Union Christian College

Every Penny Gathered

Dr. T. Thomas Philip, principal of Union Christian College

Dr. T. Thomas Philip, principal of Union Christian College

“We realize the United Board depends on every penny gathered,” Dr. P.M. Kuriachen writes, explaining the genesis of a contribution that he and some of his Union Christian College colleagues made to the United Board. “It is our hope that our gift will help continue your ongoing mission,” says Dr. P. Thomas Mathew.

Dr. T. Thomas Philip, principal of this college in Kerala, India, and six of his faculty members have a firsthand appreciation for the United Board’s mission of increasing Christian presence and its efforts in leadership and faculty development. That’s because all of them have participated in United Board programs: Dr. Philip joined the 2012 Asian University Leaders Program; Dr. Thara Simon and colleagues P.M. Kuriachen, David Saj Mathew, P. Thomas Mathew, and Rachel Reena Philip were United Board Fellows; and M.I. Punnoose was involved in the Local Knowledge Initiative. Now, their generous gift will enable others to expand their horizons and develop new skills and lasting professional relationships.

“All of the Fellows have been serving in responsible positions in the college, sharing the valuable expertise they gained through United Board programs,” Dr. Simon explains. She finds that they have brought more than academic knowledge back to the UCC campus. “We had thorough exposure to the administrative systems of the host institutions as well. We studied strategies in quality enhancement, in areas such as project implementation, faculty appointments, student enrollment, fundraising patterns, and alumni relations.” They also are finding ways to further internationalize their campus: UCC has signed memoranda of understanding with Hope College in the United States, which hosted Dr. Simon, and with International Christian University in Japan.

These UCC friends “valued the warmth with which we were received by the community of host institutions.” Now, through their own warm expression of generosity, the United Board can offer opportunities to more rising stars at Asian colleges and universities. Dr. Simon concludes, “May we remember with gratitude Rita Pulliam and Anne Ofstedal for their meticulous planning done for us, and our former principals Dr. Raju K. John and Dr. Varghese John for their inspiring support. It is my proud privilege to express our deep appreciation to the entire United Board family for all their efforts.”

(First published in Horizons in August 2012)