Both our donors and the beneficiaries of their generosity have inspiring stories to share. Read their stories below:
Inspiring Stories of Giving
For Janet O’Leary ’84, who always loved math and science, engineering and WPI were a natural fit. One of six children in a family with limited financial resources, O’Leary needed significant financial aid to supplement her and her parents’ contributions to her education.
Sam Tetlow ‘93 was attracted to the flexibility of WPI’s academic program, as well as the university’s overarching mission of harnessing the power of engineering, science, and technology for the good of society.
Jean (Salek) Camp ’84, a New Jersey native, originally had big dreams of becoming an artist, but an introduction to engineering by a guidance counselor turned the idea on its head.
Winthrop “Win” Wassenar ’59 grew up in an average “blue collar” town in Central Massachusetts. Both parents grew up on farms and his dad drove a bakery delivery truck six days a week.
A lifelong collector of Charles Dickens manuscripts and material and an expert in his own right, Daniel Ryan was nonetheless puzzled by his newest treasure.
In 1964, George Crompton Gordon made arrangements with WPI President Harry Purnell Storke for a bequest to his beloved alma mater.
Roger Massey ’62 was looking for a way to secure an additional income stream to supplement his fixed income after retirement. The Charitable Gift Annuity gave him a tax deduction as well as guaranteed income for life.
J. Richard Weiss '42 was a dedicated and generous alumnus. Dorothy, his wife, continued his philanthropic legacy through planned giving.
Karen and Frank Verprauskus ’61 have been Alden Society members since 2013, when they established their first gift annuity with WPI. Recently, the Verprauskuses were able to deepen their commitment to WPI while gaining tax benefits and income for life through a planned gift.
As a firm believer that engineering involves the practical implementation of science, it’s not hard to understand how Wayne Ponik ended up with such a distinguished career at Teradyne, the world’s largest supplier of automatic electronics and telecommunication test equipment.
Chue-San Yoo entered WPI in 1983 with little money and lots of anxiety. But a reassuring word from the then department head and chemical engineering professor Yi Hua (Ed) Ma helped forge the course of his academic—and, ultimately, professional—career.
Lawrence D’Addario ’90 has fond memories of WPI and remains friends with a group of fellow students he met as a freshmen.
Bernie Meister ‘62 knows the value of giving back. He is a longtime supporter of his alma mater through the WPI Fund. He has made WPI a beneficiary of his IRA and has created a student scholarship during his lifetime.
James Alfieri ’59 remembers himself at WPI as an “average student, from modest means, who loved to have a good time.”
Joaquim “Joe” Ribeiro ’58 began his philanthropic legacy at WPI in 1965, and from that point on he and his wife Sarah have continued to support WPI in meaningful and impactful ways.