Aquinas College Mourns the Passing of AQ Friend and Benefactor, Peter M. Wege

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Peter Wege laughing

Aquinas College is saddened by the death of our good friend and benefactor, Peter M. Wege. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, July 7, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Peter Wege was a valued member of the Aquinas community who served the College for over 50 years.

Peter Wege loved Aquinas College and had a vision for the future of the College. He helped Aquinas purchase the current campus and stayed intimately connected to the College. He was a trustee emeritus of Aquinas College, serving 13 years as a member of the College Board of Trustees (1969-1973, 1992-2001). Mr. Wege, whose role in fund raising was instrumental in the College's development, was awarded an honorary degree from Aquinas in 1959. Mr. Wege took a year's leave of absence from Steelcase Corporation in 1959 to act as a business consultant for the development campaign and construction of Albertus Magnus Hall of Science. During the College’s building boom of the late 1950's and early 1960's, Mr. Wege's work for Aquinas was tireless. His contributions to the campus during that time include the Wege Student Center. In 1975, Peter Wege received a Distinguished Service Award from the College and in 1991, he was honored with the Norbert J. Hruby Emeritus Award. In December of 1995 Mr. Wege presented Aquinas with a $5 million gift, the largest in the history of the College. In 1997, he established the annual Wege Speaker Series at Aquinas.

He continued his generous support of the College as a major contributor to the Jarecki Center for Advanced Learning and the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center. Mr. Wege was inducted into the Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2002. He established the Bishop Joseph Breitenbeck Memorial Scholarship in 2005 in memory of Bishop Breitenbeck, a former bishop in the Grand Rapids Diocese. In 2011 he received the Aquinas College Reflection Award and the annual Peter M. Wege Pro Am is named in his honor.

Peter Wege’s principles of Economicology, creating a balance between our ecology and the economy, are intertwined with the mission and vision of Aquinas College. His commitment to create a just and sustainable world is a living legacy to Aquinas and its students.