March 6, 2024
In the World

Commit to Witt 2024

Wittenberg to Host Annual Day of Giving on March 13

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg Tigers nationwide will come together on Wednesday, March 13, for Commit to Witt, Wittenberg University’s annual day of giving. Beginning at 12 a.m., alumni, friends, parents, faculty, and staff will join in 24 hours of giving to make a long-lasting impact.

“Every gift makes an impact. Your donation is no different,” said Rebecca Kocher, vice president of Advancement & Alumni Engagement at Wittenberg University. “During Commit to Witt, we encourage you to Give Like You! Any amount. Any fund. You are leaving a legacy and helping to ensure that this University will stand resilient for years to come.”

Nearly 200 alumni, friends, faculty, and staff have agreed to serve as Commit to Witt ambassadors throughout the day, sharing social media content, generating more engagement both on and off campus, and encouraging giving among their peers.

“We’re grateful to our ambassadors for their support of our mission,” Kocher said. “For 179 years, Wittenberg University has been providing a liberal arts education dedicated to intellectual inquiry and wholeness of person within a diverse residential community. Wittenberg has also consistently challenged students to lead personal, professional, and civic lives of creativity, service, compassion, and integrity.”

Commit to Witt is an opportunity for Tigers to support what matters most to them and their experience at Wittenberg. Leveraging a fun, interactive crowdfunding platform, Commit to Witt offers several options to match the various philanthropic interests of those participating.

Areas for support include immediate University priorities such as The Wittenberg Fund; student access and scholarships through the Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship; department and program support; career exploration and outcomes; campus stewardship and facilities; diversity, equity and inclusion; faculty and staff excellence; athletics through the Tiger Club; and campus life.

To learn more, make a gift, or sign up to be an ambassador during the day, click here.

Throughout the annual Commit to Witt event, participants will compete for ambassador bragging rights, race to the top of several leaderboards, and attend regional events in Ohio and Colorado.

“Please consider making a gift as a way to pass Wittenberg’s light on to current and future students,” Kocher said. “At Wittenberg, our motto, ‘Having Light We Pass It On To Others,’ has promoted a sense of community. Commit to Witt brings us together to pass on our light.”

Participants can also help Wittenberg unlock more than $300,000 in challenges and matches to double their impact by making #Commit2Witt gifts and encouraging fellow alumni and friends to do the same.

To Give Like You early, become a #Commit2Witt Ambassador, or take part in the numerous challenges, visit:

This year’s challenges include: 

Alumni Board First-time Donor Challenge: During Commit to Witt 2023, 131 alumni and friends made their first-ever gift to Wittenberg. This year, the Alumni Association Board is challenging the Witt community to help 150 alumni and friends who have never made a gift to Wittenberg make their first gift today in celebration of Commit to Witt.

Class of 2024 – President’s Challenge: President Frandsen and wife Sharon love engaging with students. They are so proud of the Class of 2024 for its senior class giving efforts that they will donate $1,000 when 24 more seniors make their senior class gift during #Commit2Witt.

BONUS UNLOCK – Give Like a Tiger: BONUS UNLOCK: Vice President Rebecca Kocher and husband Brad love a good challenge. To celebrate donor participation on #Commit2Witt, they will release an extra $2,500 when 100 additional donors give to Witt!

BONUS UNLOCK – Immediate Priorities: David K. Hopper '63 is so excited for #Commit2Witt, he will release $7,000 after $100,000 is raised in support of Immediate University Priorities.

BONUS UNLOCK – 1960s Grads: BONUS UNLOCK: Give like Marty '65 and Mary Lou Hudtloff ‘65. They will gift $2,000 when we receive an additional 20 gifts from our 1960s grads on Commit to Witt.

BONUS UNLOCK – Nursing Scholarship: To celebrate Wittenberg's amazing nursing students, Dr. Marie Bashaw will match dollar for dollar, up to $1,500, any gift made to the Lucy K. Muehl Memorial Nursing Scholarship on #Commit2Witt.

BONUS UNLOCK – Power Hour: BONUS UNLOCK: Judith '82 and William Caster ‘82 will gift an extra $500 when we receive 25 more gifts before 4 p.m.

