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Provost Jane McBride Gates featured at President's Club reception

More than 30 President’s Club members, including Western faculty and administrators, gathered at Tarrywile Mansion in Danbury on May 16 for an informal celebration of their partnership in supporting WCSU’s educational mission, highlighted by a rousing and captivating presentation by member, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jane McBride Gates.

The annual President’s Club reception, offering Tarrywile’s cool and elegant refuge from the humid evening outside, presented the first opportunity for many of the donors in attendance to meet Gates, who arrived in July 2011 to assume Western’s top academic administrative post.  As featured speaker, she shared news of academic developments on diverse fronts over the past year including the establishment of the Ed.D in Nursing Education, hiring of two new deans, and renewed emphasis on strategic planning. Attendees expressed warm appreciation for her remarks, and several approached her afterward to express their well wishes.

President’s Club members and other guests enjoyed sparkling wine, Asian-inspired passed hors d’oeuvres and a sushi bar while listening to the stylings of WCSU student jazz guitarists Ted Morcaldi ’12 and Mike Godette ’13. Guests received special parting gifts of china coffee mugs imprinted with selections of original artwork by students in Western’s Master of Fine Arts program.

The President’s Club is the highest level of gift club that the WCSU Foundation acknowledges today. More than 60 members give at least $1,000 annually to the Foundation without restrictions on purpose, meaning that the support is used for the greatest needs in the university as determined by President James W. Schmotter. Unrestricted donations are used for various programs supporting student, faculty and staff development including scholarships, student academic travel, lectureships and visiting professor positions. Such initiatives are essential to sustaining a robust educational environment that fosters academic excellence, offers students relevant and expansive learning opportunities, and nurtures and advances the progress that Western has achieved in recent years as a vital institution of higher learning and a valuable community resource for the region.

In addition to the satisfaction that President’s Club members derive from knowing that they make a significant difference at Western, they enjoy the benefit of attending many complimentary special events at the university. These include dinner/theater evenings, luncheons and dinners with the university president, President’s Box sports events, and pre- and post-lecture meeting s with guest speakers. Club members also receive special opportunities for advance ticket purchases for other campus programs. For more information and membership, please contact Director of Development Jane von Trapp at (203)837-8419 or

Cover photo: Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jane McBride Gates
Above photo: President's Club members Connie and Sandy Kaufman (left) visit with members Jack and Doris Tyransky.

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