Beginning with this issue and with this space, the president of the UB Alumni Association will provide reflections on an alumni theme. Current president and avid Harley rider Chuck Swanekamp may be found, nearly any given week, on one of the UB campuses, attending events, cheering on the Bulls or enthusiastically spreading the word about his alma mater.
Attention all couch potatoes who happen to be UB alumni: Step away from the remote, the sports and the reruns on TV Land! I’ve got a better way for you and your fellow alumni to spend your time and rekindle your UB spirit: Get to know some of the 18 sports teams that represent UB in NCAA Division I competition.
Admittedly, the transition to Division I competition has not been easy. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a quality athletics program that values academic achievement, as well as athletic prowess. But things are truly looking up for the “Blue and White.” Over the past year, we’ve had many successes in both men’s and women’s sports programs under the leadership of our dynamic new director of athletics, Warde Manuel. And I know that many of you already support our student athletes—I’ve seen you at the games and I applaud your dedication. Now it’s time for others to step up as well.
You say you want better sports teams? I challenge you to do something about it. Stealing a phrase from Turner Gill, our new head football coach, “UB” now means “You Believe.” I do, and I invite you to join me on this bandwagon—our teams need your support. UB also stands for “You Be There!” When our athletes don their jerseys, they are representing you and me and our collective pride in the university. So be there, wear the colors and be vocal about your support. If you have been to a men’s basketball game in Alumni Arena, then you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t think a vocal alumnus can make a difference, you need to think again—or better yet, ask a UB athlete what your presence—and your voice—can mean to his or her performance.
Keep in mind, the alphabet for strengthening our sports program begins with “U” and “B”—“You Believe” and “You Be There.” Either way, it begins with you. So finish perusing UB Today, climb out of your comfy chair and go check out the sports calendar at www.ubathletics.buffalo.edu.
Not in Buffalo to watch a home game? Check out the Bulls as they travel to your hometown to compete. As part of the Mid-American Conference, our teams regularly visit Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and other states. If you need more suggestions on how to show your support or get involved, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better still, I’ll round up some alumni to join you. Just make sure you wear something blue
Charles Swanekamp, MBA ’80 & JD ’79
President, UB Alumni Association