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Helen’s Circle


The Helen Clarke Jenks Cleary Giving Circle is named after Helen Cleary, the wife of Cleary University’s founder, in recognition of her many contributions to the institution. Helen’s Circle was established with a firm belief that higher education has a positive effect on society and that Cleary University is educating students to serve a world in need. Helen’s Circle offers financial support to faculty, staff, students, or student organizations to help them achieve goals, dreams, and ideas that could not otherwise be met or promoted within the normal operating budget of the University.


Helen’s Circle aspires to promote the University through investments and grants to University initiatives. We are committed to forging new relationships and building a community of thoughtful, effective women philanthropists, diverse in age, interests, and backgrounds.


The Helen Clarke Jenks Cleary Giving Circle at Cleary University aims to:

1.  Make a difference in the University by contributing time, talents, and monetary resources

2.  Encourage a sense of community among ourselves and those we serve

3.  Educate and increase awareness of the University and its needs

4.  Promote volunteerism and effective philanthropy

5.  Build a network that is a catalyst for positive change


Every contributing member pledges a minimum of $1,000 each fiscal year (beyond any other gifts or contributions being made to the University). All donations are deposited into a restricted fund and are only used for grant distributions. The amount of money available for distribution will vary each year as it is dependent on the number of Helen’s Circle members.

In order to encourage participation of our recent alumni, Helen’s Circle recently approved a new Alumnae Membership. This membership level is available to any alumni of Cleary University and is based upon how many years since graduating from Cleary. Up to 5 years after graduation, an alumni can become part of Helen’s Circle with a minimum donation of $250 per year and is entitled to 1/4 vote. In years 6 through 10 post graduation, membership is available with a minimum donation of $500 per year and enables a 1/2 vote. Beyond 10 years since graduation, alumni are welcome to join as Contributing Members with a minimum donation of $1,000 per year which allows them to have full voting privileges.

Faculty, students, student organizations, and staff are invited to apply for grants from Helen’s Circle. A Helen’s Circle committee reviews all applications and the full membership votes on distribution of the awards. Award recipients may be invited to make a short presentation at the full membership meeting about how they used their grant funds.

The University relies upon the continued philanthropy of its many friends and donors to fund student scholarships and general institutional operations. If you, or you and your spouse, currently support the University, we ask that you continue that support and consider Helen’s Circle as an additional opportunity to make a difference.


  • Lunch provided at the three business meetings per year
  • Mentoring young women
  • Cleary Spirit Shop discount of 10%
  • Exclusive invitations to special events
  • Travel opportunities through partnership with Red Carpet Travel Club


Please join us in continuing the legacy of the many great women who have contributed to Cleary University! Your membership pledge donation of $1,000 or more can be made in annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly payments in cash, check, stock, or by credit card (click on the Renew or Join button below)Donations to Helen’s Circle of any amount are also welcome without the commitment of membership (just click on the Make A Donation button below). Judy Walker, Chief Financial Officer at Cleary University, is available and happy to discuss your membership in Helen’s Circle. For more information, call 800.686.1883, extension 1201 or email jwalker@cleary.edu.



Since its inception in the fall of 2009, this dynamic group has funded 73 grants totaling $172,080.

The projects funded for the 2017-2018 fiscal year include:

  • Food Service Electric Cart – $5,000
  • Women’s Locker Room Makeover – $5,000
  • Men’s Locker Room Makeover – $5,000
  • Campus Walking/Running Path – $4,800



Sadhana Alangar
Mandy Boyers
Pat Claffey
Patrick R. Cleary II
Susan Dunn
Aleighsha Engisch
Grace Farley
Carol Griffith
Darla Hargraves
Debbie King
Carol Kopf
Beth Lewis
Kathy Perlberg
Claudia Tangalakis
Judy Walker

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