Alumni and Friends Who Are Giving
to the John Plummer Memorial Scholarship
“As a graduate of Wooster in the late 70s and sister of a gay sibling, I am
keenly aware of challenges gay people experience in their public and private
worlds. John Plummer was an outstanding individual, and I applaud his
candor, courage, and contributions to the College. The John Plummer Memorial
Scholarship sustains this legacy and reminds the campus that all people
deserve respect and a learning environment without bias. I hope others will
join me in embracing, advocating, and contributing to make this scholarship
—Joan Blanchard '78
Board of Trustees
“Being gay at Wooster a generation ago was a pretty isolating experience. I was fortunate to have a supportive roommate and a few supportive friends and faculty. Even today, not all students have the crucial network of allies that I had then. In a clear and public way, the Plummer Scholarship would encourage students to understand and accept themselves in a way so few were able, or felt allowed to do, during my time at Wooster.”
—Christopher Henley '79
“One of the reasons I attended Wooster, and continue to support it as an alumna, is the College's commitment to diversity. By offering monetary support to students who promote a welcoming campus for LGBT people, the College will be making a concrete statement of support. Creating an incentive for honoring diversity gives a whole new meaning to ‘pride’ in our alma mater. Please join me in helping to raise the funds for this pioneering scholarship.”
—Jill Gregory '95
“The Plummer Scholarship embodies the spirit of one individual leading by example. Because I was not able to live openly during my college years, it is important for me to help improve LGBT student life at an institution with a checkered past dealing with LGBT issues. I am thrilled to remember and honor John by supporting this scholarship and helping to promote equality at
the College of Wooster.”
—Charles Gall '93
“John Plummer was a friend and inspiration to generations of Wooster students and colleagues. His unflagging dedication to his position in the Business Office was matched by his courage and forth-rightness as a gay man. A scholarship in John's memory will celebrate the values of personal and professional integrity and of diversity to which the College has always aspired.”
—Deborah P. Hilty
Professor of English, Emerita
“This scholarship is a
chance for the College to demonstrate its genuine commitment to its own
stated values: 'Wooster values co-education, diversity in its many forms, a
global perspective, and the heritage arising from its [Presbyterian]
origin.' I'm calling on the College to do something I learned about in
Wooster's creative writing classes: 'show not tell.' "
—Anne Adams '92
These are just a sample of reasons that people in the College of Wooster community are donating to sustain and build the Plummer Memorial Scholarship. Please join them today in making your own contribution.
Dear Supporter of COW and Friend of Equality:
In remembrance of one man and in pursuit of a diverse and inclusive College of Wooster, I write to ask for your contribution to the John Plummer Memorial Scholarship for Promoting a Welcoming Campus for LGBT People.
The passing in summer 2006 of John Plummer was both a sudden loss and a searing reminder of one man's long-term and far-reaching contributions to a community.
Following his own graduation in 1964 and through four decades of painstaking work in the business office at the College of Wooster, John guided hundreds of colleagues through financial procedures and nurtured the development, pride, and integrity of two generations of staff and students. John showed generosity and steadfastness of mind and heart as an openly gay man in a sometimes hostile surrounding. His example endures as a quiet profile in professionalism and courage.
For some in the College and Wayne County communities, John was literally a lifeline. He was also a repository of the distinct and vital history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people on campus and in the area. Like a curator without portfolio, John maintained a network of staff, students, alumni, and current and former local residents that was indispensable to keeping their ties to the College, if little-known to institutional leaders. In the parlance of economics, he added great value. In the language of liberal arts, he made inestimable contributions to the life of the College and the Wooster community.
His loss is thus an occasion of sorrow and a teachable moment. Just as John leaves a legacy of loyalty to the College, the College and his extended circle of friends have an opportunity to honor John's passing by recognizing his unique role as a mentor and advocate for sexual minorities on campus. Even people who did not know John are inspired by his example.
In this spirit, I write to ask your help in sustaining and building at the College of Wooster the John Plummer Memorial Scholarship for Promoting a Welcoming Campus for LGBT People. The scholarship combines individual gifts from private donors, such as yourself. Starting in 2008, it will be conferred on a sophomore, junior, or senior student each year on or about October 11 (National Coming Out Day) based on the recommendation of a small advisory committee. The committee includes representatives of alumni, the board, faculty, administration, and the business office (from which John retired as comptroller in 2002).
The scholarship is open to all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Indeed, non-gay allies play a particularly important role in eradicating stigma and in extending the boundaries of knowledge and respect. The scholarship embraces this understanding. The scholarship will commence awarding the one-time, modest stipend, beginning at about $1,500 a year, to a student starting in October 2008.
Arrangements are in place with the College's development office to establish the scholarship and assist with its administration. While similar scholarships have taken root throughout academe, I am proud to note that Wooster would in some degree be a leader, providing what may be the largest such scholarship at an institution in the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) or the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). The precedent for this scholarship at the College is firm. But the blueprint for it is hardly set in stone, and I welcome your ideas for additional ways in which the scholarship can have positive ripple effects on campus and in the community.
Above all, the success of this scholarship relies on your investment, in every sense of the term. Please consider how much you can contribute to sustain and build the scholarship. Contributions can be made payable to "The College of Wooster" with "Plummer Scholarship" in the memo section. Please send scholarship contributions to my office at Progressive Victory, 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20009. Contributions are tax-deductible, and you will receive acknowledgment of your gift.
And please encourage others you know who may be inclined to donate. If you believe that I, another supporter of the scholarship, or a representative of the College should be in touch with someone who would like to make a gift, please alert me.
I relish the chance to work with you in the weeks and
months ahead to ensure that we continue to sustain and build a lasting
memorial and an ongoing incentive for openness and inclusion in the campus
In unity and solidarity—
Hans Johnson '92
at the College of Wooster
Sarah Gollwitzer '09 receiving
first-ever Plummer Scholarship.
Presented by Hans Johnson.
Plummer Scholarship to Advance
Respect and Inclusion Begins After Surpassing Endowment Goal, January
College Announces Success of Plummer Scholarship
College President Applauds Plummer Scholarship as Part of Campus Diversity Recognition