Jean Wilson: Strengthening the college for decades to come

Wilson_JeanTrustee Jean Wilson ’81 and John Roberts P’05, P’13 have chosen to support The Bates Campaign by pledging $250,000 to endow an unrestricted fund that provides flexible resources for the college’s most pressing needs.

For Wilson and Roberts, the decision to endow an unrestricted fund — allowing Bates to choose how to best use their gift — was strategic.

“We are committed to helping Bates achieve its goals, which have been thoughtfully identified in its Institutional Plan,” says Wilson. “We intentionally gave an unrestricted gift to allow the college discretion in funding the priorities it deems most important. In whatever the college chooses, we know Bates students will be well supported as they grow, intellectually and socially.”

“Unrestricted endowment gifts provide the college the ability to fund strategic priorities and strengthen the college for decades to come,” said Geoffrey Swift, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer. “Jean and John’s foresight and generosity will impact all aspects of the Bates experience. We are deeply grateful.”

Wilson says their generosity was inspired by her own growth at Bates and that of her daughters, Tina Pruyn ’13 and Alison Roberts ’05.

“Bates truly succeeds in educating the whole person, says Wilson, who is chief information officer at L.L. Bean. “Bates gave us a great foundation for our lives ahead.”

At Bates, a formative experience for Wilson was being mentored by the late Marcy Plavin as a member of the Modern Dance Company. “Bates was a safe environment to take on challenges and try new things — something that has carried on throughout my life,” Wilson says. “It’s a priority for us to give back to Bates and be sure it is well equipped to continue to be a vibrant liberal arts college for future generations of students.”