We speak with student leaders about leaving a legacy. Usually we start the discussion around the end of their junior year, and then once again somewhere during their senior year when they need a pick me up. We talk them through their goals for the year, their action steps, and what they envision when they see themselves at the end of the year. Usually the conversation centers around what they will have gained and how proud they will be of themselves. We do this for them to help them grow and improve. We are able to see beyond their brief time in college and see that they can bring change.
It is time that we have that legacy conversation with ourselves. I recently got an email from my father unfortunately entitled, “Last Will and Testament.” After frantically opening the email and realizing it was not in fact my father’s last will and testament, I realized I was being encouraged to write my own will. My father has had some health issues in recent years and was really just doing his due diligence as a caring parent to convince my that I really needed to think about planning for my and my family’s future.
We don’t do this enough. I know I don’t.
We don’t always think about the future because we often don’t want to. But we should, and we should also be thinking in terms of our legacy. What is your legacy? The great thing is you aren’t a senior in college anymore. You have more than a year to work on this. The bad thing is you have many more layers of work, family, church, and community to think about.
I love to watch award shows. I always want to watch the “In Memoriam” segments to recap who has passed on (maybe I didn’t even realize that some folks were gone), but I always feel a bit removed from those names because even though actors can make you feel like you know them, you don’t. However, when I attend ACUI annual conferences and the same honor is given to activities and union professionals, I am always surprised at how many of the deceased I do know. Especially as I get older and continue to be involved in this organization. The stories of these individuals and the legacies they have left behind are always moving to me.
The 100th anniversary of ACUI was a grande thing. The museum captured history that was fascinating and illuminating. Elements of the conference made you look back to the past of ACUI but also look forward toward its bright future. It made me think of my legacy with my role at my institution and also my role within ACUI. I felt it during the “In Memoriam” video montage, but I felt the presence of legacy all around me when a large number of attendees who had benefited from an Education and Research Fund scholarship at some point in their career stood at one of the gatherings. The number of professionals who had been touched by the money given by their peers was inspiring. I felt the presence of legacy when the graduate student representative on the Education and Research Fund Team joined the “$1,000 for the 100th” campaign. What an amazing start to what I only imagine will be a caring and giving career.
What will be your legacy? Think about your legacy within ACUI. How will you be remembered? How would you wish to be remembered? Starting today, we are encouraging all ACUI members that utilize Twitter to share your story using the #ACUIlegacy hashtag. What do you want to be known for? When you look back over your career one day, what do you want to see there? How have you benefited from the giving of others in ACUI?
The Education and Research Fund Team will be using #ACUIlegacy to help share information about our work, as well as using it to announce deadlines and other important information.
Consider leaving a legacy as a Giving Society Member. Help fund scholarships for aspiring and current professionals, and help fund research in our field. Currently, there are 12 fully funded scholarships and awards due to the generosity of donors. For any further information or to give, please visit the ACUI website. You can also contact Patrick Connelly, Education and Research Fund chair.
Filed Under: Goal Setting
Jennifer Keegin is the Associate Director for Campus Activities at Binghamton University.
Jennifer also serves as the Division of Student Affairs communications manager. As the leader of the Technology Community of Practice, Jennifer is interested in all things tech related that help create innovative and efficient systems with the activities and union field.