President's Note - December 2022

You can graduate … but you can never leave.

In 1977, the US based rock band called the Eagles released a haunting song called Hotel California that includes the lyrics, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Over the years, BGU has adopted this line for BGU graduates: “You can graduate, but you can never leave.”

People rarely leave BGU after graduation. Instead they stay around to:

1. Host a city immersion in their city for current students who travel from all parts of the world for a two-week hands-on learning experience. These graduates have been trained at BGU to connect with all sectors of their city. They are the best guides to demonstrate the history, culture, and the highs and lows of their city. They have the relationships to connect participants with mayors, business leaders, police chiefs, pastors, urban ministers, and the poor. Working with graduates, BGU has conducted urban immersions in the largest cities in 5 continents.

2. Advise current students. BGU graduates form the backbone of BGU mentoring processes as well as dissertation advisement and coaching.

3. Teach degree and non-degree courses. BGU utilizes front-line graduate practitioners as faculty, guest lecturers, and developers of certificates courses and seminars.

4. Recruit and encourage new students. BGU’s primary source of new students is through connections with graduates.

5. Connect with strategic partners. Many BGU students stay connected with each other working in global relief, development and advocacy projects, or partnering in business or government initiatives.

6. Keep the relationships current. The BGU alumni team keep the rich conversations current through webinars, writing coaching events, special guests, and current news.

7. Give generously. BGU receives sacrificial donations from alumni throughout the world. Based upon national income levels, a $100 donation from a graduate in Burundi compares to a $5000 donation from a US graduate. However sacrificial gifts at all levels are essential to the success of the next generation of BGU students.

8. Serve in staff, faculty and board roles. BGU is one of the most diverse universities in the world, yet the majority of those serving in full-time and part-time roles are BGU graduates. Common vision, values and mission provide a way for those with many diverse backgrounds, cultures and locations to find a place where they belong.

As we approach the end of the 2022 year, we are grateful for so many who serve so sacrificially in the BGU family.

Dr. Brad Smith