Parents Fund

The Parents Fund is an important part of the overall Wesleyan Fund. A vital source of unrestricted support, it is the vehicle for contributions by parents and other family members to the day-to-day life of students at Wesleyan.

For more information, please contact Meg Zocco, director of parent development, at mzocco@wesleyan.edu or (860) 685-2799.

  • Why is the Parents Fund needed?

    Tuition and fees cover only a portion of Wesleyan’s actual yearly costs per student. Each student is supplemented by a disbursement from our endowment. For the remainder, we rely on grants from foundations and corporations, and gifts from Wesleyan alumni, faculty, staff, students, friends—and parents. Gifts to the Parents Fund are especially valued because they allow Wesleyan the flexibility to direct them to areas of greatest need in a given year.

  • How are Parents Fund contributions used?

    Parents Fund gifts go to work immediately. The largest single funding priority is keeping a Wesleyan education accessible by providing crucially needed financial aid. In addition, every aspect of a Wesleyan education and every place on campus benefits from gifts to the Parents Fund. For example, your contribution helps to support faculty and student research projects, numerous cocurricular activities, lecture series and performances, instruments in the science labs, equipment for Cardinal sports teams, career development workshops and resources, and furniture in the residence halls. Wesleyan students are the greatest and most direct benefactors of gifts to the Parents Fund.

  • What is the gift range?

    Your gift of any size is greatly appreciated. Gifts range from $25 to $25,000 and beyond, with an average family gift to the Parents Fund of $1,900, and a median gift of $100 in 2017. An annual gift of $1,831 (commemorating the year of Wesleyan’s founding), places you in the 1831 Society. All 1831 Society members are invited to a reception celebration each year. We are grateful that Wesleyan is kept among the philanthropic priorities of so many Wesleyan families.

  • What is the Parents Fund goal?

    For fiscal year 2018 (ending on June 30), the goal for the Parents Fund is $1.6 million.  To reach this goal each year, close to 1000 Wesleyan families make gifts of all sizes to the Parents Fund. Parent and family giving is built on a solid and successful tradition over the decades. Parents of undergraduates and of past graduates participate equally in supporting the Parents Fund, with some examples of parents continuing to make gifts twenty-plus years after their student(s) graduated. 

    Parents and families contribute to numerous restricted purposes in addition to supporting the Parents Fund. Last year, the total amount given by parents and families to all purposes was over $3.7 million.  $51 million of the $482 million raised during our This Is Why campaign, which concluded in June 2016, was given by parents and other family members. Truly, Wesleyan would not be the vibrant, innovative and globally conscious place it is without the support of its extended family.