Michael Merlin Pledges $100,000 to Radow College to Boost Financial Education and Support Student Teachers

In a meaningful act of philanthropy, Michael Merlin, founder of Merlin Wealth Management at Rockefeller Global Family Office, has pledged a substantial $100,000 to the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This generous commitment, equally divided between two transformative gifts, is a testament to his unwavering support for the future of financial education and teacher development.

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 31, 2024) — by: James R. Turner

Dean Kaukinen, Michael and Caren Merlin

The Merlin Wealth Management Gift for Financial Education will allocate $50,000 to support Radow College faculty who incorporate financial education courses and micro-credentials into their classes. This endowment aims to enhance the college's educational offerings, ensuring that students gain critical financial literacy skills as part of their academic experience. By empowering faculty to embed financial education into their curricula, Merlin is helping to prepare students for an economically stable future.

Michael Merlin at Endowment Ceremony"One of the things that we have always felt strongly about is furthering education for as many people as possible in as many areas as possible," said Merlin. "One specific area that is very important to me is financial education. It only gets taught at a few levels of school, so when talking to Katie (Dean of Radow College) about creating a financial education mini credential, it resonated with us on several levels."

The second scholarship is the Caren and Michael Merlin Family Scholarship, also endowed with $50,000, which provides stipends to student teachers at Radow College. This scholarship is designed to ease the financial pressures faced by student teachers, allowing them to focus more on their coursework and professional development. By alleviating these burdens, the scholarship supports aspiring educators in their journey to become effective and dedicated teachers.

Michael Merlin Speaking with Lindy RadowMr. Merlin, the founder of a prominent wealth management firm within Rockefeller Capital Management, recognizes the transformative impact of financial education. "At the heart of so many things are great teachers. I counsel people daily, but to a great degree; to do it well, you must be a teacher at heart. You must be willing to share knowledge with each other and to ask questions. I think enhancing the quality and the ability of the next generation of teachers, regardless of what subjects those are, to be inquisitive, mindful, and passionate about teaching a new generation is the essence of why a lot of these students are here and it's also the essence of why we feel so strongly about education."

Dean Catherine (Katie) Kaukinen, Ph.D., emphasized the transformative impact of these donations: "We are incredibly fortunate to receive such generous support from Michael and Caren Merlin. Their endowments will significantly benefit our students and student teachers, enhancing our programs, alleviating financial pressures for students and aspiring educators, and fostering a thriving educational environment at Radow College. These endowments represent more than just financial assistance; they symbolize a commitment to the future of education and the empowerment of the next generation of educators.  The impact of the Merlins' generosity will be felt for years to come, resonating through the achievements of our students and the broader educational landscape."

Caren MerlinMichael and his wife, Caren Merlin, demonstrate their profound commitment to education and financial literacy through their dual endowments. Their contribution to Radow College underscores their belief in the importance of equipping both educators and students with the tools they need to succeed. Michael Merlin's $100,000 commitment to Radow College is a significant stride towards enhancing educational opportunities and supporting the professional development of future leaders. Through these endowed scholarships, Merlin is addressing the immediate needs of the college community and making a lasting investment in the long-term success of its students and faculty.

With three schools and eight departments that serve nearly 8,000 students, Radow College offers over 80 programs of study across the humanities and social sciences. For additional information on the educational opportunities available at Radow College, please visit https://radow.kennesaw.edu/.