UConn Nation continues to prove its commitment to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive UConn community. Whether contributing to scholarships, endowing new funds, or joining important and educational conversations, our alumni and donors were a force for change in fiscal 2022. Their generosity and engagement strengthened the UConn Foundation’s support for the University’s critical work related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
GIFTS SUPPORTING DEI
In fiscal 2022, more than 3,700 donors gave $23 million to funds that support important DEI factors, such as diversity of race, socioeconomics, and gender and sexual identity. This philanthropy makes a UConn education accessible and achievable for more students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and provides resources for researchers working to address society’s systemic problems.
Nearly half of the 37 funds that were endowed in fiscal 2022 were created for DEI initiatives. In all, 5,684 gifts were given to support DEI, including eight of $1 million or more. Among those were:
- A gift from Greg Susla ’80 (PHR) funds research to identify and reverse health disparities in Connecticut. (Read more about this gift.)
- The Star Kids Kathy and Geno Auriemma Scholarship supports undergraduate student-athletes who are members of the women’s basketball team, with preference given to students demonstrating financial need.
- The Pratt & Whitney Scholars Program, a scholarship supporting underrepresented students, helps build a diverse workforce for the future. (Read more about this program.)
EVENTS SUPPORTING DEI
Philanthropy funded 31 events related to DEI, including impactful and educational conversations and networking opportunities that drew more than 1,200 attendees.
- The This is America series, now in its third year, brought together UConn alumni, students, and faculty to discuss systemic racism, social justice, and human rights issues. Among the topics were critical race theory in schools, the long-standing history and experiences of Native and Indigenous peoples at UConn, and the disability rights movement.
- The UConn African American Alumni Council’s Real Talk series presented expert speakers on topics such as racism as a deadly disease, and what environmental and climate justice mean for communities of color.
- The Asian American Alumni Association (UConn4A) hosted several events ranging from social engagement, professional networking, community engagement, and celebrations. UConn4A also launched a mentorship program to pair alumni with undergraduates or recent graduates.
THE WORK CONTINUES
The Class of 2026 is the most diverse in the University’s history. Forty-seven percent are students of color, and nearly 27 percent are from backgrounds historically underrepresented in higher education. The UConn Foundation remains committed to supporting UConn in creating a welcoming and inclusive climate for these students, and all members of our community.