Les Wexler '73
Members of the advancement team seek to strengthen partnerships between alumni, friends and parents in order to benefit our students, today and tomorrow. For the past four years, Director of Leadership Giving Ted Kocher met with Les Wexler '73 at his home in Washington, D.C., or by phone, to understand his wishes for Muhlenberg. As a result of their ongoing discussions, Les agreed to make a large estate gift to the College.
When Les was considering his college options, he only applied to three schools. Unlike today when students can apply to many different colleges at once online, Les' interest in pre-med helped narrow his search to Muhlenberg. He majored in biology and was an active member of the student council, which allowed him to make friends and to learn more about college operations.
Les always knew that he wanted to travel the world and his interest in biology helped him to get hired in the Peace Corps. He spent most of his time in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, and found it to be a very safe and rewarding experience. After spending two years there, he came back to the states and continued to work for the Peace Corps at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., until he became the director of personnel for RONCO Consulting, from where he retired.
It was quite evident to Les that his liberal arts background was extremely helpful to his future success. "Muhlenberg was a great place for me as an undergraduate. Some of my best friends are Muhlenberg grads. Some from my time on campus, and others that I have met while living in D.C.," he says.
"My wife, JoEllen, and I both support our alma maters. She graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). We simply feel that helping these young students afford a great education is a nice way of giving back," he adds.
Les and JoEllen decided to leave more than half of their estate to their respective alma maters. "We don't have children," he says. "You also know the cost today of a quality education. When we were setting up our estate plans with our attorney, it was natural for us to want to help students have the same opportunities we had, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds."
What that means to Muhlenberg is the Leslie Wexler '73 Endowed Scholarship Fund. "As mentioned before, the purpose of this is to help poor students from varied backgrounds attend Muhlenberg to receive an outstanding education. These students can pursue any field of study they wish," he shares.
Les and JoEllen are extremely proud of the legacy that they are leaving behind, and truly hope that other alumni consider leaving a portion of their estates to Muhlenberg as well.
"This isn't only for those without children, but for everyone," reminds Les. "We obviously won't need the money when we are gone and we couldn't think of better places than Muhlenberg and RIT."