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Why do you give to MU?

by Anthea Ayebaze | Sep 28, 2016

One of my favorite things to do is calling and thanking recent donors to Manchester. I’ve been told that it’s part of my job – “it’s best if it comes from the president” – but it feels more like recess and less like school work did when I was a kid. It’s the highlight of my day and something I can’t get enough of. One of my favorite questions is “what prompted you to make your gift?”

I talked recently with Linda Murbach ’62 to thank her for her gift to the Avis A. Murbach Literacy Fund and learned that her answer was “to equip future teachers to be effective teachers.”

Linda graduated with a degree in education and spent her long career teaching, serving as a principal and working with children with learning disabilities in a hospital. Along the way she earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Linda told me that the fund is named in honor of her mother who borrowed from family and friends to keep Linda in college after her father’s health issues meant a loss of family income during her freshman year. Given that back story, I guessed that the endowment was a scholarship fund to help others who, like Linda, find it hard to pay for college.

Instead, Linda told me, the endowment provides funds for faculty development in the area of teaching literacy. When Linda was a principal, she was discouraged that many of the new teachers that she interviewed and hired weren’t well prepared to teach literacy. “I know how important it is for faculty have the resources they need to be good teachers,” she said.

Linda’s gift assures that our faculty are well equipped to graduate new teachers ready to contribute in the classroom from Day One. It’s a wonderful investment in making certain that future learners have more effective teachers than she could find when hiring new teachers.