When asked about the Mars Center for Science and Technology, Anson M. Beard, Jr., a Wheaton trustee since 1971, doesn’t mince words. “It’s about time,” he says. “You can’t have a first-rate liberal arts institution without a significant commitment to the sciences.”
He has contributed to that commitment and expressed his interest in sustainability and Wheaton’s future by establishing The Beard Family Green Roof and The Anson M. Beard, Jr., Courtyard at the new science center. Green roofs—which are partially or completely covered with vegetation, a growing medium and a waterproof barrier—last longer than conventional roofs. They also reduce energy costs because they provide natural insulation, absorb storm water, and lessen the need for expensive drainage systems. And they are also places of beauty to be enjoyed by people and wildlife. Beard sees the roof as a win-win situation for the college: cutting-edge technology and beauty combined with greater durability and cost savings.
Elected a life trustee in 2008 in recognition of his service and philanthropic commitment to the college, Beard considers his dedication payback to an institution that helped define him. “Wheaton believed in me before I believed in me,” says the Yale alumnus and former managing director of Morgan Stanley. He became involved in the life of the college through his former wife, Jean Jones Beard ’65.
“I’m interested in Wheaton being a top-notch liberal arts college. And we’re doing that. Since coeducation, Wheaton has not only survived but thrived.” Beard is particularly impressed with the number of prestigious awards that Wheaton students have received in the past decade—Fulbrights, Rhodes scholarships, Marshalls and Watsons. “The science center is another major piece to complete the puzzle,” he says.
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