Today’s world makes it easier than ever to connect with people. Technology, social media, and information sharing accelerate everything. Yet it can still be difficult for people in the Seminary Relations Department to meet the right person at the right time in the right place.wildrickfullsize

Your introductions matter. “We can’t know who we don’t know. But our alumni/ae have great networks through their churches. They know people looking to make gifts. They can play a major role in introducing these people to us so they can help the Seminary,” said Jack McAnlis, director of planned giving.

For example, in the 1970s, Ken Wildrick (M.Div., 1958; Th.M., 1962) was the minister at the Community Congregational Church in Short Hills, New Jersey. One of Wildrick’s congregants and friends, Elwin Smith, asked for advice on making a gift to help educate future ministers. Wildrick introduced his friend—whom everyone called “E”— to the Seminary and a legacy was started. Read more about their friendship.

That introduction led to the Elwin H. Smith Scholarship Endowment Fund. It’s now worth $2.63 million and has helped 104 students since 1998. Recipients for the 2010-2011 academic year include: M.Div. juniors John Schneider, Kenneth Lucas, Alex Turpin, Emily Mitchell; middler Wayne Elder; seniors Daniel Pedersen, Andrew Harmon, Karen Rohrer; and first-year Ph.D. student Courtney Faith Palmbush.

“Ken was an ambassador and helped us extend our circle of friends,” said McAnlis. “Who do you know, that we don’t?”

For information about ways to best introduce others to the Seminary, contact Rosemary Mitchell, vice president of Seminary relations in the Seminary Relations Office.