BONUS UNLOCK – Witt Fund: BONUS UNLOCK: Bruce Cliff '82 wants to support the greatest needs at Wittenberg and will unlock his gift of $6,000 for gifts made to the Wittenberg Fund after $75,000 is raised for the Fund.

BONUS UNLOCK – #WittWed Challenge: Wittenberg sweethearts Doug '69 and Jan Kottke ‘68 will unlock their gift of $1,500 to the Wittenberg Fund after an additional 50 #WittWed couples make a gift.

BONUS UNLOCK - $1K for the Witt Fund: BONUS UNLOCK: Melinda Barnhardt Jud ‘65 will release an extra $1,000 to the Witt Fund if we get 25 more donors to make gifts before 7 p.m.!

Double Your Impact – Campus Beautification: Vice President of Marketing and Communications Karen Saatkamp Gerboth '93 and husband John Gerboth '93 love Wittenberg’s historic campus. To kick off #Commit2Witt, they plan to challenge other alumni with a 1:1 match, up to $1,845, for any gifts made to the Campus Beautification Fund.

Double Your Impact – Football Tiger Club: Tiger Up! Bob Miller '70 loves Wittenberg football. He's challenging other Tigers to give back by matching dollar-for-dollar the next $1,000 donated in support of Tiger Club Football.

Double Your Impact – Men’s Lacrosse: Calling all LAX alumni! Matt '11 and Cailyn Lord ‘11 are challenging Matt's fellow Tigers to give back and #Commit2Witt by matching 1:1 the first $1,000 to the Men's Lacrosse Tiger Club.

Double Your Impact – Student Emergency Fund: Give like Vice President Casey Gill and her husband Patrick in support of the Student Emergency Fund. This fund helps with student retention. They will match 1:1 the first $1,845 given to this fund.

Double Your Impact – Student Experiences: Study-away service projects help shape a student's future and global mindset. An anonymous donor has offered to match 1:1 up to $7,500 for donations made to the Lesotho Project and Materials fund.

Double Your Impact – Track & Cross Country: Former Track Captain Judge Richard Frye ’70, is challenging fellow Tigers — and specifically fellow captains — to give back this #Commit2Witt. He will match 1:1, up to $10,000, any gifts made to the Men's and Women's Track and Cross Country teams.

Double Your Impact – Unrestricted Scholarships: Give like Vice President Maribeth Stevens and her husband Marc in support of the Witt Opportunity Scholarship, which provides access to a Wittenberg education for incoming students. They will match 1:1 the next $1,845 given to this fund.

Double Your Impact – Witt Fund: To kick us off during #Commit2Witt, Board of Directors member David Baines will match, dollar for dollar, the first $50,000 donated to the Witt Fund. Tiger Up!

Double Your Impact – Witt in Washington: To celebrate Commit to Witt, David Gogol '73 and Kara Cappello '08 will double the impact of all gifts made to the Witt in Washington fund, up to $1,000.

Double Your Impact – Women’s Lacrosse: Parents Michelle and Craig Joseph loved watching their daughter play lacrosse while she was at Witt. To help celebrate #Commit2Witt, they will match dollar for dollar the first $1,000 donated to the Women's Lacrosse Tiger Club.

Early Tiger Giving Challenge: Janet E. Jackson '75 knows that Wittenberg needs dedicated champions to give back as part of #Commit2Witt. That's why she will donate $20,000 to the Witt Fund when early gifts from fellow Tigers total the same amount! 

Final Countdown Match: As a producer and screenwriter, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich '00 knows the importance of a memorable ending. That's why she is offering a $5,000 match for gifts made to the Wittenberg Fund as part of the FINAL COUNTDOWN for our 24 hours of giving.

Give Like a Friend!: Melanie Norton, a Wittenberg friend, is challenging other friends of Wittenberg during #Commit2Witt. She will generously donate $2,000 to the Witt Fund, when we receive 50 gifts from friends of Wittenberg University.

Give Like a Parent!: Marco Greenberg and Stacey Nelkin are grateful for the support their son received at Wittenberg. When we receive 50 gifts from Tiger Parents, they will generously donate $1,000.

