Eleanor Claus of Omaha Heads Mount Holyoke College's National Fundraising Campaign

Tuesday, June 30, 1998 - 12:00pm


South Hadley, MA-- Eleanor "Ellie" Graham Claus, a resident of Omaha and an alumna of Mount Holyoke College, will serve as cochair of The Campaign for Mount Holyoke, a $200 million comprehensive fundraising campaign that is scheduled to publicly kickoff this October. Serving as cochair with Claus will be Harriet Weissman of White Plains, NY. As cochairs, Claus and Weissman will solicit major donors, assist in recruitin and motivating volunteers at all levels, and provide leadership at campaign events. The formal announcement of the campaign leaders was made at the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees' May meeting in South Hadley, MA.

Eleanor Claus
Currently serving her second term as a trustee of Mount Holyoke College, Claus has been active as a Mount Holyoke volunteer for as long as she can remember. As a child, she served refreshments at the many Mount Holyoke functions hosted by her mother, Emma Demarest Graham, who graduated from the College in 1922.

For her longtime support of the College, Claus received Mount Holyoke's Sesquicentennial Alumnae Award and the Alumnae Medal of Honor. "The tradition of Mount Holyoke in my family and the value I place on a Mount Holyoke education are two reasons for my lifelong service to the College and my willingness to cochair the campaign," Claus said.

When she isn't volunteering for the private liberal arts college, Claus has enjoyed an active and distinguished career in health care management and teaching. She will retire in July from her position as president for the Midwest Region of Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation's largest not-for-profit health care system. She held several prior executive positions in the health care industry.

Claus is a 1955 graduate of Mount Holyoke College. She received her R.N. from Hartford Hospital School of Nursing in 1956 and her M.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969. A member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and of the Health Alliance as well as numerous other professional organizations, Claus holds adjunct clinical appointments at Creighton University, Clarkson College, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Honorary Chairs Also Named
Honorary campaign cochairs were also named at the trustee meeting in May. Joining Claus and Weissman in heading the $200 million fundraising campaign will be Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and longtime Mount Holyoke supporters Dorothy and Norman McCulloch of Rhode Island.

Mount Holyoke College
Founded in 1837, Mount Holyoke College--the oldest continuing institution of higher education for women in the nation--attracts a student body of approximately 2,000 from every state and more than fifty nations. During this past academic year, the private liberal arts school in western Massachusetts's Pioneer Valley claimed four national fellowships and scholarships, including the Truman, Goldwater and Fulbright awards; two USA TODAY All-USA college academic team members; and a National Book Award for faculty member Joseph J. Ellis's biography on Thomas Jefferson. It also hosted a master class by Vanessa Redgrave in April.

The women's college's last major fundraising campaign was launched in 1986. Ending in 1991, the campaign raised $139 million for a master plan which created new structures around the campus. The upcoming campaign will strengthen the school's endowment.

Said Barbara M. Rossotti, chair of the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees, "We're looking forward again to a highly successful, ambitious campaign in support of the College. Our efforts in the years ahead will strengthen Mount Holyoke's ability to educate, enrich, and prepare young women for leadership positions in the world."