Letter: Senior Class Gift a gift for students

In response to “The greatest gift of all.”

By Letter to the Editor

Last week, a Maroon op-ed suggested that funds contributed to the Senior Class Gift are absorbed into the endowment, which is then spent by University officials at their discretion. I want to be clear that this money is allocated to the College Fund and is spent on programs, events, trips, and opportunities that benefit students just like you.

I am an alumna who came back to work for the University because of the leadership of Dean Boyer, who, for the past 20 years, has shaped our college into a place of international excellence that prioritizes student life and greets student innovation with support provided by the Fund.

For those who seek transparency about funds, I can attest that the Senior Class Gift is an expendable fund rather than an endowment fund.

As a College student in the ’90s, I knew this campus when there was no Max P., South Campus, Ratner, or Booth. Harper was a library. With books. I remember coming back to campus in 2010 when I was interviewing for the position I now hold. I was incredibly impressed by how much change had occurred and how the student body had transformed. One thing, however, remained the same: Dean Boyer.

Dean Boyer, an alumnus like me, and countless others demonstrate commitment to student life on campus through the College Fund. For more than 10 years, the College Fund has supported a myriad of programs, projects, and ideas that help students develop professionally and personally, build community, and excel in areas in and out of the classroom. This includes supporting “UChicago Careers In…” programming, Metcalf internships, and opportunities for students to go abroad for study and research. As recently as this quarter, the Fund has supported our students’ initiative and innovation by funding Chicago Raas’s recent trip to a dance competition in California and MODA’s fashion show, and is providing additional financial resources for the Uncommon Fund.

The expendable dollars in the College Fund are not a part of the permanent endowment of the University. The loss to College students engendered by the absence of a Senior Class Gift would be direct and, in my view, very regrettable.

I am very happy to meet with College students who wish to discuss the College Fund.

Eleanor Daugherty, A.B. ‘97, Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Associate Dean of the College