Alan Riedel (LAW '55) credits his philanthropic nature to the support he received as a student. To this native of Bellaire, Ohio, giving back is a moral duty that he is thankful to be able to fulfill.
"Case Western Reserve University helped me tremendously and gave me the opportunity to become successful," he says. "I'm very grateful." Riedel, whose parents' formal education ended after eighth grade, was able to attend the School of Law because of the scholarship support he received. Over the years, Riedel and his wife, Ruby, have returned the favor by offering significant scholarship support to Case Western Reserve law students through the Ruby and Alan E. Riedel Endowment.
The couple's legacy of support began soon after his graduation from the School of Law when he was a member of the school's fundraising board. Riedel and his fellow group members decided that, rather than feeding the endowment, they would set up a yearly fundraising drive—thus creating the School of Law Annual Fund.
Riedel, who serves as president of the Alan and Ruby Riedel Foundation, is a retiree from a 34-year career at Cooper Industries, formerly Cooper-Bessemer Corporation. He retired in 1994 as vice chairman, having begun as a general attorney who handled labor negotiations.
Riedel has lived in Houston since the company relocated from Mount Vernon, Ohio, in 1967 and looks back fondly on his days at Case Western Reserve. He remembers card games with old friends and his part-time jobs as a gas station attendant. He recalls working as a clerk at a downtown law office, where he got his first taste of law. He also reminisces of his wedding to Ruby, which came shortly after his first year of law school, just weeks after her graduation from Ohio University—their undergraduate alma mater where they met and first recognized their shared philanthropic ideals.
"We feel strongly that giving back takes many forms," Riedel says, adding that the foundation also supports church activities and junior achievement initiatives. "We feel an obligation to support worthwhile organizations like Case Western Reserve."
Whatever the reason for a gift, the university is profoundly grateful for the support of our alumni and friends.
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