Board of Trustees launches $500K challenge
The Wheaton College Board of Trustees is ramping up efforts to inspire members of the community to give back as the college navigates challenges due to COVID-19.
In May, the board launched the $500,000 Trustee Challenge to boost support of The Wheaton Fund, which helps the college meet the annual costs of supporting essential activities and services. Trustees will double any gift made through June 30, or until the $500,000 goal is reached. Gifts can be made through the college’s online crowdfunding platform, or using the postage-paid gift envelope enclosed in the spring issue of Wheaton Magazine.
“Everyone in our community should know that the Wheaton Fund supports every program, every office and every activity at Wheaton. This includes the recently formed Student Relief Fund, which provides support for our students experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19,” said Henrietta Gates ’72, who chairs the trustees’ Philanthropy Committee. “The coronavirus has had a significant financial impact on the college, as it has with most colleges, and there has never been a more important time to increase your support of Wheaton.”
In fiscal year 2019, more than 4,000 donors gave $5 million in Wheaton Fund gifts. With less than a month left of this fiscal year, the Wheaton Fund stands at $3.5 million in gifts and pledges. The goal of the $500,000 Trustee Challenge is to help reach the $5 million mark again this fiscal year.
Trustee Keith Peden urged the community to participate to meet that goal.
“These are difficult times for our country and our beloved institution here at Wheaton. Both call for leadership, something that Wheaton does so well with the development of our undergraduates as the socially responsible leaders of tomorrow. I have seen that leadership modeled by the faculty, senior leadership team and the Wheaton Board of Trustees over the years—but never more than during these trying times,” Peden said. “Wheaton needs you now more than ever. The Trustee Challenge calls on each and every one of us to show our leadership by helping to sustain Wheaton.”
The challenge is part of greater efforts to manage a global health crisis through a strong partnership between the board and the college, said Janet Lindholm Lebovitz ’72, chair of the Board of Trustees.
“As chair, I can tell you that, in characteristic form, the college has responded with clear intent to protect the Wheaton community, to confront and ease the challenges, and to emerge and move forward from this public health crisis. In this effort, the Board of Trustees has worked side-by-side with President Hanno and his senior leadership team on behalf of the college. It is a strong partnership that is committed to sustaining Wheaton College and continuing to build a strong and vibrant learning community for the Wheaton students of today and tomorrow,” Lebovitz said.
“I am proud of the board for taking this initiative and confident that it will be instrumental in ensuring that the Wheaton Fund goal of $5 million is achieved,” she said.