Messages

From the UBAA President

New alumni scholarship is ‘mission possible’

I recently felt as though I was starring in an episode of the 1960s TV show Mission Impossible. It went something like this: “Good morning, Mr. Swanekamp. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to reach out and say something profound to graduating UB students. You have two minutes at the general commencement ceremony. You will follow a witty U.S. senator and the always eloquent president of the university. Oh, and by the way, you’ll be doing this in front of 5,000 people. Good luck, Mr. Swanekamp.” And then the tape goes up in smoke.

Although mine was not an impossible mission, it was certainly formidable. Should I try to be pithy or just go for a laugh? I began by stating that I wished all 190,000 alumni could join me on the platform. “If I could cull their life experiences, sage wisdom and guidance, what would they have me tell you?” I asked.

Charles Swanekamp, MBA ’80 & JD ’79

Charles Swanekamp, MBA ’80 & JD ’79
President, UB Alumni Association

Just as I had an opportunity that day to make an impression on our graduates using my words, you have an ongoing opportunity to create an enduring legacy through your collective actions. I’m referring to your hoped-for participation in a new scholarship program that the UB Alumni Association has created and is proud to announce in this issue of the magazine. Reflecting the importance of keeping UB “all in the family,” the UB Alumni Scholarship will be awarded to children or grandchildren of UB alumni, beginning with the fall 2007 academic year.

You can certainly help us succeed by spreading the word about this opportunity to fellow alumni who have children or grandchildren and who may be considering a UB education. Equally important, we hope that you will donate to the scholarship endowment fund, which already has a good start toward its $100,000 goal. I encourage you to direct a portion of your annual gift to the UB Alumni Scholarship, or to consider making an additional gift. I can guarantee your donation will be put to good use.

The scholarship logistics, criteria and administrative process are being developed at this writing and will be posted on the alumni Web site when finalized. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations (1-800-284-5382).

In summary, there is no better way to show your pride in your university than helping others attend and flourish here as you have done. You will help build a legacy not only for your own family, but also for the entire UB family as one generation succeeds another.

I hope I reached our newest alumni with my words that day—together I know we can reach them with our actions now.

It’s a mission that’s far from impossible.

Charles Swanekamp, MBA ’80 & JD ’79

President, UB Alumni Association