Dear Professor Slemrod,


Four years ago, my husband and I waved goodbye to our daughter, Emily Chiu, on the front lawn of South Quad, with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.  Mostly apprehension: Can she navigate this big campus?  Will she find her place within this large University?   This past week, we attended Emily’s graduation.  This time, we waved goodbye on the front lawn of her house, which she shares with three college friends.  This time, we said goodbye brimming with pride and gratitude.


I write this letter to express my sincere gratitude to the University of Michigan, its Honors Program and especially the Economics Department.


As expected from a first class academic institution, the University gave our daughter an outstanding education.  But the University gave her much more.  It gave her the rich environment to explore her potential.  It gave rich opportunities to engage her intellectual curiosity deeply.  Her active participation in many of the wonderful extra-curricular activities gave her the confidence to experiment and to lead.  Work opportunities made possible through the University helped her gain invaluable life lessons and skills.  Friends she made during her first year in South Quad became her support group throughout her fours years, and they will surely remain lifelong friends.  Emily is leaving the University as a mature, thoughtful and responsible young woman, well equipped with tools to navigate the world.  For that, we are grateful to the University.


We are particularly thankful to the Economics Department at the University. 

The award ceremony and reception for Economics Honors students during Commencement Weekend marked the culmination of Emily’s college career.  As parents, we are proud of Emily’s accomplishments, but also feel an enormous sense of gratitude to the Economics Department for providing her a nurturing environment that motivated her to excel.  Words of encouragement and small acts of kindness from professors can make a critical difference for a student.  Emily has found such professors in the Economics Department – especially, her Honors thesis advisers.  Emily would often talk about them with great admiration, and felt their personal interest in her success.  After receiving the Parker Prize, Emily facetiously declared, “one day, there will be a Chiu Prize in Economics!”   Hold her to it. 


I know that these past four years at Michigan  were a transformative experience for Emily.  For one thing, the indomitable Michigan school spirit has turned our daughter into a footfall maniac.  Before UM, football was not high up on our family agenda .  Even we, her parents, have now become rabid Wolverine fans.  Go Blue!



With sincere gratitude,


Gay-Young Cho

Emily Chiu’s Mother