Give Like a Tiger – Donor Challenge: Wittenberg's Board of Directors are showing their Tiger Pride and will collectively release $25,000 when we reach 1,200 donors as part of our #Commit2Witt celebration.

Give Like Bill – Late Night Challenge: Board of Directors member and Californian Bill Boggs ’68 is issuing a late-night challenge. He will donate $10,000 to the Wittenberg Fund when 50 gifts are made in the last two hours of #Commit2Witt!

Give Like Bob – Dinnertime Challenge: Join Bob Buchholtz '71 during the dinner hour, and he will match any gift to the Witt Fund dollar for dollar up to $15,000.

Give Like Carol - $1845 for the Witt Fund: Join Carol Casey '91 in supporting the Wittenberg Fund, the University's unrestricted fund, which provides financial support for virtually every purpose and function of the Wittenberg learning community. She's matching dollar for dollar up to $1,845 during #Commit2Witt.

Give Like Charlie – Career Exploration: To celebrate #Commit2Witt, Board of Directors member Charlie Giffin '00 will match dollar for dollar up to $5,000 any donation made to the Career Exploration & Outcomes Fund.

Give Like Diane – Study Abroad: Diane Zeigler '78 understands the importance of studying abroad. That's why she is matching 1:1, up to $1,000, for gifts made in support of Wittenberg's study abroad programs.

Give Like Jason – McClain Center for Diversity: Give like Jason Seegert '04 and support the William A. McClain Center for Diversity. During #Commit2Witt, he will match dollar for dollar the first $1,845 given to this fund.

Give Like Joan – Wittenberg Choir: Joan Hendrickson Rogers '60 is celebrating #Commit2Witt with a musical flair and a 1:1 match up to $2,000 for any gifts made to the Wittenberg Choir Director Fund.

Give Like Joe – $5K for the Greatest Need: Make your gift to support Wittenberg’s greatest need and double your impact. Joe Nordsieck ’69 will generously match the next $5,000 donated to the Wittenberg Fund.

Give Like Laurie & Dave – Witt Opportunity Scholarship: Laurie ’79 and Dave '79 Griffin know the value of a Witt education and the impact a scholarship can make. To kick off #Commit2Witt, they will match dollar for dollar, up to $1,845, for any gifts made in support of the Witt Opportunity Scholarship Fund.

Give Like Matt & Cailyn – Greatest Need: To support Wittenberg's greatest need on #Commit2Witt, Matt '11 and Cailyn Lord ‘11 are generously matching the next $2,000 donated to the Wittenberg Fund.

Give Like Peggy – Faculty Support: Our alumni know firsthand the impact our outstanding faculty have on student learning and personal growth. Peggy Fox '67 and Ian MacNiven will provide a 1:1 match, up to $5,000, for donations made to the Faculty Compensation Support Fund.

Give Like Peter – Greek Life Challenge: Peter Welsh '74 wants to impact Greek life at Wittenberg. He will match dollar for dollar up to $1,000 for any gift made to the Greek Life Fund during #Commit2Witt.

Give Like Tom – Men’s Soccer: Tom Kaiser '79 challenges fellow alumni to Tiger Up! On March 13, he is offering a 1:1 match in honor of Coach Steve Moore for gifts made in support of Men's Soccer, up to $2,225.

Give Like the Britos – Witt Fund: To show their Tiger Pride, Elizabeth '70 and Joseph Brito will generously match dollar for dollar the next $1,000 received toward the Witt Fund.

Give Like the DeVitos – Legacy Challenge: Board of Directors member Joyce DeVito ’83 and her son, Student Success Advisor John DeVito ’23, know what makes legacy families so special. To celebrate the 40 years between their Witt graduations, they will donate $40 for every legacy family gift made up to $4,000.

Give Like the Frandsens – Donor Challenge: Give like a Tiger on #Commit2Witt. President Frandsen and wife Sharon will release a $2,500 gift when we celebrate the first 500 donors.

Give Like the Weiblings – 1970s Challenge: Dennis '73 and Beth Weibling ‘75 are challenging Wittenberg graduates from the 1970s to Give like YOU. They will unlock their gift of $5,000 to the Witt Fund after $20,000 is raised by 1970s grads.

