Leading up to July 4th I spent a lot of time reading about and reviewing documentaries on the Battle of Gettysburg (July1-3,1863).Many of you will have visited the battlefield. When I go there, and when I study the history, I am reminded of the great sacrifices that have been made for the sake of the United States.
Though I may make a joke every now and then about Queen Elizabeth II being ready to take back the USA (for those who don’t know, I am a Brit), I love the USA. My son has served in the US Army for over seven years living up to the traditions and values which leaders like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have emblazoned on the very soul of the nation. Divine providence is sometimes hard to discern, but I trust that we, UTS alumni and friends, are aware of and sensitive to its call.
I am the UTS Director of Development, which is the fancy way of saying fundraising.
Let me introduce the UTS 40/40 Campaign to you.
In a recent meeting I was asked "Why 40?" 40/40 is catchy, like 20/20 ....but more than that it is a commitment to UTS which will celebrate its 40th Birthday soon. It celebrates the past, but it also looks to the future. 40 years old, but looking forward to the next 40 years.
With the UTS undergraduate program (Barrytown College of UTS) put on hold, the graduate programs are once again the focus. Over the next year Dr. Spurgin plans for UTS to re-imagine, re-define and re-position itself. He explains that the last couple of years have been turbulent and now stability is needed. However, he also says “when there is crisis there is also opportunity.
We all know Dr. Spurgin cannot do it alone. The 40/40 Campaign asks for your support. It is a significant amount of money each month, but more importantly, in a time of change, it is testament to your faith in the institution, that UTS can and will to live up to your expectations.
There are sometimes naysayers who point fingers at UTS alumni and even call alumni "cemetarians"
They ask: What is the value of a UTS degree? What have alumni done in service to others? Can't the money be spent more wisely?
My answer: I say that UTS alumni are “all on the front line.“
That front line is wherever UTS alumni live, work and play. It may be in marriage, in family, in church mission, in profession, or in their hobbies, but for sure, the UTS alumni are fully invested. UTS alumni are spread out through the world, on front lines everywhere. They make a difference every day, having an impact on the world around them.
Some are highly visible, and others work behind the scenes. Yet each is significant and valuable;
When I think of UTS alumni I think of the poem “Love with Silence” by UTS Founder, Rev.Sun Myung Moon which has been published recently on the UTS news page.
At UTS there is now a renewed effort to tell the stories of the alumni. One alumna, Cynthia Forker (UTS’86) is currently in Nepal helping in the relief work after the recent earthquake. Others are still working in the Pantanal after being assigned there in 1996. Many more are in education, at middle school, high school and college level. Did you know that over 70 alumni have gone on to earn doctorates? This week it was Paul Saver's birthday. He is Class of 1992 and runs the “Parent Teenager Relationship Saver” program in Queensland, Australia, where he is also a high school teacher. These are just a few examples. There are many more unsung heroes; we do not know enough about each other's lives. One thing is for sure, UTS alumni are a group of very special people. You will be able to read more stories about UTS alumni on www.uts.edu in the coming months.
An effort is underway at UTS to bring together the community of alumni, and help them to connect beyond geographic location. This takes up-to-date communications and investment in social media. UTS is committed to make that happen e.g. in the last 6 months the alumni database has been updated.
These investments will serve the alumni and friends of UTS, building engagement. The current administration is committed to right any wrongs and move quickly to restore confidence in UTS and give alumni and friends every reason to be proud of the UTS heritage.
Join me and show your support for the 40/40 Campaign. But please, do not go into debt to do so, only give if you can.
40 months is just over 3 years. If there is not a significant transformation at UTS in that time, then you have every right to (and should) stop giving.
There is a need for communication technology and equipment to better serve alumni and friends through conferencing, discussions, webinars etc. A group of alumni brainstormed before and after the recent UTS Alumni Conference (over Memorial Day Weekend) and came up with several initiatives around which alumni and friends could network: Governance, Marriage Culture, Religion and Peace, Spiritual Life and Unification Praxis. In the comings weeks there will be articles about these initiatives on www.uts.edu.