Alumna Cynthia Klingemier ’79 donates to her alma mater every December

Cynthia Klingemier headshot

One of the first notations Cynthia Klingemier ’79 makes on her new calendar every year is a reminder to make her annual donation to Marietta College.

“I do it every year in December,” she says. “The big reason I do it then is, so I know I have made my gift, and also so I know I have made a gift during the College’s fiscal year, which I know is different than a calendar year.”

When Klingemier’s gift arrived this December, it was the 43rd consecutive year she has made a gift to The Marietta Fund, the College’s annual fund that makes it possible to offer an extraordinary campus experience. The College has met (or exceeded) its goal every year since 2011. This year, the goal is more than $3 million.

Klingemier, a member of The President’s Circle, says making the gift every year reminds her of special memories and the impact the College had on her life and career.

“I believe that Marietta College molded me into the person that I have become, and I think it is a good citizen of the world. Marietta was very helpful in allowing that to happen,” she says. “I was able to be in some leadership positions with my sorority (Alpha Sigma Tau), and I was able to do some international travel in France. I always believe Marietta was able to help me get my brain thinking good things.”

In 2020, Klingemier made a financial pledge to the This is The Time campaign toward the Student Center project, as well as a planned gift.

“Cynthia embodies the true Pioneer spirit — always seeking new and innovative ways to inspire and encourage others, especially as exemplified with her "Midweek Meditation" video series during the pandemic. And her generosity to Marietta College is no different,” says Bethany McFarland Leslie ’12, Director of Major Gifts. “She believes in our students and in our mission to deliver an outstanding, life-changing liberal arts education, and her gifts are a testament to that commitment.” 

Klingemier, who lives in Cortland, Ohio, earned bachelor’s degrees in French and English with a teaching certificate at Marietta. Instead of becoming a teacher, she went into the family business and helped run grocery stores in the Warren, Ohio, area.

“However, that teaching thing always stuck with me, and I entered the ministry and got my M.Div.,” she says. “In my work as a pastor, it has been evident to me that I was teaching. That’s who I am. Marietta molded me in that way, so that I could be a life-long teacher and a life-long learner.”

She says Marietta allowed her “creativity to blossom.”

“It’s really important that we don’t get so caught up in our little worlds that we forget to give back,” Klingemier says. “We had an opportunity to grow as students and as people, and we need to pass that along, so others have an opportunity also. We can touch peoples’ lives in ways that we have no idea. I choose to give back because Marietta College leaves a positive mark on the lives of its students.”

Leslie says there are many examples of alumni like Klingemier, and she hopes others will be inspired by Klingemier’s story.

“We are grateful for the many alumni who remember our students with their year-end giving,” Leslie says. “As you make your own philanthropic plans during the holiday season, our team is eager to partner with you to identify ways to give that might be personally beneficial to you as well, whether that be via cash, stock, a retirement account, an income-generating gift, etc. Thank you in advance to all those who are making a difference in the lives of the next generation of Pioneers with your year-end support!”