Although Ruth Kunkel Bayley ’42 loves to collect miniatures, she and her husband, Robert ’39, recently made a big impression at Wittenberg University, which will transform the university’s athletic facilities for generations of students.
The Bayleys, both of Springfield, have committed $500,000 to improve and update the lobby of the campus’ Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center (HPERC).
“We had a wonderful education at Wittenberg,” Ruth Bayley said. “It’s followed us all our lives.”
“Wittenberg has always been a big presence in Springfield, and it has brought so many people to Springfield,” added Robert Bayley. “We wanted to give to a place that we knew and were confident would use our gift to its advantage.”
As Wittenberg alumni, the Bayleys have consistently remembered their alma mater throughout the years. In 1994, the couple provided the lead gift to renovate the former Phi Kappa Psi fraternity into the Bayley Alumni House, home to Wittenberg’s Office of Advancement. They also created an endowed scholarship, which benefits four to six students annually. More than 33 students have received a Bayley Scholarship since its establishment in 1998.
“We understand and admire the importance of education,” Robert said. “It’s a cumulative thing in that the more people that help, the better it gets.”
Renovation work is already underway on the HPERC lobby, which will energize the area and highlight Wittenberg’s athletic accomplishments both past and present. n