Our campus is on spring break this week. While many students across the country booked tickets to sunny destinations for fun-in-the-sun, some Michigan students elected to spend their break serving in the U-M Alternative Spring Break Program. Since its inception in 1990, thousands of U-M students have participated in service-learning trips where they study social issues, engage with new communities, help others and learn what it means to be an engaged citizen. It’s not surprising that the U-M program is one of the largest of its kind in the nation – effecting positive social change is part of the ethos of this great University of Michigan, and it’s one of the many things that makes me so proud to be a Wolverine.
I see the same devotion to service in each of you as you go about your daily work to Make Blue Go. I also know that many of you volunteer in the community and give back in your own way. I personally volunteer by serving on not-for-profit boards, lending my financial expertise to organizations I care about. No matter how you volunteer, know that you are making a positive difference that means so much to all of us. And research shows there are personal gains from volunteering, too – with loads of health and social benefits that help us lead happier, longer, and more productive lives.
Later this spring, the B&F forum leadership group will participate in a day of volunteer service. Giving back, individually and collectively, supports our strategic goals of developing leadership and being a great place to work. My hope is that we will take what we learn from this first day of volunteer service to create opportunities for anyone in B&F who wants to participate. I’d love to hear your thoughts about volunteerism. Thanks for all you do to make our community great.
With much appreciation and gratitude,