MU Class of '66 celebrates 50th with $50,000 endowment, sequoias
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Manchester University Class of 1966 celebrated its 50th anniversary with a $50,000 endowment fund to enable the president to meet unexpected needs and opportunities.
It is tradition for class reunion gifts to take the shape of a tree planted on the North Manchester campus.
This year, however, the Class of ’66 planted five young sequoia trees on the east side of the Jo Young Switzer Center and set a $50,000 goal to establish the endowment known as the Spirit of Abundance – the President’s Fund for Excellence.
Earnings from the endowment will be available to the president for things such as helping students with opportunities they could not otherwise afford, celebrating meaningful events or supporting faculty in research or professional development that fall outside the University’s regular budget.
The idea started with reunion planning committee member Rich Ringeisen of South Carolina, chancellor emeritus of the University of Illinois Springfield. At UIS, Ringeisen had access to a special Chancellor’s Fund, which he could use at his discretion to cover unforeseen needs.
Planning committee members made gifts of their own to the fund then asked their classmates to support the effort.
“They were so excited,” said Elena Bohlander, assistant director of The Manchester Fund, who worked with the class reunion planning committee. “They just ran with it.”
The endowment announcement and tree planting took part during Alumni Days in late May.
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Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, is one of six colleges across the nation grounded in the values and traditions of the Church of the Brethren. The University offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.