Tag Archive for University Relations

Wesleyan Community Celebrates Students During Foss Hill Day

Foss Hill Day at Wesleyan, April 2, 2015. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

Foss Hill has been a central part of the Wesleyan experience for generations of students. Pictured, students enjoy the afternoon on Foss Hill during Foss Hill Day April 2.

More than 860 alumni made gifts on Foss Hill Day.

More than 860 members of the Wesleyan community contributed to the success of Foss Hill Day.

On April 2, the Wesleyan community celebrated the inaugural Foss Hill Day. The theme of the day was “Foss Hill: Our Common Ground.” Foss Hill reminds Wesleyan students and alumni of their common purpose: supporting students and the future of liberal arts education at Wesleyan.

On campus, Wesleyan hosted an information booth behind Usdan University Center. Staff passed out flying disks and other Foss Hill Day memorabilia, provided cake, games and raffle prizes.

More than 860 members of the Wesleyan community contributed to the success of Foss Hill Day. Tom Kelly ’73 provided a challenge grant to inspire others to give.

Click image to view full Foss Hill: A Brief History infographic.

Click image to view full Foss Hill: A Brief History infographic.

“I want to thank everyone who celebrated Foss Hill Day by participating in campus activities, sharing thoughts online, volunteering time, or making a gift,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “Whenever you give — on Foss Hill Day or at any time — you make the Wesleyan experience better for our students and help ensure that they are prepared to make a positive difference in the world.”

Learn more about the event on the Foss Hill Day website.

More photos of Foss Hill Day are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

Foss Hill Day at Wesleyan, April 2, 2015. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

Support Students on Foss Hill Day April 2

On Foss Hill Day, alumni are encouraged to support our common purpose: students at Wesleyan.

On Foss Hill Day, alumni are encouraged to support our common purpose: students at Wesleyan.

#THISISWHY

Sledding on Foss Hill, January 2015.

Sledding on Foss Hill, January 2015.

Nearly everyone who attended Wesleyan has fond memories of time spent on Foss Hill. Whether it’s sledding in the winter, studying or lounging with friends on a sunny day, taking in a great concert, or engaging in a spirited political debate, Foss Hill has been a central part of the Wesleyan experience for generations of students.

This year on April 2, Wesleyan will celebrate the inaugural Foss Hill Day. The theme of the day will be “Foss Hill: Our Common Ground,” and the university will share Foss Hill facts, student profiles and experiences of Foss Hill on social media and elsewhere. On this day, alumni are encouraged to support our common purpose: students at Wesleyan.

Learn more on the Foss Hill Day website.

Hadley, Stegmaier Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

#THISISWHY

The Office of Human Resources awarded two Cardinal Achievement Awards in November 2014.

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley

Library assistant Jennifer Hadley received a Cardinal Achievement Award for her volunteer work as coordinator of the Friends of Olin Library. Over time, Hadley has become the primary organizer for the activities of the Friends that include a semi-annual book sale, two or three annual issues of the library’s newsletter, Check it Out, and the sponsoring of an annual Constitution Day lecture by an invited scholar.

For the recent book sale this fall, Hadley coordinated the sorting of books, publicized the sale on campus and in the community, arranged the setup of Olin’s lobby and clean up after the event, and reconciled and deposited the money collected from the event in the Friends account and reported this to the Friends Board.

“Jennifer’s primary motivation for all of this, as a member of the library staff since 1991, is simply a love of the library itself and a willingness to step in and take responsibility for what she feels needs to be done. She has earned the appreciation of three library directors and the rest of the library staff for this work,” said Alec McLane, music librarian and director of Olin’s World Music Archives.

Heather Stegmaier

Heather Stegmaier

Heather Stegmaier, assistant director for stewardship in the Office of University Relations, was presented with a Cardinal Achievement Award for her efforts during Homecoming Weekend in organizing and managing a special luncheon to celebrate the life of Rabbi George Sobleman, Wesleyan’s first rabbi.

Students Write to Campaign Donors at Thank a Cardinal Event

On April 23, University Relations hosted Thank a Cardinal Day in Usdan University Center.

On April 23, University Relations hosted Thank a Cardinal Day in Usdan University Center.

Students provided blank cards, pens and edible goodies at the event's "thank you table."

Students provided blank cards, pens and edible goodies at the event’s “thank you table.”

All students had an opportunity to write brief thank you notes to alumni, parents and friends who've donated through the Wesleyan Fund in 2013-2014.All students had an opportunity to write brief thank you notes to alumni, parents and friends who've donated through the Wesleyan Fund in 2013-2014.

All students had an opportunity to write brief thank you notes to alumni, parents and friends who’ve donated through the Wesleyan Fund in 2013-2014.

