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$3 million gift to NWC Foundation creates first endowed chair positions at Northwest College

Made possible by a gift from a local alumni couple who are choosing to refrain from publicity, Northwest College can now create—for the first time in its history—two endowed chair positions for the science and education departments.

$3 million gift to NWC Foundation creates first endowed chair positions at Northwest College

The Northwest College Foundation is the beneficiary of just over $3 million, which is the largest single gift to the Foundation, and these will be the first endowed chair positions at NWC.

“We are tremendously grateful for our donors’ generosity and dedication to education at Northwest College,” NWC Interim President Lisa Watson said. “This lasting gift is truly a landmark moment for NWC, one that ensures our ability to support academic opportunities for years to come and reflects the amazing support for our institution.”

An endowed chair is a faculty position that is privately funded by an endowment, which ensures the position lasts as long as the college exists. It’s both an honor to the appointed chair holder and an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it.

The gift will create two endowments, each valued at $1.5 million with investment proceeds supporting the chair position and special programming. The first priority for funding will be salary support for each position. The NWC Foundation will also provide an incentive or reward for the faculty members who are named to each chair.

“We’ve designed a system to allocate a portion of the money for professional development and funds to support innovative curricula development by the respective faculty chairs,” Executive Director of the Northwest College Foundation Shelby Wetzel said. “Our goal is to continue inspiring teaching that provides exceptional learning opportunities for students at Northwest College.”

After graduating from Cody High School, one of the donors attended Northwest College and later earned a professional degree before he returned to work in Park County.

His wife earned her education degree through the University of Wyoming from the NWC campus, completing many of her general education courses at Northwest. She later went on to teach in Park County’s public schools.

Together, the two enjoyed sharing their passion for all Wyoming has to offer with friends and family. Now, they are extending their kindness to share the gift of education at NWC.

For more information, contact Wetzel at 307-754-6110 or email her at

To learn more about the NWC Foundation’s upcoming events and projects, visit

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