As I finish up my eight years on the JWS Advisory Board, two as your vice president and six as your president, I want to reflect and share with you the wonderful things we have accomplished.
We just celebrated our fourth IU Day, where JWS members not only connected with other alumni and celebrated our alma mater, but we also raised $7,500 for Union Board scholarships. JWS awards about $25,000 in scholarships annually to directors, assistant directors, and committee members on Union Board, and we could not do this without your generous financial support. On behalf of the student recipients, thank you so much for your gifts.
In addition to scholarships, JWS, through your giving, has been able to provide funding for students on Union Board to attend experiences that help enrich their education and help them better serve students. Those experiences include travel to ACUI conferences, the Sundance Film Festival, and Pollstar Live! Entertainment Conference. Students are able to collaborate with other programming boards, learn from professionals in specific industries, and bring back programming ideas.
The Board and the alumni group voted at the last Biennial Reunion to expand our membership eligibility to include assistant directors and committee members. Our goal is to enhance inclusion in our group, and we realized that not everyone who is passionate about Union Board and the IMU is a Union Board Director. This will grow our alumni base and allow us to have even bigger reunions and outreach. In addition, we have worked hard to focus our efforts to promote diversity, starting with the make-up of our Board, to include more women, people of color, and a broad perspective of ideas and experiences. These efforts will only make the John Whittenberger Society stronger, and they help foster greater alumni participation.
I am looking forward to our next Biennial Reunion, to be held October 18-20 at the IMU. We hope you can join us, as we will be participating in kick-off efforts celebrating the Bicentennial of Indiana University. Our programming will include a keynote from the Director of IU’s Bicentennial Office, Kelly Kish; IMU and campus tours to witness recent updates and upgrades; as well as another special treat: After generous grants from Indiana University and JWS alumni, we will show the world premiere of a documentary on Union Board and the IMU produced and directed by an Emmy Award-winning documentarian and JWS Board member Jerald Harkness. This screening is not to be missed, so be sure and register for Biennial and be one of the first to see it.
It has been an honor and a pleasure serving all of you these past eight years. I encourage each of you who want to give back to Union Board and the Indiana Memorial Union to reach out to us. It can be through gifts to our scholarships or programming funds, mentoring students, speaking to Union Board committees, helping plan the Biennial Reunions, or serving on the advisory board. Please share your interest by staying in touch. Our email is JWS1909@indiana.edu. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to serve as your president, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
With warm regards,
Christian Carroll (UB 1990)
The John Whittenberger Society