Fall is always a time of new beginnings here at the University YMCA, so we thought it would be a great time to unveil our new newsletter, produced by our now not-so-new Communications Director, Jenni Kotting. We also recently launched our new user-friendly website at www.universityymca.org and encourage you to visit and learn about all of the exciting things happening at the Y.
But with all the different activities that take place here at the Y, one thing remains constant - the students at the core of our mission. Each fall we are reminded of this as our building comes to life with the influx of both new and returning students. For nearly 140 years, the University Y has had a profound impact on the students who pass through our doors. Two recent events underscored the impact of the University Y today.
On a warm Saturday afternoon in August, Murphy Lounge was filled with students and their families as we celebrated the 2011-12 Fred Bailey Scholars and Leaders. As I listened to the remarkable accomplishments and personal commitment these 30 student leaders, I reflected upon the hundreds of prior recipients and the millions of dollars in scholarships that have been awarded to assist students reach their full potential. This year we are expanding this support to include leadership training workshops and informal opportunities to meet with local community leaders to learn first hand about the challenges, frustrations and rewards of working for change.
And two weeks ago on a Friday night, over 70 student leaders from our twelve student programs spent the evening at the Y participating in a revamped orientation program organized by the Y Student Board. For those present it was an evening of fun, information and fellowship as they shared the work they do, learned about the staff and resources available to them at the Y and socialized with one another. Spending time with these students makes me both hopeful and confident about the future.
A testament to the impact the University Y has on our students is the generosity with which they continue to support the Y once they leave. This summer, we were fortunate to receive two bequests from Y alum who remembered us in their will. The Board of Governors is currently discussing how best to use these funds but one thing is certain - their gifts will be used to continue the great leadership development and social justice work we have done for generations. I am proud to be a part of such a historic, yet vibrant institution and ask that you join me in continuing the legacy of the University YMCA with a gift today.