Oct. 17, 2014

Heather
Heather Prasse '16 said her Illinois Wesleyan education was made possible by the support of donors.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Thirty-three new named Illinois Wesleyan scholarships were announced at the 18th annual Scholarship Benefactor Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 16. The dinner, which brings together named scholarship recipients and their donors, is a celebration of the philanthropy that enables the University to provide more than $34 million in financial aid each year to about nine in 10 Wesleyan students.

"The willingness of alumni and friends to help meet the financial needs of current students is a proud tradition at Illinois Wesleyan," said President Richard F. Wilson. "We are indebted to those who were honored at this dinner and to all those over the years who have made the dream of an Illinois Wesleyan education possible for so many of our students and their families."

Speaking on behalf of all scholarship recipients, Heather Prasse '16 spoke about how important financial assistance was to her, and how she would not have been able to attend Illinois Wesleyan were it not for the Promise Scholarship that she receives from benefactors Susan '77 and Herb Getz '77.

The Scholarship Benefactor Dinner filled the Young Main Lounge at the Memorial Center with about 200 scholarship recipients and benefactors, which was one of the largest gatherings in the event's history.

The named scholarships announced are part of the University's $125 million Transforming Lives fundraising campaign, which concluded on July 31. A key priority for the fund-raising effort was to add $30 million in student scholarship support. The total amount raised in the campaign, which began in 2009, will be announced at the end of October.

Named scholarships are typically directed to students with high financial need and donors often designate an academic program area, hometown, group affiliation or other attribute of the scholarship recipient they would like to support. Named scholarships can be funded annually or in perpetuity through an endowment.

The tradition of naming scholarships at Illinois Wesleyan dates back to 1893 when the Board of Trustees chose to honor those contributing $1,000 or more. In 1895 the first named scholarships were designated honoring William W. Anderson of Taylorville and Martha Elzina Cameron of Greenville.

Contact: Matt Kurz, (309) 556-3203