The University of Pretoria (UP) recently launched the UP-US Foundation to build and grow existing relationships, and to assist alumni and friends of UP to give back financially in the most tax-effective manner. It is set to launch another such foundation in the United Kingdom.
The establishment of the UP-US Foundation will also enhance UP’s ability to assist students and lecturers to grow their knowledge both in South Africa and the United States.
UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe spent a few days prior to the launch, which was held in New York, meeting with local universities, foundations and alumni. “I am happy to report that all my meetings were fruitful, with many new research collaborations entered into and research grants secured,” he said in his opening remarks at the launch. “I am also pleased to see how well our alumni are doing in the US; what pleases me even more is how they all say that their education at UP was a major part of their current career success.”
Prof Kupe further indicated that UP strives to be a future-focused university. “This is not to push up our international ranking, but to help transform our country, continent and the world with high-impact research and innovations. To achieve this, we need to collectively redouble our efforts to attain our strategic goals: student access and success; high-quality research for greater societal impact; global recognition; diversity, equity and inclusion; and institutional sustainability. We will continue to strive to meet our strategic goals for the greater good and benefit of society as a whole.”
“The foundation is a mechanism to promote giving to the University in a tax-efficient manner,” said Hernan Finkel, UP Deputy Director of Relationship Management and Fundraising. “The foundation also has its own boards, where board members live in the country. In time we are hoping to add sub-committees and get more and more alumni to join the various sub-committees. With this growth, the foundation would be able to start creating different chapters; in time, the number of UP ambassadors will grow and we would have more impact and be able to reach more alumni.”
Finkel added that such a foundation is about building relationships with UP’s alumni and friends abroad and celebrating UP’s success. “Success would be getting more alumni involved in the foundation, allowing us to host more events, have more mentors, and reach and connect with more of our alumni,” he said. “Ultimately, we would like these foundations to raise funds to support student access and for lecturers to be able to access research possibilities in both the US and UK.”
According to Samantha Castle, Senior Manager of Alumni Relations at UP, it is important for the University to share information with alumni so they can be UP ambassadors abroad. “This is another way for alumni to stay connected with one another overseas and to create networking opportunities in a particular country. These foundations will also help the University to raise funds and build mentorship programmes.”
Visit https://up-fund.org/ for more information and to make a donation.