Capital: Pilar and Will Benassi
Will Benassi '84, vice president and wealth advisor for Morgan Stanley in Hunt Valley, MD, understands capital. "Private institutions need to be financially secure in order to survive and to thrive," he affirms.
But with building careers and raising a family, Will and his wife, Pilar '82, a preschool director, only within the past three years considered themselves adequately comfortable to become Associates of the College. The Benassis' impetus to move to this level came from Jack Williams, Resource Development's Director of Regional Programs. By keeping in touch with the Benassis over the years, Williams forged, as Will claims, "a relationship" with them.
Relationships define the Benassis' Roanoke College experience. Drawn here first by athletics-lacrosse for Will and lacrosse, swimming, and field hockey for Pilar, who was named to the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994-both soon became absorbed into the community of the school. "My coaches, my professors-they really knew me and what I was doing," says Will. Now through the Associates' Program, they keep connected with many friends who are affiliated with the college.
"We budget the amount we donate to various groups each year," Will explains, "and on our list is the school we attended." So when the building of the College's Kerr Stadium was announced, The Benassis were on board. Considering their affinity for athletics and for their alma mater, the project was a good fit.