Donna Morea ’76, Hon. ’23, P’06

Wesleyan’s first female Board Chair, Donna Morea, was intensely involved in math throughout high school—a path her parents hoped she’d pursue. But Donna, a first-generation college student, wanted to explore fields beyond math, and was drawn to Wesleyan because of its Center for the Arts. Needing financial aid, she made a deal with her parents—she’d attend whichever school offered the most aid, which ended up being Wesleyan. Once here, having discovered her passion, she became an art major, relishing the opportunity to weave together all that mattered to her. She says at Wesleyan, she learned how to think, how to write, and how to synthesize—skills that carried her through business school and a successful career in the tech industry. “While my degree at Wharton gave me the credentials to get a job in the business world, my education and experiences at Wesleyan gave me the real tools to be a successful executive.” In 2011, Donna retired as president from a 31-year career at CGI, one of the largest IT business and consulting firms in the world.

At Wesleyan, Donna learned to be part of a community bigger than herself and to connect ideas that weren’t obvious—lessons that have been integral to her leadership, whether as a corporate CEO or chair of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees. Donna inspires team members to build work that makes a difference. For example, during her career, she helped to create software for banks that identified human traffickers, for states that dramatically reduced child abuse and neglect, and for school districts that created over a billion meals for hungry kids who were out of school during the pandemic. Donna also learned from her Wesleyan experience that nobody succeeds alone. She’s grateful for the friends, faculty, and classmates who helped her. Motivated by gratitude, she now gives back—supporting financial aid so that first-generation college students, like her, have an opportunity to experience Wesleyan.