Featured News

  • The anatomy of a reunion site selection Open or Close

    by Gwenn McGill, D79, USA UWPIAA Reunions Chair

    As the newly-appointed Reunions Chair, I was given the task of making a recommendation for the site where the 2016 & 2017 UWPIAA reunions would take place.
    As many of you know, we have been fortunate to call Tucson, AZ home for our reunions since 2004. In many ways, Tucson has been the ideal location due to the historical ties to Up With People and the University of Arizona, as well as the significant amount of host family and alumni support that we receive before, during and after the reunion. In addition, Tucson also happens to be one of the few places where we are able to find a large block of available, affordable rooms in the July/August timeframe. (It also helps that the hotels are absolutely beautiful with staff members who are familiar with our organization and are eager to please.)

    With all of that being said, we still felt it was important to explore potential opportunities outside of Tucson for the 2016 & 2017 reunions in case there was something more suitable for our needs.

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  • The Denver Gala Celebration our story...igniting our future Open or Close

    As an adjective, “gala” means festive. As a noun, it means special occasion, a celebration. As it applies to Up with People’s 50th Anniversary event in Denver on April 25, 2015, it means all of the above!

    This year’s event will be bigger, brighter, and grander than ever before. Presented by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in association with Elite Brands, the gala will be held at a new and spectacular location, the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. The new venue allows us to increase the size of the silent auction area, the number of guests in the ballroom, and provide better viewing for all attendees.

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  • Sold-out crowd embraces musical reminder that “their melody is all around us!” Open or Close

    by Linda Erley, E78, USA

    All of us have sung “Up with People” so many times in so many ways, but how about singing it with the original songwriters almost as if you and 300 of your closest friends were in your own living room? This is what the crowd at a very special sold-out performance in Broomfield, Colorado had the good fortune to do in January, when the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen presented an unforgettable two-hour show, raising an estimated $10,000 for scholarships for future Up with People participants.
    Here’s a brief history. Last summer, a group of alumni calling themselves Cast 5280 in a nod to Denver, CO’s altitude pooled resources to win this very special auction item at the alumni reunion. The Colwell brothers and Herb Allen initially agreed to donate their time and talent to perform in someone’s home, but when they realized the potential, they decided to take it a giant step further. A venue was found, the word was spread, tickets were sold and alumni came from as far as Germany, Arkansas, California, and Illinois to be a part of this incredible evening! A big thank you goes out to Cast 5280 for their time and generosity. Without you, this event could not have taken place.

    The Colorado Rocky Mountain alumni gave a warm welcome to Steve, Paul, Ralph, Ted, Herb, and Ralph’s wife, Debbie. Alumni pulled together to make the show and logistics happen. That old UWP PR team training kicked in as we organized housing, meals, performance needs and, of course, parties. (Ok, maybe we didn’t plan quite as many parties while we were on the road!). It was truly a collaborative effort and a big thank you goes out to all alumni involved!
    On performance night, the opening act featured UWP second-generation alumni Breton Shepherd (son of Rajean and Stu), Matthew Erley (son of Linda and Bruce) and Brodie Kinder (son of Sammie and Jeff). The trio performed a tribute song they had written to honor the legacy that the Colwell brothers and Herb created. A brief video montage created by Breton Shepherd followed the song, offering a look back on the lives of the Colwells and Herb spanning from the days before Mackinac Island to the present day.

    The video ended with the words, “Their melody is all around us,” giving the Colwells and Herb the perfect cue to take the stage. Instantly, the audience was on its feet and the house shook with their applause. The audience roared with delight when Ralph leaned into the microphone and said, “We haven’t done anything yet.”
    With Herbie on piano, Paul on banjo, Ralph tapping the base and Steve on guitar, they took us on a bluegrass tour through their early years, backed by alumni Glenn Johnson on drums and Bob Huff on lead guitar.

    The always-charming Herbie delighted the audience with stories and played a sentimental rendition of “Ain’t Misbehaving” dedicated to Jane, his bride of 57 years. He brought the audience to its feet with his famous and extraordinary xylophone performance of “Flight of the Bumble Bee” (or as he calls it, “Plight of the Humble Bee”).
    The audience got to experience the easy camaraderie between these artists who have worked together for 61 years. Just as they began a song about Colorado’s Wolf Creek Pass, Herbie casually wandered over to the brothers and asked what key they were going to use, then smiled, nodded and strolled back to the piano. Such a delightful moment!

