Girl power

Women are transforming philanthropy and empowering the next generation.

Dunia Benitez, Marisa McGrady and Julia Gordon
Scholarship recipients Dunia Benitez, Marisa McGrady and Julia Gordon

A 2015 report by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University found that women are more likely than men to give to charity and also are more likely to give higher dollar amounts. As women’s incomes rise, they tend to give more than their male counterparts. Today, women control 60 percent of the wealth in the country (projected to be $23 trillion by 2020) and are involved in 90 percent of household decisions about charitable giving.

For evidence of all that girl power, look no further than the Lynn campus. From funding scholarships and programs to capital gifts and buildings, the generosity of these women impacts Lynn students every day. Female students are taking note.

Christine E. Lynn leads the way, with decades of gifts including our largest project to date, the Christine E. Lynn University Center, now under construction. Dozens of generous, influential women are following her example.

“At Lynn, we see women making major contributions,” said Dr. Lisa Miller, director of annual programs. “They sit on our boards and are proud to see their names on buildings, rooms, donor walls and donor lists.”

In 1996, the number of donations from men at Lynn was double that of women. Today, it’s nearly 50-50. Women, the study found, tend to be motivated by emotional connection.

“Our female donors like to hear the stories of our students who are on scholarship,” said Miller, whose doctoral research focused on gender differences in giving. “In the Conservatory of Music, many donors almost feel like the students are part of their families. They follow them on Facebook to keep up with their careers and cry when they graduate.”

For Mrs. Lynn, the emotional bond to the campus that bears her name is undeniable, and she is delighted to see so many women—especially her friends—make a similar connection.

“I am truly touched by their generosity,” she said. “I don’t expect anything from my friends, but they are definitely making a significant difference in the lives of so many students at Lynn.”

Students in the Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library
The Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library bustles at all hours, with bright minds researching, collaborating and connecting with friends. Lead donor: Christine E. Lynn

And it is students who matter most, she said, not only as the beneficiaries but also as the donors of tomorrow.

“I do hope my generosity inspires the next generation,” she said. “Philanthropy plays an important role in our society, and can bring about positive changes for so many people.”

Conservatory student Dunia Andreu Benitez, who comes to Lynn from Cuba, said women donors inspire the young women enrolled at Lynn.

“I am truly thankful for all those who give donations to the school,” she said. “Not just for me, but also for all of my friends. Being on scholarship helps us realize the importance of helping others.”

Dunia said her scholarship opens a new world to her, unimaginable in her home country. “I was raised in a totally different system. Coming to Lynn is the only way I could pursue a better future for myself. It means opportunity.”

Julia Gordon’s parents started saving money for college when she was a baby. Even so, the junior from Ohio said her mom and dad were thrilled when she was named recipient of the Wayser Scholarship, which helps her pay for tutoring at the Institute for Achievement and Learning. “It’s really allowed me to stay at Lynn and to succeed here,” she said.

For Marisa McGrady, a sophomore from South Carolina, the Presidential Scholarship has lifted a financial burden from her single mom.

“The scholarship means everything to me,” she said. “Without it, I wouldn’t be here. To donors, I say thank you for making higher education possible for me and others like me.”

The Perper Residence Hall
Stylish and centrally located, the Mary and Harold Perper Residence Hall is the hot new address on campus. Lead donor: Mary Ann Perper

Wonder women of Lynn

Here are some of our powerhouse women donors, with a few of their favorite projects.

Christine E. Lynn

Lynn University, Christine E. Lynn University Center, Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library, residence halls, scholarships

Elaine Wold

Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center, Wold Scholarship, Wold Building Endowment, University Center

Mary Perper

Mary and Harold Perper Residence Hall, intramural field, coffee shop

Barbara Gutin

University Center Living Room

Patricia Toppel

Toppel Studios, Toppel Endowed Scholarship

Barbara Schmidt

University Center Campus Store, Wold, Green Center

Jayne Malfitano and Laura Sylvester

Sylvester Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship, Sylvester Center

Yvonne Boice

Boice Scholarship, Yvonne S. Boice Circle of Flags, box office

Jamie Snyder

Snyder Idea Lab, Snyder Sanctuary

Kathy Assaf

Assaf Academic Center

Helen Ross

Pine Tree Camps, Landgren Chapel

Anne Green

Louis and Anne Green Center

Debbie Lindstrom

Front entrance

Barbara Gerrits

Robino Golf Classic, University Center, Bobby Campbell Stadium

Linda Sandelman

Sandelman Endowed Scholarship, commencement award

Marlene Goldstein

Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall, Indimi Business Center classroom

Marilyn Swillinger

Indimi Business Center, Wold office, conservatory studio

Holli Rockwell Trubinsky

Wold, Rockwell Endowed Scholarship, theatre arts

Mary Anna Fowler

Wold, theatre arts, conservatory, scholarships, immediate needs

Janice Middlebrook

University Center, Wold, scholarships, conservatory

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