SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A couple that met while attending Springfield College has gifted a philanthropic contribution of $2.41 million.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Springfield College, the $2.41 million is from alumni Sherry Kopko Ruth and Bill Ruth, both of Class 1974, whose gift promises to propel The College’s mission to even greater heights.

“The best ‘personal’ benefit that Springfield College provided for us, is that we found each other the second day of freshman week – and that chance meeting has given us a wonderful 53 years together, both personally and professionally. We both feel that we owe our satisfaction and success as professionals as well as the quality of the life we’ve been able to live together at Springfield College- where a chance meeting changed our lives for the better forever,” said the couple.

Sherry and Bill Ruth were student-athletes at Springfield College and held careers as educators for 30-plus years as well as Directors of Special Olympics Track & Field Programs in Pennsylvania. Bill developed into a world-class Ironman and Sherry competed as an elite bodybuilder and triathlete. They now reside in Colorado.

“We are humbled and deeply grateful for this remarkable gift, which will be transformative in the lives of future Springfield College students,” said Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper, President of Springfield College. “At their core, Bill and Sherry are true educators who have given their lives to the betterment of others. Their passion for Springfield College and making an impact through their efforts as teachers and coaches make them a prime example of leading in service to others and being guided by the Humanics spirit.”

“Upon reflecting on the people, places, and experiences that have shaped how we have been able to live our lives, Springfield College is at the top of our list. The Springfield College community and its mission needs alumni support, to whatever degree, in whatever way, to ensure that The College can continue to produce the quality people and professionals that truly make a positive difference in the world,” explained Sherry Kopko Ruth.

“The education and positive experiences I had at Springfield College have transcended every aspect of my life to make it a happy and fulfilling one. I will be forever grateful for that,” added Bill Ruth.

Springfield College is a private university founded in 1885. It provides education to approximately 3,500 students, including 2,050 full-time undergraduate students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.

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