It’s time to Tiger Up and ‘pass your light’ during Wittenberg’s annual Commit to Witt celebration. Themed 1845 Minutes of Giving once again, this year’s event will take place over two days, March 14-15, and feature a wide range of opportunities to invest in and advance the University’s future.
Created to honor Wittenberg’s founding (March 11, 1845), Commit to Witt provides the chance for Tigers from across the world to come together to shine their light and provide support to all that defines the University: the People, who inquire, create, inspire and compete here; the Place, where people come together as a community and welcome others to learn and grow; and the Present, as the next generation of Wittenberg graduates learn to pass on their light.
Every gift on March 14-15 counts toward Wittenberg’s Having Light Campaign, the University’s $100 million comprehensive campaign, which publicly launched in 2021 during the annual Commit to Witt event.
This year’s Commit to Witt will begin at 2 p.m. on March 14. Nearly 100 alumni, friends, faculty, and staff have agreed to serve as University ambassadors throughout the 1845 minutes, sharing social media content, generating more engagement both on and off campus, and encouraging giving among their peers.
Leveraging its fun, interactive crowdfunding platform, Commit to Witt will offer several options to match the various philanthropic interests of those participating. Areas for support include the Wittenberg Fund, the Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship, faculty development, diversity and inclusion, Tiger Club, campus beautification, campus ministries, academic departments, and more. Individuals can learn more and/or sign up to be an ambassador during the day by visiting here.
Throughout the annual Commit to Witt event and in addition to sharing content, participants will fight for ambassador bragging rights, race to the top of several leaderboards, and attend regional events throughout Ohio and in Arizona. Please consider making a gift as a way to pass Wittenberg’s light on to current and future students. Participants can also help Wittenberg unlock more than $200,000 in challenges and matches to double their impact, by making #Commit2Witt gifts and encouraging fellow alumni and friends to do the same.
In 2022, Commit to Witt raised $640,911 in two days, receiving 1,532 gifts from 1,332 donors with the average gift size being $418.35. Gifts came from 352 Witt Wed couples, 972 donors with a Greek affiliation, and 355 from recent grads (2012 to 2022). Gifts also came from alumni and friends in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and seven different countries.
To make your gift early, become a #Commit2Witt ambassador, or take part in the numerous challenges, go to www.wittenberg.edu/commit2witt.
This year’s challenges include the following:
Senior Class Challenge: President Frandsen and his wife, Sharon, love engaging with students. They will donate $100 for the first 23 gifts made by a member of the Class of 2023, and $23 for the next 100+ gifts made by a senior class member, to celebrate their accomplishments and graduation as part of #Commit2Witt.
1:1 Match - $2,500 for the Witt Fund: Joining in on the fun of #Commit2Witt, Board of Directors member David Baines '69 is offering a 1:1 match, up to $2,500, donated to the Wittenberg Fund.
1:1 Match - Campus Beautification: Steve ’75 and Mary Alice Schryver ’75 Neely love Wittenberg’s historic campus. To kick off day two of #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.
1:1 Match - CBS Scholarship Fund: To celebrate 1845 Minutes of Giving, Larry James '74 will offer a 1:1 match, up to $5,000, for any gift designated to the CBS Scholarship Fund.
1:1 Match - Choir Director Endowment: Joan Rogers '60 plans to celebrate #Commit2Witt with a musical flair and a 1:1 match, up to $2,000, for any gifts made to the Wittenberg Choir Director Endowment.
1:1 Match - Crystal Scott Scholarship: On #Commit2Witt, Alumni Board member Evelyn Jones ’84 will generously match dollar-for-dollar the first $5,000 donated to the Crystal T. Scott Scholarship Fund, created to honor the memory of a beloved alumna by providing financial assistance to deserving African American women.
1:1 Match - Dine & Donate Challenge: Vice President for Enrollment Management Maribeth Stevens and husband Marc will match 1:1 any gift in support of unrestricted scholarships up to $1,845.
1:1 Match - Dinnertime Challenge: During the dinner hour, Business alumnus Bob Buchholtz '71 will encourage alumni to give back, matching dollar-for-dollar, up to $3,600, any gift to the Wittenberg Fund.
1:1 Match - Diversity & Inclusion: Rise Up! On #Commit2Witt, Board of Directors emeritus member Ronald C Woods '69 and wife, Wendy A. Woods '71, will generously match dollar-for-dollar, up to $2,500, to support the CBS Scholarship Fund.
1:1 Match - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Join Vice President Casey Gill in supporting the McClain Center for Diversity and Inclusion Fund to provide enhanced student programming, leadership development opportunities and more. She will match 1:1 the first $1,845 given to this fund.
1:1 Match - Experiential Learning: Alumni like Gina Schaefer '93 know the importance of providing students access to career outcome support. Gina will match gifts 1:1, up to $1,000, to support programming and access to career exploration, preparation and networking opportunities.
