Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

The Parent Fund

Marissa Cozzi '17 - a Parent Fund Recipient
Marissa Cozzi '17 - a Parent Fund Recipient


The Parent Fund offers financial assistance to qualified students that are currently enrolled at Illinois Wesleyan who lose a parent to death, or a parent has undertaken a permanent disability.

Many Illinois Wesleyan parents choose to contribute to this fund, making it possible to award a Parent Grant that helps defray costs for families in need. Illinois Wesleyan recognizes the financial commitment parents make in enrolling their children, and for that reason any gifts made above and beyond scheduled tuition payments are greatly appreciated. 

Make a Gift

The Parent Fund History

It all began during an Illinois Wesleyan football game on November 11, 1960. Charles W. Merritt, a father of one of the football players, learned that one of his son's teammates had lost his father suddenly not long before. In an act of generosity and compassion, Merritt passed a paper bag around the stadium in collection to help the family with college costs. So began the IWU Parent Fund. 

When a family suffers the death or permanent disability of a parent, our Illinois Wesleyan family extends a helping hand. Since its humble beginnings, the Parent Fund has supported over 300 young people with financial assistance through the Parent Grant.

Meet a few Parent Fund Recipients

Steve Seibring - Vice President for External Relationships

Department - Advancement Office