Mike Bennett retired from WU in June, 2018 after working in Advancement for his alma mater for more than 31 years. Active in intercollegiate sports (soccer and golf) and in the life of the Beta house (house president), Mike graduated with a psychology degree, married fellow Bearcat Darilyn Raschio ’71, and pursued graduate studies at NYU.
While living in New York City, Mike became part of a federal court-appointed team whose charge was planning the deinstitutionalisation of residential living and day-programming services for thousands of developmentally disabled residents of institutions in New York and Pennsylvania. After a decade back east, Mike, Darilyn, and their daughter, Erin, moved back to Oregon, living in Eugene. While working as a stockbroker there, long-time WU administrator, Jerry Whipple, approached Mike with the idea of coming to work at Willamette.
In January 1987, Mike became the Director of Planned Giving and Major Gifts at Willamette. For more than three decades, Mike had the pleasure of meeting thousands of WU alums and friends while raising hundreds of major gifts for the university, including 12 years working with Dean Symeon Symeonides at the College of Law.