Recognizing and Rewarding Academic Excellence
Wanda and Stewart Abel Support School of Optometry
By giving preference to students whodemonstrateacademic excellence in clinical sciences, the Abel Family Endowed Optometry Scholarship opens opportunities for top students who may not otherwise be eligible for scholarships. Drs. Wanda and Stewart Abel established it through their IRA.
Wanda S. Abel, O.D., is a clinical associate professor in the UAB School of Optometry. She was the first School of Optometry faculty member to generously provide funding for the ground-floor clinic renovation, and the school was delighted to name an examination room for her in recognition of her financial support and willingness to lead by example.
According to Wanda Abel, giving through an IRA was “a financially desirable way to give as far as a tax benefit. Everyone wins: We win; the school wins,” she says. “This is the way all gifts should be made. It’s beneficial to the school and to the donor as well as to the government that would have to subsidize if gifts weren’t given.” The Abels encourage others to give through an IRA rollover because they believe it makes giving much easier. They were hoping that the government would reinstate the IRA rollover provision in the tax code, which it recently did.
Stewart Abel, O.D., is the founding dean of the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry. “The UAB School of Optometry is a family,” he says. “Our daughter, Ami, is a graduate who went on to teach at the school. The school rallied around Ami through a difficult illness and made all of the Abels feel like a part of that family.”
School of Optometry Dean John F. Amos, O.D., is grateful to the Abels. He adds, “This scholarship honors the Abels’ lifelong contributions to the advancement of the optometric profession and the UAB School of Optometry, to the education of future generations of outstanding optometrists, and to the provision of the highest-quality vision care to the numerous patients they have wholeheartedly served throughout their careers.”