Posted by: Katherine Primus | October 13, 2009

2009 Annual Report is on its way

Keep checking your mailbox!  Any day now you will be receiving the CA Perspectives & Annual Report for 2008-2009.  This report chronicles the year past, highlighting our key programs, fundraisers, alumni news, and financial stewardship.  We develop this report to share with you, our alumni and friends, the activities of the past year to keep you informed, encourage your involvement, and to ask for your continuing prayers and support.

This year we focused our annual appeal on supporting our work-study students, which I believe is our mission field.  Through this Footprints column I shared some of the accomplishments of these students and we have selected one of those for this report.  (See “Our Mission Field” on page 3.)

We also honor a long-time friend of the CA, Charles “Bud” Fretz  (W ‘51).  Bud worked for Towers Perrin for 34 years retiring in 1988.  While at Penn Bud was actively involved in the Sphinx Senior Society, served as president of the CA, and participated in the Mask and Wig.  Bud generously supported the CA and remembered the organization in his will.  I had the pleasure of visiting with Bud, and his wife Carolyn, shortly after becoming Executive Director.  We had a lovely lunch at the club overlooking a beautiful golf course while Bud shared his memories of Penn and the CA.  I am very grateful for his support and extend my prayers to his family.

We love to use this publication to update you all on your fellow alumni news.  Please keep up those lovely cards, notes, emails, and phone calls to share changes in your life, recent moves both professional and personal, and updates on how your experience at Penn, and the CA in particular, continues to influence your life today.  We like your voices to be heard through this forum as much as we share our own.

You may be interested to note the stewardship of our financial resources for the past year.  Given all the economic uncertainly over the past several months non-profits have had an especially hard time with securing donations,.  Overall donations in every category (individual gifts, foundations, program income, and the Open Mind for Africa fund) were down from last year, with the largest decrease in individual donations (down about 50% from last year).  To supplement our fundraising we continued to use the CA Fund (monies generated from the sale of the Locust Walk building and other investment income).  Our heartfelt thanks to each and every individual who so graciously donated to the CA this past year.  We appreciate your continued faith in our work and work hard to ensure that your financial donations are used as you intended them to be.  I encourage each of you to take an active role in the ministry here so that you can be even more connected with the important work we do.

I would also like to take the time here to acknowledge the work of our Board of Directors.  As an independent non-profit organization the CA depends on the support of its Board of Directors, many of whom have served for several years.  Our board chair for the past several years, Bruce McCullough (‘80, ‘83) served a full term of six years most of which he served as Chair.  My sincere thanks to Bruce for his service and dedication to the organization.  We appreciate his perspective and his devotion to the organization and plan on continuing to benefit from it in the future.  (Bruce agreed to continue to serve on the CA Fund Investment Oversight Committee.)

This year also marked the transition of Dr. Louise Shoemaker (‘47, ‘65), who provided the inspiration for our newest program the Open Mind for Africa, to ex officio status.  Louise has served at the CA for most of her tenure at Penn and beyond and we are honored to have her among our friends.  She continues to provide inspiration to today’s students, meeting with the recipients of the Open Mind for Africa travel grants this past summer.  Her presence at our “Eat Your Way Through Africa” dinners made the experience better for everyone participating.

On the last page of the annual report I shared some of the goals for the upcoming year.  I welcome your feedback, and your continued prayers and financial support, as we work to achieve these goals.  This year we plan to:

  • Execute the first annual “Young Christians Living in the Hook-Up Culture” symposium funded in part by the Philip Knutson Endowment.
  • Increase the number of individual donors, as well as increase the total amount of individual donations received.
  • Award another round of travel grants through the Open Mind for Africa program.
  • Develop a larger CA Board of Directors with each member working on his or her special interest to help further the reach of the organization.

My sincere thanks to each of you for your support of our work.  This year promises to be another exciting one and I look forward to your participation.

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