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"Why I Give"


Shelly Hendricks '99

In the years since I graduated from McPherson College, I’ve grown to better appreciate the values of the college and the Church of the Brethren.   McPherson College developed a strong foundation in me for working for social justice and living simply.  I give to McPherson College because I believe in these values and want others to receive a similar foundation as they work for positive for our world.


Ralph Dickerson '73 Road manager for the band Earth, Wind & Fire

I give back! I was able to go to McPherson College because someone gave. I am paying it forward!


John Andes '35

Why did Elrae and I choose to give to McPherson College over the years? Attending and graduating from McPherson College was an intimate and rewarding experience during difficult years in the Great Depression.  What we learned there became part of the foundation for meaningful lives.


Paul & Mary Wagoner

wagoner familyMcPherson College, for us, is family. In 1937 Mary's family moved from Indiana when her father, Dr. Burton Metzler, was employed as professor of philosophy & religion, a position he served in for nearly 30 years. In 1945, we both enrolled at McPherson, met, dated, then married and graduated in 1949. After being away for six years, we returned in 1955 when Paul became employed at the college and served 37 years in a variety of positions. Five of our children, and some spouses, have either attended or graduated from McPherson College. Our five siblings and spouses have either attended or graduated from McPherson. Nieces and nephews, and some spouses, have either attended or graduated.

Thus, we have a significant association and investment in McPherson−financial, emotional and spiritual. We give to McPherson College because it is family. We further give because we believe it has a vital and purposeful mission in private higher education. Finally, we believe the current administration, faculty and staff are dedicated to effective leadership in continuing McPherson's unique role as a church−related institution.


Tracy Ikenberry '79    

ikenberryThe question of why I give to McPherson College required a bit of pondering. Living almost 1600 miles from McPherson, it would certainly be easier to relegate Mac to a distant corner of my mind, since casual trips to catch a basketball game just don't happen and MC references in my local paper are non-existent. But it didn't take too long to realize that the main reason I give is a sense of appreciation, both for the time I spent at McPherson and for benefits that have continued long beyond my time there.

Perhaps foremost in my appreciation is the education I received; a science education from highly experienced professors dedicated to undergraduate teaching that allowed me to compete equally in graduate school. And for most science graduates, the concept of a liberal arts education is completely foreign. The reading and writing requirements laid down by professors like Stump, Lengel, and Flory helped hone my ability to read and write, and are some of the benefits for which I am most appreciative.

There are many other things about Mac for which I am appreciative of course-- lifelong friends whom I see every half-decade or so, but fast friends still; the great fun of playing tennis there, and the satisfaction of seeing tennis once again become a varsity sport; and McPherson connections that I had no idea existed while I was an undergraduate but have since become important both personally and professionally. One of these connections, Dr. Craig Little '70, and I take great tongue-in-cheek satisfaction at being the only health physicists in the known universe who are McPherson College graduates.

I'm afraid I must mention pride, even though it is one of the seven deadly sins. I am proud of the accomplishments of my classmates and other graduates. I am proud of the campus and academic programs that are developing there. I am proud of the accomplishments of the McPherson College sports teams. We MC friends and graduates are a small community, and through our shared experience we can all share in the achievements of one another.

Finally, the sense of optimism and progress that permeates the college these days is extremely encouraging to me and an excellent reason for future giving. "Vibrant" is how I describe the atmosphere during my last half-decade trip there for Homecoming. I gain a great sense of accomplishment by giving and helping a deserving young person enter this environment and start on the road to life-long success and service.


Gina, Shawn, Parker and Cooper McGowan

mcgowan familyIn the past... McPherson College has always been an important part of our lives. We met there, our parents met there, and we have many life long friendships that we developed while attending Mac. We were involved in sports, extra curricular activities, student government, choir, and other activities within our major fields, and have fond memories of them all.

Presently, I serve on the Alumni Board of Directors. Serving in this capacity is a great way to stay connected and know what's happening at Mac College. There is such excitement on campus right now! We also feel connected by participating in activities such as Homecoming, alumni weekend, the recent presidential inauguration, and the Pat Noyes Golf Experience. Having graduated in 1997, it's fun to come "home" to a college with so many familiar faces. Many of our classmates are coaches, professors, and even the president of the college.

Looking forward to the future, our children have so much fun at McPherson College alumni events, such as the water park, picnic, and zoo days, and especially enjoy going to the "Bulldog College" to jump on the inflatables at Homecoming. What a great way for them to learn about and know the college.

As I type this, our six-year old, Parker, is looking through an old Review that I had out to read about "why others gave." He is looking through the pages of donors and asking what year he can find our names, Grandma and Papa's names, and aunts and uncles names. He understands how important the school is to all of us, and often asks while visiting campus where we all went to classes and lived and about all of the activities we were involved in. Even his first grade teacher this year went to Mac College. A few weeks ago we were back and enjoyed ice cream in the student union with some of our fellow classmates and their children. What wonderful memories my boys will have of McPherson College as young children.

These are a few of the reasons that we give to McPherson College−our fond memories, the fun we're having at events today, and knowing that, should they choose, things will be just as great for our fifth generation Mac College children and others in the classes of 2025 and 2030!

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