Dear UAB Family and Friends,
Like many of our alumni, when it comes to UAB, I am passionate. But there was no way I could have been prepared for the tumultuous times and events that this incredible university would endure since mid-2014. As a UAB family, we have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions.
I think it is fair to write that one of the darkest times in this university’s history was the elimination of the football, bowling, and rifle programs last December. Out of this darkness a light started to shine. From the time the sports were eliminated, alumni from everywhere started coming together to show their support for these teams and rallied to get them reinstated.
As alumni, we fought to have our voices heard and pushed to have the Athletics Task Force established to help determine the financial sustainability of having the eliminated sports reinstated. Now, we need to harness the passion that has been exhibited in order to make this an even greater university.
Over the next year, I will be focusing on three top priorities as UAB National Alumni Society President:
- Membership. As we continue to heal as alumni, I would like to encourage members to invite someone to join and be a part of something BIG! As NAS members, you are the driving force behind our organization. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to provide scholarship dollars for UAB students or host tremendous events to generate Blazer Spirit!
- Chapter Relations. Get involved in one of the 60+ chapters the NAS has. Did you know that our membership affords you the opportunity to be a part of a Geographic or Constituent National Alumni Society Chapter? The first chapter is included i your regular NAS membership. Each additional chapter is $15 and you can join as many chapters as you would like with those funds going directly to the chapter. If you are interested in hosting an event in your city – contact the Office of Alumni Affairs staff at 205.934.3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Increase Scholarship Funding. Finally, the NAS has a goal of providing more than $1 million to students in the form of scholarships, gifts, and grants by the year 2020. It’s a very ambitious goal, but one that, with your help, is very attainable. This past fall, we gave away approximately $775,000. I invite you to join us at our two largest fundraisers: UAB National Alumni Society Scholarship Run 5K/10K (scheduled for May 6, 2016) and Uncork Education (held in November).
I urge you to stay connected as a member of the NAS. If you are not a member, JOIN. If you’re already a member, consider a Lifetime Membership and urge friends or relatives to join.
Printella Ridgeway-Thomas, BS ’77/MD ‘81
UAB National Alumni Society