By Yousef Hafuda
The College announced two sizable alumni gifts last Friday; each will serve a specific purpose in furthering the aims of the school.
The first, of $500,000, was given by Penny Bender Sebring ’64 and her husband, Chuck Lewis, primarily to bolster the existing Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program.
Mark Peltz, director of the Career Development Office, met with them to work out how their gift would be used.
“[He] met with them and they expressed their interest in supporting education at Grinnell and careers in education at Grinnell,” said Jean Ketter, Chair of the Education department.
Peltz then contacted Ketter because he “wanted to know what we needed,” Ketter said.
Ketter said the gift would help develop the Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program as well as the education department as a whole.
The gift, she says, will be used not only to help further the aims of the education program at Grinnell, but also for “counseling, career advising, and externships.”
In addition to allowing for the expansion of existing programs, the gift will also be used for a newly created position that will feature someone who will work with both the education department and the Career Development Office, helping form a bridge between the two entities.
“We envisioned this position that is a hybrid position between the Career Development Office and our department, and will report to both of us,” Ketter said.
This gift serves a similar purpose to the programs that also received the Sebrings’ help at Amherst College and the University of Chicago. The only difference, according to Ketter, is that in comparison to the other two institutions, Grinnell is “unique of the group of three because it has an education program.”
The second gift of around $340,000 was given by Mary and Craig Henderson ’63 to programs including the Class of 1963 Internship and Postgraduate Success Initiative, which will allow Grinnell students whose financial situation might otherwise prevent them from participating in an unpaid internship to pursue such opportunities; the Class of 1963 Senior Opportunity Scholarship, intended to mitigate student loan debt; and the Pioneer Fund. Together, the class of 1963 has collected more than $578,000 towards their ambitious goal of $1 million.
The College is seeking to publicize these gifts to encourage further giving.