High school sweethearts who attended Monroe Community College together and rose to the top of the business world returned to MCC Monday to announce a $4 million gift to lead the college’s fundraising campaign for student scholarships.
The gift is the largest in the history of the community college. Further, MCC Foundation’s $50 million “Every Bright Future Needs a Strong Foundation” campaign was described as one of the largest for a community college. The campaign began in 2010 and has raised $39.5 million so far.
Robin and Timothy Wentworth graduated from MCC in 1980 with associate degrees in, respectively, music and business administration. Today they live in St. Louis, and Timothy Wentworth is CEO of Express Scripts, a Fortune 100 company. The company is the largest pharmacy benefits management company in the United States and listed as the 25th largest company overall.
MCC Foundation announced that the college’s Building 4, which houses a theater, will be renamed the Robin and Timothy Wentworth Arts Building.
The announcement was made in an atrium attached to the arts building, and the audience included students wearing “Thanks for my bright future” T-shirts signifying they had received scholarship help to attend the school, just as Tim Wentworth did 40 years ago.
Wentworth said he was not a standout student in high school and no one in his family had attended college. But he got a boost from then-girlfriend, Robin, to go to college with her and the deal was sealed when he opened a letter from MCC telling him he had won a scholarship funded by Eastman Kodak Co.
“I came here and it changed everything,” he said Monday. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
The Wentworths gave the music department a Steinway piano in 2009 and have funded full scholarships for 40 student scholarships a year. Their new gift will increase that to 100 music and business students a year. The couple has also provided significant gifts to the University of Rochester, where two of their three children attended college.
Tim Wentworth said he was inspired by MCC President Anne Kress’ assertion that a college scholarship can make a big impact on a family’s trajectory. “This path is an important path,” Wentworth said.
As an example, 2014 MCC graduate Adrian I. Hale spoke at the announcement about the academic start he got at MCC when attending on a Rosalie Cornell scholarship. Hale said he grew up in the impoverished section of Rochester known as “The Crescent” and neither of his parents completed high school, but they gave him the gift of early literacy and numeracy.
“MCC allowed me to find my purpose,” Hale said. While a student he was mentored by Robert Duffy, the former city mayor and police chief who now heads the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. He went on to get a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University, spending his school breaks as an intern for Duffy; he has worked full time for the chamber since 2017.
Hale called the scholarships campaign “a coalescing of support and commitment” and said that its effect on students will be “freeing them from the confinement of their pocketbooks.”
Kress added, “Our inspiring and generous alumni and community understand the remarkable impact MCC has. They know firsthand the incredible futures that result when we work together to invest in our students. They know their support truly changes lives.”
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