Why I Give

In the footsteps of Ada Draper

The summer after her graduation, Dianne Dyslin (CAS’82) went on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Europe—thanks to a BU travel fund. Today, she’s determined to make sure other women get to do the same.

In 1982, Dyslin secured an Ada Draper Award, a fund established in 1888 to help women graduates research and travel abroad. It supported her postgraduate tour of 12 European countries, a personal quest to explore the cultural, religious, and historical sites—from Stonehenge to the Vatican—she had studied at BU. And all, she notes, “with no strings attached and no paper to write afterward.”

Dyslin, an associate director of stewardship and donor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., credits the Draper fund for nourishing a lifelong passion for world travel (her most recent trip was to Mongolia). So, having learned that the original Draper funds were diminishing, Dyslin found a way to continue Ada Draper’s vision of giving women BU graduates the educational benefits of an overseas adventure. She has provided a generous bequest in her will to initiate the Friends of the Ada Draper Award. She hopes other Draper beneficiaries will support it, too.

“I think Ada Draper’s goal was to make the grand tour of Europe possible for young women BU graduates who would not otherwise have the means to go,” she says. “That tour changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to her for it.”

In late 2016, Dyslin was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which she knows will shorten her life.

“The new Draper fund is a way to put my retirement funds—which I’ll likely never spend—to good use. The fund is my highest philanthropic priority and takes the edge off my situation, knowing that this money will go toward something I am truly passionate about.”

If you are a past or present Ada Draper Award recipient and would like to contribute to the Friends of the Ada Draper Award, contact Gregg Carlo, Associate Director, CAS Development & Alumni Relations, at 617-358-0627 or gcarlo@bu.edu.