From Queens to Storrs

From the UConn Foundation's Our Moment newsletter (June-July 2012)

Deb Porter '67 is giving to support
an endowed fund for the College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For Deborah Porter '67, coming to UConn was a dramatic change from her inner-city Queens upbringing.

The youngest of three children in a family without much money, Porter nonetheless grew up with the expectation from her mother that she would attend college, a goal that was only made possible by a scholarship to UConn.

"I had heard about UConn, but it seemed so far away; trees and country. It couldn't have been more different from Queens. At the time, it also was not a very large campus. We didn't have cars, but there was enough to do around campus; I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma and adored my time there," she recalls. "The professors for my classes were very approachable, and welcomed us dropping in to ask them questions. And even back then, the basketball team was a very big thing on campus, and we had a great team at the time. It was an amazing time in my life."

Through a major planned gift, Deborah is now paying back the aid that gave her that experience, which will help establish an endowed fund in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a major strategic priority for the college (RELATED STORY: Investing in the Future of CLAS).

Reflecting on her own experience, she deeply appreciates the role that scholarships play for students.

"My family really had no money, but I had the grades," she recalls today. "The fact that UConn gave me enough scholarship support, and work-study to support myself, made an indelible impression in my brain. I would love for my own giving to allow students to have the same experiences that I did. It's made me so happy to see UConn grow in sophistication, and today's students receive such an excellent education."

Porter resides in California, following a rewarding career that saw her working in information technology and project management, on the cutting edge of the computer revolution. Her civil service career afforded her leadership positions within the US government and US Navy, programming the service's third-generation computing platforms.

While she enjoys the West Coast, her UConn experience remains fresh in her mind, partly through keeping in touch with lifelong friends from college.

"As my husband and I thought about our estate planning, we felt that we should support UConn through part of it. I feel very good about that decision and can see the need for alumni to give back," Porter says. "I am extremely grateful to UConn for giving me an education. Had I not had that opportunity, my life would have turned out very differently, and probably for the worse."

To support the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, please contact the Foundation's development department.

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