A Grateful Message To An Anonymous Donor

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Dear Anonymous Donor,

     Thank you – whoever you are – for kicking off our Centennial like this! We received your $1 million bank check and anonymous letter. We will make sure that it is used exactly as you requested.

     It is extraordinarily rare that the University receives a truly anonymous gift of this size – and it will make all the difference. Donors often want their names kept private, but getting an anonymous $1 million bank check in a FedEx with instructions for its use has never happened at the UConn School of Engineering. And this public thank-you is our only hope of reaching you.

     We are enormously grateful to you – and everyone who is helping to transform the School of Engineering.

     People often say how much the School of Engineering has changed; and usually they are talking about buildings. But the School has changed in huge ways that all of you should be proud of. We have become a major engine driving the Connecticut’s economy. We graduate almost half of all the engineers in Connecticut and they are directly involved in industries generating 37% of the state’s GDP – that was $93 billion last year. Yes, we’ve increased our student body almost 100% in the last 10 years (from 1,566 to 3,066) – but the change is more than numbers. It’s about quality.

     Previously, professors addressing first-day freshman engineering classes would tell the students to look to their left and right and know that only one of them would graduate. Today our graduation rate is almost 70%. Why? Because we attract top students – some with scholarships – and help everyone with mentors and coaches and academic advisors.

     In the past, professors were measured by the accumulated knowledge each brought to the School. Today, professors leverage the Internet, local industry as well as their own research – helping students fully grasp and apply information from the best sources and experiences imaginable. We are building up endowed professorships and chairs so that we can attract and retain the best academic talent.

     Engineering is still challenging. Courses are demanding and require work and sacrifice. Tuition, room and board is over $26k in-state.

     But donors – every donor – makes a difference. This is what it takes to raise up the UConn School of Engineering. One scholarship gift paid over a 5-year period opens the doors to smart high school students who might be the first in their family to go to college. One professorship at a time makes it possible to attract the best talent to UConn to devote their career to teaching and encouraging Engineering students.

Dear Friend – Thank you for sending that check to the School of Engineering.

-Kazem Kazerounian – Dean, UConn School of Engineering

dean@engr.uconn.edu  

Published: February 29, 2016