Alverno College receives $1 million endowment

Jan and Vince Martin. (Photo: Gary Porter.)

Alverno College has received a $1 million endowment from the estate of the late Janet Martin, a longtime board member and supporter of the college.

The Janet Dowler Martin Endowment Fund will support the improvement of the college’s ability-based learning framework and student assessment method, educational approaches that were developed at the college, dating back to the 1970s.

A board member of over 20 years, Martin also supported Alverno’s Research Center for Women and Girls and helped shape a new outreach strategy for the center in 2009.

“Jan was a tremendous supporter of Alverno College and was enamored with what Alverno does for women – empowering them to reach their full potential and building leaders for a diverse workplace,” president Andrea Lee said. “It is a privilege to receive this gift from our dear friend Jan and a way for her legacy to live on.”

She also helped create student research positions and programs that focused on girls’ confidence and leadership, the college said.

“Jan’s dedication to education, equity and the arts was matched only by her dedication to our children and grandchildren,” said Vince Martin, Jan’s husband and a co-founder of Jason Industries Inc. “She was known for her intelligence, warmth, leadership and the way that she valued every individual she met. Alverno held a large place in her heart.”

Martin received an honorary doctorate from Alverno in 2011 and was recognized that year with the Bene Award, which is given to individuals and organizations who demonstrate commitment to the college through support of its programs, operations and capital endeavors. That same year, the Alverno board of trustees founded a student scholarship in Martin’s name.

Jan and Vince Martin were honorary co-chairs of Alverno’s Promise & Power campaign, which raised more than $32 million for the college from 2011 to 2015.

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Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, kayaking, and seeing live music.

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