When University Advancement reached out to Liliana Mickle to serve as this year’s UMass Boston Fund spokesperson, we knew her story would resonate with faculty and staff. Beyond the myriad professional “gifts” she has bestowed to our students during her 28 year tenure on our campus as both student and employee, Liliana has intentionally made UMass Boston the priority of her annual charitable “gifts.”
When Liliana entered her freshman year at UMass Boston in 1981, she immediately understood that her background would never determine the places her UMass Boston degree would take her. As a young mother with a toddler and a first generation college student, she says the staff members of the Directions for Student Potential Program believed in her.
They helped Liliana fortify her academic skills that have been the undercurrent of her success in the enrollment management and academic support fields. “Everywhere I turned a chorus of support proclaimed, ‘you have potential,’” Liliana says.
Now she is the one who identifies and champions our students’ potential — every day. Liliana is still a student too, pursuing her doctorate in higher education administration.
When she came to my office to be video taped, I realized just how perfect Liliana was. She is a brilliant example of “talent development” at its very best. Our university believed in her and through her life we see the transformative power of higher education. And when education inspires a life of purpose, a tremendous multiplier effect is initiated.
Liliana has made the dream of a college education possible for hundreds if not thousands of students in her years of service. Few have witnessed the leveraging impact of financial aid as dramatically as she has. Student aid is a key designation for gifts made to the UMass Boston Fund.
So when you get asked to make a gift, say “Yes.” And if you don’t get asked, say “Yes” too. As Liliana shares in our video, private support is vitally important to UMass Boston’s mission.
People can make charitable gifts anywhere:
here’s why your investment to public higher education “reaches higher.”
Nan Cormier is director of advancement communications at UMass Boston