March 25, 2022

Described as “a bridge between those who have been here and those who will come,” Wilmington College’s new Campus Gateway was formally christened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday (March 24) afternoon.

The Wilmington/Clinton County Chamber of Commerce brought members out en force and, coupled with a contingent from the College, several dozen witnessed WC President Trevor Bates snip a lime-colored ribbon with 36-inch scissors to formally open the Gateway.

Bates was assisted by Sharon Mishkin, wife of the late Sidney Mishkin. He was a 1959 WC graduate who provided the lead gift for the project, which transformed a previously “understated entrance” into the College’s “new front door.” Bates praised Mishkin, who passed away in October, as one who “gave his heart and soul” to the institution.

Mishkin served on WC’s Board of Trustees from 2002 through 2012, including chairing the governing body from 2006 through 2012. In 2014, the College designated him as a Life Trustee, making him only the second to receive that honor in the institution’s 151-year history. MIshkin, who enjoyed a career as a successful attorney in Indianapolis, credited the College with literally transforming his life and opening a world of opportunities he had never fathomed. 

Mishkin many times stated, “My life truly began at Wilmington College.”

In addition to Bates and Sharon Mishkin, also participating in the ceremony were Dessie Buchanan Rodgers, the Chamber’s executive director who introduced the program; Joseph Bull, WC’s chief advancement officer who noted the Gateway “bridged” the past, present and future,” and Tracy Mishkin, daughter of Sidney and Sharon Mishkin.

The new Gateway features both substantive and complementary elements on both corners of College St. where Main St. transitions into Fife Ave. The eastern corner hosts a brick sign emblazoned with the College seal and “Wilmington College, Founded by the Religious Society of Friends 1870.” On the western side, a tall monolith highlighting the historic seal rises from a concrete and brick paver surface alongside a brick platform that houses a large, two-sided, electronic message screen visible to both east and westbound traffic.

Behind both the fixtures on both corners are brick columns attached by black metal fencing in a concrete base at ground level. The seven columns represent Wilmington College’s seven core values: community, diversity, excellence, integrity, peace/social justice, respect for all persons, and service/civic engagement. 

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