I am pleased to address you again. It’s been more than eight months since I arrived to lead the University Advancement (UA) Division. The progress at GGU in the short period of time I have been here has been remarkable to be part of. New staff have joined, new programs and projects are underway, and the energy of success is palpable. Our plans are critical to the long-term sustainability of the University and, as GGU emerges from the COVID pandemic, our past and present serve as the fuel for our bright future.
Just two months ago, we congratulated hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students as we held our first in-person commencement ceremony in three years. Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants was the venue, and it was a wonderful day that featured student speakers and Dr. Dennis Kimbro, a New York Times best-selling author, researcher, and professor as our Commencement speaker. For these newest alumni, this will be their first e-newsletter, so I am pleased to welcome them to the ranks of more than 68,000 alumni worldwide.
While there are A LOT of updates I can share, I want to highlight just a few things that are covered in this digital publication. First, GGU’s mission remains the guiding purpose for everything we do for our students. The innovative and flexible education that empowers adult learners to realize their career ambitions and make a difference in their communities and the world is what drives new degree programs and partnerships coming soon.
Second, through a restructured and more strategic vision for University Advancement, GGU is more committed than ever to serve you, engage you, and connect you with each other and with your alma mater. Your GGU education has enabled your professional success and you are our legacy. We want to serve you more and better.
To that end, new staff on board include:
- Angela Bartee-Director of Alumni Engagement, Stewardship and Special Giving brings many years of service from various institutions to increase alumni engagement and stewardship. She is already working closely with the Alumni Association to plan in-person and virtual alumni events for next fiscal year and beyond to reconnect you.
- Nicole Blount-Senior Director of Development is leading the major gift, planned giving, and corporate and foundation relations activities. She understands the importance of one of my favorite quotes, “There’s no such thing as mission without resources.” Her approach is to focus on building relationships that add value for the investor and GGU.
- Pamela Cottrell-Director of Annual Giving is responsible for building a culture of philanthropy that leverages the impact of consistent investments that result in sustainable resources for scholarships, faculty support, and institutional operations. In her constant words, “EVERY gift matters!”
- Michelle Ryan-Director of Advancement Communications brings deep experience and expertise in creative and strategic communications that will elevate the stories of impact that GGU has been known for since our founding in 1901. She will be leading a redesign of the University Advancement section of the GGU website and introducing new mediums of communication that integrate technology and video to go beyond just keeping you informed about progress at your alma mater, but inspire you to be more involved and invested.
The individuals mentioned above are just some of the folks who recently joined the UA Team. Every role, including those you won’t often interact with are vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of our efforts to “increase the interest, involvement, and investment in the mission and impact of GGU.” That explicit purpose is what the members of my team are committed to so that the resources GGU needs today and tomorrow are available to sustain our mission.
So, what does the UA Team need you to do:
- Update your contact information. Many of you have moved or changed jobs since you graduated. Please update your contact information here so we can keep you connected and celebrate your personal and professional accomplishments. The GGU alumni network is only as strong and vibrant as the success of each of you.
- “Like” GGU social media pages. Connecting with us on social media enables you to stay informed about the latest events at GGU and to share the impact of your alma mater with the world.
- Give. Supporting the Fund for GGU provides unrestricted resources that enables the University to respond to emerging needs and ensure student success. Through the Fund for GGU, you can direct unrestricted support to your School: Law, Business, Taxation, Accounting, Undergraduate, or to the areas of most need. Support GGU now.
- Share your news with us. We want to hear about your successes, promotions, awards, marriages, and new births/adoptions. We enjoy shining a spotlight on our alumni achievements. Communicate your news with us through this form.
- Volunteer. GGU needs you to share your talent as an alumni event speaker, guest lecturer, Alumni Association board member, alumni event host/organizer, or to tell your GGU story through admissions and engagement videos. Please email Dr. Bartee at email@example.com to share how you want to be involved.
- Help us increase alumni participation. Alumni participation is the percentage of alumni who give to the university. Foundations and corporations utilize this data to gauge the GGU community’s support for their institution. Your gift of any size, whether $5, $5,000, $50,000 or $5,000,000 increases our alumni participation rate and demonstrates your belief in your alma mater and its mission. If you have never given to GGU before, please make a gift today, of any amount. Our goal is to increase our alumni participation by 5% by December 2023, and we can do it with your help. New gifts will help us do that. Every gift matters! Give today.
As you will see in the rest of this newsletter, GGU is forging ahead in new directions with global aspirations that are grounded in our unique mission and history. Our vision for the future is for GGU to be seen as the model of what higher education in the 21st century should look like, preparing students to be leaders in a dynamic and challenging world. Your time, talent, and treasure are critical to making that future a reality. We welcome your interest, involvement, and investment to elevate our story and advance the University. Thank you for doing your part to make a difference for our current students, faculty, and staff. Enjoy the rest of the newsletter. We know its contents will inspire you and make you proud.
Henry W. Taylor
Vice President for University Advancement