From the Vice-Chancellor
It's been many years since I was an undergraduate, but I can still remember what it's like to be starting university for the very first time. First-year students often have a sense of nervousness and excitement about university, and I don't blame them! Studying at university can be daunting, especially if you've come straight out of secondary school, but it also opens up a world of possibilities that, for many students, will enhance and enrich the rest of their lives.
I recently spoke at a welcome event for new students. It's always a pleasure to be welcoming students to this University because of the opportunities that lie ahead. For the University, our relationship with these students does not end at the conclusion of their three or four-year degree (or longer, in some cases). That is just the start of the relationship, and while I mentioned that university enhances and enriches students' lives, the benefit is two-fold - as alumni of our University, they also enrich our University community.
I say "alumni", because you don't have to be a graduate of the University to be counted among our alumni - current students and staff are also part of the alumni community. In that sense, alumni represent our entire University community.
Alumni are the lifeblood - and the life cycle - of this institution. Without them, we would have no students, no staff to teach the students, and no graduates. How the University manages its alumni relations is therefore critical to all of our activities.
In December last year, the University of Adelaide made an important decision about how we handle alumni relations that will have a positive impact on all our alumni and the University. The University's Council decided that a new model of alumni relations would be adopted - one that integrates alumni activities directly with the University.
As a strong supporter of our many alumni relationships and stakeholders, I am very pleased that Council has made this decision. It is an important step forward for our University, and will result in a more integrated approach to alumni relations, with individual alumni groups now able to interact directly with the University through the Development and Alumni Office. In return, the University can now provide more direct support and input into alumni relations and activities.
This gives us an opportunity to further incorporate all of our alumni into the life and fabric of our University. The University expects to make an impact on the lives of our alumni, and in turn we want them to have a vital role to play in helping to shape our future as a University community.
I'm sure this is the last thing on our new students' minds right now, but like them, I share the excitement of new possibilities.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President