Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Founding member of Eckerd College's million-dollar gift will be doubled

ST. PETERSBURG

Grover Wrenn arrived on the campus of then-Florida Presbyterian College in 1960 as one of 154 founding members. He didn't have much money. He was just a "country boy from North Carolina," by his own description.

He volunteered for John F. Kennedy's campaign in St. Petersburg. He got married at the end of his freshman year and had two kids by the time he was a junior.

Times were difficult — finding housing every year, working summers to help the family and pay for schooling.

After three years he had to transfer closer to home at Clemson University. On Friday, the school that is now Eckerd College announced that Wrenn had donated $1-million to the institution.

He's come a long way. So has the college. The gift arrives as the school is embarking on its $80-million capital campaign. Wrenn's donation will be matched by the Miles Collier Challenge and will amount to $2-million.

Wrenn's gift is the largest single donation by any alumnus of the college.

"Besides my parents, probably nothing has had a greater impact on my life as the time I spent at Florida Presbyterian College," said Wrenn, who is vice chairman of the school's board of trustees.

Wrenn, 66, went on to become an entrepreneur who started the company Environ Corp., an international consulting firm that deals with environmental and human health works.

Wrenn takes it in stride.

"I'm just one of thousands of students whose lives have been transformed by a small residential college with a faculty and staff that is committed to not only the roles of teaching, but mentoring," he said.

Austin Bogues can be reached at abogues@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8872.

Founding member of Eckerd College's million-dollar gift will be doubled 11/08/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 8, 2008 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.