Giving with Heart: Marilyn Wenrick
September 18, 2012
What were your first impressions of Ohio State?
I vividly remember the sunny day in October when one of my high school teachers led us on a tour of the university campus. My teacher’s enthusiasm about pursuing higher education and studying at Ohio State, in particular, really inspired me. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to be a Buckeye.
What did you study? Please share a bit about your career.
I graduated in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in business from the College of Commerce, now the Fisher College of Business. I went into the retail field and worked as an intern for Rike’s in Dayton, followed by full-time positions as buyers for Shillitos, Tobé, Jordan Marsh, and Lazarus. I was proud to reach a level of merchandise manager at a time when not many women were given that level of responsibility. I eventually made a shift into financial planning, where I remained for about 20 years. Most recently, I worked as a stockbroker for Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc.
What does philanthropy mean to you?
I learned the value of giving back at an early age, with the first opportunity at church. I have always believed in giving to those in need. I established the Wenrick Scholarship Fund at Ohio State in honor of my parents, who each suffered from cardiovascular disease. Then when my brothers also passed away from heart disease within three months of each other, I added their names to the scholarship. By being a member of the President’s Club, I learn about events and other activities taking place at Ohio State.
Who is able to receive the Wenrick Scholarship?
The scholarship is available to students from New Carlisle in Clark County, Ohio, where our family had roots and was known. Parameters for the scholarship are need and potential. I value when students take the time to send thank you notes.
Please share your sister’s experience at Ohio State.
About six years ago, my sister Linda suffered a heart attack. Her doctors in Dayton treated her until they felt she needed more specialized care. She then moved to the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, where Dr. Benjamin Sun performed heart surgery and truly saved her life. He performed a miracle, and Linda received excellent care at Ross. I decided at that point to support the Heart Transplant and LVAD Research Fund at the David Heart and Lung Research Institute (DHLRI). Since DHLRI conducts research in this area, much of my money will be directed there.
Do you have some cherished memories of Ohio State?
I’ve had many wonderful experiences as a Buckeye. Above all, I must share a gratitude for the confidence I gained as a student and the belief in myself that I could achieve my goals. I also made wonderful friends who are still a part of my life.