Enter the debunking article
Chapel of philanthropy
The reply made by
Rockefeller Chapel Dean Alison Boden to the letter written by
Denis Cowan, AM’42, PhD’60, both published in the August/04
issue, was most restrained and polite, as befits her position.
However, as a volunteer fund-raiser for the
College for the past 39 years, as well as a modest donor to the
College and the Biological Sciences Division, I would like to comment
further on Mr. Cowan’s remarks.
I certainly don’t consider myself or any
of the people I have had the pleasure of soliciting donations from
through all these years as “money-grubbers.” Every donor
I’ve ever contacted has simply been a generous and loyal alum
seeking to enable the University to provide to others the same quality
education we were fortunate enough to receive.
In my opinion, the extremely generous donors
who gave more than $1 million each to the University truly deserved
to be honored at the festive dinner set in Rockefeller Chapel. I
feel immensely grateful that the University permitted me to attend
even though I don’t have the financial resources to be one
of the “big donors.” I regard that lovely evening as
a marvelous reward for anything my fund-raising efforts ever accomplished.
The sight of Rockefeller filled with flowers and gorgeously decorated
tables was totally unmatched by any of my experiences in the chapel,
including four separate convocations receiving my various academic
degrees, and even the great moment when I received the Alumni Service
Award a few years ago.
To call us “money-grubbers” is to
traduce the entire concept of community and of charitable giving.
I sincerely hope Mr. Cowan will soon develop a less misanthropic
attitude—or at least not hide it behind a pretense of concern
for the religious purposes of Rockefeller Chapel, purposes that
were in no way harmed by using its premises to celebrate the goodness
of some of the University’s patrons.
Eve Jones, PhB’46, SB’48, SM’48,
The University of Chicago Magazine
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