Ken and Louise Plusquellec '57
"Our lives are bound up in Wooster," says Louise Byers Plusquellec '57. "Ken's brother went here; my two sisters went here and met their husbands here."
She and Ken Plusquellec '57 met during their first week on campus. "But we didn't start dating until the spring formal," Ken says.
"And it was all downhill from there," Louise adds with a laugh.
They started going steady soon thereafter. Ken became an R.A. and was active in Seventh Section. Louise, an Imp, was elected Color Day Queen. Both were involved in student senate and loved singing, Ken in the Glee Club, Louise in the girls chorus. By senior year they were engaged. They married the summer after graduation.
Ken got a master's in divinity and became pastor of a church in Spencerport, just outside Rochester, N.Y. But after a few years, he was restless.
"Ken realized the people in the congregation he most enjoyed working with were college-age students," Louise recalls.
Byron Morris had just been named director of admissions at Wooster and was looking for some help. Ken applied and became an assistant director of admissions in 1967.
Though he now found himself working as a colleague with men and women who had known him as a student, Ken found the adjustment was effortless. "Wooster was very welcoming. We felt very much at home."
In 1970 he became associate dean of students. When Doris Koster left Wooster in 1975, Ken was named dean of students, a post he would hold for the next 25 years. Louise taught at the College nursery school, earned her teaching certification, and moved to Wayne Elementary School, where she taught first grade.
"In all those years I worked in Galpin," Ken says, " I would see people coming through on the way up to the development office, people who were making significant gifts to the College. I always thought that must be a wonderful feeling, but never thought it was something Louise and I could do."
When they joined the committee to plan their 50th reunion, Ken and Louise began to hear a lot about planned giving and realized that perhaps a significant gift to a place they both loved was not out of reach after all.
They decided to make a $20,000 Estate-Note commitment to the College. With an initial gift of $10,000, they established a charitable gift annuity that will provide biannual payments to them for the rest of their lives. Louise and Ken have chosen to redirect those annuity payments to the College to help pay down their remaining $10,000 commitment. Ultimately, their $20,000 will be combined with a donation made by the College's trustees on the occasion of Ken's retirement to endow a scholarship in their names.
"This fits with both our interests in helping young people achieve an education," Ken says. "What we're doing is making a long-term investment [in the College]. I hope other folks, who don't think they can give to the institution but would like to, will see that there is a way to do it."