Philanthropy: From coast to coast, they answered the call

Fall 2022

|

More than 125 Wake Foresters have answered President Susan R. Wente’s call to create 100 new scholarships by the end of 2022. In her inaugural speech on March 25, Wente called on Wake Forest to be “a catalyst for opportunity” when she announced the “For Humanity” scholarship initiative. As of July 1, alumni, parents and friends had given $24 million to create or enhance 126 scholarships in the College, graduate school and professional schools.

Wellmon Family Scholarship

Lindsey Binder Wellmon (’10, MSM ’11) and Nick Wellmon (’11) took different paths to Wake Forest. Lindsey came across the country from outside Seattle and Nick from outside Atlanta. They met at Wake Forest and eventually moved to Lindsey’s hometown.

They decided recently to endow a scholarship to ensure that other students can have the experience that they had at Wake Forest. “We’re very passionate about the school and excited about the opportunity to give others the chance,” said Lindsey, executive director of the 47th Avenue Foundation, which supports kids and families in Seattle. “We want to make sure that (lack of) money would not be a reason not to go to Wake Forest.”

Their gift will provide a scholarship to a middle-class student interested in business. “We felt that one group that was being overlooked is the middle-class students who work really hard in high school who don’t fit the financial aid profile, but they still can’t afford to attend,” said Nick, founder and managing partner of Due West Partners. “They deserve an opportunity as much as anyone to come to a great school that helped us get to where we are today.”

1834 Scholars program

Parents’ Council members Kevin Willsey (P ’22) and Delia Willsey (P ’22) made the lead gift to create the 1834 Scholars program to attract students who have demonstrated academic excellence and financial need. The program, initially funded by Parents’ Council members, seeks to provide financial support for at least two 1834 Scholars in every class.     

Gary Kosinski (P ’25, ’26) and Penny Kosinski (P ’25, ’26), Parents’ Council members from Ocean Ridge, Florida, were among the first parents to join the effort. “When you look back (on your life), you want to make sure that you had a positive impact on your community,” Gary Kosinski said. “For at least the next four or five years, Wake is going to be our community.”  

Gary Kosinski’s aunt and uncle and several nephews graduated from Wake Forest, so he and his wife were already familiar with the University. When their older daughter enrolled last fall, they decided they wanted to be involved and make a difference.

Kosinski said he hopes the 1834 scholarship will “help attract great students who will have a positive impact on the school and community and eclectic young people with the potential to become leaders. Often, you’ll find that those students have overcome adversity of one kind or another and are great candidates for this type of program.”

Dave and Catherine Clawson Scholarship

Football Coach Dave Clawson and his wife, Catherine, answered Wente’s call with a $250,000 gift. Their scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate, with a preference for students from the Piedmont Triad, first-generation students and students who help contribute to the diversity of the student body.

“This is the longest that we’ve ever lived anywhere,” said Clawson, who is in his ninth year at Wake Forest. “This is where both of our children consider home. We wanted to make an investment in Wake Forest and in the community that we now consider our home.”

The scholarship is not an athletic scholarship, he noted. “We felt really strongly that we wanted this to allow somebody in Winston-Salem or Forsyth County to attend Wake Forest who was qualified but who might not have the opportunity because of finances. We want this to go to someone who has worked really hard in the classroom, who’s a dedicated student and who will make Wake Forest a better place.”

Clawson played football at Williams College, which didn’t offer athletic scholarships. His parents helped pay for his education, with the expectation that he would work during the summer. “I worked at the landfill doing every job you could imagine. I was a garbage collector. I painted dumpsters. I drove a dump truck. I unloaded trucks with all different types of waste in them. My mom and dad were supportive, but they wanted me to do my part as well.”

To support the For Humanity initiative, contact Mike Haggas (P ’21), assistant dean, College development, at haggasmp@wfu.edu.

Staff Favorites


Weaving Hope


by Kelly Greene ('91)

Read More

Exit Smiling


by Maria Henson ('82)

Read More

A Writing Promise


by Katherine Laws Waters ('20)

Read More

Restoring the Coastline


by Kelly Greene ('91)

Read More