Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren and Pat Corrigan
Inspired by son’s success, Parents’ Fund volunteers want to afford other students same NU experience.
Lauren and Pat Corrigan didn’t need much of a sales pitch to convince them to become active members of the Northwestern community. The transformation they witnessed in their son Patton (Weinberg 08) told them all they needed to know, ultimately leading them to become enthusiastic volunteers for the Parents’ Fund and recently the Northwestern University Leadership Circle New York Regional Council.
“When Patton came home after his freshman year, there was such a change in his maturity, his intellectual growth, and the way he took to college,” recalls Lauren, who now has another son, Jared Tessler, attending the Weinberg College.
“We were so impressed by what the Northwestern community had done for him in respect to so many different aspects of his life.”
Lauren, who earned degrees from Tufts University and New York University School of Law, and Pat, who earned undergraduate and law degrees from Fordham University, have since become leaders in Northwestern’s community of supporters. They remain Parents’ Fund committee members after spending the past three years as the fund’s national chairs.
The Parents’ Fund is a key component of the Northwestern Annual Fund, providing expendable, current-use income to be used at the discretion of the president for immediate needs, such as scholarships and faculty recruitment and retention.
For the Connecticut couple, the role of the Parents’ Fund in providing opportunities to deserving students carries particular resonance.
“Being on the Parents’ Fund, we know the admittance numbers from year to year because it’s part of our process to review statistics on the incoming class,” Pat says. “Northwestern [admissions] is completely need-blind, and there are so many deserving kids that are not as fortunate as our children. They have parents who are hard-working, but still can’t afford the tuition.
“This is a way for us to help the school reach out to these deserving kids so that they can attend Northwestern and have the same results our kids have had.”
Under the leadership of the Corrigans, the Parents’ Fund has thrived, increasing from $1.3 million raised in Fiscal Year 2006, to $1.5 million in 2007, and $1.75 million in 2008. In Fiscal year 2009, as the global economic crisis hit in full force, the fund still managed to raise $1.73 million―a figure that Lauren says left them “thrilled.”
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This article originally appeared in the Winter 2009 edition of the Northwestern University Leadership Circle Newsletter.