James R. and Linda R. Wilson give $1 million to endow new APEX Fellowships

Additional gift of $200,000 will endow upkeep of Scot Center's Wilson Governance Room

3 March, 2014 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio – James R. Wilson, former chairman of The College of Wooster's board of trustees, and his wife, Linda R. Wilson, will give $1 million to endow new APEX Fellowships for Wooster students, and an additional $200,000 to endow the on-going upkeep of the Scot Center's Wilson Governance Room.

APEX is Wooster's integrated program for student academic and career advising, planning, and experiential learning. The Wilson Fellowships will be awarded competitively to support internships, entrepreneurial ventures, and vocational exploration opportunities for Wooster students.

The Wilsons also will give $200,000 to establish an endowment to support the ongoing upkeep of the Wilson Governance Room in the Scot Center. Income from the endowment will fund the replacement or addition of furniture, equipment, lighting and other fixtures, AV and technology needs, in the governance room and the adjoining lobby and catering kitchen.

"The APEX program provides important resources and experiential learning opportunities for Wooster students," Wilson said. "We are pleased to help support this important initiative as well as provide for the long term care and upkeep of the Wilson Governance Room."

"Jim and Linda Wilson have been steadfast supporters of The College of Wooster for more than three decades, and great friends and advisers to me from the moment I became president seven years ago," said Wooster President Grant Cornwell. "Both parts of this generous gift are so characteristic of their deep understanding and love of the college. By endowing new APEX Fellowships, they will provide opportunities for our students to explore and build connections between their academic interests and the professional and career paths they will follow after graduation. Endowing the upkeep of an essential and vital space on campus will enable us to maintain its level of polish and utility in perpetuity."

Jim Wilson graduated from The College of Wooster in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in economics, and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University before embarking on a successful career in financial and international management. He held senior positions with several Fortune 500 companies including serving as chairman and CEO of Cordant Technologies, a major aerospace manufacturer. He retired in 2000. He has been a member of Wooster's board of trustees since 1980, and served as chairman of the board from 2000 to 2009.

The Wilsons endowed the James R. Wilson Chair in Business Economics and the James R. Wilson Fund for Business Economics, both in 2001. They were major donors to the Scot Center, which opened in 2012.

The College of Wooster is America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student's own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.