Lifelong Friends: Frank ’75 and CeCe Cugliari ’75 are The Marietta Fund

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Her story is nothing new to many members of The Long Blue Line, but it’s still special to CeCe Wetherholt Cugliari ’75.

“I just loved Marietta,” she says. “It’s the foundation for my adult life. My dearest friends are from Marietta College and of course I met my husband there as well.”

Two years after graduation, Frank ’75 and CeCe were married (what is known as a Marietta merger) and remain connected to the College through those lifelong friends they made during their four years at Marietta.

cece-frankThey also make sure to make an annual donation to The Marietta Fund as a way of saying thank you for everything Marietta College has meant in their lives. The goal for the 2012-13 academic year is $1.7 million, which is about 3 percent of the overall College budget.

Brandee Norris, Director of The Marietta Fund, says resources are targeted to areas of greatest need at the College, and this flexibility maximizes their impact upon those areas that require particular attention.

“In addition to the dollars raised, overall participation is important in the College’s ability to obtain grants from corporations and foundations and it also impacts independent rankings from groups like U.S. News & World Report,” she says. “Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference.”

Susan Allender, Assistant Director of The Marietta Fund, says the Cugliaris exemplify a spirit of philanthropy in everything they do for Marietta College.

“They have been loyal donors to The Marietta Fund since 1975, when they graduated and made their first gifts to the College,” Allender says. “The support they have provided throughout the years is invaluable and so greatly appreciated.”

The Cugliaris are thrilled to do their part to help the College reach this vital goal.

“In some ways I feel we are indebted to the school because of the significant role it has played in my adult life,” CeCe says. “I went to school on some scholarships and Frank went on some scholarships. It’s important to us that we do our part to make sure there are funds available for students today. Without alumni, schools just won’t sustain themselves.”

Frank shares his wife’s passion for giving back to his alma mater.

“We had so many great experiences at Marietta College. It helped us shape our lives from our early 20s to where we are now,” he says.

Today, CeCe is doing something she truly loves — Director of the Nonprofit Management Program and an Assistant Professor at High Point University in North Carolina. Her daughter Teri is also on the staff as Director of Greek Life.

“I’m living a dream right now,” she says. “This is exactly what I want to be doing and I got here because of what I learned at Marietta College.”

Both of the Cugliaris credit specific faculty members with helping them traverse the college landscape, as well as help them post-graduation.

For Frank, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, his mentor was Ed Osborne, who retired in 2010. When Frank considered transferring away from Marietta, he says it was Osborne who convinced him to stay.

“I am so grateful that he took the time and that I remained,” Frank says.

CeCe gravitated to Dr. Jack Prince, who retired in 1985, while she was earning her Bachelor of Arts in Business. Prince still lives near the College in Williamstown, W.Va.

“There weren’t many women in the program in those days, so Jack would help us with connections for employment, with class assignments and we would go to his house for a meal with him and his wife,” CeCe says. “He was just a good person.”

While CeCe spends a large part of the year in North Carolina for work, she does commute to Ohio to see Frank, who is a credit analyst for Ohio Heritage Bank in Coshocton.

“After 35 years, we have figured this out. With an academic schedule, it’s not really that difficult,” CeCe says.

Almost annually, the Cugliaris have connected with fellow Marietta alumni Jim ’73 and Wendy Keck Fryfogle ’75 and Kim ’76 and Nancy Still Stanbery ’75.

CeCe, Wendy and Nancy became friends almost immediately, as they all moved into the Dorothy Webster residence hall in the fall of 1971. All three also joined the Sigma Kappa sorority.

“We went to Las Vegas for our 40th anniversary of meeting on campus and we went to a Rose Bowl to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes,” Frank says. “These are the type of friendships that you can build at Marietta College.”

Clearly, the Cugliaris are The Marietta Fund.

TOM PERRY

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