Dear Fellow Panthers;
It is an honor and privilege to serve as the 12th President of the Virginia Union University National Alumni Association. As I start my tenure I must recognize and applaud the hard work and dedication of those who started and sustained this organization. All the Past Presidents have done a phenomenal job growing this organization. To the Immediate Past President, Carolyn Jacobs, thank you for your leadership and guidance.
The theme of my administration is “Building Bridges from Generation to Generation”. We have accomplished much in 152 years. Each class, each generation has a story to tell and value to add to the VUU experience. We seek to engage and build bridges that will connect our Alums to the students who are now sitting in your seat in Ellison Hall or Pickford Hall or living in your old dorm room in Storer, Newman or Macvicar Hall. Our task as Alumni is to share experiences and pass on the opportunity we were given and pass it on better than we found it.
Goals of our Administration:
Grow the Association – Add chapters in areas where we have Alums with no chapters and reengage those Alums in
areas that have active chapters. Our goal is to double our paid membership to over 200 members.
Increase our Giving – The Alumni Association endowment fund was started in September of 2007 and in its 10th year of existence we seek to double it to $50,000. And also we seek to make $100,000 our annual Alumni contribution.
Recruit Students – Without Students there is no VUU. We need to tell our unique story. From “Straight out of Lumpkin’s Jail” to the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center, the history of Virginia Union University is so rich and filled with success. Prospective students need to know about “The Union Way”.
Support our Students – We have much to offer our young Panthers and we seek to increase their exposure to you our Alums. We want more from you than your treasure; we need your talent and time. Our Panther Pipeline Research series is a success, we need Alumni Judges. Our new mentorship program is a success. We have amazing success stories of how our mentors connected with our students in life changing ways, we need more mentors. We plan to institute a Panther seminar series so we can invite you on campus and share with our students your life’s experiences in a personal and meaningful way.
In an era where the very existence of many Historically Black Colleges is being threatened, Virginia Union is on solid ground. But let us not get complacent or rest on our success. There is still “hard work to do and loads to lift.” We have set some lofty goals, but “if it does not challenge you it won’t change you.” I look forward to seeing you on the yard.
Michael A. Newsome