A Global Network of Alumni

Finding ways to connect, get involved and give back 

This weekend, campus will welcome generations of past graduates as part of Alumni Weekend 2024. In the College, undergraduates leave the university as part of a global network of alumni—leaders across diverse industries and sectors, making an impact in the world.

We asked one recent graduate—Elizabeth Miller, AB‘16—what being part of that network means to her. Miller graduated with a degree in political science, and is currently a strategist at Google in New York City. As a UChicago alumna, she’s made an effort to stay connected to the network she built up over her four years in the College, including a “core council” of friends from across disciplines that still meet regularly.

We often hear people say that there’s something instantly recognizable about UChicago students and graduates—have you found that to be true? How would you explain those qualities?

Yes, our students are instantly recognizable! UChicago fosters a sense of lively, earnest questioning in pursuit of truth that is uniquely sincere. The mission of inquiry is not arguing for the sake of debate or entertainment value—it’s with the goal of reaching well-rounded, meaningful resolutions. By deepening our understanding, UChicago creates a sense of wonder and curiosity about diverse perspectives in its students and alumni, tempered by social awareness and principled logic. UChicago graduates don’t just engage in intellectual discussion; they genuinely seek every day to enhance their own understanding, challenge assumptions, refine their own beliefs, and encourage others to do the same.

Why have you made an effort to stay connected with your UChicago network even after graduating? What does that look like now?

Staying connected to my UChicago network is very natural for me. I joke with my friends and family that even though I graduated, I never truly left. I have such an intense love and respect for the University of Chicago, so as an alumna, it was natural for me to maintain the commitment I had to the university back when I was a student.

Upon graduating, I wanted to keep in close contact with my peers and immediately signed up to volunteer with the Chicago Women’s Alliance, where I got the best inside knowledge into how the organization’s inspiring women leaders collaborated with alumni, faculty, and staff to sustain the life of the mind post-graduation. In six years, I had progressed to the role of President and worked hard to continue the legacy of these incredible women who dedicated their life to supporting the future generations of women leaders.

In my personal life, I’ve been intentional about recreating the ethos of the life of the mind in my everyday life. I have a group of six UChicago friends from every discipline—the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—who I consider to be my core council. We are each other’s voice of critical questioning, challenge, and ethics, as we navigate “Big Problems.”

I encourage all alumni to stay close to UChicago, whether it be through formal University of Chicago volunteerism or welcoming UChicago graduates into their community. There are many ways—beyond monetary contribution and fundraising—to get involved and give back.

How has your affiliation as a UChicago grad benefited your career?

Being a UChicago graduate has shaped my career in two ways. Firstly, it’s opened doors to some fantastic institutions. Whenever I have been searching for a new role or step in my career, the UChicago brand and reputation has opened so many doors for me. As a UChicago graduate, employers expect that I’ll have the diligence, curiosity, and desire to grow and contribute for which UChicago graduates are known. Secondly, I’ve had the opportunity to give back through UChicago. As a speaker at Taking the Next Step and mentor in the Chicago Women’s Alliance fellowship program I’ve had the chance to mentor bright, young professionals who have helped me grow my leadership skills and pushed my thinking with new ideas about how corporate America could run.

What is a memory core to your experience here in the College?

Although the stereotype is that the College is where “fun comes to die”—I really had a lot of fun at UChicago. My most precious memory from my time at UChicago is meeting my husband, Logan Snyder (AB’15), in a political theory class. We’ve been discussing our insights and building on the habits of the core curriculum ever since!

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