Spotlight

Wilson College Alumna Pledges $3.6 Million Gift for Library Project

The renovation of Wilson College’s John Stewart Memorial Library has received a boost, thanks to a gift of up to $3.6 million from Marguerite Lenfest of Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE:
March 4, 2013
CONTACT: Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations
Phone: 717-262-2604
Email: cathy.mentzer@wilson.edu

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The renovation of Wilson College’s John Stewart Memorial Library has received a boost, thanks to a gift of up to $3.6 million from Marguerite Lenfest of Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Wilson College President Barbara K. Mistick announced the gift with its matching elements at a meeting of the college’s board of trustees at its meeting in late February.

“This gift is significant because libraries are the heart of a college and representative of quality academics,” Mistick said. “We are excited about the plans for a progressive, modern library with a learning commons that will become the center of our academic community.”

The college has embarked on a $12 million fundraising effort to repair and restore the original 1923 library building, while razing a 1961 addition and replacing it with a learning commons equipped to meet the changing needs of today’s educators and students. Prior to the Lenfest gift, Wilson had raised $2.4 million for the project.

“I am excited about the transformation recently put in motion at Wilson College,” said Marguerite Lenfest, a 1955 graduate of Wilson. “I am proud to be able to demonstrate my support and to help address the college's most urgent need—the renovation of the John Stewart Memorial Library into a learning commons for the 21st century. It is my hope that this gift shows the strength of my commitment to Wilson today and inspires others to support the library project, which is essential to the academic core of the college and of great importance to both current and prospective students.”

Originally founded as a women’s college in 1869, Wilson College is taking a number of bold steps to transform itself into a thriving liberal arts institution, including adding programs, improving infrastructure and expanding coeducation. An updated library will be an important component of Wilson’s revitalization.

“We are deeply grateful to Marguerite for her generous support,” said Mistick. “I cannot overstate how important the library project is because of its effect on the academic experience of our students, as well as its positive impact on our efforts to attract and retain students.”

Marguerite and her husband, Gerry, are longtime supporters of Wilson College. During Wilson’s “Leading with Confidence” capital campaign, they pledged a total of $20 million toward the college’s endowment.

Over the years, the Lenfests have supported Wilson’s annual fund and generously contributed to the college’s unrestricted endowment, student scholarships, faculty development, the Women with Children program and facilities renovations. Through their generosity, Lenfest Commons was created as a student gathering and study space at the center of campus.

Marguerite Lenfest served as a member of the Wilson board of trustees for many years. She chaired the trustee committee on academic affairs and was awarded an honorary degree in 2004.

For more information, contact Wilson College Manager of Media Relations Cathy Mentzer at 717-262-2604 or cathy.mentzer@wilson.edu.

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Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 30 majors and master’s degrees in education and the humanities. Wilson has been named a “Best Value” college in its region for 11 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” for providing quality academics at an affordable price. The college has been ranked one of the best regional colleges for undergraduate education for nine straight years by U.S. News.

Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college had a fall 2012 enrollment of 695, which included 17 students from 9 foreign countries. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.

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