Home base is Columbus, Indiana, but Dr. Sherman Franz '59 is also a
psychiatrist Down Under. In the last few years, Sherm and Jacqueline, his
wife of 46 years, have lived near Brisbane, Australia, and Wellington, New
Zealand, through Global Medical Staffing. The organization sends doctors to
work for months at a time in English-speaking countries with deficits in
their particular fields. Next stop for the couple: Auckland, New Zealand,
"We get to know the area, make friends at work and in our living situations, and join them in their Aussie and Kiwi lifestyles," said Sherm. "Living there brings such a wonderful dimension to the experience."
Such rewarding opportunities could not have happened without his "outstanding" Wabash education, Sherm said. In gratitude, he and Jackie have established several charitable gift annuities to benefit the College.
With each annuity, they receive a charitable income-tax deduction and a stream of payments for life at a rate generally higher than that of fixed-income investments such as CDs. When they are gone, Sherm and Jackie trust Wabash officials to use the money wisely.
Sherm, a Kansas native, grew up in Jeffersonville and Scottsburg, Indiana. An honors scholarship made it possible for him to attend Wabash, where he played basketball for four years (captain his senior year), served as president of his fraternity, and sang with the Glee Club. He is still a bit awed today by the amount of support he received at Wabash.
"When I was having trouble making payments, the College came up with a job for me in the Athletic Department," he said. "When I didn't have the money to attend a senior study weekend, suddenly I was on the list to go. When I graduated and had no money, I was awarded a grant so I could begin med school. I've never forgotten all that help."
Sherm chose psychiatry as a field because of a natural ability to empathize with other people and an interest in applying objective reasoning to their problems. He earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and had a rotating internship at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and a residency in psychiatry at the IU Medical Center.
After three years in the U.S. Air Force-he was stationed in Libya when Muammar Quaddafi staged his military coup-Sherm moved to Columbus. In addition to 17 years in private practice, he has served as chief psychiatrist at Quinco Behavioral Systems, the comprehensive community mental health services center, and as chief of staff and chief medical officer for Columbus Regional Hospital.
Sherm also helped create and volunteers at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, which offers care to approximately 8,000 uninsured residents of Bartholomew County. "It's a delight to be there, and I always feel like I get more than I give," said Sherm, a current board member and former VIM president.
Such giving of their time and resources is typical of Sherm and Jackie, who have made several gifts to Wabash over the years. "I feel like I'm indebted to Wabash," Sherm said. "I really wanted to give back because I know other young men could use the support."