Estate of Rider alumnus and wife establishes $3.1 million trust to benefit University
Ray Keller's 1948 yearbook photo
The estate of Raymond and Jane Keller has established a $3.1 million trust to support Rider University in perpetuity.
Raymond '48, a successful accountant who enrolled in Rider after earning a Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, passed away in 2007 following a car accident. His wife of 62 years, Jane, retired as executive secretary for Eaton-Dikeman Filtration Sciences Corp. and passed away in 2017.
The trust will benefit the University by providing an annual allocation of $75,000 to support scholarships for business students and another $75,000 for unrestricted use.
"We are extremely fortunate and thankful for Ray and Jane's generosity and their friendship over the years," says Karin Klim, vice president for University Advancement. "Their gift ensures a long legacy that will make a significant impact on students and the University as a whole."
Both natives of Pennsylvania, Raymond and Jane married in 1945 and particularly enjoyed traveling together, eventually visiting most of the countries of Europe, plus Alaska and Hawaii.
After graduating from Rider with Bachelor of Science in Commerce in Accounting, Raymond was employed by Capital Blue Cross and then Wilson R. Ritter, CPA, in Harrisburg, Pa. Once he passed the CPA exam, he was taken as a partner in Boyer & Ritter CPAs, where he worked for 50 years.
In his obituary, Raymond is recalled as “a great man and a very good husband” who “will be greatly missed by his family and friends.”
Raymond was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army after graduating from Carlisle High School. He fought in the Battle of The Bulge during the harshest winter in Germany, where he suffered an injury that resulted in him being awarded the Purple Heart. He recovered in hospitals in France and England before being transferred home to rehabilitate at Camp Carson, Colo., where he was discharged.
Raymond and Jane were both longtime members of the Grace United Methodist Church in Carlisle, Pa., where Raymond served as a member of the Finance Committee and The Usher Association.
Rider awards more than $86 million annually in scholarships and financial aid, with 99 percent of students receiving Rider-funded scholarships and gift aid.
"Estate planning is a powerful way for individuals and their loved ones to make a lasting difference on the success of Rider and its students," Klim says. "A planned gift, like that of the Kellers, ensures that their values, embedded in the mission of the University, will endure."