NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Wiegers Capital Partners, Lehman Brothers
FUNDING AREAS: Health & Human Services, Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Environment
OVERVIEW: George Wiegers, his wife Elizabeth, and family conduct their philanthropy through the Wiegers Family Foundation, which gave away around $145,000 in a recent year. The family prioritizes mental health and education in their philanthropy. Colorado serves as an important region of giving.
BACKGROUND: George A. Wiegers graduated from Niagara University and received an MBA from Columbia University. He was a managing director of Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., and a partner at Lehman Brothers and Dean Witter. Wiegers went on to cofound family-owned private investment firm Wiegers Capital Partners with his son Alexander in 1998.
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Wiegers’ mother suffered from bipolar disorder, and he vowed to advance research and treatment in mental health. Last decade, he helped establish the National Network of Depression Centers, a consortium of the country's leading medical centers, to develop and implement best practices for the diagnosis and treatment of depression and other mood disorders. At Stanford, the Wiegers family gave a $2.5 million gift to launch the Depression Optogenetics Center, a program that applies a breakthrough technology that uses light to identify and control the activity of individual neurons in the brain. He has also given at least $8 million to the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center at University of Colorado.
Other grantees have included Bring Change to Mind, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy,” Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute, the Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth, which addresses with youth suicide, and The Doe Fund, which “provides paid transitional work, housing, educational opportunities, counseling, and career training to people with histories of homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse.”
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Wiegers served as a trustee of University of Colorado Foundation, which the family supports, and Alexander is an alum. Other grantees have included Reach Out and Read Colorado and Columbia Business School, where Wiegers has supported the Dean’s Prizes for Teaching Excellence.
ARTS & CULTURE: Grantees have included Central Park Conservancy, Rocky Mountain PBS, Vail International Dance Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, and KUVO, a non-profit FM radio station broadcasting mainly jazz music in a public radio format.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the family to stick with their select interest areas. Down the line, Alexander should be watched carefully as the family’s giving moves on to the next generation.
The Wiegers Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
The Wiegers Family Foundation
307 5th Ave., 8th Fl.
New York City, NY 10016