Strong records of giving show Wharton is worth investing in.
In philanthropy, landmark one-time gifts may seem to garner all the attention. Yet, at the Wharton School, one group of donors is considered priceless. Their steadfast commitment shows that they understand the importance of supporting the well-being of the School now and into its future.
- The Wharton Fund’s most consistent supporters are counted as members of The Wharton Fund Loyalty Society, which recognizes those who have given for three or more consecutive years.
- Nearly 5,000 — or just about half — of donors to The Wharton Fund are among this highly valued group.
One of these loyal donors, the Reverend Kerry Mueller, WG’79, has given to The Wharton Fund every year since 1982. “I wanted to stay connected [to Wharton] and raise the percentage of loyal donors,” she said.
“The Wharton MBA got me through a difficult time in my life.”
–Reverend Kerry Mueller, WG’79.
Mueller is frank about being a non-traditional Wharton graduate — but she is also authentic when she says her journey through Wharton and beyond is a confirmation that the School was there for her when she needed a career foundation. She has never forgotten that much-needed support, and she is compelled to provide the same for future students.
- “The Wharton MBA got me through a difficult time in my life,” Mueller said. At the time, she said, Wharton was one of few institutions empowering women of her generation.
- She went on to develop a diverse livelihood including having been a Latin teacher, a marketer for Conrail, and a minister.
Now, she is a burgeoning artist and a co-minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown, Pa. Looking back on how her life progressed from her days at Wharton, Mueller said lessons learned at Wharton have helped her work with populations ranging from students to corporate boards.
The degree to which Mueller’s experience influences her giving is meaningful on a much broader level. Alumni participation in annual giving is a key measure of overall strength of a school.
- “Strong records of annual giving signal to potential funders, including corporations and foundations, that Wharton is worth investing in,” said Beth Morris, Director of The Wharton Fund. “It shows that our alumni and friends are excited and believe in our promise.”
Mueller feels her story of how Wharton helped her find direction is part of the legacy she will leave for her granddaughters — as well as other young students she and thousands of others help support as members of The Wharton Fund Loyalty Society.