Joan and Dick Niemiec'65 established the Edwin F. Wilde, Jr. Professorship to recognize Wilde's substantial influence as a teacher and mentor, and to support the tradition of great teaching at Beloit.
“We considered funding the chair solely with cash gifts,” explains Niemiec, a retired health insurance executive who joined the College’s Board of Trustees last fall and is currently Beloit's interim president. “But we worked with our financial planner and the College to develop a gift plan that includes an insurance policy, thereby significantly leveraging the power of our gift. Beloit and future generations deserve the additional support.”
The endowment will underwrite the Wilde professor’s salary and provide additional resources for professional development, scholarship, and travel. Unlike most endowed professorships, the Wilde Professorship is not tied to a particular academic department but instead is awarded to a senior faculty member based on service, teaching, and scholarship. Associate Professor of Political Science Ann Davies will hold the honor starting this fall.
Prof. Wilde, at Beloit from 1955 to 1976, taught mathematics and served as associate dean and later as vice president for planning. Niemiec credits Prof. Wilde's calculus course and his careful guidance with helping him find his path toward a fulfilling life and career. In the fall, Prof. Wilde will return to Beloit to help the College celebrate the new chair. Prof. Ann Davies, will deliver the inaugural Wilde lecture, which will be followed by a reception and dinner honoring the Wildes and the Niemiecs.