Robin Wagner P'10 and Michael Birkner '72, P'10

Robin Wagner P'10 and Michael Birkner '72, P'10

“Giving back to Gettysburg was a natural decision. Robin and I chose to create the art endowment as a way to strengthen an area where there’s talent and a critical mass of academic interest, but where there are some currently unmet needs.”

As husband and wife, history department chair and professor Michael Birkner ’72 and library director Robin Wagner share much of their personal and professional lives. As employees of Gettysburg, they contribute a great deal to the College; as donors, they have created an endowment to share their interest in art and to help Gettysburg move forward. “I wish I had enough money to fund the building of an art gallery,” says Wagner. “Since I don’t, I thought I could start by helping the College establish its own permanent collection.” Birkner notes, “We believe a high-quality college needs such a collection both for teaching and scholarly purposes.”

In addition to the need for an art collection on campus, the couple’s motivation to make the gift stems from their love of the College. “Gettysburg is a great place to work,” says Birkner. “I appreciate the high quality of life here.” Wagner points to the many employee benefits—from tuition assistance for her children to professional development funding, a beautiful campus, and top notch facilities. “I feel very fortunate,” she says. “We need to recognize how well this institution supports its employees.”


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