This morning it was announced that Les Wexner (Founder and Chairman of The Limited) and his wife Abigail were making a $100 Million Gift to The Ohio State University. President Gordon Gee called it “A Transformative Moment” for the school. If you’re in Development or Advancement or Education or, frankly, reading this blog as a For Impact believer… you ought to read this article for inspiration and motivation.
Some quick WOWs:
• CASH GIFT (“It’s not intended as an Estate Gift. It’s not ‘I hope to leave a large gift and live a long time’. It’s a real gift. It’s real money.”)
• COMBINATION GIFT from them personally ($65 Million) and the Foundation ($35 Million).
• ALUM & BOARD CHAIR, who credits OSU for part of his success.
• “THE DETAILS.” And, one of my favorites lines, came after President Gee said the Wexner’s donation came about so quickly that many ‘details’ are yet to be finalized.
Wexner said simply, “WE CAN FIGURE OUT WHERE IT GOES AT A LATER TIME.”
So much for having perfect plans, perfect proposals, perfect priorities… and ‘specific naming/recognition opportunities’!
Special Note: Wexner did not say one single word about the ‘ECONOMY’! In fact, the only mention in the article was when President Gee talked about this being a “propelling moment in a time of economic uncertainty”.
For the last 25 years, I have been watching Mr. Wexner (and his wife) do amazing things here in Columbus and within the Jewish Diaspora around the world. He’s personally given $500 Million to philanthropic causes, with the majority focused in education!!!
This gift should not only provide huge motivation and inspiration and momentum to the OSU community… but to all of us in the field of philanthropy.