President’s Message: 2018 Excellence Awards and Holiday Reception

The following is a transcript of UPRAA President Jose O. Torres’ opening remarks at the 2018 Holidays and Excellence Awards Reception

Welcome Remarks by UPRAA President
2018 Excellence Awards and Holiday Reception
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC
December 13, 2018

Welcome to UPRAA’s Excellence Awards and Holiday Reception. What an honor to have such a great group of distinguished individuals who are, in one way or another, linked to the University of Puerto Rico, its alumni, and friends.

I am a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico and I am very proud of it.

Two years ago, I stood in front of some of you as the new UPRAA President and vowed to work hard to make a difference in our University and in the lives of our future leaders. I accepted the challenge because, through my college years, I cannot recall a single moment someone talked to me about the importance of alumni giving to my school. And, as I grew in my profession, I realized the impact education had and asked, What should be our goal to help make our Educational Institution better?

Someone should have told us. Before we even received our diploma—such a prestigious document that we hang proudly on the walls of our homes and our offices— someone should have talked to us about the importance of making donations to our Alma Mater.

Well, if you have not heard this before, I am saying it now: Our goal as alumni should be to create a habit of giving back… And our ultimate goal should be to sustain such generosity for the rest of our lives.

This is important because, for me, alumni giving is a testament to how we, as graduates from our loving school, view our University.

  • It is a matter of being loyal… demonstrating love and appreciation for the education and development our University provided us,
  • It is about providing others a similar experience,
  • Staying connected with friends and the community,
  • Even reaping the social and emotional – and even tax – benefits associated with being a donor.

How can I not show gratitude to my University, if she was the one responsible for turning me into a professional citizen and laying out the basis for my successful life?
La UPI produces successful graduates who become great professionals and are making a difference in this great Nation. All of you fall under that category, and understanding the importance of alumni giving is invaluable!

Speaking of successful graduates from the University of Puerto Rico… Tonight, we recognize professionals going above and beyond in their efforts to shape our future. We are honored to be in the presence of the young, distinguished leaders being recognized tonight.

As we celebrate another successful year for UPRAA, let us give thanks to our alumni, friends and our sponsors that helped UPRAA reach $180,000 in scholarships. Let’s continue to give back and make the difference.

Thank you.

Jose O. Torres
President, Association of University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad 

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