Friday, April 23, 2010

A request to consider donating to Shimer College, by Michael Weinman

The following letter was written by Shimer alumnus Michael David Weinman, class of 1998.

As some of you well know, and as others you may not know at all, my undergraduate alma mater, Shimer College, has been locked in a foundational and generational challenge for its identity over the past year. One chapter of this challenge—an important one—came to a close this past Monday, with the resignation of Shimer’s controversial (and now former) President Thomas Lindsay. This very good news, as is clear from the fact that the entire Shimer community (as represented by the unanimous vote of the faculty, and that of the Assembly, and a very large petition drive among alums and friends of the College, all calling for Lindsay to step down) has welcomed the news.

(If you’d like to learn more about what the heck Shimer College is and is all about, click here: http://saveshimer.com/history/a-brief-history-of-shimer-college. If you’d like to learn more about the College’s more recent history, you can read a brief but substantial account here: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/21/shimer. For the statement from the faculty expressing no confidence in President Lindsay: http://shimerstudentalliance.blogspot.com/2010/04/faculty-votes-no-confidence-in.html. For the motion passed by Shimer’s Assembly—the self-governing body comprised of students, faculty and staff—click here: http://shimerstudentalliance.blogspot.com/2010/04/assembly-votes-no-confidence.html.)

Now that this chapter, has closed, though, the most important chapter remains to be written: will Shimer, now back in its own hands, finally be able to achieve financial stability and enrollment growth and thrive in its new home in Chicago? While it will take some time to find out with certainty, one very important early hurdle is to make clear to the College’s accrediting body—the North Central Association—and to the large institutional donors whose generosity is needed to make liberal arts education affordable under current economic realities that Shimer has a solid foundation of financial support from its community of graduates and friends.

For this reason, I am writing to ask you today to make a donation of whatever size to Shimer College. Today is the very best day to do so, not just because donations made now can be clearly demonstrated to coincide with Thomas Lindsay’s departure, and not just because there is a dollar-for-dollar match sponsored by two Shimer Board members (up to $50,000), but also because there is a new easy-to-use web portal to make the donation. So, if you’d like to contribute, please go to: http://www.causes.com/causes/475198, and follow the easy to use link.

If you’re thinking that maybe this is a good idea, but you’d like to learn more first, or have questions you’d like to have answered, or know of someone who might potentially be a substantial donor, please drop me a line at: mdweinman@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for your time and attention.

Sincerely,
Michael Weinman

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