Arthur and Helen Poland: Committed to Education


Art and Helen at the magnetic North Pole making an educational TV program

What do an astrophysicist and a veterinarian have in common? In Arthur and Helen's case, they share a passion for many things including horses, but especially giving and providing hope for a bright future for students at educational institutions like Colorado State.

Arthur Poland is currently a Research Professor at George Mason University in Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1969 from Indiana University.

"I worked at NASA for over 20 years primarily doing research at first, using data from a satellite. Because my work involved research with people from many different countries, I was asked to take a management position as U.S. Project Scientist for an international research spacecraft called Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). After SOHO, I was asked to become the Senior Project Scientist for the Living With a Star (LWS) program which involved the study of space weather. At this time, I was also working part time at NASA Headquarters in the Chief Scientist's office as an adviser on physical sciences and the LWS program. What I love most about my career is the diversity of things I have been able to do and the people from all over the world I have been able to work with in addition to sharing my knowledge with others."

"I met my future wife, Helen during my senior year of high school. We shared many of the same interests and became best friends that year. Helen and I got married during the summer of 1964 before I attended Indiana University."

Helen Poland, D.V.M., earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University in physical chemistry and went on to gain a veterinary degree from Colorado State University in 1980. Before she applied to the Veterinary program, however, she specialized in atmospheric chemistry and air pollution as an assistant professor in CSU's Atmospheric Sciences department. Helen and Art have since moved to Virginia where Helen opened the Old Waterloo Equine Clinic (OWEC) in 1981 located in Warrenton, VA, which continues to grow today. In addition to her clinic, she founded the Virginia Association of Equine Practitioners and served on the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine for eight years.

"My graduating class of 1980 at CSU was very diverse with a significant number of women as well as older students. We students supported each other, it was a great experience. Studying the chemical cycles involved in all the life processes fascinated and amazed me. Today, I still love learning and thinking about veterinary medicine as well as getting to practice the art and science of the medicine on horses. Each day, I get to drive around a beautiful countryside and interact with the colorful people who take care of the horses I treat. Educating and helping my clients take better care of their horses is very satisfying."

Helen and Art Poland understand that a college education is very important and should not be limited to certain people. They give to Universities where they were either educated or employed. Colorado State has done both.

"Our planned giving involves endowed scholarships for students and is based on the residual from our estate. As we developed our plans for the future, we came to realize we wanted to leave most of our estate for the futures of students who would not be able to afford to get a college education without financial help."

"We chose this type of planned gift because, in our opinion, the cost of education has become overwhelming for most students. CSU has one of the best veterinary schools in the country and we hope students without the money may have an opportunity to succeed. We don't look at our planned gift as philanthropy. We see this as payback and just doing what is right."