The President’s View

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Since our founding, donors who believe in the mission and spirit of the University of Redlands have offered us their unyielding support in every way possible. Because of the foresight of our early advocates, we have campus icons like the Memorial Chapel and the Alumni Greek Theatre; due to sustainment by our current champions, those landmarks still stand in pristine condition. We are a University rooted in community, and it is a testament to that value that we have always had such steadfast patrons.

No couple in our 108 years has a track record of greater length and consistency in giving back to the University than Rich and Ginnie Hunsaker. These exemplars of selflessness and true loyalty have been thoroughly engaged with their alma mater for more than 50 years—through the ups and downs all universities experience. It is impossible to find someone on campus who has not been touched by their generosity. Purpose-driven giving, as demonstrated by the Hunsakers, is what new philanthropy is all about: Paying it forward on faith while challenging others to do the same and instilling the spirit of beneficence in the
next generation.

To be an effective president, I must inspire confidence in our alumni/ae and friends who, like Rich and Ginnie, will sacrifice for the University not only because of their gratitude for their own education, but because of their willingness to invest based on deep trust in our future. I will never forget the challenge leveled at me by Professor Art Svenson onstage at my inauguration. He looked me in the eye and said metaphorically, “Take care of our house.” I took his charge deeply and personally and at that moment knew I was part of something special.

This year is the centennial of the inauguration of another president, our second, Victor LeRoy Duke. In his Thanksgiving address of 1930, Duke stated, “We, at the University of Redlands, are thankful each day for those who founded our college in this beautiful spot; for others who have made it possible for the college to carry on; for parents, brothers and sisters, and friends who have sacrificed that we might be here.” Those words could have been written today, and they could still be written 100 years from now. In the spirit of Duke’s words, I always hope that alumni/ae and friends treat this great University as if it were a most treasured member of their own family. It is familial commitment that matters, and we can all achieve that no matter our personal financial resources.

Many have sacrificed to make Redlands the place it is today . . . and we are grateful. It’s not enough for us to say “thank you” to Rich, Ginnie, and our other donors who give so altruistically. We are fortunate to have students and graduates who can show, through the impact they make on the world, the true value of the gifts Redlands receives. We are merely the agents. Our philanthropists are the engine of change.

With warmest regards,

Ralph W. Kuncl, PhD MD
President
University of Redlands

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