With the arrival of our new president on campus, Dr. Richard McCormick, and the beginning of the University's second 100 years on the knoll above Portage Bay, I am intensely aware of time passing and changes in the wind. We as alumni must not be caught daydreaming. There are wolves at the door of higher education in this state, and we must consider how we can prevent the erosion of what the University has become--an internationally respected institution with a distinguished faculty and outstanding alumni, both educated to play important roles in the affairs of the world and the region's economy.
President McCormick is challenging alumni to be more than just loyal Husky fans. He has done extensive homework on Washington state, talked to politicians and business leaders, alumni and the heads of other academic institutions. What he has found is an economic and political climate that will continue to challenge higher education, and he's asking for alumni support in helping him communicate the University's story.
With state funding under scrutiny, the University will have to adapt, finding innovative ways to meet the needs of today's students. The University is seeking new partnerships and input from educators at all levels, from public school districts to community college and four-year institutions.
We as alumni must do more than simply pay our annual dues. We must educate ourselves on the issues and assist the President in explaining to the citizens of this state how the University is giving them value for their buck, both as a place for their children to get a quality education and as a place that provides jobs and revenue for the region. If you read Columns magazine regularly, you'll find all the background information you need to engage in conversations about how the UW is serving higher education and fueling the state's economy. (see "The Day They Sold the `U,' " December, 1994)
So I encourage you to speak up and speak out. Tell your friends and business acquaintances what the University has meant to you and how it is working to meet the needs of today's students. Let's ensure that in another 100 years, the University of Washington holds as much respect as it does today.
Jon K. Rider, '63
UW Alumni Association Executive Director
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