By Bill Gerig g61
$777,985 — Wow! You, the wonderful Fort Wayne Campus Alumni, have produced a scholarship endowment fund close to $800,000!
How did this happen? Remember “Phonathon” and all those annual phone calls you received from the Fort Wayne Campus? It all began in 1971. The Alumni Director at that time, Bob Weyneth; Public Relations Director, Grant Hoatson; and Alumni Association President, Roger Vorholzer mailed out to all alumni a 33 ½ RPM thin sheet of vinyl on which was recorded a 12-minute promotion seeking to raise $50,000 to begin the Alumni Scholarship Endowment Fund. Almost every year thereafter, an appeal was made either by mail or by “Phonathon.” Today, the fund has grown to $777,985.56, and it generally produces between $30,000 and $35,000 in annual scholarships.
What has happened to this fund? I am so glad you asked! At the closing of the campus, the Endowment was directed by the Alumni Council to provide scholarships for Fort Wayne alumni and former employee dependents who attend Taylor University. Since 2009, seventy-four Fort Wayne alumni and former employee dependents who have attended Taylor have received over $434,023 in scholarship assistance.
Now, back to the 33 ½ RPM vinyl recording. This recording, which was the seed for the endowed scholarship, includes music from a number of the college’s singing groups as well as short comments from Presidents Witmer, Gerig, and Warner. Dr. Jay Platte has digitized it, and you will be surprised at the quality of this 50-year-old valuable piece of campus history. You will also be encouraged as you hear voices from the past sharing the commitment of our alma mater to the message of the Gospel of our Lord and the truth of His Word.