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Whitman Receives $10.5 Million Estate Commitment

Memorial Building with a Upward Together banner.

Whitman College has received a $10.5 million unrestricted bequest commitment from a loyal alumnus and his wife, who choose to remain anonymous. The commitment is the largest of the Upward Together campaign and the largest planned bequest in the college’s history.

“The generosity of these donors is amazing,” says President Sarah Bolton. 

“I am inspired by their deep belief and trust in our mission as demonstrated by this unrestricted commitment for the college’s future use in providing a superb Whitman education—one which prepares young people to thrive and become leaders and thinkers for communities throughout the world.”

The longtime anonymous donor has made 25 gifts to the college in a wide range of amounts, starting with a $60 gift in 1971. “We believe deeply in the value of higher education, and we decided we could make an especially significant impact at Whitman for future generations of students,” says the donor. “We trust the college to decide how best to apply our gift in the future, so we choose not to put any restrictions on the use of the gift. We are happy to make this commitment now as part of the Upward Together campaign.”

Planned Giving: Straightforward & Significant

“I want to add my thanks to these loyal donors for their tremendous example of leadership in planned giving for Whitman,” says Nancy Serrurier (Parent ’11), Chair of the Upward Together campaign. “While this gift is extraordinary in its scale and impact, making a gift through one’s estate is straightforward. It is the way many alumni and families make their most significant gifts to the college.” 

To date, more than 50 alumni and families have committed over $40 million through their wills and estates in support of the Upward Together campaign. To make bequests, donors simply share information with Whitman regarding an estimate of their future gift to the college through their estates. For this most recent anonymous commitment, the donors will contribute appreciated real estate as the intended vehicle for their planned gift.

“While the size of their estate commitment is significant, I am also grateful for the donors’ unrestricted designation,” says Bill Neff ’67, Chair of the Resources Committee for Whitman’s Board of Trustees. “Upon receiving unrestricted major gifts to the college, our committee recommends to the board that they be applied for a particular use among the greatest strategic investments in the student experience, such as for scholarship endowment or for capital projects like the new junior-senior village.” Bill and his wife Rita Grimm Neff ’69 are also generous planned gift donors for Whitman. 

Alumni and families interested in learning more about planning a future gift may contact Jamie Kennedy ’96, Senior Director of Gift Planning, at 509-527-5989 or kennedjj@whitman.edu.

This latest commitment lifts the Upward Together campaign total to $181 million in philanthropic investment from more than 14,050 donors. Whitman’s largest-ever campaign, Upward Together, launched in October 2023 in the heart of campus on Ankeny Field.

Published on Jul 9, 2024
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