Public universities are one of the great glories of American life. The number and quality of these institutions far exceed what is available in other developed countries, and make the democratic dream of higher education for all one day attainable. But such a goal is still a long way off. Today, a public university faces an untenable choice: either raise tuition, perhaps dramatically, to sustain increasing costs, or allow the quality of its faculty, its archive, its facilities, and its leadership to deteriorate.
There is only one way that both private and public universities have managed to sustain themselves without making the cost of education impossible for all but the very rich, and that is through the generosity of private donors. Unfortunately, private universities have benfited far more throughout their history from the largess of their alumni. The simple truth is that, for most of the last century, those who attended public institutions were subsidized in large part by state taxes, and neither students nor university administrators considered donations by alumni and members of the community a high priority.
All this has changed. The various departments of the University of Utah now depend on the kindness of strangers, and of course alumni, to help them meet even the most basic needs. The English Department serves a central mission at the university--it teaches students to read critically and write persuasively--but it must do so with ever-shrinking state support. Without private giving, that mission will inevitably fail.
Our needs are many, but here are a few of the most pressing:
- Scholarships for deserving undergraduates
- Fellowships for deserving graduate students
- Endowed professorships to allow us to attract the best and brightest to Utah
- A departmental endowment that will allow us to support the research of our faculty members in the face of declining state support
- Funds to support diversity among our students and faculty at a time when Utah's demographics are changing daily
There are many opportunities for named scholarships, fellowships, and endowed professorships, and the department is committed to working closely with alumni and friends in matching the interests of potential donors with departmental needs.
If you or someone you know would like to discuss making a gift
to the English Department you may do so online here:
Or please feel to contact our Program Coordinator Marc Hoenig, who would be happy to offer some guidance. Marc can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing him c/o the English Department.