Peter Meisel and Kim Meisel Pesses
The Meisel family has a long history of supporting education and scholarship opportunities, especially for young people in their local community. So when the family patriarch, Stanley Meisel, read about the mission of Berea College in 1995, he immediately took an interest and made his first gift.
His son Peter said, “This was something that was very attractive to him as a philanthropist, to find a school that was, in essence, providing full tuition for all of its students and making it affordable, or more affordable, for young people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to college.”
Several years later, the family began supporting Berea students through the Meisel Family Foundation.
Although they fall outside of the in-territory recruitment area for Berea, the Meisel family was eager to see their scholarship dollars supporting students from the Greater Cleveland area. They were pleased to spread the word about the Berea opportunity, so they made a connection between Berea and a local program they had supported for many years, which provides college scholarships to Cleveland-area high school students.
Peter explains, “There are now many more students from northeast Ohio and the Cleveland area being introduced to Berea than before. That has become a very compelling aspect of the scholarship to us.”
The Meisel family has been steadfast in its relationship with Berea through the years because they see Berea as a special opportunity for college students—a unique institution that shares their core belief in the value of opportunity. Peter said, “For us, it’s helping students, young people, to get a college education who otherwise might not have that opportunity. That’s the bottom line.”
Peter adds that his family would encourage others to contribute scholarship funds and non-tuition support as well.
“We’ve seen some great success with students, both in completing their education as well as in what they accomplish after they leave Berea,” Peter said. “It’s been a positive relationship for us, and I would encourage other funders to develop an affiliation as well.”