President's Note - March 2022
A Global Leader Network served by a University

I attended a large public USA university which engages its alumni network for fundraising. It attracts money from alumni through large sports programs, scholarships, events to bring them back to the campus, regional alumni events, and a lot of telemarketing calls mostly by students. Like most universities, the alumni network exists to support the school and it does this well.

BGU was actually created to do the opposite. In BGU’s founding charter, it was stated that BGU is a school that exists to serve networks of advanced global leaders who in turn lead transformational movements around the globe. BGU seeks the support of its alumni, but that is not the primary reason the alumni network exists. In a joking reference to the Eagle’s song, Hotel California, we often say, “You can graduate from BGU, but you can’t ever leave.” BGU alumni serve as professors, dissertation advisors, and mentors. BGU alumni plan, host, and direct BGU’s city immersions throughout the globe.

In addition to the alumni network, BGU has served both the Lausanne Movement and the World Evangelical Alliance in key roles in their events and on-going programs. These are two of the largest and most globally dispersed Christian networks in the world. Many BGU students and alumni serve in key leadership roles within these networks.

Ray Bakke had a vision for professors who continued to serve on the front lines of city leadership. These practitioner-scholars provide first-hand innovations and practical skills to students rather then “Ivory Tower” theories.

Even in a BGU alumni Zoom meeting last Saturday attended by alumni from over 30 nations, ideas were shared and conversations about working together on strategic projects were fostered. Following God’s specific calling in His Kingdom is a journey of life-long learning in a values-consistent community of others also committed to this task.

Brad Smith