November 05, 2018

Geography Professor Expresses Gratitude to Bloomsburg University with a $700,000 Bequest

A $700,000 gift from the estate of John Enman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of geography at Bloomsburg University will further support students, faculty and programs in the department of Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences (EGGS).

“Dr. Enman’s gift will go a long way toward helping the EGGS department provide the best possible Husky Experience for students and faculty,” said Bloomsburg University President Bashar W. Hanna. “As a member of our BU family, Dr. Enman was committed to helping students and fellow faculty in any way he could. We are eternally grateful for his generosity and the lasting impact his gift will have on the students and faculty in the department he loved.”

Enman died in August 2016 at the age of 94, following a lifelong career devoted to his passion for geographical sciences. Prior to joining the faculty at Bloomsburg University, Enman served as a cartographer in India while serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

From the time Enman began his career at BU in 1959, he developed a strong connection to the department and viewed his fellow faculty members and students as an extension of his family.

According to Dr. Brian Johnson, a fellow retiree and Dr. Sandra Kehoe-Forutan both of the EGGS department, the direction of the gift stemmed from Enman’s sense of connection with his fellow faculty and students.

Michael Shepard, Ph.D.; Sandra Kehoe-Forutan, Ph.D.; Brian Johnson Ph.D., professor emeritus; and Cheryl Smith, EGGS Department secretary holding Dr. Enman’s United States burial casket flag.

“Our department has always felt like a family,” says Kehoe-Forutan. “From the day I arrived here in 1992, John mentored me and treated me as an equal. It was important to him to build that sense of community to make all the faculty, staff and students feel like they belonged here.”

In 2014, when Enman’s health began to decline, he turned to his EGGS family to help him with basic needs. “Because of the relationships he had built with us, he was comfortable turning to us for help with everyday things like getting groceries or transportation to appointments,” said Johnson. “And we were happy to pull together to help him, because that’s what he would have done for us.”

It was the outpouring of support from the faculty, both retired and current, staff and students in the department that inspired Enman to remember his Bloomsburg University family in his will.

With the gift, the EGGS department is already bolstering student support through equipment upgrades, and providing funding to sponsor several trips for students that allow them to gain valuable field experiences. 

“This will allow us to do so much more for our students by providing high-impact experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom setting,” said EGGS Department Chair Dr. Michael Shepard. “Dr. Enman truly loved this department and considered it his home in many ways. This gift is an expression of that love."

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