Carleton Class of 1970 sets new record for 50th reunion giving

The Carleton Class of 1970 announced the largest 50th Reunion class gift in the history of the college, contributing $64.2 million.

22 June 2020 Posted In:
Class of 1970 Commencement
Class of 1970 CommencementPhoto:

Members of the Carleton Class of 1970 have joined together in giving, and have announced the largest 50th Reunion class gift in the history of the college, contributing $64.2 million on the occasion of their milestone anniversary. Carleton’s Class of 1962 set the previous record at their 50th Reunion in 2012 with a gift of $30 million.

The gift, announced Saturday, June 20, 2020, will have a broad-reaching impact on Carleton today and for years to come. A portion of the class gift will establish The Class of 1970 Endowed Internship Fund, supporting more than a dozen internships each year and equalizing opportunities for students to benefit fully from their Carleton experience. The Class of 1970 Internship was amplified by the 2020 Internship Match, a program funded by Bill Buffett ’55 and Susan Kennedy and Barbara Weitz ’70 and Wally Weitz ’70 and their family, matching dollar-for-dollar $550,000 in gifts from classmates.

70 logo for 20211970’s 50th Reunion gift also includes gifts from individuals to provide endowed and immediate funding for scholarships, faculty and curricular support, funding for the Carleton Arboretum and other initiatives, as well as unrestricted support to the Alumni Annual Fund, reflecting the Class of 1970’s long-standing commitment to supporting the college’s most pressing needs.

The class gift includes a $50 million gift from Barbara Weitz ’70 and Wally Weitz ’70 and their family that was announced in October 2018 at the launch of the College’s Every Carl for Carleton campaign, which coincided with the Class of 1970’s 50th Reunion kickoff. “Barb and Wally’s exceptional generosity inspired us,” says 1970 gift co-chair Jean Thomson. “From that moment on, we set out to ensure that they were in good company … we wanted to find a way that every classmate could make a difference in their own way for Carleton.”

The class set their sights on breaking another record – membership in the Joseph Lee Heywood Society, which recognizes those who have made a planned gift to the college. “The great thing about the Heywood Society is that anyone can join,” says Tim Preheim, 1970 gift co-chair. The class surpassed its original goal of 80, and membership now stands at 83, more than any other class at Carleton. Approximately $10 million of 1970’s class gift will come to Carleton in the future through planned gifts.

“I have immense gratitude to the Class of 1970 for their clear vision in how philanthropy makes Carleton stronger now and in the future,” stated Carleton President Steven G. Poskanzer. “The impact the class is collectively making is transformational and awe-inspiring to our whole community.” 

“For a class that was not necessarily unified 50 years ago, we now see how much we have in common. The circumstances of the era didn’t allow us as students to always recognize our similarities,” says 1970 gift co-chair John Gendler. Through their combined efforts, the Class of 1970 is making a difference in the lives of the next generation of Carls.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 1970’s 50th reunion was held virtually this year. The class is expected to be back on campus in the summer of 2021 for an in-person reunion, as conditions permit.