A message from CGS

Natalie McKnight
Dean, CGS

871 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

Support CGS

September 2021

In the past year our students, faculty, and staff found their classes and work split between Zoom and socially distant on-campus experiences. For many, a run to Starbucks was replaced by a run to the nearest campus COVID testing center. Still, the College of General Studies is thriving—thanks to our faculty’s creativity, our students’ resiliency, and our alumni, parents, and friends’ strong support.

Over the summer, our faculty and staff guided our freshmen through six weeks of exploring and learning in New England, rather than England. From Newport mansions to Fenway Park, our students had a robust and enriching experience as they prepared for a full return to campus for their sophomore year. Your gifts to the CGS Dean’s Fund enable us to be responsive to fast-changing circumstances, such as needing to pivot to a US-based program this summer. They also help us plan ahead: for example, this year we launched a new four-year interdisciplinary studies minor, which provides our students with the opportunity to deepen their understanding and appreciation of how disciplines intersect and can work together to create new knowledge and solve real-world problems.

And, of course, we use your donations to provide direct support to students, sometimes through financial aid and other times through paid undergraduate research positions. In the past seven years, we’ve gone from offering one or two paid research stipends each year to more than 50. These opportunities help students forge close relationships with faculty, choose majors, find internships and jobs, and get into competitive graduate schools. We use your gifts to assist our faculty, too. In the pandemic, many of them lost valuable research time, and in the upcoming year we will support them as they get back to conferences, travel, and archives—increasingly on a global scale and increasingly to explore topics of great societal relevance.

Finally, your gifts strengthen the CGS community as a whole. With donor support this year we held our first Emerging Scholars Symposium on Diversifying General Education Courses, featuring three young scholars from underrepresented groups who shared strategies for diversifying classes and handling difficult conversations. In the spring, again with donor support, we launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion speaker series, which brings in established scholars to spark college-wide dialogue about race, gender, and sexuality.

In addition to financial support, we welcome your guidance and encouragement for our students and your ideas about how we can stay connected with you and other CGS alumni and friends. Set up your BU Connects profile to engage directly with students; register for a virtual town hall or happy hour; and keep an eye out for upcoming events in your area.

Thank you for your continued support.

Natalie McKnight
Dean, BU College of General Studies

PS: You can give online any time at bu.edu/give2cgs. Thank you for your generous support.