March 15, 2021
In the World

Having Light, Alumni and Friends #Commit2Witt

Annual Day of Giving Exceeds $565,000 as $100-Million Comprehensive Campaign Kicks Off

Proving that Tigers can accomplish anything together, Wittenberg alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, and parents celebrated the official launch of Having Light: The Campaign for Wittenberg University with the biggest, boldest Commit to Witt day of giving ever during Wittenberg’s Founder’s Day, March 11.

Wittenberg received a total of 2,145 gifts from 1,535 donors totaling a record-setting $567,858 in one day, while virtually launching the University’s $100-million comprehensive campaign, the largest in its history. Having Light: The Campaign for Wittenberg University endeavors to support all that defines the institution, especially the people, who inquire, create, inspire, and compete here; the place, where Tigers come together as a community and welcome others to learn and grow; and the present, when the next generation of Wittenberg graduates learns to pass on its light.

“Watching our alumni, faculty, staff, students, community members, and so many more unite around our campaign launch and support our annual Commit to Witt as they did was a beautiful thing to witness,” said Rebecca Kocher, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “On behalf of the entire Wittenberg University community, thank you for making such a powerful impact.”

To support the Having Light Campaign, visit the new website, which also debuted March 11 following a unique virtual presentation featuring President Mike Frandsen, Managing Campaign Co-Chair Janet Jackson, class of 1975, and Kocher. The website contains multiple alumni stories, latest fundraising updates, bios on those serving on the Campaign Steering Committee, and ways to give to the ambitious endeavor. Visitors will also be able to view the one-minute Campaign Anthem video on the site.

As for the annual Commit to Witt event, it provided donors with a range of opportunities for immediate investment using a fun, interactive crowdfunding platform. Areas for support this year included the Wittenberg Fund, the new Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship Fund, faculty development, endowed positions, diversity and inclusion, Tiger Club, reunion class scholarships, campus ministries, academic departments, and multiple other options.

By the numbers, this year’s event also brought in alumni gifts from 70 different alumni classes, 443 alumni #WittWed couples, and 52 challenges totaling $177,154.58. The average gift size was $264.74, and approximately 635 recent graduates donated. There were 156 ambassadors and 1,340 donors with a Greek affiliation. The University also had donations from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and five countries.

“We want to thank everyone who contributed in passing Wittenberg’s light on to current and future students through their donations, the sharing of content, unlocking challenges, taking part virtual pep rallies, fighting for ambassador bragging rights, racing to the top of several leaderboards, and more,” Kocher said.

Leader board winners include:

  • HVNGLT Ambassador Challenge: $4,864.58 donated in honor of John Shumate '99, Jack Uecker '14, and Deborah Cassell '99
  • Class Participation Challenge: $2,500 donated in honor of the Class of 2013 and $1,000 donated in honor of the Class of 1999
  • Business & Economics vs. Education Challenge: Education Department raising $23,013.39 from 160 gifts in support of Education - Student Teacher Support Fund (Special thanks to John Shumate '99 again who plans to support endowed scholarships for both departments.)
  • Active Greek Chapter: Kappa Delta - 161 gifts
  • Inactive Greek Chapter: Chi Omega - 92 gifts 
  • Athletics Tiger Club: Football, Women's Field Hockey, and Men's Lacrosse

The following is an alphabetical rundown of all the Commit to Witt 2021 Challenges that were completed on March 11, which can also be viewed on the Commit to Witt website:

