by Rubin Kataki, Advancement & Alumni Relations Officer
From a 70’s alumni reunion, a college-wide beer and bites event and a successful annual golf tournament, to numerous alumni and donor lunch visits and virtual meetings, and a wonderful 60th anniversary event, these last several months have been an absolute honour and pleasure to support United College’s staff team as your new Advancement & Alumni Relations Officer!
To begin, allow me to introduce myself:
Hello! My name is Rubin Kataki and my connection to United College dates to a decade ago when we had a different college name and I walked onto campus for the first time in 2013. As a student, I lived on the East-Wing on a floor called Dungeon and Oasis, and a year later my parents and I were so impressed by our residence and Watson’s Eatery that we decided I would live as a resident of our Graduate Building!
After graduation, I pursued an extensive career for 10 years in the private, post-secondary, and non-profit philanthropic sectors which has led me to this moment today. I am so proud to be returning to United College during its 60th anniversary year as a staff member, an alum, a volunteer for United College's Principal Alumni Advisory Council, and a proud annual staff donor to my late, great, friend and one of my passionate areas of philanthropic support, the Alex Foto Memorial Fund.
I genuinely love and cherish our college: our passion, our purpose, and most of all you - our people.
The relationships I formed at United College as an undergraduate student have stayed with me throughout my life. These relationships have served as a source of countless moments of joy and support, including celebrating the birth of children, mourning the loss of friends and loved ones, attending weddings and birthday celebrations, and marking other significant milestones in our lives.
It is through these experiences that I have come to strongly believe in the power United College has on community and forging genuine relationships to transform our lives and shape our futures. United College truly does bring people together.
I have been amazed by the incredible work being done at United College over the last 10 years, especially now as a staff member over these last few months. From our residence spaces, academic courses and offerings, our Living Learning Communities, Shatitsirótha Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, and GreenHouse - it is clear why so many UWaterloo students, both undergraduate and graduate, alumni, staff, retirees, parents, friends, and community members of United College continue to visit, live, learn and grow at United College, as I did.
What I look forward to most about my role is meeting you, our staff, our students, our alumni, and our community friends while uncovering the stories and testimonies that bind all of us together. I will work hard to foster engagement and grow philanthropic support with United College while upholding the college values that we all hold dear:
- Integrity and Respect,
- Justice for Indigenous Peoples,
- Intellectual Curiosity and Rigour,
- Community and Collaboration,
- Diversity, Inclusivity, Belonging, and Justice and
- Sustainability and Stewardship.
I know there is more we can do. We can create more impact philanthropically together, engage our internal and external stakeholders more together, and uncover and share many more stories and testimonies,
I will work hard, alongside the External Relations team and United College colleagues, to foster engagement and grow philanthropic support for United College through storytelling and the implementation of events and initiatives that are aligned with our values.
You: our students, our alumni, our staff, our faculty, our friends, our community can help!
Volunteer, donate, share your ideas, share your stories with me and together, we can build a stronger community for whom? The next generation of United College students.
Thank you for welcoming me to be a part of this incredible community, and I look forward to connecting with each of you. Thank you, Rebecca Wagner, Mike Steinmann, John Abraham and Principal Richard ‘Rick’ Myers, for the warm welcome and seamless transition to the team. I also recognize that the land I am working on have always been the source of learning for Indigenous peoples. I am committed to respecting the traditional knowledge that Indigenous peoples have derived from these lands and to learn from their experiences on them.
I am so excited to see what the future holds for us, and I believe that #United together, we can achieve incredible feats for our college and community. Thank you for your ongoing support and for welcoming me to be part of United College. #StayUnited #Unitedat60
Advancement & Alumni Relations Officer