Give Like the Yosts – Witt Fund: Benjamin '99 and Rebecca Yost understand the importance of unrestricted giving so they are matching dollar for dollar up to $5,000 for every donation to the Witt Fund.

Give Like YOU – AGAIN!: Did you give your first-ever gift in 2023? #WittWed couple Scott '01 and Deanna '99 Ness will generously gift $5,000 when 100 first-time donors give again!

Give Like YOU – Immediate University Priorities: In celebration of #Commit2Witt, Board of Directors member Robert G. Merzweiler ’76 will release $5,000 when we reach 200 gifts in support of Immediate University Priorities.

Give Like YOU – 1960s Grads: Harold '64 and Alinda Wasner are challenging Wittenberg graduates from the 1960s to Give like YOU. When we receive 25 gifts from this decade, they will generously release $1,000.

Give Like YOU – 1980s Grads: Jamie Shilling '88 is challenging fellow 1980s grads to Give like YOU. When we receive 80 donations from alumni of this decade, he will generously gift $2,500 to the Witt Fund.

Give Like YOU – Support Tiger Ventures: Donate to Tiger Ventures on #Commit2Witt. Make a gift of $50 or more and receive a free 16 oz .coffee of your choice at Sip’s Coffee Bar or a smoothie/protein shake of your choice from Tiger Fuel; make a gift of $25 and receive a free logo sticker from Sip's. Digital receipt must be shown. Limit one per donor.

Give Like YOU – Witt Facilities Challenge: When we receive 150 gifts in support of Campus Stewardship and Facilities, $40,000 will be released to help with campus renovations, thanks to an anonymous donor.

Give like YOU – Witt Opportunity Scholarship: Assistant Vice President Kristina Devine and her husband Paul are challenging Wittenberg alumni and friends to Give like YOU! They will unlock their gift of $1,000 when we receive 50 gifts in support of the Witt Opportunity Scholarship. Join them and make an impact on our students!

Lunchtime Witt Fund Challenge: Lunchtime Challenge: Join Vice President for Finance and Administration Rob Young for a quick lunch, and he will match any gift made to the Witt Fund, dollar for dollar, up to $1,845.

Name a Tulip: Make a gift of $18.45 or more to the Campus Beautification Fund during Commit to Witt, and you can ceremoniously name a Wittenberg Tulip! Fill out your name when submitting your gift, and we will send you a certificate.

Power Hour – Witt Fund: Give during a Power Hour! When we receive 50 gifts between 2-3 p.m. ET,  Peter '99 and Betsy Vanlier Georgiton ‘98 will generously give $1,500 to the Witt Fund.

Provost Challenge – Faculty Development: Wittenberg faculty work tirelessly to support student learning. To help give them the opportunity to learn and grow as teacher-scholars, Provost Brian Yontz will donate $1,845 when 20 gifts are made to the Faculty Development Fund.

#WittWed Challenge: #WittWed couple Beth ’85 and Steven ’85 Rizzi LOVE to share the LOVE about all things Wittenberg. To celebrate Commit to Witt, they will donate $2,000 to the Witt Fund when 100 #WittWed couples give a gift.

1:1 Match – Football Tiger Club: Alumni couple Jim ’88 and Brooke Collins ‘88 love Wittenberg. That's why they are challenging other Tigers to give back and will match 1:1 up to $2,000 for every Tiger Club Football donation during #Commit2Witt!

1:1 Match – Theatre Department: Join Chip Meyrelles '76 and Laurie Connor as they support the Arts at Wittenberg! During #Commit2Witt, they will match any gift to the Theatre Department dollar for dollar up to $7,500.

$2,000 for 200 Gifts – Women’s Sports: Women in sports make a big difference. That’s why Board of Directors member John Shumate ’99 will gift $10/donation to the female sport of your choice, for the first 200 gifts made in support of any women’s athletic Tiger Club fund.

50 States Challenge: To celebrate #Commit2Witt, the Wittenberg Alumni Association Board will donate $1,845 when gifts from all 50 states are received.

-Story compiled by Heather Maurer, Director of Annual Giving, Office of Advancement

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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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