To be effective and progressive, a group must expect and accommodate change. The UVic Alumni Association realizes that to remain relevant to our constituents we must do everything we can to meet their needs.
Recently, we held a half-day workshop to ponder this question of relevancy. We invited a group of alumni and asked them what the Alumni Association should do with its revenue over the next few years. In fact, the main recommendation was unanimous: all felt strongly that we had to do more for students and recent grads.
Not that this recommendation was earth-shattering. We have had dialogue with students and others in the past and we've all heard from the media about student financial woes. The urging of this group, however, has compelled the Association to evaluate its level of commitment and resources to students and recent grads. We have already developed scholarships and have offered grants to assist students in career search strategies and other degree and work-related venues. The level of commitment to these programs, however, is what the group has asked us to augment.
We intend to shift our focus from alumni-related affairs to student concerns. We will investigate the development of a career mentoring program using alumni resources to assist students in their career search. We will also look at the feasibility of increasing our scholarship and grant program to meet the increasing financial needs of our students.
I would like to personally thank the participants of this recent task group. You have provided us with constructive and important information about where we should be going. I assure you that we will act upon your advice and will make every effort to assist today's students.*
Derek Graham (BA '82)
UVic Alumni Association
One of the founders of the University of Victoria died suddenly March 12 of heart failure. Murray Fraser, the first dean of the law school and former UVic vice-president, academic died in Calgary.
Fraser earned a BA and LLB from Dalhousie University in Halifax and LLM from the University of London. He practiced law in Nova Scotia and was a member of the law faculty of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and at Dalhousie before coming to UVic. He came to UVic in 1974 and opened the law school one year later.
He was appointed UVic's vice-president, academic in 1983 and held the post until 1988 when he became president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. He retired in 1996 and was appointed President Emeritus.
"Murray provided outstanding leadership to UVic and the community. He was well known for his compassion and interest in all members of the University, his commitment and dedication to the University and his unfailing support of higher education across Canada," says UVic President David Strong.
Fraser received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UVic in June 1993. Last October, UVic further honoured him by naming the law school's Begbie 159 lecture hall the F. Murray Fraser Auditorium.
He is survived by his wife, Anne, and three sons.
Details of an on-campus memorial service were being finalized as the Torch went to press.