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Class of 1963 Marks 50th Reunion by Raising $5 Million for Wooster

Announcement of gift is one highlight of Alumni Weekend 2013

June 10, 2013 by John Hopkins
Class of 1963

President Grant Cornwell reacts as Reggie Williams and George Browne announce the Class of 1963's $5 million gift.

View Alumni Weekend 2013 Photo Gallery

WOOSTER, Ohio, June 10, 2013 – “I had the easiest job in the world,” said Clarence “Reggie” Williams of the Class of 1963, “Take these talented, energetic people and meet our goals for our reunion: to do something fun, and to do something meaningful for The College of Wooster.” On the evidence of this past weekend, Williams, who chaired the 50th anniversary fund effort, and his classmates succeeded on both counts.

The Class of 1963 had the largest turnout of any class, and at Saturday morning’s annual meeting of the college’s alumni association, Williams and class president George Browne announced that during the five years leading up to their reunion, they had raised more than $5 million for their alma mater. Of that total, $268,000 will be used to endow a Class of 1963 Scholarship Fund, and $104,000 will endow a new student summer research fund. There also were a number of major gifts for the Scot Center, several other scholarship funds, and significant individual increases in gifts to the Wooster Fund, the college’s annual fund, during that period. 

Grant Cornwell, Wooster’s president, called it, “a visionary gift that speaks to the mission of the college.”

More than 1,000 alumni, family members, and guests returned to Wooster to renew old acquaintances, retell (and perhaps embellish) stories from their student days, and learn more about the college today and where it is headed.

“I believe Wooster today is stronger in every respect than at any time during my 30-plus years on the board,” said James T. Clarke ’59, an emeritus trustee and one of three recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards.

All the award winners reflected on the role Wooster has played in their lives. Dr. Diane Jorkasky ’73, chief scientific officer for pharmaceutical company Complexa, Inc., declared, “I have the most rewarding life and career I could possibly imagine, and it all started at Wooster.”

Kenneth C. Fischer ’66, president of the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan, said he was “enormously grateful for my Wooster liberal arts education, which has kept me nimble, eager to learn, willing to challenge conventional wisdom, and entrepreneurial.”

Colonel Douglas R. Hole ’63, who was named this year’s winner of the John D. McKee Alumni Volunteer Award, urged his fellow alumni to not keep their Wooster experiences to themselves: “My challenge to you is to tell your Wooster story to someone who’s never heard it before. Spread the word!”