Family farms, friendly towns, rolling hills, and wide open spaces. Ohio’s character and natural beauty is on full display as you head north and east out of Cincinnati toward Delaware. Don Wagner ’62, and his wife, Linda, will see all of it up close from their bike seats as they make the trip as part of a unique fundraising effort for Ohio Wesleyan. The couple, who live in Colorado, will fly into Cincinnati and then travel three days by bicycle to Delaware. They expect to average 45 miles a day on their trip.
The Wagners, new members of the University’s Tower Society, wanted to make a special contribution to Don’s alma mater. “We decided to combine our love for bicycling with our desire to contribute to Ohio Wesleyan. We are making the trip from Cincinnati to Delaware to encourage others to think about the positive impact OWU has had on their lives,” explains Don. “We hope our fellow alumni will contribute by pledging money for our ride.”
To kick off the fundraising, Lloyd Ferguson, ’62 Class Gift Chair, will donate up to $5,000 in matching gifts to the Wagners’ two-wheeled efforts. Ferguson notes, “I think it’s great that a 70-plus-year-old couple can ride bikes, let alone make the 150-mile trip to Ohio Wesleyan’s campus. I hope our class gets behind Don and Linda to help them help us with our class gift.”
The Wagners’ trip supports the $800,000 goal for the Class of 1962 Reunion gift, which will allocate $500,000 to the Ohio Wesleyan Fund and $300,000 to the entire JAYwalk/Plaza area renovation. The new JAYwalk fountain will be completed in time for a dedication ceremony during the May 18-20, 2012 Alumni Weekend.
Don and Linda’s cycling trip is the latest way the couple has shown their love for Ohio Wesleyan. Their long history of support includes a significant estate gift. Simply put, Don cherishes his alma mater. “I look back at my four years at the University as instrumental in preparing me for life,” he says. “I have fond memories of OWU and the many friendships I made there continue today.” He hopes his fellow alumni will support Ohio Wesleyan by making a pledge to the bike trip.
“We are truly thankful to the Wagners for their continued support of the University,” says Colleen Garland, vice president for university relations. “The Ohio Wesleyan Fund is an important source of unrestricted funds for the University. It is one of the most important ways our supporters can make an Ohio Wesleyan education accessible to talented students who may otherwise not be able to attend our school.”
To support the Wagners’ bike trip, visit https://community.owu.edu/makeyourgift and select “Don ’62 & Linda Wagner Bike Challenge for the OWF” as your gift designation. You also may contact Jennifer Roberts, Director of Annual Giving, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (740) 368-3302. And if you are interested in discussing an estate gift, please contact Ann Zarate, Director of Gift Planning, at email@example.com (740) 368-3321.