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A Gift Unsolicited, Unexplained

Susan Leider met Steven Munzer after she graduated from Temple University, and then Curtis Institute of Music, and after she studied in Salzburg and Vienna, and toured Europe, singing the operas of Mozart and Wagner.

The couple were brought together by their fathers, who believed they were both ready to find a mate. But the first date was a bit dull. “He was very nice,” Sue recalled, “but an intellectual and not very exciting.”

One of the fathers encouraged a second date, and that was when the couple discovered their shared passion for music. “We relaxed and talked,” she recalled, “and it turned out that Steve was passionately, passionately interested in music. Steve knew more about music—symphonic music—than I ever did. In fact, I have never met a musician who knew more about music than Steve. He was amazing.”

The two were engaged within a year, married before the end of another year, and together for 43 years after.

Steven J. Munzer OPC ’55 graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959 and, in 1963, from Jefferson Medical College. He served as a U.S. Army doctor in Vietnam and later began a long career at Rolling Hill Hospital,which became Elkins Park Hospital, which became Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park. He was a radiologist, a speciality which Sue said fit him well. “It is numerical and doesn’t involve a great deal of conversation with people,” she said. Steve was brainy, meticulous, but “a bit shy when it came to meeting people, knowing people.” He retired in 2009.

Steven Munzer, third row, far right, appeared
with the advisors and other members of the
Cum Laude Society in the 1955 Class Record.

Sue enjoyed a second career as a court reporter and found her way back to music; she taught singing at George School, in Newtown, for 21 years, and gave private lessons in the living room of their home in Elkins Park. The Munzers’ Steinway pianos, hers ebony and his mahogany, are arranged there against a wall of windows, the crooks of the instruments fitting like two puzzle pieces. Steve died in 2017 at age 79.

Earlier this year, a Penn Charter yellow gift envelope arrived in the mail for PC’s Development Office, and inside it Chief Development Officer Jack Rogers found a check from Sue Munzer. It is unusual for a significant sum to arrive unsolicited, unexplained.

Months later, Sue, an elegant and animated woman, sat in her living room and explained. “I thought, why not give some money away while I’m still alive, as opposed to when I’m dead? How boring is that!”

Working with Rogers, Sue has arranged for her gift to be directed to the Full-Access Financial Aid Fund, which was established by Steven F. Koltes OPC ’74 to provide financial aid to talented students without the economic means to access a Penn Charter education. Koltes matches each gift to his fund dollar-for-dollar, so Sue’s gift of $25,000 quickly amounted
to $50,000.

Her gift in part is in gratitude to Penn Charter and Choral Director Joe Fitzmartin, who over the years recommended voice lessons with Sue to many PC singers, including Quakers Dozen members. The gift, most especially, is intended to honor her late husband and to thank his alma mater.

“He loved the school, he loved his friends, he loved a teacher named Mr. [Oliver] Nuse. When he would talk about Mr. Nuse he would repeat what he and the other kids always said: No Nuse is good Nuse!

“Steven was so happy there.”