The program of the annual meeting of the Board of Friends held in New York City began with a colloquim regarding “Chile and the future: The reform of higher education and the socioeconomic context of the country.” The colloquim was lead by Rector Sanchez and Roberto Mendez, president of GfK Adimark and a member of the Board of Friends. The colloquim was attended by members of the Board and by a number of invited guests – both Chileans living in the United States and residents of the United States with interest in the topic.
On the next day, the meeting of the Board took place, presided over by the President of Friends, Sava Thomas. At the beginning of the meeting, Sava Thomas presented Edgar Lampert as a new member of the Board and cited his background and experience as a great addition to the Board.
As is the custom, at the beginning of the meeting Rector Sanchez presented a synthesis of the current state of the University and the challenges to higher education in Chile generally, including a review of the principal features of the bill now before the Chilean Congress to reform higher education in the country. Next, the Prorector Patricio Donoso presented an overview of the development projects of the University carried out during the previous year.
Special attention was given to a new campaign to create an endowment for the University. This campaign is being carried out under the leadership of the Rector and has included meetings with an important number of people with the objective of raising funds for the long-term sustainability of the University. The University has established a goal of raising US$30 million by June of 2018, the year of its 130th Anniversary. The Board reviewed the various aspects of the campaign and the methods being employed.
The meeting next reviewed the various projects that have received financial support from Friends, including particularly the Conde scholarship program and certain modifications necessary in light of the government reforms of higher education. Next the meeting analyzed the Leading the Way scholarships for immersive learning of English, and the need for a follow up via the Friends Center. Finally, the Board analyzed new ideas and proposals for Friends to realize in the coming years.
The meeting ended with words of thanks from the Rector to each and every member of the Board for their support of the development of the University. The Rector noted that the generous contribution of time and effort of Friends permits the University to have new international contacts that will be very important for the University’s future development. He further noted that “we have received significant contributions to scholarships programs, the learning of English and the reconstruction of the national patrimony after the earthquake of 2010. We are certain that Friends will make a significant contribution to our efforts to an endowment for our University.”
Upon conclusion of the work session, the Board enjoyed its traditional diner at the home of Sava and Roger Thomas, which featured a chamber music concert by young artists of the Omega Ensemble.