Alumni President's Message

Refreshing Our Links

The more you stay in touch with your University, the more you appreciate its challenges and dynamics - and the more you begin to understand the role you can play in its affairs.

One of the principal activities of the Alumni Association over the past year has been the definition of its roles and responsibilities. Our need to change and evolve as an Association is fundamental if we are to be relevant. We needed to explore new avenues to be meaningful and beneficial to alumni, as well as to the University of Saskatchewan.

In re-creating the Association, we want to be inclusive and representative of all alumni, everywhere. New technology continues to signal "the death of distance" in dialogue and communication. This augments our ability to keep our global community of alumni more closely knit, with the benefits that such networks create.

We have reached the stage where we can begin putting our plans into action. One starting point is an inaugural luncheon at which we will present a snapshot of the Association. This presentation, including visuals, is suitable for a wide range of audiences. We will pilot it in Saskatoon, then refine it so other Alumni may use it. Next year, we will be planning more activities that will give alumni and friends of the University the opportunity to interact with and benefit from their Alumni Association. Fund-raising, by the way, is not the objective of these events.

We also need to increase the dialogue of the university community as a whole. Alumni from all universities throughout the world should be more closely interrelated, as beliefs and values replace geography in defining who we are. We cannot forget the importance of safeguarding the university as a place of free thought, pure research, learning and opportunity.

It is time for us as alumni to be more vocal and visible. Even within Saskatchewan, we represent over 40,000 constituents, which would qualify us as one of the larger cities in the province! We cannot be silent while our institution struggles against the erosion of our campus, our research and our teaching programs. While we celebrate the announcement of the synchrotron, we must also remember to protect the treasures we already have - and certainly the University of Saskatchewan is a very significant national - and indeed international - asset.

In closing, I hope that you will support our early steps as a re-defined and rejuvenated alumni association. The potential and benefits of this affiliation are limitless for our university, our students, and us, the stewards of the U of S tradition.