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Eckerd College Trustee Grover C. Wrenn '64 Receives National Volunteer of the Year Award

posted on 02/15/2010

Grover C. Wrenn '64, a successful entrepreneur and Vice Chairman of the Eckerd College Board of Trustees, is the recipient of the Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award, an honor bestowed by CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education). This award recognizes volunteers who assist in advancing the institution through fund-raising, alumni relations, and student recruitment, as well as the long-term effect of their overall volunteer contributions on the institution and education.

CASE District III advances and supports educational and professional institutions in the southeastern United States. Mr. Wrenn will be recognized at the CASE District III Conference to be held in Tampa, Florida at the end of this month.

From his time as a student at then Florida Presbyterian College (FPC) to his current role as the Many Experiences, One Spirit Campaign Chairman, Grover Wrenn has been committed fully to the advancement of Eckerd College.

Perhaps most atypical about this alumnus is that he did not earn his degree from Eckerd. As a member of the founding class of FPC,he was one of two students who participated - with shovel in hand - in the inaugural groundbreaking of the FPC campus in the fall of 1960. Grover majored in chemistry, was the first chief justice of the honor court, participated in religious life, and wrote for the school newspaper. Though he ultimately earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson University, he considers Eckerd College his alma mater and primary philanthropic priority.

In a letter of support for Grover's CASE award nomination, fellow Trustee and alumnus of the College Ian Johnson '89 wrote, "Grover Wrenn is the embodiment of the ideal alumnus. When he speaks about his experiences at the College, and the faculty and administration who challenged him during those pivotal years of his life, he often chokes up and his eyes start to glimmer with tears of joy as if it happened just last week and not almost 50 years ago! He wants others to experience these moments; to be given the opportunity to reflect on the impact that Eckerd had on us and to make sure we do our best to provide these wonderful experiences to the next generation of students."

In addition to being Eckerd's top alumni donor, Grover has been engaged fully in alumni participation over the years: he has issued several challenges to his fellow alumni, pledging to match their gifts to the Annual Fund; he has authored thousands of solicitation letters that have been sent to his peers, parents of students, and friends of the College; and he has personally solicited major gifts or has accompanied the Vice President for Advancement on solicitation visits.

In 2005, Grover was named the Chairman of the College's current campaign. "With his leadership, counsel and hard work, the College has tallied gifts and pledges in excess of $70 million for our $80 million Campaign," said Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College. "As we pursue the remaining funds necessary to surpass our goal before June 30, 2011, Grover will continue to play a critical role."

Mr. Wrenn has been on Eckerd's Board of Trustees since 1990, was Chairman of the Board from 1995 to 1998, and has served as Vice Chairman since 2000. In 1991, he received the McArthur Alumni Award, established by the Board of Trustees, for his outstanding career achievement and his service to Eckerd, the Presbyterian Church and his community.

In 2007, he and his wife, Suzie Wrenn, were recognized for their gifts to the College in a ribbon cutting and naming ceremony of the Wrenn House in the Iota Complex dorm. As further testament to his volunteerism, the annual oustanding alumni service award was recently renamed The Grover Wrenn '64 Triton Service Award.

In a November 2008 interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Grover shared, "Besides my parents, probably nothing has had a greater impact on my life as the time I spent at Florida Presbyterian College."

Grover Wrenn's volunteer and donor efforts have had a major impact on the history and success of Florida Presbyterian/Eckerd College. The College congratulates him on the receipt of the CASE Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award and is grateful for all that he continues to do for his alma mater.

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