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$1 Million Gift to Eckerd College from Founding Class Member Grover Wrenn is Largest from an Alumnus

posted on 11/07/2008

Grover Wrenn '64, a member of the founding class of Florida Presbyterian College, now Eckerd College, has given a $1 million gift, the largest from an alumnus. Mr. Wrenn, an 18-year veteran of Eckerd's Board of Trustees, serves as vice chairman of the Board and chairman of the College's $80 million capital campaign.

The $1 million gift is unrestricted, and when matched by the (Miles) Collier Challenge, will total $2 million. Mr. Wrenn's gift comes as Eckerd prepares to announce formally the public phase of the capital campaign on Friday, November 14.

Fall 1960In the fall of 1960, I was one of two students who participated in the inaugural groundbreaking ceremony for this campus," Mr. Wrenn said. "Nearly 50 years later, I am honored to take part in another groundbreaking moment for the College - the largest fundraising campaign in its history. I give to this place because of the caring and nurturing faculty and staff who equipped me with the tools for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service. I give so that future Eckerd students can share in my experience."

Mr. Wrenn was one of 154 founding freshmen who arrived at Florida Presbyterian College in the summer of 1960. As the first chief justice of the students' honor court, he was active in student government, religious life and the school newspaper. He received Eckerd's McArthur Alumni Award in 1991. Over the years, his previous gifts have totaled $1 million.

"Grover is the College's number one alumnus donor," said Donald R. Eastman III, president of Eckerd College. "We are grateful to Grover for demonstrating his dedication to the College through his financial generosity, his Board commitment, and his enthusiasm to lead a fundraising campaign that will help to sustain his alma mater."

Grover Wrenn, 66, has served as a member of Eckerd's Board of Trustees since 1990. He served as chairman from 1995 to 1998 and currently serves as vice chairman. He and his wife, Suzie, were recognized in February 2007 at the Ribbon Cutting and Naming Ceremony of Iota Residential Complex, when one of the complex's four houses was officially dedicated as the Wrenn House.

After attending Florida Presbyterian College for three years, Mr. Wrenn transferred to Clemson University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1964. He earned his Master's degree in Environmental Sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1966.

Mr. Wrenn is a successful entrepreneur who, in 1982, founded Environ Corporation, a leading international consulting firm focused on environmental and human health risks. He is a director and chairman of Axotol Corporation, director and chairman of Strategic Diagnostics, Inc., and a director of Albion Medical Holdings. He is a former director of Safety-Kleen Corporation and served as president and chief operating officer from 2000-2002. He served as a director of EnSys Environmental Products and as president and CEO from 1995-1996. Mr. Wrenn was formerly chair of the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C.

A lifelong Presbyterian, Mr. Wrenn, and his wife, Suzie, were leaders in establishing the new Peace Presbyterian Church in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Both are ordained elders in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). Mrs. Wrenn is former chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, and a magna cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr College. The Wrenns live in Denver, Colorado.

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