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Olin Associates

Established in 1989, the Olin Associates society recognizes and honors generous alumni and friends who have made a commitment to the future of Wesleyan University through their financial and estate plans. Its members have made provisions for Wesleyan in their wills, through life income gifts, or through other kinds of deferred gifts.

A Tradition of Giving

Olin Associates owes its name to one of Wesleyan’s most honored trustees, Stephen H. Olin, who with his wife, Emeline H. Olin, nurtured the growth of the University into a leading institution. Olin Library, an architectural gem and wellspring of the University’s intellectual life, was constructed largely with funds derived from an annuity agreement the Olins made with the institution in 1924.

Stephen Henry Olin’s benefactions stemmed from a lifetime association with Wesleyan. Born on the campus in 1847 during his father, Stephen’s, Wesleyan presidency, he graduated in the Class of 1866 and became a successful copyright law attorney in New York City. During his lifetime, Olin dedicated 45 years of service as a trustee to the University, assuming the post of acting president for the 1922-23 academic year.

Following her husband’s death in 1925, Emeline Harriman Olin demonstrated her lively ongoing concern for the University. Residing in the brick house next to Eclectic, she took a deep interest in the construction of the new library, later endowing maintenance of the building with a major gift. Wesleyan awarded her an honorary degree in 1931.

The Olin Associates society has taken as its emblem the scallop shell found on the coat-of-arms of John Wesley and on the official shield of the University. Used in heraldry to signify long journeys to far countries, the scallop shell is a symbolic link to the tradition of social service for which Wesleyan is well known. The much-traveled Wesley started a religious movement in 18th century Britain that stimulated a wide range of social reform movements, reaching full flower in the 19th century. Wesleyan University was founded in 1831 as an enterprise to educate youth for “the good of the world,” a goal that endures today.

How to Join

If you have already planned a deferred gift for Wesleyan, you will automatically become an Olin Associate by contacting us and letting us know of your commitment to the University. The information you provide will remain confidential, and will enable the University to honor your generosity with proper recognition and credit.

The following types of commitments, confirmed in writing and subject to certain restrictions, qualify you for membership in the Olin Associates:

Privileges of Membership

Olin Associate members enjoy the tremendous satisfaction of knowing that their support will play an important role in the future growth and success of the University and in helping students and faculty whose lives they touch. In addition, Olin Associates are accorded the following benefits:

  • Membership pin bearing the insignia of the Olin Associates
  • Invitation to special on-campus events at Homecoming and Reunion
  • Latest information available on financial and estate planning

In addition to these expressions of gratitude, we hope you will allow us to recognize you as a member of the Olin Associates in certain publications. Your commitment to Wesleyan in this encourages others to join in this important effort.

To receive proper recognition and credit for your generosity as members of the Olin Associates, please provide the University with documentation of your commitment, including purpose and amount, if possible.

The material presented on this Planned Giving website is not offered as legal or tax advice.
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