A Celebrated BeginningJun 17th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Advancement, Event
The Wesley Society
BY CATHY ANDERSON
THE INAUGURAL YEAR of the Wesley Society has been an incredible and highly successful journey. Since its inception in fall 2009 when 62 donors qualified as charter members, Society membership had grown to 155 members at the end of the charter year on December 31, 2010. This marks a 150% increase – a remarkable accomplishment in today’s economy!
The Wesley Society is the College’s premier annual giving group whose members contribute a minimum of $1,000 each year. Through generous gifts to the annual Wesley Fund, Society members allow the College to provide scholarships to students so that they can pursue their dreams. Donors also are welcome to designate their gift—to athletic programs, the Student Leadership Retreat, the Alumni Association, endowed scholarships and many more Wesley initiatives. Many Society members give multiple gifts a year to benefit both the Wesley Fund and their favorite programs.
Since the Society launch, charter members have contributed a total of $670,050 to Wesley. In the last fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, the funds contributed by Society members made up 40% of the financial gifts, although representing only 8% of our donors.
Who are the members of the Wesley Society? 73% (113) of our membership are individuals or couples, 20% (31) are organizations and businesses, and 7% (11) are foundations. 20 members are Wesley faculty or staff and 16 are trustees. Wesley alumni make up about 46% of the individual Society members, with 9 couples who are both alumni— college sweethearts! The most generous decade of alumni Society members is the ’60s with 21 donors, followed by the ’70s with 10 donors. The other decades are evenly represented, all the way back to one donor from the Class of 1931.
Charter members come from 17 states, with predictably, Delaware being the most common—home to 55% of our members (86 donors), followed by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Other states represented are New York, Florida, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maine, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire and California.
To culminate the charter year, the College hosted the first annual Wesley Society Gala. Held on the evening of January 8 at The Outlook at Duncan Center in Dover, close to 100 guests braved the remnants of a snowy morning to attend. One highlight of the event was the participation of 12 outstanding Wesley students who showcased their accomplishments with presentation posters stationed throughout the reception area. The program was emceed by Bill Strickland, president of the Society, and included testimonials from student Cassandra Cardenas ’11 and Society member, Senator Colin Bonini ’91. President Bill Johnston concluded the program by unveiling a plaque listing all charter members, which will be prominently displayed on campus.
Wesley Society has celebrated a great beginning. The success of the Wesley Society speaks volumes about the Wesley family and the common bond—the appreciation for Wesley’s critical role in the lives of thousands of students over its long history, and its impact for years to come. In order to ensure a strong future, the College encourages charter members to continue their support with renewal gifts annually, and hopes that other contributors will consider joining the Society when making their 2011 gift!
To learn more, please contact Director of the Wesley Society Cathy Anderson at email@example.com or (302) 736‑2410.