Tim Tai, Senior Photographer

University President Peter Salovey will share a meal with Jackson Parrott ’27 as part of the junior class council’s cystic fibrosis fundraising efforts.

The meal, which is scheduled for December, will likely take place at Salovey’s own house and will offer Parrott the opportunity to talk with the President one-on-one. All proceeds from the fundraising efforts will go toward Rose UP, the one-day fundraising event founded by three women living with cystic fibrosis to “fuel the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation” — curing CF and allowing those living with the disease to lead “long, fulfilling lives.”

“I am glad that I can support the junior class council’s efforts to raise awareness and support for cystic fibrosis research,” Salovey wrote in an email to the News. “I look forward to learning about the student winner’s experiences at Yale and aspirations for after graduation. It is always rewarding to speak with students and learn their perspectives, and I am grateful that I have formal and informal opportunities to do so throughout the year.”

As part of its fundraiser, the JCC also raffled a “Date with Dan” event Sept. 9, which will allow the winner and two friends to walk with University mascot Handsome Dan. 

In a third raffle, two student winners will get the chance to eat with Jacob Hacker, professor of political science and co-director of the Ludwig Program in Public Sector Leadership at the Law School.

JCC also sold gift bags containing candy, customized notes and information about cystic fibrosis. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cystic fibrosis is a “chronic, progressive, and frequently fatal genetic dis­ease of the body’s mucus glands” that targets the respiratory and digestive systems and mostly affects children and young adults. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation estimates that there are roughly 40,000 children and adults living with cystic fibrosis in the United States and approximately 105,000 estimated to have been diagnosed with the condition across 94 countries. 

Rose UP was created to honor the legacy of Ricky Weiss, a four-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis who referred to the disease as “65 roses” after hearing his mother make fundraising calls for the cause. In its four years of existence, the organization has raised over $1.3 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an international organization that works to aid those dealing with cystic fibrosis. This year, the Rose UP event is Sept. 21.

JCC President Brian Zhang ’25, who is an Arts editor for the News, explained that one of the challenges for the fundraiser was “finding something that appealed to the Yale community” and that the networking meal with Salovey was a way for the JCC to do so. 

Zhang added that the council intends on hosting other fundraising events throughout the year to support organizations dedicated to curing many diseases, such as leukemia.

“I had a childhood friend who passed away from CF,” Zhang said. “For me, this was a way of honoring her and people who go through similar experiences. If we work together we can make a lot of things happen.”

Parrott told the News that he is “very excited” to be the winner of the raffle because he “never imagined” that a first-year student would be the winner of the networking dinner.

Jon Koff, director of the Yale Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center, told the News that it is “awesome” to see students engaging in fundraising efforts for cystic fibrosis research. He also said that “often, the best opportunities for this research” stem from grassroots programs where people have the opportunity to learn about the disease. 

Koff said that although he was not aware of the fundraiser, his team “loves the opportunity to be able to talk about and advocate for” educating others about the disease.

“The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has a long history of fundraising to help us develop novel approaches to care and therapies and to help develop the research,” Koff said. “I think it’s fantastic, and I really applaud everyone for doing something like this. I think it’s wonderful.”

Although JCC’s fundraiser ended Sept. 20, the international Rose UP fundraiser is ongoing and accepting donations online.

Benjamin Hernandez covers Woodbridge Hall, the President's Office. He previously reported on international affairs at Yale. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, he is a sophomore in Trumbull College majoring in Global Affairs.