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President Tripathi greets Zhou Ji, PhD ’85 & MS ’82, head of China’s Academy of Engineering, in Beijing, March 2012.
This May, in New York City, we celebrated the grand finale of the UB 2020 alumni tour. This tour has been an incredible experience for my wife Kamlesh and me. Over a span of 20 months, we covered nearly 100,000 miles, meeting more than 1,700 alumni in 22 cities across the United States and overseas. I wanted to share just a few examples of what I’ve discovered about our UB alumni throughout our travels.
My first observation: No matter how far away our UB alumni may live, there is a part of them that thinks of Buffalo as home.
To watch a video on the tour and see event photos, go to buffalo.edu/president/2020tour.
This was evident again and again—from Los Angeles, where I was greeted with the latest Bills score and that day’s Buffalo News headlines, to an alumni reception in Kuala Lumpur, where I overheard two groups of Malaysian alumni in a heated debate over which are better: Anchor Bar wings or Duff’s wings?
And while a piece of Buffalo remains in the heart of every UB alum, UB graduates clearly are also deeply connected to the world. Over the past 20 months, I’ve talked with Buffalo alumni working with Latin American refugees; alumni expanding Chinese language education in Western New York; and industry leaders whose global expertise prepared them to lead enterprises in Puerto Rico, Shanghai and Singapore. All these graduates told me it was their experiences at UB that equipped them for leadership in a global world.
Finally, we witnessed how deeply our alumni care about putting their UB education to work for the public good. Again and again, our alumni told me how they use their UB education to “give back.” In Chicago, I heard that phrase from a bilingual educator telling me about her work with young people in the city. In Florida, I heard it from a nursing alumna who has spent over half a century devoted to patient care. In Seoul, one of our alumni used the same expression to talk about her work translating Korean literature and preserving her cultural heritage.
Every time I hear our alumni proudly talking about the unique and meaningful ways they give back, I am struck by how many different ways there are to achieve our one core mission as a public research university—to make the world around us a better place.
The tour may be over, but the acquaintances we made are just the beginning of what I hope will be long and lasting relationships. To all of our alumni, thank you for all that you do, every day, to strengthen and inspire our UB community around the world.
Satish K. Tripathi, President
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