    Pat Murphy, another key player in Up with People’s musical history, then lit up the audience and reminded us of our common bond with his adaptation of “Reunion.” The updated tune has become the theme song of UWP’s 50th anniversary celebration this summer in Orlando, Florida.
    The last surprise of the night was the appearance of Ted, the fourth Colwell brother. Ted carries on the legacy along with his three brothers as he sang and performed in the 1960s as Sing Out and UWP were starting out. Ted, who chose a career as a doctor, is a very talented guitar player and sometimes performs with his brothers on special occasions.

    Helping to close out the show was a local children’s choir called P’zazz. The kids performed the 1967 UWP tune “Colorado” and were later joined for “Sound of Peace” by alumna Jill Lentz, wife of UWP Senior Vice President and Executive Producer Eric Lentz.
    The show ended with Ted leading the enthusiastic crowd in “Up With People” with all the energy and joy that this landmark tune has been sung with around the world for 50 years. Clearly, no one wanted the evening to end. Thank you to the Colwell brothers and Herb Allen for the generous donation of their time and talent in creating such a priceless evening!

    The Colwells and Herb Allen created a spark in our world through music five decades ago and continue to ignite our alumni community today and to touch the lives of millions of people across the globe. Today’s UWP cast members keep that spark of hope burning bright, building bridges of understanding that link us “One 2 One” in our unsettled world.

    I feel the relevancy of UWP’s mission holds strong today and the relevancy of UWP alumni across our globe is more important than ever before. Can you hear it? Their melody is all around us. Let’s play it forward!

    Special thanks to the members of Cast 5280 who were the underwriters of the show; Louisa Davis, Bruce and Linda Erley, Jeff and Sammie Kinder, Tim and Charlotte Lane, Mark and Hillary Langston, Joel McColl, Dale and Mindy Penny, Skip and Kay Searcy, Breton Shepherd, Reed and Jen Thompson, Steve and Terry Woods, and  Bill and Phyllis Worcester.

    A DVD of this special performance, including the video montage presented at the show, is now available for purchase at ushop.joycomultimedia.com/upwithpeople.aspx, with part of the proceeds benefitting the UWP Global Scholarship Fund. A special thank you to Bob Coffin and Joyco Multimedia for his generosity and expertise in taping the performance.

  • Reunion song reinspired Open or Close

    Guests at the 2014 reunion in Tucson were treated to a special performance by Pat Murphy. He thrilled the audience with his new rendition of an old favorite UWP tune, Reunion.

    Read about what inspired Pat to create this delightful song and then watch the video on the dedicated UWPIAA YouTube channel. When you've finished all of that, we hope you'll be inspired to register for Celebrate 50!  Reunion 2015 and join the fun!

    Fall 2014 UpBeat - Reunion song reinspired

    Reunion video on the dedicated UWPIAA YouTube Channel

Alumni News from Around the World

  • Japan alumni club celebrates the new year together Open or Close

    The news from the Asia rep is the Japan alumni club’s New Year’s party, which was held in Tokyo on Saturday, January 24 and brought together 33 alumni from 1965 to 2013.  It was the first alumni event in about 10 years, but we are planning to have regular activities such as a send-off party for new participants.  I would like to see similar activities in the other Asian countries in the future.

  • Elections open for EurRep Open or Close

    First, let me give a little explanation about the way it works for electing the European representative. For law reasons we talk about associations and not chapters or clubs.

    In Europe, there are four countries that are organized into formal alumni associations: Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Any country is welcome to do so if they want. We would be happy to have more!

    Being an association means having a board, including a president, a secretary, a treasurer and dues-paying members, as well as a general assembly on a regular base. The European associations donate a portion of their members’ fees to the International Alumni Association and a portion to the European account for the European rep to cover her/his costs to get to all European meetings as well as Board of Governors meetings. Some countries have organized alumni groups that are not formal associations. They do not have officers or pay dues and they are not required by law to meet formally once a year.
    During the yearly European meetings (traditionally happening in May in a European city, organized by alumni), the Europe rep tells the alumni present what was going on in the BOG for the past year.

    Every second year, an election takes place in order to elect the next Europe rep.

    Every European alumni interested in the job can apply by sending a resume and motivation letter to the current Europe rep. Those two papers are then posted on the European Annual Meeting (EAM) website (www.uwpeam.com) for all EAM participants to read and get to know the candidates.
    During the EAM, each represented country (with an association or without) has to decide who they want to elect. Then they vote by raising their hands (one vote by present country). The winning candidate will take the Europe rep position from the following September 1st for two years.

