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Annual Appeal Letter

Shannon and David McCaleAs a former economics major and member of the men's cross country and track team, I remember how demanding it was to meet team obligations while maintaining my grades. But these challenges brought opportunities. Like many alumni, I have found that the traits I attained in Southern's classrooms and on the playing field — cooperation, perseverance, ambition, and decisiveness — ultimately contributed to my business success.

One of the most rewarding opportunities I received as a Southern student was an internship with Northeast Utilities (NU). During my senior year at Southern, I spent 20 hours a week conducting economic research for the company. The internship allowed me to experience the workforce before graduation and, ultimately, helped launch my 32-year career with NU, where I currently serve as executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Clearly, my internship was a life-changing experience, one I was able to capitalize on, in part, because I did not simultaneously need to hold a part-time job.

Not every student is as fortunate. Today, many students must work long hours in order to pay for college — often, making it impossible for them to complete a valuable internship or research project.
Southern offers an exceptional education and strives to keep tuition affordable, despite declining state support. But obstacles remain:

  • Today's full-time Southern undergraduate student living on campus pays approximately $20,000 per year, a hardship for most students.
  • The percentage of Southern's freshman class that works off campus has increased since 2011 from 47% to 56%.
  • Approximately 27% of Southern seniors work more than 26 hours a week to help finance their education.

Your gift can help students overcome these challenges and fully capitalize on all Southern has to offer. Every gift— regardless of its size — makes a difference.

Critically needed initiatives such as The Southern Fund, the university's area of highest priority, help ease the burden of talented Southern students like Sarah and Nico (see page 2) and support their efforts to continue their education. To view "Their Stories" go to I think you'll agree that our students are uniquely deserving of your support.

With this in mind, the SCSU Foundation has recently funded a number of important initiatives, all designed to help Southern's students stay in school and earn their degrees. Your gifts to The Southern Fund will help advance these vital programs:

Foundation Student Support Fund

  • Lending a helping hand in times of need, this fund provides financial assistance outside of the traditional financial aid process.

Book Loan Scholarship Program

  • Each year the average student in the United States spends $1,168 on textbooks and materials. Annually, this fund will provide about 40 Southern students with $500 each for course books.

Undergraduate Resource Grants

  • Beginning in summer 2014, this fund will provide five grants of $3,000 each to undergraduates who are completing research guided by a faculty mentor.

As chairman of the SCSU Foundation, I believe that successful people should give back to the university that helped them succeed. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I received as a Southern student. For that reason, my wife, Shannon, and I established a scholarship to help today's students — talented individuals like Sarah and Nico, who I firmly believe will become tomorrow's leaders.

Southern remains a university of choice and excellence. With your support, we can help our students complete their education while making the most of their academic experience. Please join me by making a gift today.

Sincerely yours,
David R. McHale, '82
Chairman, SCSU Foundation Board of Directors

P.S. Please take a moment to help Southern make the most of your gift. Many companies like Northeast Utilities match employees' charitable contributions. To see if your company matches – or even doubles or triples – your gift, please go to