A September 20th article in The New York Times entitled, “Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood,” notes that:

At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates.

There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want.

Many women at the nation’s most elite colleges say they have already decided that they will put aside their careers in favor of raising children. Though some of these students are not planning to have children and some hope to have a family and work full time, many others, like Ms. Liu, say they will happily play a traditional female role, with motherhood their main commitment.

Having watched their mothers struggle to balance home and career, as a History professor at Yale puts it, “The women today are, in effect, turning realistic.”

An interesting side effect of this is that, for such elite colleges, including Williams, Alumni Fund and capital gifts may lessen. With fewer investment bankers, dot.com executives, lawyers, and physicians in the alumni mix, the number of $2,000, $10,000, and $1 million gifts will probably decrease. Williams has an interesting gift profile — it’s a rhomboid or cut off pyramid shape. We have very few alums who give $10s of millions of dollars (unlike Harvard, for example), but have a healthy group who give $50,000 here and $2,000,000 there. If that section of givers starts to shrink, the bottom of the pyramid — those who give $25 and $250 — will no doubt be asked to give more.

This year’s goal for the Alumni Fund is $9.6 million — a pretty hefty sum for a school with 23,000 alumni. So if you’re in the below $1,000 group, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to give a bit more in the coming years….

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