Couple Makes $2 Million Gift to Wiley College
During a nostalgic visit to the Wiley College campus to bid a final farewell to the 16th President, Dr. Haywood L. Strickland, Gene and Trustee Patsy Ponder presented an unrestricted gift of $2 million to the college.
In making this gift to the institution, the Ponders said that they were doing so to honor President Strickland’s 18 years of distinguished service to Wiley College, the Marshall Community and The United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Ponder, who is an active member of the governing board, said that the gift is yet another example of their “love for Wiley College, the students served at the 145-year-old institution of higher learning, and the high regard they hold for the transformational leadership impact of the 16th President.”
In accepting this gift, which came as quite a surprise to President Strickland, he thanked the Ponders for their friendship and unwavering commitment and support of Wiley College and its mission to prepare servant leaders.
Strickland said he was humbled by the magnanimous expression of the Ponders’ faithful stewardship and is grateful beyond measure for their “extravagant generosity”—a United Methodist concept for people whose giving and doing reflect the light of God’s love in their souls and, as a result, genuinely wish only to make a positive difference for others.
“The Ponders have always given from their hearts and their philanthropy has been most purposeful,” said Strickland. “Their generosity reflects the John Wesleyan ideals of Methodism—‘do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can’.”
Wiley College is a UNCF-member institution.