Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Leaving an impression on Wheaton

Heather Corbett '86 and Sharon Howard '87, P'09

Sharon Howard ’87, P’09, executive director of alumnae/i relations and annual giving, retired from Wheaton this summer after 38 years. And Heather Corbett ’86, director of alumnae/i relations, accepted a position at Tulane University after 24 years at Wheaton. Here, former trustee Lou Ann Daly ’76 celebrates the Dynamic Duo’s contributions.

Where to begin?

It is so easy to relax into the rhythms of complacency and confidence when the leaders are so competent, so thoughtful, so seamlessly effective as to guarantee the success of whatever they touch. One reserved, shying away from the limelight and anything loud, Sharon; the other right there waving the flag in the front row, or scheming and dreaming up fun with cohorts, Heather.

Together, these two women showed a community why relationships and alumnae/i engagement are critical to sustaining a college.

They led and represented us for decades—cajoling, prodding, supporting the alumnae and alumni who are such an essential part of the fabric of Wheaton. On Reunion weekends, one could be found sitting in a golf cart, waving her arms, ready to play with returning alumnae/i; the other slipping in and out of Mary Lyon to personally greet and welcome us with a warm hug; both making sure that the grand gesture and individual details were being addressed.

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My gift. My way.

Elena Drake Vandervoort ’67

2006 Bath (Maine) Citizen of the Year; 2009 Southern Mid-coast Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year

Founding director and past president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation “Main Street” program in Bath, Maine; board member of Maine Maritime Museum, and Maine State Music Theatre; former board member of Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc.

“Wheaton has always been an important part of my life, and I continue to devote a great deal of my time to the college. I have been a class agent. I served on the committee that formed the college’s Friends of Art group. My late husband, Peter, and I had been on the President’s Commission for several terms, and I am continuing for an additional two terms. We had always felt strongly about the value of a broad liberal arts education and were as supportive financially as we could be for all of our schools, including setting up a gift annuity fund a number of years ago and the Peter and Elena Drake Vandervoort Scholarship at Wheaton. When we were reviewing our estate plan before Peter’s death, we decided that we wanted to do even more. So we agreed that Wheaton should receive a significant portion of our combined IRAs. Knowing that future students will benefit from the excellent education that I received is a great feeling.”

Learn how you can give for the future right now. Call the Office of Gift Planning at 508-286-3459, or visit online at wheatoncollege.edu/gift-planning.


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