I AM REALLY EXCITED AND HONOURED BY THE OPPORTUNITY to serve you for the next two years as president of the UVic Alumni Association.
My connection with the university began in 1959 (Victoria College then), and I graduated from UVic in 1964 with a BEd (Secondary) degree. My classmates and I walked from the old Lansdowne campus to help open the new university in 1963. Ours was the first graduating class. Over the years, my family has maintained a connection to the university. My wife completed her teacher training here and both my children earned undergraduate degrees from UVic.
My active involvement in the UVic Alumni Association began in 1999 when I was approached by a good friend and colleague of mine, Betty Clazie, BEd ’73, who was the association’s president at the time.
Betty and I talked about the changes we had seen in the university over the years. I remembered my experiences as a student and how they bonded me to the university. Back then, we were part of a small institution on the move with an exciting future. I also was aware that there had been a period in the university’s history when, for a number of reasons, students didn’t develop the same sense of connection.
Betty and I talked about those “lost years” and their meaning for alumni. But we also talked about how the university had been changing through the decade of the 90s. We talked about the efforts of the university to build a sense of community among its students, faculty and staff–and with alumni. And I decided then to join the alumni board.
My time with the association has seen the positive trends that Betty and I talked about continue to grow—encouraged and supported by the university administration’s high academic goals for UVic and its strong focus on people and relationships. There is a desire to create of “Community of Learners” on campus that reaches out to include past students and the larger community.
Looking forward to the next 24 months, I want the alumni association to play an even more significant role in the life of the University of Victoria community. We also need to expand the association’s on-campus activities and help students get familiar with what we can offer.
I am convinced that our association can reach out to alumni who don’t feel connected to the university. And I hope that together we can show them the amazing things that are happening here and make them feel welcome in this great community. Then, they too will want to say with pride: “I am a graduate of the University of Victoria—a great university!”
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