Great Things Newsletter

The Impact of One ...

Proulx Fisher
J. Christopher Philips, Ph.D.

Liberal Arts graduates draw up estate plans to give back to UDM

Paul J. Proulx ’96 and Peggy Finster ’95, both lawyers, living in Man-hattan’s Financial District with their three young children, have recently named University of De-troit Mercy in their estate plans.

The couple met on the McNichols Campus, where they lived in the residence halls and attended classes in liberal arts. Peggy was grateful to have received an Insignis scholarship.

Both received law degrees after attending UDM. Paul completed a joint-degree program with Brooklyn Law School and the Pratt Institute, where he earned a Master’s degree in City Planning. Peggy attended law school at Columbia University.

Now, Paul is a member of the real estate department at the law firm Cozen O’Connor, where his practice focuses on land use and zoning. Peggy is labor and employment counsel for the Cowen Group, a financial services firm.

“Giving back to the University where we both got our undergraduate degrees resonated with us.”
— Paul J. Proulx ’96 and Peggy Finster ’95

When drawing up an estate plan, they thought carefully about philanthropy. “We asked ourselves, what else is important in our lives?,” Paul says. “Giving back to the University where we both got our undergraduate degrees resonated with us.”

They chose to designate a portion of their estate to UDM. Their gift will be used to establish a Chair of Urban History in the College of Liberal Arts & Education.

Both credit UDM with fostering their strong sense of social justice, and for Paul, his interest in urban planning. “UDM has deep roots in the city of Detroit and a commitment to the community,” Paul says. “It was a great context for learning—especially how the auto industry transformed cities. It framed my world view.”

The couple wants their gift to help promote the University as a context for learning in a unique urban environment. They note that it’s important for young professionals to consider their own legacy and reasons for giving to UDM.