This week, we spotlight several June School Challenge donors. The June School Challenge is an exciting opportunity for alumni, parents, and friends to make an even bigger impact with their giving. Each of the generous donors below has challenged alumni, parents, and friends to give to their schools, libraries, or student affairs—if donor goals are met, Yelda, Ling, and other generous alumni have pledged to give to the University.
Yelda Basar Moers '98
Yelda Basar Moers ’98
Yelda Basar Moers’s experience at Northwestern was a mixture of society and seclusion. She joined a sorority, Alpha Phi, made incredible friendships, and engaged in a full and energetic student life. “The university’s camaraderie—it was an incredible collective energy; I had never felt that before, to be connected to so many people at once,” says Moers.
The Medill graduate—who later became an attorney and writer—was also an avid reader and would seek out the solace of the University Libraries to focus on her books. The academic heart of the community, the libraries offered an intellectual space as well as vital resources for a research university.
“They’re such an integral part of the University,” Moers says, “particularly because Northwestern wasn’t a textbook kind of place. It was a primary resource place. If you took a class on the Ancient Greece, they didn’t give you a textbook; they gave you Homer. We would read the Iliad, reading literature to understand history.”
Now a member of the Library Board of Governors and the Participation Chair for the Libraries Campaign Committee, Moers is committed to ensuring that today’s students have the same experience. Serving on the board as well as giving to the University Libraries Annual Fund, Moers helps provide support for renovations and digital resources, as well as protection for special collections. “There are rare, one-of-a-kind books worth a fortune sitting in the library; they need the proper facility to maintain them,” she says.
“Northwestern gave me so much—an unbelievable education, the confidence to go out into the real world, and four incredibly happy years. It’s my responsibility and privilege to give back.”
Ling Zhao Markovitz ’89 MMus, ’91 Certificate in Opera Performance
After Ling Zhao Markovitz earned a master's degree in music, she auditioned for the certificate in opera performance program—“the ‘king’ of post-masters degree programs at that time,” says Ling. But having come to Northwestern as an international student from Shanghai, China, she had little money. So when she received a full scholarship to the opera program, it meant a lot to her. “Without that help, I wouldn’t have been able to further my studies.”
That music education made a lasting impression on Ling, who has been a trustee at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and served on the boards of various music institutions in the years since she graduated. Music education made her a better person, she says. “We need food for our body, and we need music for our soul.”
To this day, Ling is grateful for her music studies and for receiving financial support when she needed it most. She and her husband Michael give back to the Bienen School “so others can benefit from my contribution as I benefitted from the generosity of others.”
The Bienen School Annual Fund helps enrich students’ lives through music by providing financial and merit aid, funding special artistic and academic initiatives, and supporting the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts.
Ling, who took classes before the Ryan Center united the entire Bienen School community, “can hardly believe we have such a beautiful, spectacular music building. We definitely win a gold medal for the best conservatory in the country!”
You can participate in the June School Challenge by making a gift to one of the schools or departments below: