A Special Year, A Special Time to Give

December 11, 2007

Members of the Wabash Community have an enormous reason to give thanks this holiday season.

This holiday season we are thankful that a handful of visionary leaders — Dartmouth-educated ministers — had the courage to leave the east coast 175 years ago to establish Wabash College on what was then the frontier. Those men knew the wild west would need teachers and preachers, and on November 21, 1832 founded Wabash College in order to provide the education necessary to prepare men for lives of service.

When the Wabash founders gathered on a cold November evening 175 years ago, they put together the necessary documents, gave thanks, and went to bed. They woke the next morning, ventured out into the snow, and knelt in prayer. They prayed that their courageous vision would be successful. They gave thanks for the progress they had made to get to that point. They prayed for the tenacity to overcome great obstacles.

The founders faced untold obstacles — lots of them. There were funding problems, building problems, and fires that destroyed buildings. Over the course of Wabash’s great 175-year history, the obstacles have continued, many of which have been financial. But true to the spirit of the founding fathers so long ago, Wabash has persevered and continued its long tradition of excellence and independence.

Wabash is an independent college. It does not receive state or federal money to conduct its academic program and never has. The College relies on its alumni and friends to support it, and since 1832 there have been many who have demonstrated their belief in its mission by making financial contributions.

Perhaps the greatest tradition of all at Wabash is the tradition of alumni giving back for the education they received when they were students. When they do so, they’re actually "paying it forward" and providing the resources for future generations of students who want a rigorous liberal arts education to prepare them for life.

There is strength in numbers. When alumni and friends uphold the great tradition of giving back, their gifts add up and have a giant impact on the Wabash teaching and learning experience.

And during this anniversary year, the stakes are high for alumni and friends to have an even greater impact on the opportunities available to Wabash men. Tom Hays ’55 has issued a challenge for members of the Wabash Community to grow the Annual Fund to $2.85 million by June 30, 2008 and $3 million by June 30, 2009. If alumni and friends help achieve this goal, then Mr. Hays has offered to place $1.1 million in the College’s scholarship endowment.

While the College’s fiscal year runs through June 30, 2008, over 60% of donors make their gifts by December 31 each year for tax benefit purposes. Alumni and friends can make their gifts in support of Wabash students online or by phone at 877-743-4545.

Here are a few other important details about making a gift this year:

For information on making gifts of stock, mutual funds, or planned gifts, please contact the Advancement Office at giving@wabash.edu or at 877-743-4545.

Those alumni and friends who make a gift to the College may be able to double or triple the value of their gift if their employer offers a matching gift program

Indiana residents can take advantage of the Indiana tax credit that allows up to 50% of a gift to Wabash to be deducted from state income taxes. Indiana residents who make a gift of $25 or more to the Annual Fund are also eligible to take advantage of the College’s license plate program and help "Spread the fame of her honored name…"

Those who make a gift by credit card should do so by December 31 to make sure they receive proper credit for the 2007 tax year. Gifts made via US Mail must be postmarked "December 31" to receive credit for the 2007 tax year.

We have much to be thankful for this holiday season. As we approach the end of the year, we hope that you will pause momentarily to remember the brave men and women who established Wabash College 175 years ago and continue its work to this day. Then, we hope you will support this great work by making a gift to the College.


Wabash College • 301 W Wabash Ave • Crawfordsville, IN 47933 • 765.361.6100