Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts


Zak Putnam ’04Zak Putnam ’04

  • President and founder of Spero, a nonprofit
  • Business development manager at Akamai Technologies
  • Wheaton Fund supporter

Enjoys fun-raising.

“Spero, which means ‘to hope’ in Latin, is a nonprofit that hosts fun social fundraisers to both empower a new generation of philanthropists and to raise much-needed funds for New England–based children’s charities. I started Spero because I was interested in doing something entrepreneurial that makes a difference in the lives of children, as well as show other young people that giving back in a very meaningful way doesn’t require a huge bank account. I also wanted to keep my great group of Wheaton friends together after graduation—nine of them are on our board, including my wife [Kate Weston Putnam ’06].”

Knows effort is everything.

“Wheaton taught me that the amount you get out of anything is directly related to the effort you put into it. My success always depends on the effort.”

Contributes to say thanks.

“Wheaton gave me skills and a network of friends and advisors that has been crucial to succeeding in all aspects of my private and professional life. Giving back through the Wheaton Fund is my way of saying thanks and ensuring that all students get the same opportunities that I had.”

Photo by David Marshall

Be a part of the story

Marjorie Gelb Jones ’62

Marjorie Gelb Jones ’62President, Class of ’62
Author, Frances Yates and the Hermetic Tradition (Ibis Press, 2008)
Retired professor of history, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Instructor, Sing Sing prison
Wheaton Fund supporter
Enjoys a good story.

“Without Wheaton, I would not have had the opportunity to spend my junior year abroad, which forever broadened and transformed my worldview. Without Wheaton, I would not have had the courage to attend law school in the 1960s, when only a handful of my classmates were women. Without Wheaton, I would not have been intellectually restless enough in my 40s to return to graduate school for a degree in history, my major at Wheaton, or the audacity in my 60s—after many years in banking and executive recruitment—to write the first biography of an influential British historian. Now, in my 70s, Wheaton continues to provide the inspiration and confidence to work on another.”

Supports happy beginnings.

“‘That They May Have Life and May Have It Abundantly,’” the words carved over the doors of the Wheaton library, certainly have proven true for me. The life of the mind is the college’s great gift to me. So that others may share that rich experience, I contribute annually to the Wheaton Fund and am a proud member of the Founders’ Society.”

Support Wheaton

Call 800-896-3145 (option 2) or visit wheatoncollege.edu/giving

Be the one they count on

Ruth "Hood" Swanton 1980Ruth “Hood” Swanton ’80

Biostatistician in the pharmaceutical industry

Owner of Ruth Swanton Consulting, LLC

Mentor, volunteer 

Wheaton Fund supporter

Knows what counts: “In 2008, after my husband, Dave, died and I was laid off from a biopharmaceutical company, I started my own business. I help researchers provide evidence that a drug (or device) is effective and safe during clinical trials. I also help develop protocols and conduct statistical analysis. By working for myself I can control my time and be more involved in my 9-year-old daughter’s life.”

Values support: “My life began a second time at Wheaton. I found my voice, learned to listen to myself  and follow my passion for research and creative writing, thanks to my professors. One of them pointed out that each of us has power through knowledge and that we need to use it.”

Believes in multiplying good: “When I went to Wheaton, I received a scholarship. Now, I am able to contribute to the education of the next generation through the Wheaton Fund. Each of us who has been able to find our passion and live a fruitful life needs to give back. It is important that we view ourselves as a small part of a larger whole.”

Support Wheaton

Call 800-896-3145 (option 2) or visit wheatoncollege.edu/giving

Join the team

Patrick B. Summers ’94

Patrick Summers '94, NEWMAC E.D.Executive director of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference

Filene Center volunteer

Wheaton Fund supporter

Plays a key role. “I’ve worked in college athletics since 1996. The opportunity to work with student-athletes is one I cherish. These young men and women have qualities that allow them to excel on and off the field. They are future leaders of our country and it’s important to me that they have advocates supporting their endeavors as students and athletes.”

Values teamwork. “Wheaton gave me a great education and a chance to become friends with an amazing group of people. But most importantly the college connected me with mentors who have helped me through every significant step in my life. I owe much of my professional success to [former Filene Center associate director] Elizabeth Hallowell and [former athletic director] Chad Yowell.”

Supports winning strategies. “I believe we have a responsibility to make Wheaton better than it was when we were students. Seeing the college grow and succeed brings more pride for my alma mater. It makes me want to continue to be involved. It makes me want to make Wheaton better for every generation to come. That’s why I give to the Wheaton Fund.”

Support Wheaton

Call 800-896-3145 (option 2) or visit wheatoncollege.edu/giving