Grants to MIU from the Wege Foundation surpass $3.5 million

MIU received four grants from the Wege Foundation this year, totaling $320,000. This is the ninth consecutive year MIU has received Wege Foundation support, and this year’s grants bring the total support to $3,686,139.

Over these nine years, Wege Foundation grants have funded a remarkably wide range of university areas: critical campus renovations, faculty research and publication, curriculum development, renewable energy, faculty and staff training, endowment development, communications skills training, student events, student scholarships, and more.

This year’s four grants included $225,000 to help renovate a women’s dormitory, $75,000 for a grand sculpture outside the newly-renovated Wege Center for the Arts, $10,000 for annual end-of-the-year Wege Awards to outstanding faculty and staff in recognition of their service, and $10,000 for additional faculty and staff support.

“Wege Foundation grants have boosted the university inside and out. They have uplifted every student, faculty, and staff member and inspired the whole campus community.”

— MIU President John Hagelin

“Wege Foundation grants have boosted the university inside and out,” said MIU President John Hagelin. “They have uplifted every student, faculty, and staff member and inspired the whole campus community. They’ve generated fresh energy and momentum that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

The Wege Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was founded in 1967 by Peter M. Wege, chairman of Steelcase, Inc. He was known for his compassion and generosity, his passion for the environment, and the motto he often quoted: “Do all the good you can. For all the people you can. For as long as you can.”

His son, Christopher Wege, a long-time MIU supporter, lived in Fairfield for many years, and his wife Laura, an MIU graduate, is vice-chair of the MIU board of trustees. Both have been instrumental in facilitating these grants.

Wege Foundation grants have supported Dr. Hagelin’s innovative research on dark matter, research on the Maharishi Effect, faculty presentations at professional conferences, MIU’s MEG’Array Solar Power Plant and the Schwartz-Guich Sustainable Living Center, faculty art exhibits, student field trips, locally-grown organic food for the dining hall, the endowment fund, faculty and staff service awards, and more. Wege Foundation grants have also contributed substantially to Maharishi School, the K-12 school on the MIU campus.

“When I first came to MIU as a graduate student in 2001, I didn’t know what to expect,” Laura said. “Well, I got much more than I expected! My education here and my practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi programs has led me on a profound spiritual journey that has changed every aspect of my life. As a MIU trustee, and now as vice-chair of the board of trustees, it is so fulfilling to be able to give back to MIU, the home of Consciousness-Based education.”

The Wege Center for the Arts

A four-year series of grants from the Wege Foundation, totaling more than $1 million, supported renovating the building now called the Wege Center for the Arts, transforming it inside and out. This building houses the academic programs in art, creative writing, and cinematic arts and new media as well as the Writing Center.

The renovation included transforming an outdoor porch into a magnificent glass-enclosed gallery, with art works visible from outside as well as in:

Grants also supported creating a new east entrance:

And they supported exterior landscaping:

“Chris and Laura Wege have carved out the most extraordinary legacy within MIU,” said Ed Malloy, chair of the board of trustees. “Their support nourishes all areas of the university and glorifies both people and environment. We are so fortunate to have their generosity, attention, and love. We are all moved by what they have established and helped create.”

“The joy of supporting different areas of the university in any way we can, so MIU grows and prospers on every level, is deeply rewarding,” Laura said. “MIU has seen unprecedented developments on so many levels every year since l joined the board of trustees nine years ago. This was possible only through the love and the continued support of so many people.”

“Chris and I, through the deep generosity of the Wege Foundation, are honored to be able to donate year after year,” Laura said. “This just continues the legacy of Chris and his never ending support of all of Maharishi’s programs for over forty years now. Sharing is indeed caring and we are thrilled to be a part of the university’s growth.”