Family Values

After discovering her Asian heritage in the College, a scholarship recipient helps others give back to UChicago.

Tammy Spath, AB’96, hopes one day to endow a UChicago scholarship in honor of her mother, a South Korean who didn’t continue her education beyond elementary school because of the Korean War and came to the United States in 1971. A single mom, Yong Hwa Spath regularly told Spath and her brother, “No one can take your education away from you.”

Without a generous financial aid package on top of grants, loans, jobs, and her mother’s contributions, Spath could not have attended UChicago. A year’s tuition “was significantly more than my mother made each year,” she says. “I can still remember the day I opened the letter from the College and thinking, ‘Wow, I can really do this.’”

Arriving on campus, Spath knew no Korean; as a fourth-year she translated Korean texts for her thesis. “At UChicago,” she says, “I discovered my Asian heritage.” Majoring in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, she took every class she could with her eventual thesis adviser, Norma Field, the Robert S. Ingersoll distinguished service professor in Japanese studies.

For the past decade Spath has worked in university development, first at Stanford, then at UC–Berkeley, and now at UChicago, where she engages alumni, parents, and friends in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Spath already makes annual gifts to the College and has set up a real-estate trust benefitting the University. Knowing that her own real-estate trust will help future College students, Spath enjoys connecting other donors with the University. “I’ve seen firsthand,” she says, “how happy donors are to hear from students they’ve supported and about the programs they’ve launched.”

You can include the University in your estate plans. If you have already taken steps to do so, we encourage you to let us know. All donors who support the University through a planned gift are invited to join the Phoenix Society.

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