We are now less than two week away from AM55—our very first Annual Meeting to be held in August. There are many “new beginnings” associated with this meeting, so let me just start with highlighting a few. First, we will be issuing our very first Julia Jacobsen Distinguished Service Award. Julia Jacobsen, one of NCURA’s founding members, passed away late 2012. She truly exemplified volunteerism and service. I am very excited that this year’s winners are my friends and colleagues. Judy Fredenburg, Barbara Gray, Steve Hansen, Norm Hebert, and Dave Richardson are very deserving, but it’s really an honor to be the first recipients of this re-name award.
Next, have we got a great “restaurant” for Monday night dinner groups. The Washington Nationals will be hosting the Atlanta Braves on Monday night. Now baseball is something we never could enjoy in late October/early November. I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, but the “home” baseball team for me was the Senators. I’m very happy that baseball’s back in our Nation’s Capital (no disrespect to my friends who are Orioles fans), and Monday is Dollar Hot Dog Night. It will be a fun night and dining well withing my per diem!
The last thing I wanted to mention is probably the new beginning that is near and dear to my heart. The most recent NCURA Magazine contained an article about our new Scholarship Education Fund. Thanks to a beginning contribution by Jerry Fife, we have a start. We are launching fund raising for this Fund at AM55. You’ll find raffles for the following: a stereo docking system; a two-night stay from Marriott Wardman; a two-night stay from Washington Hilton and a two-night stay from San Francisco Hilton. By the time you arrive, there may even be more raffle prizes. If raffles “aren’t your thing”, then we’ll also have a booth where you’ll find a computer for those of you who wish to make a donation via credit card; there will also be a printer so you can generate a receipt. I hope you will be as inspired as I am about this opportunity this Scholarship Fund will create for members. I know I would not be the research administrator I am today if it were not for NCURA’s professional development offerings. In this time of shrinking budgets at our institutions, imagine what could be accomplished if we all gave something to this Fund. I have made a pledge to give to this Fund, and I hope I can inspire you to do the same. Even a little makes a difference.