The Wesleyan Fund raises $10.25 million annually through gifts large and small. Many donors give every year to support the university's current expenses, and special fundraisers like the March GOLD Challenge support financial aid. On Thank a Cardinal Day, students could write one or several notes of thanks for this support.

The Wesleyan Fund raises $10.25 million annually through gifts large and small. Many donors give every year to support the university’s current expenses, and special fundraisers like the March GOLD Challenge support financial aid. On Thank a Cardinal Day, students could write one or several notes of thanks for this support.

All the gifts raised by the fund count in Wesleyan's multi-year, multi-million dollar fundraising campaign promoting access, inquiry and impact across the university

All the gifts raised by the fund count in Wesleyan’s multi-year, multi-million dollar fundraising campaign promoting access, inquiry and impact across the university.

Sign a card, thank a donor.

Sign a card, thank a donor.

Cheryl Brodowski Helps Alumni Establish Lasting Legacy for Wesleyan

Cheryl Brodowski, assistant director for gift planning in University Relations, helps donors develop a comprehensive plan that may include both annual and planned gifts.

Q: Cheryl, you came to Wesleyan in 2007. What were you hired in as, and when did you join the Office of Gift Planning in University Relations?

A: I was hired in as a project coordinator for The Wesleyan Fund in September of 2007.  After three years with the Fund, I joined the Office of Gift Planning.

Q: Please describe “gift planning” and how the differs from making an annual gift to the university.

A: A planned gift offers donors the opportunity to establish a lasting legacy for Wesleyan.  While an outright annual gift supports Wesleyan’s current greatest needs, planned gifts have different benefits for donors, beneficiaries, and the University and help fund Wesleyan’s endowment.  Ideally, donors can develop a comprehensive plan that includes both annual and planned gifts.

Q: What are ways donors typically make this type of gift?

A: Planned gifts come in the form of bequests, retirement plan or life insurance designations,

Nationwide Summer Sendoffs Welcome New Students, Families

Join members of the Class of 2014, new transfer students, and their families for a casual summer social as they prepare to head to campus.

“The Summer Sendoffs are an opportunity to meet others new to Wesleyan, as well as some current students and their families, alumni and friends of Wesleyan,” says Dana Coffin, assistant director of parent programs.

All Sendoffs are hosted by Wesleyan alumni or parents. Sendoffs begin June 27. They will be held in New York, N.Y., Atlanta, Ga., Boulder, Colo., Cary, N.C., Chappaqua, N.Y., Chicago, Ill., East Hampton, N.Y., Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, Calif., Memphis, Tenn., Newton, Mass., Philadelphia, Pa., San Francisco, Calif., Seattle, Wash. and Washington D.C. The complete schedule is online here.

For more information on Summer Sendoffs, e-mail sendoffs@wesleyan.edu or call 860-685-3756.

Gemma Fontanella Ebstein Plays Key Role in Building Relationships with Alumni, Staff

 

Gemma Fontanella Ebstein is associate vice president for external relations. (Photo by Dena Matthews)

If you’ve enjoyed attending Wesleyan events, chances are that you have Gemma Fontanella Ebstein to thank.

As associate vice president for external relations, she has had an ever-evolving set of responsibilities, but one constant has been ensuring that events for alumni, parents and the campus community are first rate. Under her direction, for example, Wesleyan merged Commencement and Reunion weekends into one event that rapidly has become a valued Wesleyan tradition.

“Gemma has great management instincts and I can absolutely count on her to get things done,” says Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for university relations. “We can’t have successful fundraising without building excellent relationships with all our constituencies, and Gemma plays a key role in that effort. Wesleyan is fortunate to have her energy, positive attitude and leadership capability.”

During her 20 years at Wesleyan, she also led planning for Wesleyan’s 175th Anniversary Celebration, merged Homecoming and Family Weekends, increased attendance at both that event and Reunion, reorganized the University Lecture Series,

Tuition Translation Celebration Thanks Alumni, Parents for Support

Wesleyan Tuition Transition 2010

University Relations held a "Tuition Transition" celebration March 26 in Usdan University Center to thank alumni and parent donors for their financial support.

Wesleyan Tuition Transition 2010

The ever-popular Wesleyan Cardinal made an appearance at the event.

Wesleyan Tuition Transition 2010

A tuition grant from alumni and parents through the Wesleyan Fund, along with the endowment, reduces tuition, room and board charges by nearly $20,000 per student every year.

Wesleyan Tuition Transition 2010

Red & Black callers passed out informational material and cookies. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Michelle Dube: Development Officer Specializes in Major Gifts

Michelle Dube, a development officer in University Relations, works with donors interested in providing major gifts to Wesleyan. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Q: Michelle, when did you come to Wesleyan?

