Pay it Forward - Inspire Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

Pay it Forward

Pay it ForwardIf you were fortunate enough to have the opportunity of a lifetime, would you consider paying it forward?

For many of our alumni, attending Carnegie Mellon was that life-changing opportunity. And choosing to give back is a no-brainer - especially during the Inspire Innovation campaign.

When Rachel Maines (HS'83) set her sights on graduate school, she was confident in herself and her ability to be successful, but that was only one component.

"I knew I would not be able to get a doctorate degree without financial aid," explained Maines. "I had a lot of ambition, but I didn't have two nickels to rub together."

While exploring the possibility of grad school, Maines met with Joel Tarr, Carnegie Mellon's Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History & Policy. She explained that she really wanted to attend CMU but wasn't sure how she'd find the time or the money. Tarr's response was that if she found the time, he'd find the money.

True to his word, Tarr was able to help Maines secure a fellowship that made it possible for her to attend graduate school at CMU.

Maines is still grateful that Tarr made her graduate school experience possible. "Prof. Tarr probably doesn't even remember the conversation, but I'll never forget it," said Maines. "I give back today, because I would like for some other faculty member to be able to provide the same opportunity to another student."

That's why Maines gave $50,000 to endow a fellowship for Carnegie Mellon students - and she named it in honor of Prof. Tarr.

"Carnegie Mellon did so much for me. It's a pleasure to be able to pay it forward," she said.

Related Link: Student Support