1:1 Match - Faculty Support: Our alumni know first-hand 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.
1:1 Match - FINAL COUNTDOWN: As a producer and screenwriter, alumna Lauren Schmidt Hissrich '00 knows the importance of a memorable ending. That's why she will offer a $5,000 match for gifts made to the Wittenberg Fund as part of the FINAL COUNTDOWN for Wittenberg’s 1845 Minutes of Giving.
1:1 Match - Football Tiger Club: Alumni couple Jim ’88 and Brooke Collins ‘88 love Wittenberg. That's why they will challenge other Tigers to give back, matching 1:1, up to $2,000, every Tiger Club Football donation during #Commit2Witt.
1:1 Match - Greatest Need: To support Wittenberg’s greatest need and double the impact of #Commit2Witt, Joe Nordsieck ’69 will kick off the day by generously matching the first $5,000 donated to the Wittenberg Fund.
1:1 Match - Last Chance for the Witt Fund: As we near the end of the University’s 1845 Minutes of Giving of #Commit2Witt, Assistant Vice President for Finance & Administration Noah Lamb will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000, any gifts made to the Wittenberg Fund.
1:1 Match - Lunchtime Tiger Club Match: Power Lunch for Tiger Club: What's Your Favorite Power Lunch? Ours is worth $1,845. From 12-2 p.m. ET, Board of Directors Chair Bill Edwards '89 will match dollar-for- dollar up to $1,845 any donation made to the Tiger Club General Fund.
1:1 Match - Lunchtime Witt Fund Challenge: Join Vice President for Finance and Administration Rob Young for a quick lunch, and he will match any gift made to the Wittenberg Fund, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,845.
1:1 Match - M.A.P.S. Study Abroad fund: Study-away opportunities can be life-changing for Wittenberg students. That’s why Matt Powell ’14 and Sam Archibald ’13 plan to match gifts 1:1, up to $2,000, to the M.A.P.S. Study Abroad Endowed Fund.
1:1 Match - McClain Center for Diversity & Inclusion: Join Jason Seegert '04 in supporting the McClain Center for Diversity and Inclusion Fund to provide enhanced student programming, leadership development opportunities and more. He will match dollar-for-dollar up to $1,845 given to this fund.
1:1 Match - Men’s LAX: Calling all LAX alumni! Ted Winders ‘10 is challenging his fellow Tigers to give back and #Commit2Witt by matching 1:1 the first $1,000 gifted to the men’s lacrosse Tiger Club.
1:1 Match - Men's Soccer: Tom Kaiser '79 plans to challenge fellow alumni to Tiger Up! On March 11, he will offer a 1:1 match for gifts made in support of men's soccer, up to $2,000.
1:1 Match – 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.
1:1 Match - Rochester Area Scholarship: To celebrate #Commit2Witt and regional alumni support across the nation, Tom ’72 and Nan Hildebrandt will match any donations, up to a total of $8,000, made to the Rochester Area Scholarship Fund, the largest alumni-area scholarship in Wittenberg's Endowment.
1:1 Match - Witt Opportunity Scholarship: Laurie ’79 and Dave Griffin ‘79 knows the value of a Witt education and the impact a scholarship can make. To kick off day two of #Commit2Witt, they will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,845, any gifts made in support of the Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship Fund.
1:1 Match - Wittenberg Fund: To kick off #Commit2Witt, Ho Pak Kong '50, emeritus member of the Wittenberg Board of Directors, will match every donation to the Wittenberg Fund, up to $50,000.
1:1 Match - Witt Fund: Larry James '74 understands the importance of unrestricted giving. That's why to celebrate #Commit2Witt, he will offer a 1:1 match up to $25,000 for any gift designated to the Wittenberg Fund.
1980s Witt Alumni Challenge: Julie Britton ’80 looks to challenge her classmates to Tiger Up! She will donate $1,000 to the Wittenberg Fund when 25 classmates from 1980 give back during #Commit2Witt.
20 Gifts to Honor Roy Allen: Rise Up! On #Commit2Witt, former Board of Directors member Muddy Watters '87 and wife Beverley '86 will make a generous gift of $1,845 after 20 gifts are made to the Allen Family Scholarship in honor of long-time Board member Roy Allen and his dedication to Wittenberg.
30 Gifts to Honor Dr. Buscemi: Stacy Rastauskas ‘98 will unlock $3,000 when 30 fellow political science and/or “Cons and Libs” alumni make a gift in honor of the late Professor Bill Buscemi.
50 States Challenge: The Wittenberg Alumni Board knows that Witt alumni are the best. The board will donate $1,845 when gifts are received from all 50 states on #Commit2Witt.
Ambassador Challenge: Assistant Vice President Kristina Devine and husband Paul know alumni ambassadors make a BIG IMPACT. To recognize our top ranked #Commit2Witt ambassador, they will donate $1,000 to the Wittenberg Fund.
