Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Zak Putnam

Enjoys fun-raising. Spero, which means “to hope” in Latin, is a nonprofit that hosts 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 that 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.