“Every Great Movement Starts Somewhere” – that was the somewhat mysterious message on an invitation sent to the Vancouver campus community asking them to come to the War Memorial Gym on the morning of September 28. A large and naturally curious crowd of students, staff and faculty turned up to hear Professor Stephen Toope announce an extraordinary new effort – the start an evolution campaign – and invite them to join forces with the whole UBC community in making it a huge success, and it was clear that alumni are a key part of these efforts.
The campaign has two key objectives – to raise $1.5 billion to enhance student learning, research and community involvement at UBC and to double alumni involvement in the life of the university by 2015. The dual campaign is unique and historic in Canada and presents the opportunity for alumni and friends of UBC to combine their energy and passion with the university to make a difference in the world. If you haven’t checked out the start an evolution website yet, I encourage you to do so (startanevolution.ca).
There are approximately 270,000 alumni of UBC: 195,000 of you live in Canada, and of those 170,000 live in BC. Another 75,000 live outside of Canada around the globe. The university and your Alumni Association are jointly endeavoring to welcome alumni into the life of the university. We are actively seeking innovative ways to give you access to the university’s intellectual riches; increase programs that serve your interests and needs and bring additional value to your lives; and identify new ways to communicate with you and keep you abreast of the latest developments at UBC and within your alumni community and networks. We are delivering these programs and services to you online, on both campuses, and in your own back yards. In short, we are absolutely committed to building a robust community of alumni who have an interest in the university’s ambitions and a stake in its success.
Of course, we want the relationship to be mutually beneficial. You can get value out of your relationship with UBC for a lifetime and what we ask in return is your own commitment to and interest in your alma mater. Keep your contact information up-to-date (you can do so online); listen to a podcast of one of our numerous program offerings; attend an activity near you or at the Vancouver or Kelowna campuses; if asked by your faculty to serve on a panel, talk with students, or take on a volunteer role, do it; share your enthusiasm about UBC with your friends and colleagues; and, finally, as you are able, please make a gift to support an important project of your choice at UBC. There are so many people here passionately invested in student learning and finding solutions to the world’s many problems, and together we can make a difference.