Dear Marietta College Community,

I will always be proud to be a part of the Marietta College family, so those of you who know me can understand why I was beaming with pride when we were able to announce the launch of the ambitious $100 million comprehensive campaign that is suitably titled, “This is the Time.”

The impact that this campaign will have on the future of Marietta College and the measure of support our community has already committed to its success leaves me humbled and hopeful. The College’s last comprehensive campaign, which ended in 2009, raised $52.5 million. Now we will nearly double that amount. That takes confidence and courage.

I was honored to share this news with hundreds of alumni who were on campus for Homecoming 2021. It was also a pleasure to be joined by our campaign co-chairs, Don ’81 and Leslie Straub Ritter ’85.

The best part about a comprehensive campaign is you never know when you will get to announce even more great news. On Friday, we added to the excitement when some alumni who were present challenged each other to each add $1 million to the total for the student center. These additional gifts allowed us to announce a new total of gifts and pledges to the student center of $9.5 million. 

The campaign, which is the largest in the College’s history, will seek gifts and commitments from alumni, parents and friends, and it will be a remarkable investment that helps elevate our ambitions to make a lasting, positive impact on the region and the world.

We are fortunate to already be more than two-thirds of the way toward our fundraising target, with gifts and pledges totaling nearly $70 million from more than 6,800 donors during the past four years. This success is due in part to the outstanding direction provided by Dr. Joshua Jacobs, our Vice President for Advancement, and our campaign steering committee, which is comprised of Honorary Chairpersons Robert Dyson ’68 (Millbrook, New York) and Laura Baudo Sillerman ’68 (New York, New York); Chairpersons Donald Ritter ’81 and Leslie Straub Ritter ’85 (Farmers Branch, Texas); and Committee Members Harry Esbenshade III (Vienna, West Virginia), Barbara Perry Fitzgerald ’73 (Carefree, Arizona), Kevin O’Neill ’12 (Wakefield, Rhode Island), Jason Rebrook ’96 (Spring, Texas), Ronald Rinard ’72 (Dallas, Texas), Michael Salvino ’87 (Charlotte, North Carolina), Charles Sulerzyski (Marietta, Ohio), Dale Wartluft ’63 (Dunwoody, Georgia), Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary ’76 (Charleston, West Virginia), Patricia Kral Zecchi ’71 (Denver, Colorado), and Paul Zecchi ’70 (Denver, Colorado).

The $100 million we raise during this campaign will be transformative for generations of Marietta College’s students, and will also increase the impact we have on the world. The promise of ‘This is the Time’ reinforces the commitment Marietta College makes every day to innovation and excellence in the overall experience we offer our students.

When we reach our goal, the campaign will fund scholarships, endow professorships, improve the student experience, and allow us to construct a modern student center at the heart of campus.

Through the generosity of our alumni, parents, friends and current employees and students, we will improve the lure and appeal of Marietta to more student and faculty talent, while celebrating the pioneering spirit that has defined this outstanding institution since its founding.

Learn more about “This is the Time” at

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management