Alumni News

President's Message

I would like to recognize all those individuals who persevere behind the scenes to make participation in the Association such a great pleasure. If space permitted, I would acknowledge you all by name-you deserve unbridled appreciation-but I will highlight three.

The Torch is our main source of communication with alumni. Until this spring, we had great difficulty gauging what readers felt about the magazine, so we hired Viewpoints Research to ask readers them. The results were startling: 61% usually read the magazine; 65% rate it as good or better publication. We never imagined this volume of readership or that alumni felt as good about the magazine as they do. Some recommendations have been made for improvement, but kudos to Robie Liscomb and the staff at Public Relations for their great work. Robie has passed on the torch and we look forward to the stewardship of our new editor, Teresa Moore, in upcoming issues.

Other great news is the response by the local business community and the University to our Alumni Card offer. Last year, we began an initiative to expand the benefits and services of our Alumni Card and now, in addition to McPherson Library services, Alumni can receive discounts from over 20 local businesses and UVic services. From bungy jumping to mutual funds, the Alumni Card offers even more benefits and, at the same $15 per year, is a great bargain! Contact the Alumni office or pick up a Card holder Benefits Handbook and find out what benefits are available. A big thank you and congratulations to Tanis McRae for all her hard work in organizing and assembling the Card program.

Another initiative that has literally blasted off is our Alumni Branches. Branches are formed to provide communication links for alumni in other cities. We now have over fifty branches spread over Canada and the world! From Castlegar to Copenhagen, UVic and the Alumni Association now enjoy an even greater international presence. And all this was accomplished in just two years largely by the persistent and diligent effort of one man, Nels Granewall. Many of you already know Nels and the outstanding contribution he has made to the Association in many other facets. Superb work Nels. You are an inspiration to us all.

Derek Graham (BA'82)
592-2810 or 727-3454

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UVic Profs the Best

They work in vastly different fields, but Barb Whittington, director of the School of Social Work, and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, professor in the English department with a special interest in the Middle Ages, share a love of teaching that has earned them both the Alumni Association's 1996 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Whittington, a busy administrator and therapist who is sought-after for her expertise in equity and anti-discrimination issues, says her first love is teaching.
"I never feel so alive as when we're in the midst of some great storm of controversy in the class and ideas are just flying."

She is no guru looking for followers who to emulate her. Rather, she prefers to guide her students, to help them find a voice in the shape of their education. And her message may seem a bit unorthodox for someone so committed to teaching and education: Don't let school get in the way of your education! But the balance between friends, work and family is crucial, she says, because it is "from this balance that you really learn."

Kerby-Fulton is equally committed to teaching. Always intending to teach high school , she took a PhD after getting a BEd and never left the university. A teacher, she says, is someone who helps students develop critical thinking, helps "give them an intellectual training that breaks down old mental ruts so they can see things in new ways."

Like Whittington who meets regularly with a teaching group to discuss teaching issues, talk about mistakes and share ideas, Kerby-Fulton is a work-in-progress as a teacher. Committed to her own growth as a teacher, she is responsive to changing conditions in the classroom, like the massive influx of mature women, in their 40s, 50s and 60s with grown families, who are enrolling in university. She welcomes the life experience they bring to the classroom. "They really revolutionize the discussion. They have changed the way I teach and the teaching experience for me...changed the my sense of what an education is for," she says . Her advice to students is probably the advice she gave herself years ago: If you do something because you love it, you'll never regret it.

Deadline for nominations for the 1997 Excellence in Teaching Awards is November 29, 1996. Contact the Alumni Office for nomination forms and further information.

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It's No. 1 on our hit list

Campus crooner Lucas Aykroyd (BA'96) likes to sing the praises of UVic and now the vice-president of the UVic Student Alumni Association has the song to do it. Backed by the UVic Alumni Association, Aykroyd wrote the lyrics and music to "We Are UVic Now" in the hopes it will be a hit at Vikes games and special events on campus. The catchy, upbeat song was mixed and recorded at Victoria's Roan Sound and studio musician Bruce Cookson recorded the lyrics.

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How time flies!

It's been 20th years since UVic's School of Social Work admitted its first student. Now, 1200 grads later, it's time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the school. Come to campus Oct. 25-27 to meet old friends and make new ones. Workshops, professional development, banquets and just plain fun! Contact Diana Ellis at the School at 721-8034 for more details.

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Friends for Life Survey yields surprising results

From December 1995 to March 1996, the Alumni Association called 732 alumni who live in the Capital Regional District to assess their use of the UVic campus.
The most surprising result was how many alumni still use the campus. Fifty per cent said they had been on campus within the past 30 days and another 22% within the past six months. Of those visiting campus 24% came for educational purposes and 23% to use campus facilities. The remainder gave a wide range of other reasons but the message was clear. The campus and its resources are still very relevant to a large number of alumni who live in and around Victoria. (Currently 42% of the 37,601 alumni for whom we have a current address reside in the Region.)
A number of people used the occasion to request information about the Alumni Card, BCTel, MasterCard, Life Insurance, Travel Program and Alumni Products from the Bookstore; 187 people expressed interest in volunteering in the Career Advisor Program. More than 80 per cent of the alumni surveyed read the TORCH and almost everyone had ideas and suggestions about how the Alumni Association could better serve both alumni and today's students. The Alumni Association wishes to thank everyone who participated in the survey.

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Lend a hand to job-seeking students

Alumni with established careers can help out fellow alumni or UVic students who are looking for work by volunteering for the Career Advisory Directory. The joint venture of the UVic Student Employment Centre and the Alumni Association matches professionals with those in search of careers.
Career Advisors assist participants by talking to them about their career area. If they wish to become further involved, advisors can invite the students and alumni to participate in career forums or job-shadowing.
Prospective participants are given an orientation session before being referred to a Career Advisor and the number of referrals made to any advisor is monitored to prevent overloading. Interested alumni can contact the Centre at 721-8421 or email for more information.

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University of Victoria Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award

Want to honour a fellow alumna or alumnus? Here's your opportunity: the 1997 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Nominees must be members of the UVic Alumni Association who have merited distinction in their profession, in service to the community or the University, in business, science, the humanities, scholarly achievement, fine arts or other fields, and whose reputation and achievements bring honour and prestige to the University.

For further information and an application form, contact Marlene Bergstrom in the Alumni Relations Office at (604) 721-6012, Fax (604) 721-6265, email or University of Victoria, Alumni Association, University House One, PO Box 3060, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4.

Nominations must be received by January 24, 1997.

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Attention Craigdarroch or Lansdowne residents!

Want to get together with some of your buddies from the old days? Inez St. Denis does and she's hoping others do too. If you lived in Craigdarroch or Lansdowne between 1968 and 1973 and would like to attend a residence reunion contact Inez by email or by mail at 2663 Dalhousie St. Victoria, B.C. V8R 2H8. The reunion is being planned for August 1997.

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A degree does help!

It's university that got them jobs, say B.C. grads. In a study of 7,600 members of the 1993 graduating class conducted last fall, grads from UVic, UBC and SFU credit university for helping them develop analytical and problem solving skills needed in the workplace as well as key skills in learning to work effectively with others.
More than three quarters of the grads had held relatively permanent jobs since graduation and this figure rose to 84.8 per cent when those who had permanent jobs prior to graduating were included.
The study, funded jointly by the University Presidents' Council of B.C. and the Ministry of Education and Skills Training, is the first of its kind in Canada to be completed on a university graduating class.

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