Whitney Was First, But Not Last

Kinnison speaks at Rotary meeting. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Kinnison speaks at Rotary meeting. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Since 2001, according to Tom Kinnison, the Whitney Benefits Foundation has given over $70 million to the community.

Kinnison is president of the Whitney Benefits board of trustees and a guest speaker at the Sheridan Rotary Club Friday. Kinnison said Edward A. Whitney, who willed his estate to establish Whitney Benefits Inc., was only the first in establishing a tradition of philanthropy in Sheridan.

Friday marked the 100th anniversary of Whitney's death. The presentation started with a video featuring freelance writer Sam Western, Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young and other educators talking about Whitney's contributions to the community.

Western said Whitney was part of the gilded age, but he was also a philanthropist who, when there was a movement to start a college in Sheridan in 1898, wrote a check for $5,000. Western said that's about the equivalent of $150,000 today. Young said Whitney Benefits has been a tremendous benefactor to Sheridan College.

Kinnison said the cost of administration for the Whitney Benefits trust is four-tenth of one percent of the trust. He said there are 13 trustees, and they don't receive any compensation for their service.

Kinnison also introduced Kim Love, another of the trustees, who attended the Rotary meeting, and Henderson passed out copies of the latest wrapper prepared by Whitney Benefits.

Kinnison said the Whitney Foundation tries to help offset a lack of tax funds for Sheridan College. He said one of the problems the college has is the low assessed valuation in Sheridan County, which means the college doesn't get the money that many other community colleges receive from property valuations in Wyoming.

View another photo below.

Kinnison gestures as he talks about Whitney Benefits. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Kinnison gestures as he talks about Whitney Benefits. (Photo by Pat Blair)

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