A group of university supporters from various professions and backgrounds have something in common — they've joined UC Merced's Chancellor's Associates and found a way to connect with the campus and stand behind its mission of education, research and public service.
Chancellor's Associates Don and Nancy Bergman understand the important role the university plays in serving the community and offering solutions to some of its challenging problems. They enthusiastically support education and believe that everyone has a responsibility to improve the lives of Merced's youth by serving as strong, positive and ethical role models.
"Serving as Chancellor's Associates provides an important opportunity for us to remain involved in the university community," Nancy Bergman explained. "We particularly enjoy meeting new friends and connecting with other community members who have similar interests in contributing to Merced County."
Barbara Jamison couldn't agree more. Jamison, a devoted supporter of UC Merced, is an active community volunteer and sees the campus as crucial for the Merced region.
"UC Merced is the best thing to happen to Merced, and the Chancellor's Associates is a wonderful part of being involved with the campus," she said.
For Richard and Susan Mahacek, having a daughter attend UC Merced made supporting the campus' mission and bridging the campus and community even more important.
During their daughter Anne's time at UC Merced, they were involved in the Parent and Family Association. As she approached graduation in 2009, the couple wanted to continue to support higher education and the vital role that UC Merced plays in the community.
They believe their involvement in the Chancellor's Associates is helping to shape the UC Merced community and impacting student success. They have worked to advance the development of campus groups, helped students network with individuals and businesses in the community and encouraged the community to experience what UC Merced has to offer.
UC Merced alumni are also giving back to the campus' annual giving society. The Chancellor's Pioneers are a dedicated group of young alumni who support the campus by giving to the Chancellor's Associates each year.
Sam Fong, '09, decided to get involved by joining the Collegiate Alumni Foundation . As an alumnus, Fong feels even more passionate about giving back. He is contributing to the Chancellor's Pioneers program, part of the Chancellor's Associates, to enable future classes of students to enjoy the same amazing opportunities he did.
On April 28, Chancellor's Associates from near and far will gather for the annual spring reception, which will be Chancellor Steve Kang and his wife, Mia's, farewell Chancellor's Associates event.
"From the moment Mia and I stepped foot on campus, we were truly welcomed by all," Kang said. "We were especially fortunate to be embraced by the Chancellor's Associates, who eagerly support the university's mission and understand their support is essential to UC Merced's continued growth and success."
Each year, Chancellor's Associates show a continuing commitment to UC Merced by contributing $1,000 and playing an integral role in shaping the UC Merced community by providing student assistance, supporting research, recruiting top-notch faculty and strengthening community partnerships.
With supporters like Chancellor's Associates and Chancellor's Pioneers, Kang says he can confidently pass the torch to the university's next chancellor knowing tremendous things are in store for the campus and community.
To join the Chancellor's Associates, visit http://makeagift.ucmerced.edu/chancellors-associates.aspx . For more information, contact Lisa McMullen at 209-228-4202.