Wendell and Loretta Hess

Wendell and Loretta Hess

Hess Endowed Professorship in Chemistry Established

May 9, 2012                                             

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The seventh new endowed professorship of the Transforming Lives fundraising campaign was announced at the May 4 meeting of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Wesleyan University. The recipient of the Wendell and Loretta Hess Endowed Professorship in Chemistry will be named during the fall semester 2012.

"Wendell Hess is one of our longest serving and most loyal faculty members and administrators," said President Richard F. Wilson in announcing the gift. "Over his 27-year career, Wendell was an admired professor who won our top teaching award in only his sixth year, he served as department chair, Director of Science Programs, Associate Dean twice, Dean of the University and was our very first provost."

In 1988 Hess was appointed acting president while a search was conducted for a successor to President Wayne Anderson.  At that time, Hess said that his goal was to maintain an environment in which "the greatest teaching can occur." Evidence of that commitment can be seen in his efforts to convert Buck Library into an appropriate space for the new computing technologies that were beginning to emerge, and subsequently led to the University receiving national recognition for its leadership in this area.

"In establishing this endowment we want others to know," said Hess, "that even people like us, who do not possess great wealth, can, with careful planning and management, express their appreciation for IWU in a significant way."  The endowment will be funded through a combination of annual giving and a deferred gift.

Wilson added that the Hesses believe the heart of a great university like Wesleyan is its faculty, and hope their endowment helps make it possible for the University to recruit and retain more first-rank faculty, who in turn attract top students to Illinois Wesleyan.

The Hess Professorship will actually result in two new endowed positions being created, because of a matching gift provided by Chuck '50 and Jay Ames '49.  The Ameses established the Ames Challenge as an incentive to create 20 new faculty endowments during the Transforming Lives campaign.  For each new endowment established, up to 10, they will provide a matching gift.  Currently seven new positions have been established, for a total of 14 when Ames matches are counted.

Contact: Matt Kurz (309) 556-3203