The legacy of the belief that the late Arthur E. Neipp held in the value of education is already apparent in his children. Although he was never able to attend college and worked in a “blue collar” profession all his life, he ensured that each of his three children and his seven grandchildren were able to do so. And now, thanks to a $115,000 bequest in his will to the GCC Foundation to create the Neipp Family Scholarship Fund in Math and Nursing, established in memory of his wife, Beverly, and in honor of his children Jeffrey, Kathleen (O”Rourke) and Cynthia (Gwosch), Arthur Neipp has made that promise to future generations of GCC students who will also benefit from his generosity and vision for access to education.
GCC President Robert Pura expressed appreciation for this significant gift, saying “Arthur Neipp’s commitment to quality and education can be found throughout the Smith College Campus. His special attention to color and to detail was highly respected and trusted by Smithies for over 20 years. His passions have now found their way to GCC in part because of his friendship to (retired employees) Rob Yacubian and Larry Dean. His commitment to providing affordable access to a quality education has now opened the doors to education for students in Math and Nursing at GCC. We are so grateful to Arthur and the entire Neipp family for their gift and for his many years of service to all in education. His legacy is now integrated into the fabric of both Smith and GCC.”
Arthur Neipp passed away in February following a period of declining health. He had, as daughter Kathy O’Rourke stated, taken his own lifelong advice to others to work and stay active until the end.
Neipp was born in 1929 and graduated from Turners Falls High School in 1948. He served honorably in the US Army until 1956, where he attained the rank of SP3 as a medical attendant, assigned to the 3rd Army Battalion. Upon his return to civilian life, Arthur worked for Couture Brothers in Turners Falls as a painter and dry wall hanger for 21 years. He then accepted a position in the paint and dry wall section of the Physical Plant at Smith College, where he was a color consultant for an additional 21 years, retiring in 1998. He remained at Smith College as the rental property manager and clerk of the works for several more years. He valued his time there, as he was appreciated for his considerable contributions and skills.
Arthur remained active doing part-time work in his retirement.He enjoyed many activities which included antiques, golf, a love of automobiles (in particular BMWs), oriental rugs, gardening (flowers) and he supported several charitable organizations. He was a member of the Turners Falls Athletic Club, a past president of the YMCA’s Men’s Club and of the First Congregational Church of Greenfield. Arthur also served as a trustee and auditor for the Springdale Cemetery Association, Turners Falls.
But it was his value of education that was the constant thread throughout the narrative of his life. He encouraged and supported his children and their children to attend college, many of whom attended GCC with his encouragement to “start there, then transfer wherever you choose for your Bachelor’s.” The community is the richer for it, with members of the Neipp family having staffed our hospital, helped grow our food and provided public service for many decades.
Neipp’s son, Jeff, spoke of how his father has even made plans to support the educational goals of the third generation of Neipp children and how this gift to GCC will also help many more attend college and make their lives better. “My dad led a joyous life,” he said, “and making sure that education is attainable is one of the things that brought him joy.”
Arthur Neipp has certainly brought great joy to future students at Greenfield Community College.
Those interested in learning more about planned giving in support of GCC may contact Regina Curtis, Executive Director of Resource Development at Greenfield Community College, at 413-775-1426