Endowment provides support for students and stability for W&J

Hannah Aloia ’15 talks with Ash Yazdanshenas ’21 in the Admission House.

A healthy endowment is the lifeblood of any college or university and it’s no different at W&J.

W&J donors came together during the recently completed Uncommon Bond Campaign to reinvigorate the College’s endowment, providing key support for today’s students and a promising future for decades of Presidents to come.

Through the generosity of alumni and friends, more than 140 new endowed funds were created to provide scholarships and funding for internships and scientific research, enhance athletic programs, assist students who find themselves facing unexpected financial burdens, and much more. By far, scholarships are the most popular endowment type created by donors and are essential for attracting and enrolling more of our talented prospective students, regardless of their financial status. Increased endowment funds are held in perpetuity and invested to grow over time, and each year, a percentage of the endowment is made available to support a wide variety of needs on campus—needs identified by donors when creating endowments.

Reflecting fondly on their days on campus, classes of alumni joined together to provide assistance to current students, and generations of future students, in areas where they remember needing help.

The Class of 1965 GIFT (Gift It Forward Together) Fund was established by classmates celebrating their 50th reunion and is a permanently endowed gift fund that will provide financial support annually to students unable to pay tuition or other related college costs due to an unforeseen financial emergency, ensuring that hard-working, high-achieving students remain at W&J despite temporary financial constraints. Examples of uses for this Fund include natural disasters, illness or death of a parent, or a parent being furloughed or unexpectedly unemployed.

“Many of us [Class of 1965 alumni] could relate to the need of a student and family that had unexpectedly fallen on hard times,” Dick Crosbie ’65 said. “Creating the Class of 1965 GIFT Fund in honor of our 50th reunion provided us an opportunity to create a gift that could address these needs.”

The Class of 1967 Endowed Uncommon Grants Fund, also established in honor of their 50th reunion, will create a permanent endowment for financial awards associated with providing intellectual experiences to students, including travel to conferences, research costs, and the costs to publish one’s own findings. With an increasing number of students working to find wider audiences for their research, this Fund will help offset costs that can create barriers in pursuing these opportunities.

Even graduates who haven’t been away from campus very long are getting involved, with the Class of 2015 establishing an endowed book fund to offset the cost of textbooks or other miscellaneous education materials for students that demonstrate need.

“When I give back as a young alumna, I know how much books cost, I know how important scholarships are to students, and that I and my fellow classmates can relate to current students,” said Hannah Aloia ’15, Assistant Director of Admission for Recruitment Events at W&J.

“I know that when I give my donation, it is helping those students to have the same great experiences I had here during my four years as a student that were made possible by alumni donations. I want to make sure that I can do that for our current students and future students.”

A reinforced endowment, refreshed by the funds created during the campaign, will continue to live on and strengthen the core of the W&J community – the students of today and tomorrow.