In Praise of Our Teachers, and One (Small) Request

I am here to thank our teachers. For the purposes of this column, let me be clear about which teachers I mean. I have no doubt that you (as well as I) owe a great debt to the special teachers of our childhood, youth and callow college days. But it’s not these teachers I’m thinking of today.

The teachers I praise today are our Apra colleagues who have volunteered to share their energy, expertise and valuable time with the rest of us by teaching us something new. Generously, they tell us what they have learned, freely passing along their best ideas and most important discoveries. They empower our profession and help each of us — and our institutions — be more successful at achieving our goals.

With the approach of Apra’s 30th anniversary conference (Prospect Development 2017 will be in Anaheim, California, from July 26-29), we see again the breadth of knowledge that is available, provided by our peers. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I see topics that range from geovisualization and prospect clustering to prescriptive analytics and campaign forecasting. What’s not to love? My thanks to each and every presenter who has spent the hours required to develop an idea, write a proposal and develop a finished presentation. We are in your debt.

Now, teachers, here comes that one small request. Please think about converting your presentation into an article, one that Connections would be very pleased to publish. What better way to reach the entire Apra community? For those who will not make it to the conference, for those who are interested in your topic three, six or 18 months from now, your article published in Connections will still be available, still teaching your colleagues, extending the value of your gift to the profession.

If you are interested in contributing an article, please contact Emily Schmitt, Apra’s managing editor. Or look for me at Prospect Development 2017 and let me know you want to leverage the value of your presentation through Connections. Your colleagues will thank you!

Susan Faraone is a senior consultant at Aspen Leadership Group, as well as the editor of Connections. She has worked in higher education institutions for much of her 35-year career in a wide variety of roles, leading strategic and campaign planning, front-line fundraising teams, prospect development (research, analytics and prospect management), advancement operations, donor relations and stewardship.

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