Greetings fellow alumni!
It’s a great time to be a Wooster Scot! I recently returned home following another productive Board of Trustees weekend, and I have inspiring news to share with you. The board meetings took place in early October, and, although our federal government may have been shut down, The College of Wooster was open for business. It is my pleasure to bring you the news that not only are we open for business – we are thriving!
I begin with a very big thank you to the Andrew family for their incredible investment in APEX Fellowships. You have heard me talk about APEX and the College’s commitment to career planning and internships. If you haven’t, I urge you to learn about APEX. Edie Andrew, the Andrew Family Foundation, and the BARKLEE Foundation will provide $100,000 this year, and every year, to fund approximately 25-30 APEX Fellowships for Wooster students. They will fund the fellowships permanently by establishing the Edward J. Andrew Fellowship Endowment with a $2 million bequest from Edie’s estate.
The Edward J. Andrew Fellowships honor the memory of Edie’s husband of almost 56 years. Ed Andrew was a 1961 graduate of The College of Wooster, member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1982 until 2008, and trustee emeritus from 2008 until his death in 2013. This generous gift will assure continued success for a program which has already had a huge impact on students.
As you may have heard, Ruth Whitmore Williams ‘62, a member of Wooster’s Board of Trustees since 1994, and her husband, A. Morris Williams Jr., have made the largest single gift in the College’s history: a total of $15 million to support science education. Ten million dollars will help fund construction of a new, integrated science facility now in the planning stages. Another $3 million will endow scholarships for science majors, and $2 million will endow the Whitmore-Williams Professorship in computational biology or bioinformatics.
It is interesting that one way the news of this inspirational gift made its way through the Wooster community was through Facebook. Many parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends came together and shared their enthusiasm for the Williamses’ gift. Please join with me in thanking Ruth and Morris Williams for their leadership and their generosity. Their gift will live on and will benefit Wooster students for decades to come. Well done!
These transformational gifts from the Andrew family, and from Ruth and Morris Williams, demonstrate the deep commitment and generous support of alumni, parents, and friends who have made a Wooster education possible for generations of Wooster students. I am always enthused and recharged when I get back to campus. I am also very proud of our alma mater and what it stands for. That pride was never more evident than during the trustees weekend when the Andrew family announced their gift to APEX and when Ruth and Morris Williams announced their gift to support the sciences at Wooster. Let’s continue that momentum. There is still more to be done.
On another front, the College’s enrollment efforts continue to show great results. For the first time in Wooster’s history, the admissions office received nearly 5,600 applications to enroll a class of 560 first-year students.
Class of 2017 Snapshot
- 560 first-year students
- 38 states and 29 countries
- 1 in every 4 is multicultural (domestic student of color or international)
- 20 different religious faiths
- Nearly half in the top 10% of graduating class
US News and World Report
Wooster recently received notable recognition from US News and World Report. College presidents, provosts, and deans have again singled out The College of Wooster as one of America’s top liberal arts colleges “where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” The presidents, provosts, and deans also recognized Wooster for its “outstanding” undergraduate research opportunities and its senior capstone program: the one-on-one, mentored undergraduate research experience known as I.S. This is the twelfth straight year that Wooster has been honored in both categories.
Wooster was also singled out in The 2014 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of 20 private and 21 public colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. that the editors deem a “best buy.” According to Fiske, “Wooster is renowned in academic circles…more intellectually serious than competitors such as Denison…[and] prides itself on turning better-than-average students into real scholars.” We can all be proud of these acknowledgments.
I also had the pleasure of attending the Lengyel Reunion dinner, and met with many alumni and friends from the Jack Lengyel coaching years. Hats (or maybe “helmets”) off to Ron Maltarich ’71 for providing a lively and entertaining program during the dinner. On Saturday we sat through the rain and wind to watch Wooster gain more offensive yards than Wabash but ultimately lose 48-14. Read more for a full recap of the game.
That’s the news for now. In November, your Alumni Board will convene on campus to get caught up on the news and to plan its activities for the coming year. Join with us as we work to honor the tradition of excellence that is The College of Wooster. Maintaining and strengthening the institution takes a lot of hard work. We are blessed with a visionary college president and staff. Our faculty is as strong or stronger than it has ever been. Wooster is on a roll, and I want you to be a continuing part of this success. Reach out to your College. Support its mission. Get engaged!
Until next time, please know that it is my pleasure to serve as the president of the Alumni Association. I have one more year as president, and we have a lot to accomplish. I look forward to working with all of you. If there is anything your Association can do for you, or if there is something we can do better, please reach out to me or one of the members of the Alumni Board.
All the best to you,
David Gilliss (’80)
The College of Wooster Alumni Association
P.S. Please remember to make a gift to The Wooster Fund. Each and every gift is important to our collective success. You can give online if you wish. You will also have my gratitude!