Winter Family Gift Will Transform Visual Arts Program and South Campus
The creation and study of art will gain a new vitality in a new visual arts space on the College’s south end thanks to a $10 million commitment—the largest alumni gift in the College’s history—from Franklin & Marshall Trustee Benjamin J. Winter ’67 and his wife, Susan. The Winters will provide the leadership investment in a new visual arts building anchoring an arts-focused quadrangle.
The College has retained world-renowned Steven Holl Architects, named America’s Best Architect for “buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye” by TIME magazine, to design the facility. Holl said the campus’s remarkable trees provided a central idea for the composition of the building, which he calls a “pavilion on the park.”
“With this visionary gift, Ben and Susan Winter position the College to
dramatically enhance our resources for the visual arts while making a
bold statement about F&M as a national liberal arts college,” President
Daniel R. Porterfield says.
“This new visual arts building will unleash student and faculty creativity. It will amplify the beauty of the quadrangle within which it sits and the adjacent Buchanan Park. It will create an inviting new entrance to the campus and forge a stronger connection to the Lancaster community and its burgeoning arts culture. And it will fulfill our ideals for environmental sustainability, an element of all our new buildings.”
“I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career to have a liberal arts
education from F&M,” says Winter, “and I am proud to have served as a
trustee of the College for the past 10 years. One thing I’ve learned during this time is that a national liberal arts college, competing with its peers, must think and operate on a different level than it did even 20 years ago. We’re pleased with the thought that the new visual arts building might help the College community see in new ways, think in new ways, and reach together for that next level of greatness.”
Ben Winter is principal of The Winter Organization, a leading real-estate investment management business focused on the New York metropolitan area, and currently a vice chair on the F&M Board of Trustees. He and Susan, a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, are avid art collectors, and patrons of many visual and performing arts organizations.
Kreisel and Faris Commit $1 Million to Mindfullness Programming at F&M
Tony Kreisel ’66 graduated from Franklin & Marshall College long before the term “mindfulness” entered the popular lexicon. But he and his wife, Dr. Kimberly Faris, have since been inspired to commit $1 million to endow a new program providing F&M students with a broad range of mindfulness training and practice opportunities. For Kreisel and Faris, the opportunity to make an immediate impact on student well-being—and to do it in an innovative way—feels visionary and uplifting.
A growing body of research has illuminated the positive effects that mindfulness practices have on well-being, stress reduction, mental acuity, physical health and more.
“I work a great deal with 18- to 26-year-olds, in school and out, and there seems to be a lack of balance in many,” said Faris, a Boston-area licensed clinical psychologist. “Mindfulness is a big part of my work across all demographics, but particularly with this population. It helps provide balance and healthier coping skills.”
Kreisel, a trustee of the College, notes that F&M’s holistic view of student development is one of its distinguishing characteristics. “Over the past several years, we’ve created a number of programs that help our students bring their innate abilities and tremendous achievements together in their F&M experience,” he said. “This new program we’re creating—the Faris-Kreisel Mindfulness Program—adds to our palette of holistic student development in a way that I find exciting. It’s something our students will keep with them throughout their lives.”
Proceeds from the Faris-Kreisel Mindfulness Program Endowed Fund will be used to provide mindfulness programming and training as part of the College’s broader student health and wellness initiatives.
President Daniel R. Porterfield emphasizes the impact of the new effort and the gift that will make it possible: “Tony and Kim’s great generosity places F&M in the vanguard of mindfulness initiatives in higher education.”
Hyman Foundation Gift of $1.5 Million Will Support Student Scholarships, Business and Science Research
Mary Hyman, a member of F&M’s Board of Visitors, the Founders Society and the Schnader Society, enjoyed a long career in higher education. As a student, her late husband, Sigmund ’47, served as president of Zeta Beta Tau and was a lacrosse student-athlete. A longtime trustee, his F&M economics degree informed a highly successful career in financial planning.
The gift from the Hymans’ foundation will enhance their scholarship fund, endowed years ago, and will establish a research fund from which the College will award research fellowships to students in the natural sciences, business and economics.
“My husband always said that some of his most valuable education at Franklin & Marshall came in an economics class in which the students took a small local company and researched and analyzed its hiring practices, its cash flow, its supply chain and all the other aspects of the business,” Hyman says. “His work as a financial planner was diversified and included clients of all sizes. That class helped him understand the concerns of the people running those companies.”
A Legacy Sustained
Also treasurer of the Italian Club, Piacentini has studied in Italy. She is a sister in Kappa Delta sorority, a member of both the dance team and the dance company, and plays flute in the F&M Orchestra, violin in F&M Philharmonia, and piano for the F&M Players. Her exceptional experience at F&M is supported by the Lisa Bonchek Adams ’91 Endowed Scholarship.
Lisa Bonchek Adams ’91 gained international renown for writing about her experience with breast cancer on Facebook, her blog and Twitter. She passed away in March 2015. In 2016, her parents, Dr. Lawrence Bonchek, former chairman of F&M’s Board of Trustees, and Dr. Rita Bonchek, renamed their endowed scholarship—formerly the Rita M. Bonchek, Ph.D., P’91 and Lawrence I. Bonchek, M.D., P’91 Endowed Scholarship—the Lisa Bonchek Adams ’91 Endowed Scholarship, in memory of their late daughter.