Colby's Oldest Alum

Leonette Warburton Wishard '23
In 1963 Leonette Warburton Wishard '23 traveled to Turkey shortly before she established her first charitable gift annuity at Colby.

Today, almost 50 years later, she is Colby's oldest alum at 107, and she's still receiving a quarterly check from that annuity—as well as from several other charitable gift annuities she has established at Colby over the years.

The year Mrs. Wishard graduated from Colby, the world was a very different place than it is today: Calvin Coolidge became the 30th president of the United States, insulin had just been discovered, and the U.S.S.R. had just been established. But Mrs. Wishard's memories of Colby and her gratitude to the faculty members who prepared her for a successful life are very similar to the feelings of Colby alumni from any other decade.

wishard_webIn 2008, during a regional campaign celebration at the Wee Burn Country Club in Darien, Connecticut, Mrs. Wishard got a chance to chat with President William D. Adams about the state of Colby today.

After the event, Bro received the following note, which she has given us permission to share with you.

Dear President Adams,

The Connecticut Colby gathering was especially eventful for me.

I was glad to meet you personally and have a little talk with you as well as to hear your talk about plans for the future.

The film was very informative about the life of a student today. Many things have changed, but there is a greater reach out into the community of Waterville, and I feel there is still an attempt to keep the warm relationship of students with faculty and provide activities and programs so helpful in life after graduation.

I learned so much from Dean Runnals about dealing with teen-aged girls. Her methods, which I tried to follow, helped me in working with girls in the Philippines, Greece, and Turkey.

Thank you for the delightful surprise gift of the Colby mug and History of Mayflower Hill [Mayflower Hill: A History of Colby College by Earl Smith]. It brings back memories of four wonderful years at Colby.

Sincerely yours, Leonette Warburton Wishard

Mrs. Wishard, who worked with young women around the world as a Baptist missionary, said her support of financial aid is needed to help change the world by creating good citizens of the world through an excellent Colby education. The Leonette Warburton Wishard Financial Aid Fund will support women planning on religious or other community-related work in tomorrow’s world.
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