A: I arrived on campus in August, 2007 to work as a development officer in University Relations.

Q: What department are you part of?

A: Major gifts. We solicit financial gifts of $100,000 and higher.

Q: How many alumni do you generally work with?

A: Around 225 alumni and parents. For the most part, we do maintain relationships with the same individuals.

Q:  How do you encourage alumni to support Wesleyan during these economically difficult times?

A: I think last year was more of a challenge than this year appears to be. Alumni and parents who give at this level want to maintain their relationship with the university,

Parents, Alumni Celebrate Homecoming/Family Weekend with Students

More than 5,000 fans attended the Homecoming football game against Williams Nov. 7.

Wesleyan played Williams during the Homecoming football game Nov. 7 in Corwin Stadium.

More than 5,000 parents, alumni and friends came to campus Nov. 6-8 to celebrate Homecoming/Family Weekend. This year’s theme was “Come Home!” Event photos are posted on the HCFW website.

“Every year, I hear from alumni, parents and students that Homecoming/Family Weekend gets better and better,” says Gemma Fontanella Ebstein, associate vice president for external relations. “We had a terrific turnout this year and the energy was palpable across campus – in the WESeminars, athletic contests, department anniversary celebrations and other special gatherings throughout the weekend. This has become one of the highlights of the year for the Wesleyan community.”

The weekend began Friday, Nov. 6 with tours of campus, sessions for parents, department open houses, the Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner, an all-campus dinner, a concert by Eilen Jewell and the Sacred Shakers, a fall senior thesis dance concert and several WESeminars. Interactive and inspiring, WESeminars provide opportunities to revisit the classroom and attend presentations by scholars, pundits, and other experts in their fields.

The College of Letters and the College of Social Studies both held their 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Prometheus, Wesleyan's student fire-dancing group, performed on Foss Hill Nov. 6 during Homecoming/Family Weekend.

Prometheus, Wesleyan's student fire-dancing group, performed on Foss Hill Nov. 6 during Homecoming/Family Weekend.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, campus guests attended the annual Where on Earth are We Going? Symposium, rowing instructions with Wesleyan’s crew team, a family swim, WESeminars on dance, study abroad projects, the history of Wesleyan, and international journalism.

Deana Hutson, director of events, estimates that 5,000 fans showed up for tailgating, the homecoming football game and the NESCAC men’s soccer semi-finals. The day wrapped up with several other athletic events, a community bike ride, the Dwight L. Greene Symposium, the Reed Labyrinth Opening and a concert with Amy Crawford ’05.

A Fall Harvest Brunch and the Alumni Association Executive Committee meeting kicked off events on Sunday, Nov. 8. The day also included a legacy gathering and photo of current students posting with parents or grandparents that are Wesleyan alumni, a celebration of Western Art Music and a student A Capella Concert.

Alumni who are parents and grandparents of current first-year students gathered on Denison Terrace for a legacy photograph Nov. 8.

Alumni who are parents and grandparents of current first-year students gathered on Denison Terrace for a legacy photograph Nov. 8.

Gabriela De Golia ’13 spent the event-filled weekend with her parents, Jim De Golia and Terri Hanagan of San Francisco; her uncle, Jose Hanagan of Reno, Nevada; and her brother, Nicolas, who goes to high school in France. Together, the family saw the Wesleyan screening of Matt Tyrnauer ’91 Valentino: The Last Emperor, attended the Labyrinth opening in honor of Joe and Kit Reed, the Amy Crawford concert on Saturday night,  a panel discussion on how parents can help students achieve academic success, a lecture on the role of public opinion in foreign policy, the Homecoming football, soccer and ice hockey games and swimming meet. In addition, Hanagan P’13 worked as a parent volunteer at Usdan University Center.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet many other parents, a great many of them new (as I am) to Wesleyan,” Hanagan says. “I also met many of Gabriela’s new friends and colleagues, which was especially important to me. It gave me a great sense of comfort to see that she has so many kind, fun and intelligent new friends.”

Homecoming/Family Weekend was held Nov. 6-8.

Homecoming/Family Weekend was Nov. 6-8.

President Michael Roth also led a Sunday morning address to parents. He laid out his near and long term views for enhancing the overall student and academic experience at Wesleyan, making a strong case for the benefits of the entire Wesleyan experience and the need to provide increased financial aid to those strong candidates for admission whose ability to become members the student body would be prevented due to lack of financial means.

“As a person who has seen firsthand the benefits that my children have gained from being routine exposure to diversity on virtually all levels and all types, I found particularly attractive his passion for increasing the geographic and other diversity of the student body and for more effectively removing financial barriers to attending Wes,” De Golia P’ 13 says.