New society honors Bill Breeze—and years of consecutive giving
June 3, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
supporter of the College Bill Breeze, is the College’s newest gift
club. Breeze has given to Centre for 49 consecutive years.
Breeze (pictured here in his office, which overlooks the residence
hall where he lived as a Centre student) has served the College in
numerous roles: from student to board of trustees member to
president of the alumni association to acting president.
Breeze House, home to Centre’s communications office, DPS
offices and Centre Document Services, is also named for Bill Breeze.
Centre College’s newest gift club is no ordinary society. Recognizing one of Centre’s most beloved alumni and one of the College’s most loyal donors, the club has been named the Bill Breeze Society.
Bill Breeze, Centre College Class of 1945, currently serves as Centre’s special assistant to the president for endowment. Over the years, he has held numerous positions at the College, serving as a member of the board of trustees, president of the alumni association and acting president of the College.
And he has given to the College for 49 consecutive years.
The Bill Breeze Society will honor alumni, parents and friends of the College who have made at least two consecutive gifts to Centre, including gifts made in the current fiscal year. And with less than a month until the end of the 2010 fiscal year, alumni and friends are reminded that no gift goes unnoticed.
Especially important are gifts to the Centre Fund, which allows the College to provide exceptional education to its students. It not only provides funding for student scholarships but supports opportunities for research, music, athletics, service and leadership.
“The Centre Fund gives the College the capacity to provide a world-class education combined with a unique student experience,” says director of annual giving Jacky Thomas ’02. “Our students are our highest priority, and the Centre Fund helps us to create extraordinary opportunities for them.”
To encourage Centre alumni and friends to contribute to this year’s Centre Fund, an anonymous donor recently issued a “Second Mile Challenge.” Inspired by the response of alumni to the “One Million Reasons to Give” challenge (in which 2,713 alumni made new or increased gifts and raised $250,000 for the Centre Fund; in return, the donor gave $750,000), the donor has now agreed to match every gift two-to-one, regardless of the gift’s size.
“We’re optimistic that this challenge will create the same kind of generous response from alumni that we saw to the first challenge,” says Shawn Lyons ’81, associate vice president for development and alumni affairs. “The challenge means that a $100 gift that would have provided financial aid to a worthy student or helped build the library collection or helped a student study overseas will now have a $300 impact. Meeting the challenge is important, but what’s really important is that by meeting the challenge, our alumni are going to be helping transform the lives of our students.”
Centre’s alumni office—as well as countless alumni themselves—hopes that this will be the year that Centre regains the title as No. 1 in the nation for alumni giving. The College last held the title in 2004, when Centre received 5,686 alumni gifts to give it the nation's highest annual-giving percentage at 63.4.