The process of fundraising at Wheaton is a more integral aspect of the school than many would suspect. Marjorie A. Houston, the Assistant Vice President of Advancement, and Dena Getzie, the Director of Major Gifts, both from Wheaton’s Development office, work on finding funding for Wheaton in order to pay for essential services.
The Annual Fund, a department under Advancement, is constantly getting in touch with alumni, teachers and students in search of financial support for Wheaton. This plays a critical role in daily life at Wheaton because the student experience often depends on the donations of these individuals. Wheaton’s food, lighting, water, and club activities are in many cases a result of the generosity of donors, in addition to hard work on the part of the staff.
Similarly, the Development Department, of which Houston and Getzie are a part, is constantly reaching out to various alumni, although they do so in a much more personal way. This department specializes in the actual fundraising trips for in-person interactions.
Houston and Getzie accomplish funding by having personal meetings with Wheaton alumni. For example, Getzie went to Vermont to meet with an alumna from the class of 1956 and her husband. President Crutcher was also in attendance, wanting to personally thank this couple for their years of generosity to Wheaton.
Houston and Getzie travel all over the country, and in some cases the world, to form lasting relationships with these people.
After visiting and getting to know these alumni, introducing them to both students and staff, showing them around the campus, and essentially reconnecting them with Wheaton, Houston explains that she will then sit down and essentially ask them an important question: “What would you like your legacy to be at Wheaton?”
The legacy of these alumni is why Advancement works so successfully.
The new science building and the turf field (which Houston is particularly proud of), and most on-campus buildings have all been built due to the generosity of these alumni and the hard work of staff members like Houston and Getzie.