New UConn Parents Encourage Others
To Give Through Matching Gift

From the UConn Foundation's e-newsletter, Our Moment (August-September 2011)

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Mark Boxer MBA '87 PhD
The connections between Mark Boxer MBA ’87 and UConn are both wide-ranging and deep. As a life member of the UConn Alumni Association; an alumnus of the part-time MBA, graduate of the executive program in managed care and participant in the public health PhD program; advisor to—and adjunct faculty in—the School of Business; and board member of the UConn Foundation, Dr. Boxer has experienced the University from numerous perspectives.

This fall, he’s gaining a new and personal one, as his oldest daughter joins the UConn freshmen class of 2015 in Storrs.

Boxer and his wife, Michelle, have long supported the University with private giving and are now encouraging other UConn parents to consider the role of philanthropy to support their own students’ UConn experience. Together, they are pledging to match, dollar-for-dollar, gifts made by current UConn parents, until giving from parents, along with the dollar-for-dollar match from the Boxers, reaches $250,000.

“With the new campaign now underway, we wanted to find a special way to inspire others to consider donating. Parents pay tuition already, but we also know that tuition only covers part of the cost of a UConn education,” he says.

“We have to find ways to provide not only the basics for our students, but also those unique programs that make UConn such a special place for our children,” adds Michelle. “That’s a great role for philanthropy, whether donations are for scholarships, study abroad programs, athletics or in other areas.”

Aside from his personal connection as a new UConn parent, Boxer credits his UConn education for his later success in business. And in his current role as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer for CIGNA, he sees a strategic need for the state’s flagship public university to thrive.

“I can envision a time when UConn is the pre-eminent public research university not only in New England, but across the nation. We can already see great things in development, including the announcement of the UConn technology park and the emergence of Bioscience Connecticut at the UConn Health Center. As a businessperson in a Connecticut-headquartered company, I want my state’s university to have a national reputation for academic excellence and research, attracting top talent to the state and then providing the skilled workforce that we need to grow. The University, in fact, helps to power the very economy that our students will graduate into.”

He believes that the economic climate today particularly drives the growing needs of the University and its students.

“This is a very different University from when I attended to earn my MBA, and we can see what UConn aims to still become under the leadership of President Susan Herbst,” he says. “Given her vision, in these times of funding challenges for the state, we want to support the University and help it achieve its aspiration.”

The Boxers hope that their offer of a match inspires other parents to contribute toward that UConn vision. “It’s not the amount of the gift that truly matters. Parents should find a niche at UConn that is especially meaningful to them or to their student. If they’ve donated before, we’d welcome them to make another gift this year, which we’ll match. If they’ve never donated, we’d ask them to make their first step and we will match that as well. Literally, every contribution makes a difference. We can all leave a legacy that sustains the University into the future, which in turn helps everyone.”

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