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Why I Give to AAC&U: Elisabeth Zinser, PhD

Engaging with and investing in the work of AAC&U has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my professional career, and I enjoy many lasting friendships with colleagues met through this association.

I have been fortunate to have attended major private and public universities, to have worked in a variety of universities and communities over the span of my academic career of 43 years, and to have served on the boards of several higher education associations.

While it is a privilege to support most of them, I decided that whatever I could give in time and money to AAC&U would have the greatest impact in realizing the aims and values I hold most dear for college students, today and long into the future.

Why? Because: AAC&U is the nation’s beacon for quality liberal education across America’s post secondary education landscape. It is the hope for deep and engaged learning for all students, no matter what their major or institutional type. It is the inspiration and leading resource for institutions and faculties to achieve ambitious agendas in cutting-edge liberal education curricula, assessment and research. AAC&U’s unique mission and focused leadership yield expansive influence within the academy and beyond. It carries, in my view, the most powerful promise for our nation as a civil, educated and productive society; a thriving democracy; and an insightful, constructive partner in the world of diverse nations.


Elisabeth Zinser is a retired university president and former Chair of the Board of Directors, Association of American Colleges & Universities.