Our Second Century Comes into Focus

Judith Berling, United Board Chair

Welcome to a season of celebration, as we launch the United Board’s multiyear centennial celebration. The United Board was founded in October 1922, so we officially turn 100 in October 2022. In anticipation of this joyous event, we plan to extend the celebration over the course of several years so as to multiply the opportunities for us to share this milestone with the many colleagues, supporters, and friends who are so important to our mission and programs.

“Great Expectations” is the theme that unifies our wide-ranging plans for observing the centennial. “Great Expectations” defines both our heritage and our outlook for the future. It recognizes that the United Board has been a forward-looking organization from its earliest days, when a small number of ambitious and determined missionary educators endeavored to introduce new approaches to higher education in Asia. It describes the aspirations of the leaders and faculty of our network institutions, who translate the principles of whole person education into practice. And it captures the anticipation of eager students as they first arrive on campus and as they graduate and embark upon the initial stages of their careers and adult lives.

Great expectations also are evident in the strategic priorities that United Board trustees and staff have defined to guide us into our second century. A number of them, described below, show the pathways for turning our vision of whole person education into action. These priorities recognize that our work is done in concert with educators across Asia – and that their talents, needs, and great expectations for the future must be taken into account if we are to achieve our shared goal of delivering education that enriches the intellect, heart, and spirit.

Nancy Chapman, United Board President

For many of you, the words “great expectations” will bring to mind Charles Dickens’ classic tale of the orphaned Pip and the dreams he pursued to rise above humble beginnings. Like Pip, the United Board has always looked to the future with ambitious plans. The course of our journey, however, has been much different: rather than social standing and wealth, the United Board and its community of educators, supporters, and friends have sought paths that enable young adults to develop their minds, hearts, and consciences so that they can better serve their families, communities, and societies.

We know that our generous and committed supporters also set great expectations. Your gifts in support of a program, scholarship, fellowship, or higher education institution all represent a belief in the transformative power of education – and the great expectation that even small contributions can have lasting effects. We look forward to sharing insights with you, over the coming months, that show how these gifts help fulfill the great expectations of students, faculty, administrators, and leaders at colleges and universities across Asia.


United Board Strategic Priorities

Leadership Development: The United Board will support and prepare leaders who set the vision for whole person education at their institutions and help them to secure the resources and relationships to ensure its success. Click here to read an illustrative story.

Faculty Development: The United Board will support the intellectual, ethical, and spiritual development of students and educators through faculty development and promotion of proven strategies for attaining whole person education. Click here to read an illustrative story.

Special Initiatives: The United Board will develop programs that respond proactively to the needs of lesser-resourced countries and regions or address the concerns of historically underserved or underrepresented groups. Click here to read an illustrative story.

New Forms of Networking: The United Board will develop new ways to connect a dynamic, inclusive network of educators who generously share expertise, experience, and opportunities with colleagues across Asia. Click here to read an illustrative story.

Resource Development: The United Board will initiate a special centennial campaign to significantly increase the capacity of colleges and universities in our network to engage their alumni, professionalize their fundraising and stewardship, and secure the resources needed to realize the respective visions of their institutions. Click here to read an illustrative story.