PHILANTHROPYDonor continues a family tradition
Leadership gifts from major benefactors have been the backbone of support for the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at Leesburg since its founding. Now, a niece of the center's namesake, Jean Ellen duPont Shehan of Coral Gables, Fla., is continuing that tradition. At this year's fourth annual Ut Prosim Society induction ceremony, Shehan was welcomed as a senior benefactor for her generosity to the equine center.
But her contributions to the center aren't limited to the financial. As a member of the center's Founding Committee, Shehan has devoted enormous amounts of time and effort to its growth and development as one of the nation's outstanding equine care facilities. Most recently, she has been named chair of the newly-created Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center Council, an advisory and resource development body for the hospital.
A life-long interest in medicine and health care attracted Shehan to the mission of the Equine Medical Center (EMC). "The creation of this hospital meant a great deal to my aunt and its continued success means a great deal to the equine industry," she says.
When asked why she agreed to chair the Equine Medical Center's Founding Committee and Council, she explained that "the center is an important component of the health services available to the equine community and because I feel so strongly about what it can do for all horse owners."
Shehan knows the pain of losing a horse to colic at a time when no treatment was available. "Today the highly-skilled team of surgeons and nurses at the EMC routinely save horses from colic."
Shehan's philanthropy extends far beyond service to and support of the university. Volunteerism and involvement in her community are a way of life for her. Shehan dedicates much time and energy to several worthwhile organizations, including the Red Cross and a number of foundations and community charities in and around the Miami area. Her areas of support include natural histories, health, and education. Shehan describes herself as the type of person who "cannot sit back and not help others."
As one who has been and will continue to be instrumental in the well-being of the hospital in many ways, she is truly one of its outstanding all-around benefactors.
Engineering seniors show generosity
The College of Engineering launched a Senior Class Gift Program last spring to encourage graduating seniors to support the college. The results are in and are astounding.
Out of about 800 seniors contacted, 237 pledged a total of $15,871. That translates into a 27 percent participation rate, far exceeding the class goal of 15 percent and tripling the usual participation rate of 8 percent for first-year alumni.
Approximately one-half of the seniors participating in the pledge program gave unrestricted gifts to the College of Engineering, while the other 50 percent designated their gifts directly to their departments.
The program was accomplished under the leadership of then Dean Paul Torgersen and Student Chairman Jeffrey D. Gorenc '90. In addition, 72 seniors representing 10 departments within the college served as vice chairpersons and team captains. The vice chairpersons and team captains personally contacted engineering seniors, asking them to pledge support to the College of Engineering through the Virginia Tech Annual Fund.
The College of Engineering's Senior Class Gift Program will be used as a model for similar programs in other colleges at Virginia Tech.
"Artstravaganza" benefits scholarship fund
"Artstravaganza," the first black-tie art auction to benefit the Department of Art and Art History at Virginia Tech, raised approximately $21,000, according to Gary Smallwood, development director for the College of Arts and Sciences.
The auction, held recently at the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education, will yield about $12,000 for art scholarships after the artists' commissions are paid, he says.
The event featured the works of 55 artists from the New River Valley, the Roanoke Valley, and as far away as California. Approximately 160 people attended the auction to bid on art works contributed by faculty, alumni, and friends of the college.
"Our students, who pitched in to help make Artstravaganza a success, have been thrilled by the response of area artists, alumni, and other supporters," says Derek Myers, head of the art department. "I think the public would be impressed by the caliber of work entered in the auction."
Scholarships resulting from the auction will allow the department "to reward students for their creativity, academic achievement, and promise as artists and to encourage their individual pursuit of excellence," according to Myers.
Virginia Tech Magazine Volume 12, Number 2 Fall 1990