Day 2 Match - CBS Scholarship Fund: To support the CBS Scholarship Fund, double your impact, and kick off day two of #Commit2Witt, Milt Thompson '76 will generously match the first $1,500 donated to this important scholarship.
Day 2 Match - COMPASS & Career Development: Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Senior Associate Dean of Students Jon Duraj ’09 is a champion for student success. To kick off day two of #Commit2Witt, he will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000, any gifts made in support of COMPASS: Sweet Success Center & Career Development.
Day 2 Match - Tiger Club: Senior Associate Director of Athletics Bret Billhardt is a champion for Tiger success. To kick off day two of #Commit2Witt, he will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000, any gifts made in support of Tiger Club General Athletics Fund.
Decades Challenge: Vice President Rebecca Kocher and her husband Brad love a little friendly competition. To celebrate #Commit2Witt and alumni participation, they will donate $1,500 in honor of the decade with the most gifts at the end of 1845 Minutes of Giving and $1,000 for the decade in second place.
Late-Night $10k Challenge: Board of Directors member and California alumnus Bill Boggs ’68 will issue a late-night challenge, matching 1:1 up to $10,000, any gift made while the rest of the country is asleep.
Proud Tiger Match - Career Exploration: To celebrate #Commit2Witt, Charlie Giffin '00 will match dollar- for-dollar, up to $5,000, any donation made to the Career Exploration & Outcomes Fund.
Bonus Match for Wittenberg Fund: Jonathan '93 and Suzanne '93 Eilert will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,500, any gift made to support the University's greatest need - the Wittenberg Fund.
McClain Center BONUS UNLOCK: David Atkins '00 will unlock $500 when Wittenberg receives five additional "bonus" gifts for the McClain Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Recurring Gift Challenge – Women’s Basketball: Alumna Beth Green ’94 knows the value of women’s athletics and the impact women can make when they learn on and off the court. That’s why she’s challenging alumni and friends to support the women’s basketball program at Witt. She will donate $1,845 when five alumni join her in setting up monthly recurring gifts to the women’s basketball Tiger Club Fund.
$1,845 for Faculty Development: Wittenberg faculty work tirelessly to support student learning. To help give them the opportunity to learn and grow as teacher-scholars, Interim Provost and Professor of Education Brian Yontz will donate $1,845 when 20 gifts are made to the Faculty Development Fund.
$1,845 Gifts for Recent Grads and Young Alumni: Calling all recent grads! Alumni Board President Laurice Moore '95 is challenging everyone to join the Benjamin Prince Society and pass their light. She will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,845, any gifts made by grads from classes 2013-2023.
$1,845 for 1845 Gifts: Last year alumni donors and friends made 1,532 gifts for $640,911 total giving, but we want to do better. To celebrate #Commit2Witt and alumni participation, the Wittenberg Alumni Association is challenging all decades to pass their light. The Wittenberg Alumni Association will donate $1,845 for 1845 gifts made during Commit to Witt. The gift will be given in honor of the class decade with the most gifts.
$1,845 to Honor Dr. Inboden: Join Vice President of Marketing and Communications Karen Saatkamp Gerboth '93 and her husband John Gerboth ’93 in making a gift to celebrate the inspirational teaching of Dr. Robin Inboden, professor of English, as she prepares to retire this year. During #Commit2Witt, the two English majors will match dollar for dollar, up to $1,845, any gift made to the English Department in her honor.
$2,000 for 200 Gifts - Women's Sports: Wittenberg alumni know the importance and impact Women in Sports can make. 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.
$2,500 for 25 Gifts - COMPASS: Sweet Success Center: Alicia ’82 and Greg Hupp are champions for student success and achievement at Wittenberg. To celebrate the success of Witt students, Alicia and Greg will donate $2,500 when 25 gifts are made to the COMPASS: Sweet Success Center in support of Witt’s mentorship platform, NetworkWitt.
$5,000 for 50 Gifts - CBS Scholarship Endowment: Witt alumni know the importance of building a diverse and inclusive culture in our community. That's why Having Light Campaign Managing Co-Chair Janet E. Jackson '75 will gift $100/donation for the first 50 gifts made in support of the CBS Scholarship Endowment Fund.
$5,000 to Celebrate 178 years: In celebration of #Commit2Witt and Wittenberg’s 178th year, Board of Directors member Robert G. Merzweiler ’76 will gift $5,000 when the University reaches 178 gifts.
$10,000 for 100 #WittWed Gifts: #WittWed couple Scott ’01 and Deanna Carlson Ness ’99 LOVE to share the LOVE about all things Wittenberg. To celebrate our 1845 Minutes of Giving, they will donate $10,000 when 100 #WittWed couples give a gift.
$50,000 Challenge for Campus Stewardship: Wendell '66 and Nancy Lutz are passionate about Wittenberg’s residential campus. When we receive 100 donations in support of Campus Stewardship & Facilities during #Commit2Witt, they will donate $50,000 to help update our residence halls.