New UConn Parents Encourage Others to Give

Mark Boxer MBA '87.
Mark Boxer MBA '87.

The connections between Mark Boxer MBA ’87 and UConn are both wide-ranging and deep. As a life member of the UConn Alumni Association; an alumnus of the part-time MBA, graduate of the executive program in managed care, and participant in the public health Ph.D. program; advisor to and adjunct faculty member in the School of Business; and board member of the UConn Foundation, Boxer has experienced the University from numerous perspectives.

This fall, he’s gaining a new and personal one, as his eldest daughter joins the UConn freshman class in Storrs.

Boxer and his wife, Michelle, have long supported the University with private giving, and are now encouraging other UConn parents to consider the role of philanthropy in supporting their own students’ UConn experience. Together, they are pledging to match, dollar-for-dollar, gifts made by current UConn parents, until giving from parents, along with the dollar-for-dollar match from the Boxers, reaches $250,000.

“With the new campaign now underway, we wanted to find a special way to inspire others to consider donating. Parents pay tuition already, but we also know that tuition only covers part of the cost of a UConn education,” says Mark Boxer.

Adds Michelle, “We have to find ways to provide not only the basics for our students, but also those unique programs that make UConn such a special place for our children. That’s a great role for philanthropy, whether donations are for scholarships, study abroad programs, athletics, or in other areas.”

Aside from his personal connection as a new UConn parent, Boxer credits his UConn education for his later success in business. And in his current role as executive vice president and global chief information officer for CIGNA, he sees a strategic need for the state’s flagship public university to thrive.

The University … helps to power the very economy that our students will graduate into.

“I can envision a time when UConn is the pre-eminent public research university not only in New England, but across the nation,” he says. “We can already see great things in development, including the announcement of the UConn Technology Park and the emergence of Bioscience Connecticut at the UConn Health Center. As a businessperson in a Connecticut-headquartered company, I want my state’s university to have a national reputation for academic excellence and research, attracting top talent to the state and then providing the skilled workforce that we need to grow. The University, in fact, helps to power the very economy that our students will graduate into.”

He believes that the economic climate today particularly drives the growing needs of the University and its students.

“This is a very different University from when I attended to earn my MBA, and we can see what UConn aims to still become under the leadership of President Susan Herbst,” he says. “Given her vision, in these times of funding challenges for the state, we want to support the University and help it achieve its aspiration.”

The Boxers hope their offer of a match inspires other parents to contribute toward that UConn vision.

“It’s not the amount of the gift that truly matters. Parents should find a niche at UConn that is especially meaningful to them or to their student. If they’ve donated before, we’d welcome them to make another gift this year, which we’ll match. If they’ve never donated, we’d ask them to make their first step and we will match that as well. Literally, every contribution makes a difference. We can all leave a legacy that sustains the University into the future, which in turn helps everyone.”

For information about the Parents Fund, click here.

To make a gift to the UConn Parents Fund or any other area of the University, please visit the secure giving site.