Greetings JWS Family,
I hope this fall season brings you joy and reflection. Fall is my favorite time of year for three reasons. One, Thanksgiving is my kind of holiday—food and loved ones—all I need to celebrate. Two, the reflective lessons of change Mother Nature provides us annually through her colorful display of loss and the hope of new growth. Three, the fact that every other year, these things come together at Biennial—a chance to gather with loved ones, eat your favorite IMU or B-town food, and reflect on all the changes our individual and collective community has experienced.
I am so grateful to each and every one of you who were able to join us this year. And I am sending love to each of those who were unable to attend—know that you were missed.
I believe the success of this year’s Biennial was defined by the collaborative work of the amazing current Union Board directors, assistant directors, and committee members; the talented IMU staff; and the incredible JWS Board Members alongside whom I am proud to work. As we celebrate this collaboration, it is fitting to celebrate the expansion of the JWS family. While we have all felt, known, and experienced the meaningful contribution and powerful impact of assistant directors and committee members within Union Board, it has taken us too long as a JWS Society to welcome them into our alumni family. This is now a reality. As we move forward in welcoming new members, please help us identify past assistant directors and committee members who we can reach out to and welcome. Imagine having a reunion committee meeting at the next Biennial in 2021!
In light of our growth, our focus for 2020 as a JWS Board is you. Connecting with each generation of Union Board alumni to listen and learn. In strengthening the bonds of our community, we seek to best serve you, reinforce or revive your connection to IU, IMU, and Union Board, and stand at the ready to support and celebrate the current students leading and living Union Board’s mission.
I am overwhelmed by the amazing individuals within our community and on the JWS Board. Board members have made a choice to spend their time and talents to develop, support, and celebrate our JWS community. In the picture above, you will see the beautiful faces of your board. In future newsletters, I will invite them to say hello and share their unique Union Board and JWS stories.
For now, I close with gratitude to and for you, and with hope for the new growth we will create together.
Laura Osteen (UB 1989–90, 1990, 1991)
The John Whittenberger Society