From Ellis Woodward '74
I have had the opportunity over the past couple of years to reconnect to UNH. Like many alumni, my relationship with the University had lapsed since graduating in 1974. Surely this happens to many of us.
I worked with the UNH Foundation to explore ways in which I could invest in projects that matched my passions and would make a difference far beyond the Durham campus. In my case, that passion is Africa. My approach to charitable giving has evolved from simple charitable donations to making investments in programs and projects that have clear goals, achievable strategies, and measurable results. This approach led me to the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research where I've set up the Fund for African Development.
This fund will allow students to travel to Africa for ten weeks during the summer to work on a wide variety of development projects: in agriculture, health, education, clean water, small business development, etc. Students who participate will gain first-hand experience in this very challenging line of work. Some may decide to pursue a career in international development. Some will decide that this is not an ideal fit for their aspirations. All will, I hope, acquire a lifelong passion to improve the lives of the world's most unfortunate citizens.
During my discussions with the Hamel Center, I had the opportunity to meet some extraordinary students. I hope you will take a moment to read the report from Emily Roberts, a nursing student who traveled to Uganda where she worked as a nurse in a rural clinic. She returned from her extraordinary trip committed to Africa, to Uganda, and to the clinic where she worked. Her experience will no doubt be shared by others in the future for whom the African Development Fund was created.
Ellis Woodward graduated from UNH with a B.A. in political science and pursued a career in national politics, government, and international business. In 2004, he retired to Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Woodward has taught elementary and secondary students in Tanzania and Ghana, and is an active volunteer in UNH’s Pathways Mentor Program.