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Larry Kavanagh and Kelly Kusch

The current Co-Chairs of the Parent and Family Leadership Council (PFLC) sit down to answer a few questions about volunteering at the University of Chicago.

1.    How did you first get involved with supporting activities at the University of Chicago?

We’ve volunteered for several organizations that our children have been a part of over the years. We’ve coached youth soccer and volleyball, tended bar at fundraisers and hosted exchange students. We found out about the College’s parents programs during Family Weekend when our daughter was a first-year student. It was a natural extension for us.
2.    Why is volunteering with the University of Chicago important for you?

We met at the College as students, so volunteering here has special meaning for us. We both benefitted a great deal from our College experiences so we were very proud and happy when our daughter was accepted and chose to attend. Volunteering at UChicago brings back some good memories, allows us to help an institution that has meant a great deal to our family, and provides a good excuse to get back to Chicago more often!

3.    What advice would you give others who are looking to support the University?

There are many ways you can help. Not everyone has the same amount of time and resources. Find the opportunity that is right for you. No amount of help is too small, and you’ll be glad for the extra connection you’ll have with the University.

4.    What advice would you give other parents who are new to the College?

While your student will get a fantastic education from the coursework, the University offers tremendous opportunities outside of the traditional classroom. Through volunteering, we learned about programs like Study Abroad, Treks, and Metcalf Internships. Although sometimes we got the “eye-roll” when we brought up these topics to our daughter, we do think that our encouragement helped her to take full advantage of all the University has to offer.

5.    Tell us a little about the student(s) that you have attending the University of Chicago?

Like all parents, we are very proud of our children. Madeline, a fourth-year student in the College, is an International Studies and Anthropology major. She’s been able to supplement her coursework with things like studying in Vienna last fall, hosting former Governor Hayley Barbour on campus as a part of the new Institute of Politics, and interning this summer at the Mayor’s office in Chicago.

To learn more about Parent Philanthropy and the work that the PFLC is doing, visit

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