Dear President Coleman,
I am a proud double graduate of the University. I credit my Michigan education with affording me opportunities that relatively few others in the world have and with giving me an edge over many of my colleagues. I received a valuable education that has enabled me to begin a career I love. Your university empowered me to be a confident and capable young woman who thinks for herself. Two weekends ago, I sat in the Big House and watched my baby sister graduate, and I couldn’t be prouder. I bleed maize and blue.
But as of May 16, I also could not be more disgusted. That night, I received a call from Michigan Telefund. The young woman on the other end was polite and appropriate. We reached the point in the conversation where she asked me to donate. I said I wasn’t quite yet in a position to donate, but the information you have on file for me is correct. We chatted about lost funding and budget cuts, and what that means for scholarships. She asked me two more times to donate. Both times I said I would when I was able. Then something utterly disheartening happened: the young lady on the other end of the phone suggested that she could call me back after I had a chance to ask my husband about it. That’s funny: as far as I could tell, it was my phone that rang and I who had answered.
If there’s any organization in the world that should truly understand that I, along with every other female Michigan graduate, am capable of making my own decisions and speaking for myself, it should be yours. After my parents, my boyfriend-turned-fiancé-turned-spouse and I paid your university $141,466.32 to shape me into a confident, capable, and self-sufficient young woman, it would be much appreciated if your organization believed that a confident, capable self-sufficient young woman is exactly what I’ve become.
Katherine (Murkowski) Steffy
LSA ‘09, SPH ‘12