It is an honor and privilege to serve as president of your Alumni Association and board of directors representative of the School of Professional Studies. My non-traditional school experience in the cohort model is a bit different from those who attend classes in Newberg. Groups in the cohort model begin and end the program together, while holding down jobs, families, and other obligations. As I witnessed during SPS graduation banquets, significant others willingly take the reins and hold everything together during the program.
Our major project scheduled for completion this academic year is to define the mission, vision, and values of the Alumni Association in response to the university’s recently completed strategic plan. We want to ensure our efforts and accomplishments efficiently support George Fox’s Christ-centered objectives.
One of my missions on the alumni board is to emphasize the importance of engaging non-traditional students in alumni activities, so they feel a sense of belonging. No extracurricular activities or school-related societies exist specifically for these students, and often the only time they visit the Newberg campus is to attend graduation.
I want to reach out to SPS and other non-traditional alums in Portland, Salem and Boise and challenge you to connect, or reconnect, with your alma mater in some way. For example, you can join GFU social networking groups, attend sporting or cultural events, participate in Serve Day, become a member of the President’s Council, or serve on the alumni board. You can also visit the alumni page on the university website and find your representative. Call them and provide suggestions to strengthen the association. In the meantime, I will continue working with the board to find meaningful ways to include you in new and traditional activities.
During my five-year tenure on the alumni board, I have met the presidents of the Bruin Heritage Society and the Associated Student Community. In each case, these individuals are outstanding leaders, representative of traditional undergraduate George Fox students well prepared for life after college. I occasionally serve on an ad-hoc committee to award scholarships to deserving GFU progeny. However, my favorite activity is to help determine recipients of Honored Alumni Awards. These people, doing miraculous work often in austere conditions, are truly God’s unsung heroes.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
President, Alumni Association Board of Directors