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The Gretchen Wenner Butler Student Wellness Fund

The Need

Mental health and wellness are key to our students’ overall health and wellbeing. Good mental health is as important as good physical health. Diagnoses of neurodiversity, anxiety, and depression together represent the most diagnosed mental health conditions among school-age children nationally. Those diagnoses become even more prevalent during the teen years. We experience all these conditions at Saint John’s Prep. Similar to national findings, both the number and severity of mental health conditions among Prep students has risen in recent years, calling out the need for us to prioritize mental health and wellness awareness and support programs.

Joe Wenner '63, Chris Wenner '90, Rachel Wenner Ruzanic '95, Michelle Wenner Chestovich '92, Gretchen Wenner Butler '03, and Mary Legatt Wenner

The Wenner family is seen above: Joe Wenner ’63, Chris Wenner ’90, Rachel Wenner Ruzanic ’95, Michelle Wenner Chestovich ’92, †Gretchen Wenner Butler ’03, and Mary Legatt Wenner.

The Gretchen Wenner Butler Student Wellness Fund, created by the Joe and Mary Wenner family (Joe ’63, Chris ’90, Michelle ’92, and Rachel ’95) and named in honor of their daughter, 2003 Prep graduate Gretchen Wenner, will sustain and expand mental health and wellness programs at Saint John’s Prep and support mental health awareness and education. This fund will allow Prep to better support the mental health needs of Prep students and underscores our commitment to providing a holistic and supportive learning experience at Saint John’s Prep.

Student Wellness Fund Objectives

The Student Wellness Endowment Fund will:

Sustain and expand the school’s mental health programs and activities to ensure they remain accessible, comprehensive, and tailored to the diverse needs of our student body.

Support mental health awareness and education by promoting mental health literacy and fostering a culture of open dialogue around mental health.

Support wellness activities, sustaining programming that provides students, faculty, and staff with opportunities to find balance and overall wellness in their lives.

Gretchen Wenner Butler 2003 Yearbook 1

We know that mental health challenges have and continue to deeply impact many in the Prep School community. As we approach the anniversary of Gretchen’s passing (March 5, 2021), we invite you to contribute to the Gretchen Wenner Butler Student Wellness Fund in support of this important work. More than simply honoring Gretchen’s memory, your support will leave a legacy of care and support for students for years and generations to come. Together, we can make an enormous difference in the lives of current and future Prep students. 

If you would like to make a gift today or in the future, please reference the Gretchen Wenner Butler Student Wellness Fund whether you make a gift online,  with a personal check, through a donor advised fund, executing a stock transfer, or requesting a distribution from an IRA. Gifts can be mailed to Saint John’s Prep, Box 4000, 2280 Watertower Rd, Collegeville, MN 56321. 

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact a member of our Advancement Department at 320-363-3315.