Dewitt native helps student athletes: David Cutler

David Cutler has fond memories of growing up in DeWitt in the 1950s.

"I really like the people there, the community, and I especially liked going to DeWitt High School and playing sports," he said.

Those fond memories, coupled with the success Cutler has had as the key technical brain behind the Microsoft Windows operating system, has enabled him to give back to the community he loves.

In 2013, Cutler established the David Cutler Endowed Scholarship Fund with a gift of $310,000. In 2015, he added another $310,000 to the fund, doubling its impact. Scholarships will be awarded to DeWitt High School seniors who excel in academics and athletics, as Cutler did.

Cutler, who lives in Seattle, said the idea for the scholarship grew out of his involvement in endowed scholarships he established at the University of Washington and Olivet College, his alma mater.

"I thought it might be kind of neat to establish an endowed scholarship at the high school level so students could compete with other members of the community for a scholarship rather than competing with nationwide students at the college level," Cutler said. "This scholarship, hopefully, will help many deserving students go to college who may not have been able to do so otherwise."

I like to help people help themselves. Helping someone get an education is an opportunity for someone to raise their standard of living and hopefully perpetuate the cycle.”

— David Cutler

'A fan of the concept of endowment'

Cutler said he's a fan of the concept of endowment.

"It's an investment that gives in perpetuity," Cutler said. "I look at this endowment as just the start, and I certainly plan to add to it over the coming years. I hope other people will see the benefit of a scholarship endowment and how it can help to fund scholarships for worthy students in their community."

While he was a student at DeWitt High School, Cutler participated in football, basketball, baseball and track. A combination of athletic and academic scholarships enabled him to attend Olivet College.

In an interview with the Lansing State Journal announcing the establishment of this scholarship, Cutler talked about the value of participating in athletics.

"They teach us teamwork and introduce us to the importance of competition," he said. "There are few things we do in life that are not done in conjunction with other people. This includes work, at home and at play."

Cutler said sports help people learn how to get along and work together to accomplish goals. They also build strong friendship bonds. He said his greatest sports memory is the 1961 football season at Olivet College, when he was the starting quarterback. The team finished the season with a 8-and-1 record after losing nearly every game the previous season.

"I look back on that season and think about what we accomplished by working together and playing at our highest possible level," he said. "That season cemented several lifelong friendships that I still enjoy today."

For more information about what CRCF donors are doing for mid-Michigan's students, visit our scholarships page.

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