We are in the middle of a very significant year: September 20, 2015 was the beginning of the 40th year of theological education at UTS. I hope that you will join with me this anniversary year by contributing to the Annual Fund and the 40/40 Campaign.

Donors make bequests to make a difference after they are gone. Mary Goodman, a New Haven laundress who bequeathed her life savings (nearly $5,000) to Yale Divinity School to provide scholarships for African Americans, was especially successful in this regard: her bequest supported the school’s first black students, and continues to support students today, nearly 144 years later.

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The Second Annual Founder's Society Banquet, at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Tarrytown, increased the momentum for UTS renewal. There were 2 new Founder's Society Life Members recognized this year. Mrs. Sung Bok Hsu, President of HSU and Co.--The Health Authority, Columbus, OH, and Dr. Bong Tae Kim, President Sun Moon University, Korea. Dr. Kim was ably represented by his son Hyun Chul Kim, a current UTS student.

Both new members were introduced and welcomed into The Founder's Society by Dr. Andrew Wilson, one of the seven inaugural members inducted in 2005. The Founder's Society Life Member Awards were presented by Dr. Michael Jenkins on behalf of the UTS Board of Trustees.

The Founder's Society members are core UTS friends and supporters. They are a dedicated group who have shown their interest and desire to be involved in the great work the UTS is pursuing. They are recognized primarily for their giving history, but behind that is also their heart, their expertise and their influence for good.

In the midst of a busy weekend, 19 alumni and friends of UTS shared an evening of conversation and service. Special guests included Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Continental Director of the Family Federation in North America, and UTS Trustee. He shared his heart for UTS and his confidence and commitment to the future of UTS. Dr. Hendricks reminded us that Dr. Yang has committed $30,000 for the renovations planned for the UTS Dining Room, to be carried out over the summer.

After a delicious main course, Dr. Hendricks presented the vision for UTS and its fundraising campaign, Project Excellence. He outlined the immediate and long term capital improvements necessary to prepare UTS for the next generation of students. The renovation of the dining room, the heart of the seminary, by this September is a strategic investment for the future. He shared the latest architectural drawings for the project.

Dr. Jenkins embraced everyone in the room with his warm words, expressing his confidence that those gathered are partners and friends and that together we can develop a strong and vibrant seminary for our next generation. He made a special mention of the momentum which is building with the Young Oon Kim Project and the outreach to the second generation. Dr Jenkins spoke of the camaraderie built with old friends, the joy of meeting new friends, and the gratitude for renewing friendship; friendship is absolutely necessary to build our common future.

From Steve Kearney's opening prayer, to the closing prayer given by Dr. Hendricks, there was a strong sense of confidence felt by those present that UTS is developing in a good direction.

The evening brought nearly $12,000 toward the dining room renovation in checks and pledges. In addition, several asked for follow-up meetings with the development team.

Dr. Hendricks is establishing a tradition which recognizes the value which they and future members of The Founder's Society bring to the UTS community and UTS advancement.

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