Franklin & Marshall students will enjoy an increased number of community-service opportunities and those in Ware College House a wider array of programming to enhance their student experience, thanks to a $2.6 million gift from trustee emeritus Paul W. Ware ’72 and his wife, Judy P’99.
The largest portion of the gift, announced in April, will establish an endowed directorship for the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, designed to support the compensation of an experienced, top-notch leader for the Institute to oversee its strategic impact. It was established in 2000 by the Wares’ lead gift and connects F&M students with the larger world through civic engagement, fostering students’ sense of responsibility to the community and instilling the knowledge of what it means to give back.
“Over the years, there have been ongoing discussions about what kind of person should lead the Ware Institute,” Paul Ware said. “We’ve had tenured professors; we’ve had experienced, full-time staff members. We wanted to allow the College more flexibility in choosing the right leader to meet current challenges and embrace new opportunities to help students connect their education with civic service opportunities. I come from a family that was committed to giving back to the community with time, talent and treasure, and I firmly believe that community dialogue and civic service are important ways to complement and enhance classroom learning.
The gift also establishes the Ware College House Programs Endowed Fund, which will be used annually by the leadership of the House to create diverse student programming. Originally known as North Benjamin Franklin Residence Hall, the building was renamed in 2006 because of the Wares’ financial support of the introduction of the College House system. The Wares’ current gift also includes a significant commitment in support of the Franklin & Marshall Fund, providing unrestricted funding to be used where most needed.
“The development of the College House system was important for Franklin & Marshall,” Ware said. “In my time as a student, most affinity groups were athletic teams and fraternities. Those simply did not reach all students. Today’s College Houses not only provide additional educational and civic service programs, but they also instill a sense of belonging with bonds that last long after graduation.”
The Wares’ gift to the successful Now to Next campaign is just the latest in a long history of support to the College. In addition to their gifts for Ware College House and the Ware Center for Civic Engagement and their ongoing support of both endowed scholarships and unrestricted funds, the Wares have supported multiple campus capital projects, including the Ann & Richard Barshinger Life Sciences and Philosophy Building; the Patricia E. Harris Center for Business, Government and Public Policy; the Roschel Performing Arts Center; and the William J. Iannicelli ’48 Track.
Paul Ware said that both the Ware Institute and the College House system give students opportunities to use their F&M education in different ways. “I understand that today’s students are graduating into a world filled with uncertainty,” he said. “But I also graduated into a world of uncertainty. One semester of my senior year was cut short and all grades were made pass/fail because of tensions both on campus and off. It was a time of protests about the Vietnam War, the shootings at Kent State, racial tensions in many cities, among many other stresses. My graduating class certainly did not walk a straight path to success and the way forward was not always clear. But I’ve come to realize that very few people pursue a straight path to success. That success usually relies on your ability to use your liberal learning and your critical thinking to adapt, innovate, create and be flexible. We hope our gifts enable F&M students to show those qualities outside the classroom.”
Paul Ware, the retired chairman of Penn Fuel Gas Inc., received a degree in special studies, including business and humanities, at F&M and was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2010. The Wares’ philanthropy is evident throughout the Susquehanna Valley. In addition to F&M, their gifts have supported Elizabethtown College, where Judy graduated, Millersville University’s Ware Center in downtown Lancaster, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and the Boy Scouts of America. Their leadership was crucial to Lancaster hosting the Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts for the first time in 2017.
“The evidence of Paul and Judy’s longstanding generosity is everywhere on our campus and across our community,” said Franklin & Marshall President Barbara K. Altmann. “Their support for F&M students over many decades is truly inspirational. This latest gift opens new opportunities for our students to make connections across disciplines, in College House programs, and through increased engagement with the larger community. The world needs Diplomats, and we are committed to launching future generations into lives of both meaning and success. They will become the leaders our world needs. Supporters like the Wares are crucial to that effort.”
"I’ve come to realize that very few people pursue a straight path to success. That success usually relies on your ability to use your liberal learning and your critical thinking to adapt, innovate, create and be flexible."