“I am very pleased that Ken Benne has accepted our offer to serve as the director of The Wittenberg Fund,” said Wittenberg President Mark H. Erickson. “Ken is a passionate alumnus, and his successful track record as a major gifts officer, combined with his extensive knowledge of our alumni and friends make him a natural choice for this important position.”
As the director of The Wittenberg Fund, Benne will oversee numerous fund-raising efforts, including the university’s Senior Circle program, a pledge process for graduating seniors, various programs for Wittenberg parents, a 10-year reunion giving program and the university’s annual Benjamin Prince Day. In addition, Benne will be responsible for creating targeted direct-mail pieces, managing the university’s Phonathon and recruiting volunteers to assist with fund-raising activities.
As a major gifts officer, Benne spearheaded the fund-raising plan for the $1.8 million for athletic facilities, including the Bob Rosencrans Fitness Center at the Athletics Hall of Honor, which opened in August and will be formally dedicated during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, Oct. 28-30.
“Ken has consistently demonstrated his passion for Wittenberg throughout his nearly four decades of service, and I’m confident that he will bring that commitment and energy to The Wittenberg Fund,” said Bill Cloyd, vice president of university advancement and a 1990 alumnus of Wittenberg. “The university wants to create a more inspirational message for The Wittenberg Fund, and Ken is the right person to lead this effort.”
Recipient of the prestigious Class of 1914 award for meritorious service from the Alumni Association in 1991, Benne came to Wittenberg from West Point, Neb., as a student in 1964. Active on campus, Benne went on to earn his master of divinity degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in 1971 followed by a master’s degree in education from the University of Rochester in 1972.
A member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and a four-year letterwinner on the gridiron at Wittenberg, Benne said he is honored to serve Wittenberg in this position.
“I love this place and the people connected with it, and I know how influential it can be in the lives of young people as they prepare for an ever-changing and challenging world,” Benne said.
“’The Wittenberg Fund gives me an opportunity to not only give back to my alma mater, but also to reach out to the extended Wittenberg community of alumni, parents and friends, and ask them to invest in this special place where they can make a real difference in our students’ lives forever.”
Benne succeeds Lehan Peters, Wittenberg class of 2003, who was recently named the director of the Work Plus Center at the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services.
- Karen Gerboth
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