Anson Beard, Jr., Life Trustee and member of the Board of Trustees since 1971, was inducted into the Wheaton Athletics Yowell Hall of Fame on May 20, 2022. The ceremony took place in Beard Courtyard.
His enshrinement recognizes decades of leadership support of the college’s athletics program, particularly at the beginning of the co-educational era at Wheaton. In addition to his gift as a challenge to build the Beard Field House and efforts to raise the capital to construct the Haas Athletic Center, the impact of Beard’s philanthropy is in evidence throughout Wheaton’s campus, in living and learning spaces named in his honor. He endowed the college’s first Trustee Scholarship and has supported Wheaton’s twenty-year participation in the Posse Scholars program.
In her remarks, President Michaele Whelan described Beard as “perhaps the greatest friend Wheaton College has ever known,” noting his “remarkable fifty-plus years of leadership, service, and support of this institution.”
Board Chair Janet Lindholm Lebovitz ’72 called Beard the “a great motivator and the very model of an ideal Board Chair. You always lead by example, Anson, and you are, in my opinion, greatly responsible for both creating and nurturing the culture of philanthropy in the Wheaton community.”
Kim Spence ’04, Head Coach of Wheaton’s Cross Country and Track & Field Teams and a member of the 2000 to 2003 Women’s Track & Field Team that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017, called Beard Field House a “home where Wheaton student-athletes make their first college friends and lifelong teammates. It’s not just where they train and compete; it’s where they feel supported and empowered.”
Coach Spence, along with members of the Track & Field team, presented Beard with the Yowell Hall of Fame plaque, a framed Wheaton varsity letter, and Lyons swag.
In accepting his induction, Beard said, “I was, at best, a mediocre athlete. Never had good footwork, and I was too small. But if raising money is a sport, then I guess I might have earned this award.”
The Yowell Hall of Fame honors individuals who, through their participation, support, or interest, have made outstanding contributions to Wheaton Athletics. The purpose of the Yowell Hall of Fame is to promote greater interest in the Wheaton athletics program among alumni, students, parents, and friends by honoring the legacy of those enshrined, who have contributed greatly to Wheaton’s success. The individuals and teams enshrined have brought honor, distinction and excellence to the Wheaton community and its intercollegiate athletics program.