Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kurimay, Michael

Second Advisor

Perkins, Sheri-Coe

Third Advisor

McInery, Paul


While serving as Corporate Foundations Relations Officer and later as the Director of Corporate Relations for Marquette University, the researcher became interested in the various 'cultures of giving,' especially among minority alumni, who were seldom visible at the University's fund-raise events or regional alumni club activities. Although the University did not keep contributory records, by race and ethnicity, it was obvious to the researcher that the University's minority alumni were not a significant factor in the Development Office's plans for reaching its financial goals. This study sought to examine the philanthropic behaviors of minority graduates of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette University. Its purpose was to identify factors that influenced the minority graduate's decision to support or not to support the University financially and as volunteers. The study is an in-depth investigation into the role of variables such as the minority alumni's 'culture of giving.' Culture of giving included the graduate's personal understanding of philanthropy and the giving habits and practices of members of the minority group. The study also examines the graduate's impressions, past and present, of the University as well as their experiences while attending the University. One hundred-one minority alumni of the Educational Opportunity Program responded to the initial Minority Informational Survey, and five respondents participated in the second phase of the study, the case-study interviews. This research serves multiple purposes to multiple individuals and institutions of higher education. It provides a resource to university advancement officials who are interested in improving minority graduates participation at all levels of the University. It also serves as a resource for university advancement officials who are in search of practical methodology to prepare development personnel for successful solicitation and interaction with minority groups and minority individuals. This research may also serve as a starting-point tool for predominantly white universities, increasing their understanding, awareness and perceptions of minority alumni's giving. Finally, this research has the potential to provide the impetus for universities and their minority students to address unresolved issues that may stand in the way of future generations of minority students if left unresolved.



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