Theresa Reed ’17 has barely started on her career and post-graduate life, yet she has already made a commitment to give back to Wagner.
A Staten Islander who graduated from Curtis High School, Reed received two scholarships to help pay for her Wagner education: the Presidential Scholarship for Academic Achievement and the Robert E. ’58 and Cathrine Heller ’60 Gritman Scholarship.
Bob and Cathy Gritman established this scholarship fund in 1998 to benefit students with academic promise, who have demonstrated leadership in school, church, or community activities.
The Gritmans return to Wagner regularly to meet with their scholarship students. They got to know Reed especially well, even attending her graduation party, and they have continued to keep in touch.
Out of gratitude for the Gritmans’ support and her Wagner opportunities, Reed has joined the Century Leaders. These graduates from the most recent 10 years make an annual gift of at least $100 for every year since they graduated. They join the Inner Circle of donors, gradually stepping up to that level of giving, set at $1,500 annually.
Reed has made her first annual gift to the Make a Difference Fund, which helps current students in need, in honor of the Gritmans.
“Wagner was my dream school and I had so many amazing experiences over my four years at Wagner, including amazing internships,” says Reed. “If it weren’t for the Gritman Scholarship and my academic scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to come to Wagner.”
Reed fell in love with Wagner at an early age, when she visited the planetarium on an elementary school trip. To little Theresa, Main Hall looked just like Hogwarts, the “school of witchcraft and wizardry” in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She wanted to be part of the magic.
At Wagner, Reed discovered that she could pursue a career in the entertainment world. She majored in arts administration, and her focus area is television production. While she was a student, she did two internships in New York, with The Dr. Oz Show and CBS Primetime Casting, and another in Los Angeles, with The Bold and the Beautiful.
In addition, she took film classes at Wagner through the new film and media studies major. One of her documentaries received the top prize in the Wagner Film Festival. She also worked as an intern for the Wagner College Holocaust Center.
Reed appreciated the challenging and practical arts administration curriculum. “All my courses helped me, whether making me a stronger writer or working on my oral presentation skills,” she says.
Most recently, she served as a production assistant for ABC’s game show The $100,000 Pyramid.
“I knew how much the Gritman Scholarship meant to me, and I knew that I wanted to help others’ dreams of coming to Wagner come true, too,” Reed says.
Bob Gritman says that he’s happy about how the scholarship is giving students opportunities and inspiring them to be generous. “I’m glad to see that type of thing is occurring,” he says. “There are so many takers in our world today. It’s always good to see when people want to give back.”