New year brings more chapter activity, strong show of support from alumni
The new year brings an opportunity to reflect on 2002 and to establishor recommit ourselvesto our goals for 2003. In my reflections, I remember the many good friends and experiences resulting from my relationship with the University at Buffalo and with the UB Alumni Association (UBAA). Indeed, thousands of alumni are now choosing to become similarly connected, involved and engaged with UB, as shown by the ever-growing annual support from the university's 173,000+ alumni. The UBAA is a key factor in building this support, which will benefit the university in its missions of teaching, research and public service.
In reviewing our progress in 2002, we note that the UBAA has made significant strides in numerous areas, with the number of U.S. chapters tripling to 18 official groups. During the past six months, a record 30 chapter events were attended by 4,000 alumni. The new Alumni Ambassador Program recently launched by the UBAA will allow chapters to assist in recruiting top students to UB. Sixty-six alumni associated with the New York City chapter have already committed to volunteering for this program and plans are under way to develop a similar group with the Washington, DC, chapter.
In Buffalo, the UBAA hosts events and programs involving alumni in the university's programs and activities, including the October 16–19 Homecoming, attracting thousands of alumni back to UB. During the “Hollywood” portion of Homecoming, a group of 17 alumni, established leaders in the entertainment industry, spent a week on campus teaching their craft to standing-room-only classes of UB students. Displaying a generosity of spirit and a superb command of their subject matter, these Hollywood faculty conveyed priceless industry knowledge to a group of rapt students, our future alumni. Also as part of Homecoming, the UBAA proudly hosted the world movie premiere of Second String, an event made possible by the presence of director and UB alumnus Rob Lieberman, B.A. '71.
UB is a special place, thanks to the tremendous alumni support it receives. Generous not only with their time, talent and energy, our alumni have generously responded to the annual call for donations. As of this writing, more than 6,000 alumni and friends have pledged more than $423,000 in support of UB initiatives, a significant upward trend in alumni philanthropy.
As you chart your course for 2003, I hope you plan to maintain or even increase your support of, or reconnect with, the University at Buffalo. It is with the help of loyal alumni like you that we continue to enhance the university's stature.
Robert O. Davies