Cards Deal URI Winning Hand
Wesley ’70 and Dianne Card ’69 have been leading members of the University community for many years: they co-chaired the annual giving campaign and the Alumni Winter Gala and generously supported the Ballentine Hall renovation project and the Vangermeersch Endowed Professorship. Wes served on the College of Business Administration Advisory Council.
Now the Cards have dealt the University another winning hand.
The couple has pledged $500,000 to the Making a Difference campaign, half as an outright gift over 5 years and half in the form of a bequest through their estate. They have designated that the funds be allocated in equal parts: 1) to the Fund for URI (formerly the Annual Fund) and 2) to establish an unrestricted endowment to be used by the president of the University.
“Dianne and I are native Rhode Islanders and have benefited greatly from the education we were provided at URI,” said Wes, president and CEO of Jones Apparel Group in New York. “We believe it is important to support our alma mater and its mission so that others may have the same advantages and opportunities that we were granted. The new capital campaign is critical to the University’s future, and we are pleased to be able to assume a leadership role at this time.”
Wes, who met Dianne on a blind date at URI, received an alumni scholarship in his senior year, which was part of the reason the couple has been such generous supporters over the years. But rather than restrict their campaign donation to a particular purpose, the Cards sought to allow the University to decide how the funds should be spent.
“Our feeling is that the administration has a keen understanding of the needs of the University, its students, and the faculty, and that unrestricted funds allow them the flexibility to use their resources in the most effective manner over time,” Wes said.
“Wes and Dianne have a strong interest in unrestricted giving. While it’s not a route taken by many major donors, it is critical to the operation of the University. Their on-going support for our annual giving program, and now for an endowment to support annual University priorities, is of immense benefit in helping us address current but changing needs,” said Robert Beagle, vice president for University Advancement. “The Cards exemplify that philanthropy means many things—in their case, they are generous donors who also provide outstanding volunteer leadership.”
—By Todd McLeish