Bonner Foundation president to speak at 2010 commencement ceremony
April 1, 2010 By Abby Malik
of The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.
In 2008, Meisel visited the Bonner Scholars at Centre to publicly
announce a $3.55 million endowment that was awarded to the
College to permanently establish its Bonner Scholar Program.
Wayne Meisel, president of The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, will address the audience at Centre College’s 187th commencement ceremony to be held at the College’s Norton Center for the Arts on Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 3 p.m. During the ceremony, Meisel will receive an honorary degree from the College.
“The Bonner Scholars Program on Centre’s campus reinforces the strong culture of service and civic engagement that exists at the College, and we’re honored to have Mr. Meisel speaking to us this spring at Commencement,” says Centre President John Roush. “He has been the intellectual architect of the Bonner Scholars programs across America, and has spent his career championing student involvement in community service and civic engagement – things that are at the core of Centre’s mission. I am confident he will be impressed and inspired by our Commencement Exercises, a day each year in the life of the College that truly honors those young men and women who graduate superbly prepared for their lives of work and service.”
The Bonner Program at Centre College
The mission of the Bonner Foundation is to transform the lives of students, campuses, local communities and the world through service and leadership. Now in its 11th year on campus, Centre's Bonner program currently consists of 33 Leaders and 21 Scholars, chosen through a highly competitive process.
Centre Bonner Scholars perform at least 10 hours of service each week in the local community and partner with community leaders to conduct needs assessments and develop programs to address those needs.
In April 2008, Meisel visited Centre's campus to publicly announce the establishment of a $3.55 million endowment to be awarded to the College to permanently establish its Bonner Scholar Program. Centre was one of only 20 schools in the nation to have its Bonner Scholar Program permanently endowed.
Under the terms of the endowment, Centre is expected to raise $1.1 million in matching funds against the Bonner Foundation's endowment of $2.45 million for a total endowment of $3.55 million. The College must raise the $1.1 million by August 1, 2010.
Following the creation of the endowment, a Bonner Center has been established on Centre’s campus, which is a place for all students to engage in dialogue on issues of social justice, community development and positive action. The Bonner Center will be a hub for campus and community members to come together to plan projects that will have a strong, beneficial impact on the Danville/Boyle County area.
A portion of the endowment will support scholarships for Centre students who are Bonner Scholars, and another portion will support the operations of the program.
The Bonner Foundation was honored as the College's 2009 Centre Associate of the Year in recognition of its contributions to Centre students. Meisel was present to accept the award.
“For the past two decades, the Bonner Foundation has been about the business of transforming the lives of hundreds of students and the culture of campus life at dozens of colleges and universities,” said Richard Trollinger, Centre vice president for college relations, at the recognition ceremony. “Centre is proud to be among the beneficiaries of the Bonner Foundation's philanthropic vision. Our partnership with the Bonner Foundation puts Centre in league with other like-minded colleges and reinforces Centre's mission of educating students for lives of learning, leadership and service,” Trollinger says.
About Wayne Meisel
Meisel graduated cum laude with a B.A. in government from Harvard University. He was a John Harvard Scholar for the highest academic achievement and was awarded a John Finley Travelling Fellow. With this fellowship, Meisel walked from Maine to Washington to champion student and campus involvement in community service.
As founder of the internationally known Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL), Meisel created a platform for students and graduates to lead, sustain and challenge their peers to serve others and bring about positive change.
Working with COOL from 1983 to 1989, he set the tone for youth-run/youth-led organizations. For his activism and leadership, Meisel is the recipient of a Lyndhurst Career Prize, an award given out by the Lyndhurst Foundation of Chattanooga, Tenn.
He has served on the National Boards of Directors of the Independent Sector, COOL and The New Grange School, a nationally acclaimed school for youths with learning disabilities. He was also a founding board member of the President’s Commission on National and Community Service and Teach for America.
He is the author of two books, Building a Movement: Students in Community Service and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: From Student Ideas to Campus Action. He has also edited two books of quotes: Men About Men and Light One Candle.