Henry Merritt Wriston (1899-1978)—a former president of both Brown University and Lawrence University—wrote in a 1959 book about the qualities that college trustees should have: “My response was ‘work, wealth, and wisdom, preferably all three, but at least two of the three.’” The same qualities are also sought after by other nonprofit institutions.
The three W’s are sometimes mentioned with the three G’s ("give, get, or get out") and the three T’s ("time, talent, and treasure").
Wikipedia: Henry Merritt Wriston
Henry Merritt Wriston (July 4, 1889–1978) was a United States educator and served as president at both Brown University and Lawrence University.
Wriston was born in Laramie, Wyoming, the son of a Methodist minister and a schoolteacher. He received his B.A. in 1911 from Wesleyan University, and returned there for his M.A. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.
He served as the eighth president of Lawrence University from 1925 to 1937. His term was marked by the improvement of the curriculum, faculty, and library collections. Before leaving the school, he wrote the book The Nature of a Liberal Arts College.
He served as President of Brown University between 1937 and 1955.
He served as President of the Council on Foreign Relations between 1951 and 1964. He also served as President of the American Assembly until 1963, and served on the Board of Trustees of the World Peace Foundation. In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Wriston to the Chairmanship of the President’s Commission on National Goals. Wriston was also an adviser to President Eisenhower, a member of the United States Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Service, and Chairman of the Historical Advisory Committee to the Chief of Military History for the United States Department of the Army.
He is the father of Walter B. Wriston, former chairman and CEO of Citibank.
Reflections of a College President
By Henry Merritt Wriston
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
My response was “work, wealth, and wisdom, preferably all three, but at least two of the three.” That was candid enough, but rather less brutal than another terse summary attributed to a Midwest official: “give, get, or get out.”
New York (NY) Times
What Matters in the Board Game Is Skill, Money and Glamour
By GRACE GLUECK
Published: Tuesday, December 9, 1997
To be sure, being on a board is not all fun and galas. Besides deliberating on committees of acquisition, finance and development, trustees must fulfill other responsibilities, like being bankers to their institutions. ‘’You either cough up yourself or raise the money from others,’’ a board member put it. ‘’And, if possible, you do both.’’
Where the slogan was once ‘’wealth, wisdom or work,’’ the new imperative is ‘’give, get or get out.’’ One hard-working trustee of the New York Public Library was found not to be giving according to her husband’s means. When pressed, he quickly wrote a substantial check. In the case of museums, however, a desirable art collection may suffice. More than one trustee sits on the Metropolitan Museum board solely because of his or her art holdings.
Who gives them,who gets them?
By Jerold Panas
Medfield, MA: Emerson & Church, Publishers
Serving on the board of an organization is a high calling and implkies a major responsibiility and commitment. Brown University’s former president, Henry Wriston, originated the three venerable “Ws” years ago. They are just as relevant today. Perhaps more so.
Dr. Wriston established for his trustees three criteria—work, wealth, and wisdom. Every institutional administrator fervently longs for trustees who can bring a matched set of all three “Ws.”
Two of the three should be mandatory. And if a trustee brings only one “W,” the chances are fairly certain his or her effectiveness will be severely limited.
I have added a fourth W—Wallop. You want (Pg. 57—ed.) board members of great influence—within the community and with the organization’s constituency.
New strategies for nonprofit innovation and investment
By Kay Sprinkel Grace
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
Every organization wants people with influence and affluence, hence the presence in the nonprofit lexicon of the harsh rubric “give, get, or get off” and the three W’s: wealth, work, wisdom (with an implied fourth W: wallop).
The Nonprofit Board Answer Book:
A practical guide for board members and chief executives
By Robert C. Andringa
San Francisco, CA: BoardSource
Staff members yearn for the triumvirates of W’s and T’s — “wealth, wisdom, and work” and “time, talent, and treasure.”
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, July 13, 2009 • Permalink