Why We Give – Will ’16 and Ruth (Ballenger) Roberts ’17

Current Residence:
Greencastle, Ind.

Will: Business Administration
Ruth: Biology (Minor in Chemistry)

Will has been a financial advisor since August 2017 and has Series 7 and 66 licenses; he opened his Edward Jones office in Greencastle, Ind. in July 2018.
Ruth will graduate from nursing school at Indiana State University this month.

Will and Ruth were married in October 2018 at DePauw Nature Park in Greencastle.

“KWC gave us the tools and knowledge we needed to join the workforce and make a difference wherever we decided to go. Because the College gave us many opportunities, and because many generous alumni helped make this possible through their donations, we wanted to pay it forward.

“We encourage our fellow alumni to help give new students the same opportunities they had, and help KWC thrive for many years to come.

“Wesleyan, All Hail!”

Why did you choose KWC?
“I have always had a very independent streak and was trying to decide between three colleges. I wanted to leave home and go far away. I chose Wesleyan because it was a decent distance from my hometown, Springfield Ill., but it already felt like home since I had family there in case I needed anything.

“The enrollment size was a plus because I knew I would be more than a number. Sharing my alma mater with my grandparents who are Wesleyan sweethearts was a plus – Dick ’67 and Barb (Austin) Romer ’65.”

Will: “KWC was close to home and has a good business department.”

What are special memories of your years as students?
Ruth and Will volunteered with Circle K, attended basketball games where Ruth was a cheerleader, enjoyed K-Dub Idol and volunteered at Give Kids the World (for children with critical illnesses and their families) in Florida.

Will: “I had many mentors because KWC is full of caring individuals who want to see you succeed. A few are Matt Ruark ‘09, Becca McQueen-Ruark, Ron Sharp and Dr. Bill Conroy.”

Ruth: “I agree with Will. KWC gave us so many mentors that shaped us into who we are today. Becca and Matt were some of the most influential, and we still are close today. All of my biology and chemistry professors including Dr. Watson, Dr. Magnuson and Dr. Pritchard, and many others supported me and helped me be successful. Also, my cheer coach, Jennifer Hendricks-Wright ’06, who made me a stronger person and was such a role model to me because she has a career and a family and pursues her passions.

“The friends I made at Wesleyan, such as Elissa Starheim ’17, will be life-long friends. She was my rock as a fellow biology major and is one of the main reasons I decided to go to nursing school. She did the accelerated nursing program at Duke University, and I look up to her. We had many conversations about nursing, and she has supported me through the ups and downs. She was a bridesmaid in our wedding.”

How did you meet?
Will showed up to a Circle K meeting because he had heard from a friend that Ruth would be there. Then Will would come to the library daily because he knew that was where Ruth would be there. It took 3 months for Ruth to give her number to Will. The couple talked a lot over winter break, and when Ruth came back to campus in the spring she decided she would give Will a chance and went on a date with him to Shogun’s. The rest is history.

“We are thankful that Wesleyan helped us to grow individually and as a couple.”