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Dear Alum,

Ten years ago, my son, Christopher, spent a semester studying with The Swedish Program. At the airport prior to his flight to Stockholm, I invited him to embrace the many changes he was about to encounter, but not to change too much as his family was already pretty happy with the young man he had become. Like you, Chris came back less changed than polished; The Swedish Program had created experiences for him that made him more confident, mature, knowledgeable, culturally curious and open-minded, and in love with international travel (this was his first trip out of America) which still remains unquenched.

I suspect everyone reading this letter can identify with a least part–if not all–of this experience. That semester with The Swedish Program supplied you with an appreciation of different cultures, a realization that the world is bigger than you thought, one of the most memorable four months of your life; perhaps even a job or career path, directly or indirectly, can be attributed to living and studying in Stockholm.

Now, it is time to give back to a Program that gave you so much in such a short period of time. As it did with my own son, The Swedish Program helped you become a successful citizen of the world. This is your chance to acknowledge this and give something back.

I invite you to join me in making a contribution to The Swedish Program’s current “Capital Campaign: Giving Back.” As Chairman of this Campaign, as a member of the Board of Trustees, and most importantly as a Program parent, I challenge you to join me in sending a tax-deductible contribution in support of a Program that so deeply affected you. Today, I am kick-starting this campaign with a $1,000 check. You certainly don’t have to match my contribution, but please send something. The Swedish Program is a small, independent non-profit organization without any support from a larger educational institution; it relies on alumni and parents to continue its important intercultural and educational mission.

Please join me in standing up for The Swedish Program by making a contribution. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Anthony Magistrale
Professor of English, University of Vermont
Trustee, The Swedish Program
Chair, Capital Campaign: Giving Back

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