Whether we’re together in person or using technology to bridge the distance, the UW Alumni Association is about making connections.
Amit Ranade, ’98, ’03, is the 2021-22 president of the UWAA Board of Trustees.
Earlier this summer, my family and I walked through the Sylvan Grove on UW’s Seattle campus. We paused in front of the columns, where my wife and I got married 12 years ago. As I reflected on what Sylvan Grove means to me, I started to think about what it (and all three of our campuses) symbolize in this moment. They are places where Huskies gather to build community; they are places of opportunity.
The past 18 months have presented us with many challenges, but my walk on campus that day persuaded me to start seeing them as opportunities that the UW and the UW Alumni Association can help us seize. So, what are those opportunities?
First, your UWAA presents an opportunity for connection and contact. The many months of relative isolation have reminded us how valuable real (not virtual) human contact is. The connection we feel in a handshake, through simple eye contact, or a shared meal is irreplaceable. The UWAA has long been a place for connection. In the coming year, we will resume our programming with a renewed appreciation for the value of human contact while using technology to improve access and quality. I encourage you to take full advantage by joining us and reconnecting with your fellow Huskies.
The University of Washington is special place for each of us. I know you have your own “UW story.”
Second, society at large has started to recognize that deep-rooted systemic inequities have kept America from fulfilling its true promise. America’s greatest strength is the diversity of its people. People of goodwill, from myriad backgrounds, are seeing their own privilege for the first time. No doubt this is a difficult moment. I pledge to build on the commitment to anti-racism made by my UWAA predecessors in providing a forum for learning, respectful discussion and most important, action.
In addition, I pledge to work with UWAA colleagues to deepen our programming and expand our outreach to historically underserved communities. For the UWAA, this is an opportunity for organizational growth and development. As UWAA members, alumni, and friends, this is also an opportunity for personal growth. I invite you to take advantage of it. You can learn more at washington.edu/alumni/
The University of Washington is a special place for each of us. I know you have your own “UW story.” It is what keeps you connected to the UW, and your continued engagement is a principal reason why the UW is such a special place. Thank you for your engagement and support.
In the coming year, I invite you to deepen that engagement through the UWAA, and take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.