By Vince Frieden, Associate Director of Development Communications
When life threw David Karg ’65 a career curveball, he trusted in the lessons and experiences of his Miami University education and came back swinging.
Karg recently committed to repaying the preparation he received at Miami through a $250,000 bequest creating the David C. Karg Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to students based on financial need, and Karg hopes it provides recipients with an educational experience as valuable as his time at Miami.
“I have a lot of friends with kids in college and realize the financial challenges our young people face in getting an education,” Karg said. “That really motivated me to set up a need-based scholarship. I still believe Miami is a fabulous school, and I want young people to enjoy the same Miami Experience I enjoyed.”
As a prospective student, Karg visited Miami for practical reasons like in-state tuition and a respected business school, but his heart knew he had found a home as soon as he arrived on campus. He studied marketing during the school year and spent his summers working at a resort in New Hampshire, where he rose from bellhop to social director by the end of his three years.
Karg set out to follow in the footsteps of his father, who spent his career in industrial sales with Timken Roller Bearing, but the guidance and support of dedicated professors showed him that he had the ability to succeed regardless of the endeavor.
“The professors were so caring, and they wanted me to succeed,” Karg recalled. “At times, my confidence waned, and they instilled confidence in me, supported me and really made me at home. I never felt like one of 12,000 at Miami. It felt like a big family, and I left there knowing I could be successful at whatever I wanted to do.
Karg started his career in industrial sales with Anchor Hocking and quickly climbed the ladder from sales administrator to sales branch manager. Along the way, he took a Dale Carnegie Course, began instructing courses himself and found his way into sales development training. By his early 30s, Karg had ascended to national accounts manager for the central region.
Then, the future caught up to his employer.
“We worked primarily in glass containers for the food industry, like mayonnaise jars and Coke bottles,” Karg said. “I had this great job, but the industry was over capacity and demand was plummeting. I should have gone into plastic.”
Out of the job and searching for answers, Karg decided to go into business himself and started a small mirror installation business. Through the contacts he made, he was introduced to manufacturer’s reps and found a natural fit for his sales skills, training experience and speaking talents. He spent the remainder of his successful career working as a manufacturer’s rep in the home furnishings industry.
“I was devastated when I lost that job, but one door closes and another opens,” Karg reflected. “That loss led to a new career which turned out to be much more rewarding. My professors at Miami taught me that if I applied myself and worked hard, I could accomplish my goals. I took that confidence with me, and it served me well.”
In deciding to support Miami through a charitable bequest, Karg learned about the endowment concept and was inspired to create something lasting.
“If you give your money to a charity, they use it and it’s gone,” Karg said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. Once I’d made the decision to leave money to charity, though, I really grasped onto the idea of an endowment, where my money would continue to grow and support students generation after generation.”
To learn more about how Miami’s Office of Gift Planning can assist you in estate planning, visit our Gift Planning pages.