J. Joseph And Jill H. Tanner, Parents '16, '19: A Return on Your Investment

JTanneroe and Jill Tanner, neither of whom attended DePauw, began giving to the University when their son, Mitch ’16, was a freshman. 

“We both feel very strongly about supporting education, and we look at it as our responsibility to help support some of the great things DePauw is trying to achieve. We want our children to have the best education, and DePauw can’t do it on tuition alone,” Jill says.

Now they are co-vice presidents of the DePauw Parents Council, and their son, Jake, is a freshman this fall. In addition, several other members of their family have graduated from DePauw.

The Tanners, who are both attorneys and active community volunteers in Zionsville, Ind., are big believers in liberal arts education. “In an ever-changing and quickly changing world, young people need to be able to adapt, and a liberal arts education gives them the platform to do that. However, real-world experience is needed, too,” Joe says. 

That’s why they feel internships are important to help students prepare for their lives and careers after college. Through their involvement with the Parents Council, the Tanners particularly have seen the value of the work the Kathryn F. Hubbard Center for Student Engagement does to provide internship opportunities for DePauw students. 

While they continue to make annual gifts to the University, the Tanners also made a pledge toward the Cornelsen Challenge, which provides internship support for the Hubbard Center for Student Engagement. The Tanners’ gift helps support career preparation experiences and programs, and helps students develop the skills necessary for their life’s work.

Their gift is matched through the Cornelsen Challenge, so it’s a way to double the value of their gift.

“If people give to DePauw, they will see a return on their investment,” Joe says. “I ask folks to take a close look at the plan the president, board of trustees and administration have laid out for the University. Once you understand what they are accomplishing, it’s easy to give.”

The Cornelsen Challenge supports internships, especially first and early internships, for students. Such internships are often unfunded, or the pay is too modest to make it feasible for students to accept them, so the challenge provides supplemental income for internships that are critical to students’ path toward success. 


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