Big Gift Will Create Fund to Help Former Foster Kids at CSU

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CSU Student Center, on Euclid Avenue, Rhodes Tower in background.
  • CSU Student Center, on Euclid Avenue, Rhodes Tower in background.

Former Sherwin-Williams exec Thomas Hopkins and his wife Marsha Hopkins have donated $500,000 to Cleveland State University. The gift will create an endowed fund at CSU's Pratt Center, created in 2016 as a "comprehensive resource hub dedicated to the academic and personal success of former foster kids."

The fund will provide academic assistance, housing assistance, meal plan assistance, book stipends, and family emergency stipends through the Pratt Center.

The endowed fund will be named for Mathilde Jane Gutow, the mother of Marsha Hopkins. Gutow was a foster child herself who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, earned degrees at Case and spent her professional life as a social worker and teacher.

“Jane overcame a tremendous number of societal, emotional, economic and life issues to complete her education at the highest levels, serve her country, raise a family and be an active member of her community,” said Tom Hopkins, who is now an executive-in-residence at CSU, in a press release. “We are pleased to offer the foster students of Cleveland State University the opportunity to build meaningful and satisfying lives through the Mathilde Jane Gutow Endowment Fund.”



Added Marsha Hopkins, “We are happy to be able to do this on behalf of our family in memory of my mother who inspired all of us to reach our full potential and give back to our communities.”

Cleveland.com reported earlier this year that there are now more than 2,000 kids in Cuyahoga County's foster care system. That makes the highest number since 2011, a swelling attributed primarily to the opioid crisis.

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