  • Brian ’80 and Robin Agler
    1:1 Match - Tiger Club Pride
    $3,000 – Tiger Club Fund
  • David Atkins ’00, Derrick Braziel ’09, Chris Olson ’03, Brian May ’99, and Laurie Griffin ’79
    1:1 Match - McClain Center for Diversity & Inclusion
    $1,845 – McClain Center for Diversity & Inclusion Fund
  • Ken ’68 and Patricia Richmond Benne ’68
    Bonus Unlock - Education Department
    $2,500 - Education Department’s Student Teacher Fund
  • Patricia Richmond Benne ’68, Bill Boggs ’68, and Ed Pazicky ’68
    Class of 1968 Challenge
    $15,000 – Class of 1968 Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Dr. P. Kay Carl ’59
    1:1 Match - Supporting the Education Department's Student Teachers
    $6,000 - Education Department’s Student Teacher Fund
  • Cheryl Patterson Cooper ‘82
    1:1 Match - Celebrating the Having Light Launch
    $5,000 – Witt Fund
  • Kristina and Paul Devine
    1:1 Match - Unrestricted Scholarships
    $1,000 – Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship Fund
  • Mary (Castle) ’70 and Phil Duncan ‘70
    1:1 Match - Summer Student Research
    $2,000 - Summer Student Research Fund
  • Bill Edwards ‘89
    1:1 Match – Power Lunch for Tiger Club
    $1,845 – Tiger Club Fund
  • Michael and Sharon Frandsen
    Tiger Up: President’s Challenge
    $2,500 – Witt Fund
  • Peter Franz ’04 and Molly Johns Franz ’05
    #WittWed Couples Challenge
    $1,845 – Witt Fund
  • Casey and Patrick Gill
    20 Gifts Challenge for the Student Emergency Fund
    $1,845 – Student Emergency Fund
  • Janet E. Jackson ‘75
    1:1 Match - Career Exploration & Outcomes
    $5,000 - Career Exploration & Internships Fund
  • Tom Kaiser ‘79
    Men’s Soccer $2,000 Challenge
    $2,000 – Men’s Soccer Tiger Club Fund
  • Rebecca and Brad Kocher
    Having Light - Class Participation Challenge
    $3,500 - Witt Fund
  • Ho Pak Kong ‘50
    1:1 Match - Board Emeritus Witt Fund Challenge
    $40,000 – Witt Fund
  • Michelle Mattson
    Provost Challenge - Faculty Support
    $1,845 - Faculty Development Fund
  • Bob Merzweiler ‘76
    HVNGLT Ambassador Challenge
    $4,864.58 – Witt Fund
  • Steve ’95 and Laurice Moore ‘95
    1:1 Match - Science Labs
    $5,000 – Science Labs Fund
  • Steve ’75 and Mary Alice (Schryver) Neely ’75
    1:1 Match - Witt Fund
    $2,500 – Witt Fund
  • Scott ’01 and Deanna Ness ‘99
    1:1 Match - Student Access & Scholarships
    $1,875 - Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship Fund
  • Joe Nordsieck ‘69
    1:1 Match - Wittenberg's Greatest Need
    $5,000 – Witt Fund
  • Gina Schaefer ‘93
    1:1 Match - Experiential Learning
    $1,000 - Experiential Learning & Internships Fund
  • Kenneth ’72 and Willie Scott ‘74
    1:1 Match - McClain Center
    $1,000 - McClain Center for Diversity & Inclusion Fund
  • Harrison Sewell ‘12
    Bonus Unlock - CBS Scholarship
    $200 – CBS Scholarship Fund
  • Rick ’69 and Susan Sterling ‘71
    1:1 Match - Department of Business & Economics
    $5,000 - Department of Business & Economics Fund
  • Alan ’69 and Pamela Stewart ‘69
    1:1 Match - Faculty Excellence & Innovation
    $5,000 – Faculty Excellence & Innovation Funds
  • Carola Thorson
    1:1 Match - Dine & Donate!
    $1,845 – Witt Opportunity Scholarship Fund
  • Mary Beth Walter and Pastor Tom Walter
    1:1 Match - Campus Ministries
    $1,000 - Campus Ministries Fund
  • Ronald ’69 and Wendy Woods ‘71
    1:1 Match - Rise Up! CBS Scholarship Fund
    $2,500 – CBS Scholarship Fund
  • Rob Young
    1:1 Match - Campus Beautification
    $1,845 - Campus Beautification Fund
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Xi Chi Chapter Alumni
    1:1 Match – Diversity & Inclusion Match by Alpha Phi Alpha
    $2,500 – McClain Center for Diversity & Inclusion Fund
  • Alumni Board
    Alumni Board 50 States Challenge
    $3,000 – various funds
  • Anonymous
    Founder's Day - 700 Donations Challenge
    $700 – Witt Fund
  • Anonymous
    1:1 Match - Witt Fund
    $10,000 – Witt Fund
  • Anonymous
    1:1 Match - Class of 1979 Scholarship
    $2,000 – Class of 1979 Scholarship Fund
  • ATO Brothers
    1:1 Match - Greek Life Happy Hour Challenge
    $1,000 – Witt Fund
  • Class of 1958 Alumni
    1:1 Match – Veler Endowed Chair in English
    $20,000 - Veler Endowed Chair in English Fund
  • Nursing Department
    1:1 Match – Nursing Program Scholarship
    $600 – Wittenberg Nursing Program Scholarship
  • Walter S. Quinlan Foundation
    1:1 Match - Wittenberg Guild Challenge
    $3,000 - Witt Guild Martha Rodgers Scholarship Fund
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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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