Clifton R. Wharton Society
Clifton R. Wharton Society recognizes the generosity of donors who make a commitment of at least $2,500,000 to MSU or a qualifying deferred gift of at least $3,750,000. In addition, Wharton Society donors are permanently enshrined in the pillars of Benefactors Plaza.
After a distinguished career in international affairs, Clifton R. Wharton became Michigan State University's fourteenth president in 1970. It was a tumultuous time on campus with numerous student demonstrations as well as fiscal problems resulting from budget cuts, yet his tenure was marked by successful efforts to maintain the quality of MSU's academic programs, his commitment to the education of the economically and educationally disadvantaged, and the integration of the School of Osteopathic Medicine with the other medical schools. Major innovations he implemented included the Presidential Commission on Admissions and Student Body Composition to study future enrollment policies and a Presidential Fellows Program to allow selected students and junior faculty members to gain experience in university administration. The Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, dedicated in 1982, was named in honor of Wharton and his wife Dolores, in recognition of their strong support for the project. Wharton went on to serve as chancellor of the State University of New York, as chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF, and as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton.
MSU recognizes the vitality that donors at the Wharton level bring to the university. It is the intention of MSU that donors at this level are able to communicate on a personal level with the president and other university representatives, and participate in campus activities that range from the most exclusive and personalized to the largest and most spirited. The experience and expertise of donors at this level are highly valued and their thoughts and opinions carefully considered.
Recognition at the Clifton R. Wharton Society level typically includes all gifts received prior to making a pledge at this level and may include company matching contributions. Pledges are fulfilled within one-to-five years. Planned gifts are documented in writing. A planned gift may be combined with cash gifts and pledges to qualify for Wharton Society recognition.
Stewardship of Wharton Society donors will be discussed on a case by case basis. If desired by the donor, a personalized memento commemorating their commitment made to the university will be presented. Recognition may include an article in the donor-focused Developments magazine which will be sent to the donor regularly, a listing in an issue of the MSU Alumni Magazine, and possibly other media coverage, if desired.