nearly every discipline, and that all students can benefit from the attainment of such skills, regardless of their area of study. Says the couple, “Most disciplines today—from medicine to finance—require robust computer science skills. We hope that our gift equips many generations of K students with the computer skills they need to flourish in their chosen fields.”