As a co-founder of a publicly traded biotechnology company, James C. Kauer, CIT '51, held highly appreciated shares in his company. He wanted to diversify his holdings, but he did not want to lose a portion of his investment to both federal and state capital gain taxes. He was delighted to accomplish his financial goals and make an "investment in education" by transferring his shares to a charitable remainder unitrust at Case Western Reserve University.
It was a chemistry set he received as a young boy that motivated Dr. Kauer to pursue a long and successful career in chemistry. He earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Case Institute of Technology, and he earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Illinois.
Today, the Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, resident has scaled back his day-to-day role with Cephalon, Inc., the company that he co-founded with two colleagues in 1987 after spending 32 years with the DuPont Company.
"Cephalon was a great opportunity for us," he explains, ''as DuPont shifted away from pharmaceuticals." The associates chose "Cephalon," a Greek word for "head," because they wanted to pursue drug therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease), and Parkinson's, among others.
Presently, Cephalon employs nearly 2,500 people in the United States and Europe. The company markets more than 20 products internationally, including three proprietary products in the United States, one of which aids those diagnosed with narcolepsy. For Dr. Kauer, doing research leading to a drug that moves from development to FDA approval and into the marketplace provides a real sense of accomplishment.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Kauer served in the navy, then used the G.I. Bill to study at Case Institute of Technology. He honed his research skills in the lab alongside John E. Rutzler, Jr., an assistant professor of physical chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and was inspired to pursue his graduate education through the encouragement of instructor Aaron Nelson in organic chemistry. He met his future wife Elisabeth while taking a French class at Cleveland College. They have five children.
His charitable remainder unitrust provides Dr. and Mrs. Kauer income from a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds managed for their benefit by the University. Over the ten years of its existence, the assets of the trust have increased in value, so the couple's income from the trust has risen as well. When the trust matures, its assets will be used to establish the James C. and Elisabeth S. Kauer Endowment Fund, with income to be used to support the Department of Chemical Engineering.