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 Claude and Laurie Pupkin P'14

When Michael Pupkin ’14 began his college career at Curry, he wasn’t just flying from the nest. Parents Claude and Laurie say that college life opened a whole new world for their son, one they weren’t sure he’d ever realize. As a child, Michael was diagnosed with a language processing disorder and ADHD.

“Going to college was something we always hoped for Michael but weren’t sure if it would be a successful experience,” says Claude. “We were so happy for him when he graduated with cum laude honors. Curry and PAL helped make that possible.”

Outside his academic success, Michael blossomed on campus, taking on leadership roles in Student Government, building his resume with internships and on-campus jobs, and flourishing with a budding social life which included new friendships and relationships
with peers.

After exclusively attending independent schools that specialized in teaching students with learning disabilities, it was important to Claude and Laurie that Michael experience a traditional educational environment. “One thing we loved about Curry is that the student population wasn’t exclusively those with learning disabilities, which is what he experienced for most of his school life,” says Laurie. “It was important to us that he experience an environment and expectations that are true to the real world.”

The Pupkins say it was PAL and the small, close Curry community that motivated and empowered Michael’s confidence to take risks. “With something like Student Government, he wasn’t the type to normally take on leadership positions, but a school like Curry gave
him a safe zone to make that leap and try something new.”

During his time at the College, Michael, a communication major, worked as a television studio assistant in the Hirsh Communication Center and served as a video and web editor intern for Curry’s Institutional Advancement office. He could also be found all over campus, aiding faculty and students in their classrooms with Smart Board technology and other computer lab equipment as a media and technology assistant. Both parents attest that each job contributed to his early professional success leading to freelance video content creation, website management, and other digital media work.

Today, Michael has jumped into the IT sector and works as a systems consultant. Both Claude and Laurie say Curry had a hand in supporting his success through the career move, even years later. “When Michael first took the Comp TIA A+ certification exam, he didn’t pass part 1 of 2. We reached out to Curry and the PAL faculty were all still available and willing to help him get through the exam, and so were the professors in the IT program. It’s an incredible lifelong relationship. In the end, he passed both parts independently but knowing Curry was still there to support him was incredibly reassuring.”

Because of Michael’s success at the College, it was important to Claude and Laurie to join the 1879 Planned Giving Society - to ensure more students at Curry could share that same accomplishment. The couple selected Curry College as one of the institutions and charitable organizations to gift in their estate plan.

“Michael thrived at Curry and it’s an excellent institution for students with learning differences. We want to help ensure that Curry continues that success.”

Learn more about becoming a member of the 1879 Planned Giving Society and how you can support Curry the way Curry supported you or your student, call the Institutional Advancement and Alumni Engagement office at 617-333-2121. Estate gifts can include bequests, life insurance designations, and IRA distribution.