Estate gift to support greatest campus needs 

A $1.45 million estate gift will address Hastings College’s greatest needs while touching the lives of students now and in the future. The bequest was made by the late Jo Ann Klemmer, a longtime friend and supporter of the College and spouse of the late Dr. Herb Klemmer, a 1933 alumnus and psychiatrist at The Menninger Clinic, formerly in Topeka, Kansas.

“Jo Ann knew that Hastings College made a remarkable difference in Herb’s life, and she wanted students to realize those same opportunities. She focused her philanthropy on students’ success and the quality of their academic and co-curricular experiences,” said Gary Freeman, executive director of the Hastings College Foundation. “We are deeply grateful for her commitment to Herb’s alma mater and honored to accept this legacy gift.”

The estate gift, which carries no restrictions on its use, will be applied toward immediate needs such as deferred maintenance and campus operations, as well as areas reflecting Klemmer’s philanthropic priorities, including student travel and scholarships. Klemmer was a longtime member of the Ringland Society, a Hastings College giving society recognizing those who establish endowed funds, enter into life income charitable gifts or include the College in their estates.

“The Klemmer legacy at Hastings College is a true testimony to the difference a single estate can make in the quality of education we provide for our students,” said Mike Karloff, associate vice president for trusts, estates and planned giving. “Jo Ann felt great satisfaction knowing that her estate gift would have a direct and immediate impact on students and strengthen the College’s future.”

Three endowed funds established by Klemmer prior to her death in 2020 will be combined in a single endowed fund focused on scholarships and other critical needs. Gifts to endowment are preserved as principal, and the College uses only a portion of earnings each year.

“Endowed gifts support students today while providing a secure source of funding for the future. Jo Ann and Herb’s legacy will live forever at Hastings College through an endowed fund that will carry their name in perpetuity,” Karloff said.

Born in Eugene, Oregon, Klemmer was raised in Kansas and received her bachelor’s degree in English from Washburn University in Topeka and master’s degree in English from the University of Kansas. She taught English at the University of Kansas, Topeka High School and Washburn University; published several collections of poetry and enjoyed playing semi-pro golf. In 2012 she was named to the Pro Rege Society, the highest non-academic honor bestowed by Hastings College.

Herb Klemmer, a New Jersey native, graduated from Hastings College with a degree in chemistry in 1933. He earned a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed a psychiatric residency at The Menninger School of Psychiatry. In addition to practicing psychiatry at The Menninger Clinic, Klemmer directed The Menninger School and was a trustee of the American Psychiatric Association. A veteran of the Army Medical Corps, he helped establish the initial therapy for what is now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He died in 2000.

Hastings College is a four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings’ student-centered initiatives include providing books, an iPad and a two-week study away experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows professors and students to focus on fewer classes at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Discover more at

Share this post