  • European alumni enjoy sweetness of friendship, service and “luck” at General Assembly Open or Close

    by Isabelle Gruchow, A00, Switzerland

    "In the sign of the castle” was the theme of the General Assembly held in October where the German and the Swiss Alumni Associations celebrated together in Nüremberg. The board of directors did not hesitate to make this colorful theme a reality by wearing ancient clothes which knights might have used throughout the assembly.
    After 14 years as an alumna, I finally managed to join a General Assembly and I must admit that it was real fun to connect with old friends, make new, interesting acquaintanceships and enjoy the UWP spirit once again.

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  • Triple the fun at a celebration of Swedish Alumni Association and the Triangle Alumni Date Open or Close

    by Hanna-Mari Tuovinen, A92, Finland

    Around 25 participants recently traveled to the beautiful Swedish island of Sandhamn to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Swedish Alumni Association and the fifth Triangle Alumni Date. The organizing team had selected Sandhamn, a small island in the outer archipelago of Sweden for several good reasons! It has the highest percentage of the alumni in Sweden–really an Uppie island! Second, although a bit hard to reach, the place was absolutely beautiful! It was THE place to focus on and to meet with friends in the middle of our busy lives. Participants came not only from the TAD countries but also from Switzerland, Belgium and Germany.

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  • The 2015 EAM in Munich is just a heartbeat away Open or Close

    by Annette Gerling, E96, Germany, on behalf of the EAM team

    It’s time for a European Reunion! 2015 will be a special reunion as it is not only the 50th anniversary of Up with People, but also the 25th anniversary of the European Alumni Meeting. For 25 years the heartbeat of the annual meeting is YOU! You, the alumni from all of Europe and the world gathering for a weekend to celebrate universal friendship, sharing the unique bond we have, laughing, exploring, talking much and sleeping less.

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Up with People News

  • The Denver Gala Celebration our story...igniting our future Open or Close

    As an adjective, “gala” means festive. As a noun, it means special occasion, a celebration. As it applies to Up with People’s 50th Anniversary event in Denver on April 25, 2015, it means all of the above!

    This year’s event will be bigger, brighter, and grander than ever before. Presented by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in association with Elite Brands, the gala will be held at a new and spectacular location, the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. The new venue allows us to increase the size of the silent auction area, the number of guests in the ballroom, and provide better viewing for all attendees.

    Read More
  • UWP founder recalls his front-row experience on UWP’s first-ever trip to Cuba Open or Close

    by Blanton Belk, Up with People Founder

    From June to October 2014, Up with People did an extraordinary thing by traveling and performing in Israel and Cuba. Both countries have long-range implications for the future of Up with People.

    Read More
  • Up with People awarded $1 million grant Open or Close

    The grant will help us accomplish many important initiatives in the coming years.

    A one million dollar gift has been granted to us by a nationally-known foundation that wishes to remain anonymous. We have already received the first $500,000. In order to obtain the remaining $500,000, the foundation issued a challenge. “If we can raise $250,000 by June 30, 2015, the foundation will grant UWP $500,000 for the 2016 fiscal year,” said Dale Penny, A71, UWP’s President. “This grant is a strong endorsement of the relevance and value of Up with People’s mission. We hope that this will encourage our alumni and friends to join this foundation in support of Up with People.”

    How can you help us with the foundation’s challenge? Make a gift to UWP today! The easiest way to make a gift is through the IMPACT Club, UWP’s monthly giving club. Monthly giving is easy, stress - free, and makes a huge difference. When you combine....your monthly gifts with those of other donors, you are advancing our mission and meeting the foundation’s challenge.

    Signing up to join the IMPACT Club is easy: call +1 720.215.3219 or click here to sign up online.

    What will your monthly gift mean to UWP? Because of the foundation’s challenge, your impact will have triple the impact. Your gift of $20 a month from October 2014 to June 2015 will mean $200 during the 2015 fiscal year. The foundation will double that $200 for the 2016 fiscal year. Your total impact is $600 in support of UWP.

    Need an additional incentive to give? Donors who give $100 a month for the next ten months will be welcomed into the Global Leaders Circle, UWP’s leadership giving society. Your support will mean $3,000 overall to UWP and you will be part of this leadership group that demonstrates a steadfast commitment to our mission. You can learn more about the Global Leaders Circle by clicking here.