Centre News

Tom Speckman ’49 gives nearly $1 million over his lifetime

July 25, 2013 By Mariel Smith        
Centre College Speckman and his wife Mary Lee gave more than $764,000 over
the course of 52 years.

Centre College Speckman (middle of back row) with some of his fellow classmates
at a 2009 class reunion.

Centre claims some of the most loyal alumni in the nation, and this extraordinary alumni generosity fuels many of Centre's most ambitious endeavors. One particularly generous person was Tom Speckman ’49, whose lifetime giving exceeded three-quarters of a million dollars.

The Louisville native graduated from Centre with a history degree before enrolling at the University of Louisville law school, where he received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1952. He later married Mary Lee and practiced law in Louisville, where he made appearances in the Kentucky Supreme Court, U.S. District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as judge in both St. Matthews Court and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law Moot Courts. He retired from Speckman and Hoback law firm in 2002.

A member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity as a student, Speckman's involvement with Centre remained strong throughout his life. He served as a class reunion committee member, a strategic planning focus group volunteer, a committee member for the Campaign for a More Perfect Centre and as the head of the Louisville Area Colonels Club.

Special Assistant to the President for Endowment Bill Breeze explains, "Tom was beloved by all Louisville alumni. He and his wife were very well known in those circles."

In 2003, as a continuation of their involvement at Centre, the Speckmans established an endowed scholarship for "students who have demonstrated academic ability and are of good character." The scholarship has given much-needed aid to countless students and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Tom and Mary Lee's lifetime giving topped out at over $764,000 and spanned 52 years.

"Tom was a very generous and regular giver," says Breeze. "His wife Mary Lee wasn't an alumna but she might as well have been—she and Tom were at nearly every Centre event and were very active with other alumni."

The Centre experience was clearly very important to the Speckmans, who made it a point to donate so regularly and generously.

"I think Tom really appreciated the experience he had here and all of the friends he made here," says Breeze. "His generosity was a sign that he wanted to help other people receive the same quality of education that he did."

To learn more about giving to Centre, click here.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail centrenews@centre.edu or contact the Communications Office at 859-238-5748.

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