When choosing where she wanted to attend college, Carolyn knew she wanted to go somewhere away from home, but not too far. Several other students from her high school in Libertyville, Illinois, attended Coe and spoke highly of the college. She followed in their footsteps and was not disappointed. Thanks to many wonderful friends, faculty and staff, Carolyn had the best possible college experience at Coe and was well-prepared for graduate school.
The idea of giving back to Coe had been on Carolyn's mind ever since she graduated. She never forgot the baccalaureate address given by former Coe president Dr. Joseph McCabe to the class of 1965. He challenged the graduates to make a commitment to others throughout their lives, whether that be their friends, families or communities. Carolyn told herself that if she ever had the ability, she wanted to remember Coe in some way so other students might have the chances she was given. This led her to establish the Carolyn Duncan Cotter Scholarship Fund for students majoring in biology and other life sciences.
Reflecting on how much her Coe experience meant to her made giving back to the college an easy decision for Carolyn, and she urges other alumni to do the same. "If you have the opportunity to give and have realized how Coe has helped, influenced and enriched your life, go ahead and give," she said. "No matter how large or small, make a commitment."