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Foundation SSAO Testimonial
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I attended my first SACSA 30 years ago, as a graduate student, and immediately knew I had found my professional home. From the beginning I loved the fact that everyone was treated equally, regardless of their degrees or titles; that I could start a conversation with anyone at the conference; and that because it was a generalist organization, it helped me see beyond my sometimes narrow focus. In the 30 years since I've come to love it because every November I can pick up on conversations with colleagues who have become friends, as if 12 months haven't passed (and because my birthday usually falls during the conference, it feels like a present I give myself every year!). I attend national conferences occasionally, and have held leadership roles in other associations, but I enjoy the personal atmosphere of SACSA so much that I've put most of my energy (and my money) there.

Having served on both the Executive Council and the Foundation Board, I am well aware that the SACSA Foundation serves purposes similar to our college and university foundations - it allows SACSA the flexibility to be innovative, fund interesting projects, try out new ideas, and reward individuals for contributing to our profession. I was fortunate to learn two things early in my career: (1) that you can't always pay people back, so you "pay forward" - giving your time, talents, and money so that the people after you can benefit in the same way that you benefited from the people who came before you; and (2), that the habit of giving is as important as the amount of giving - it's OK to start small (because the combined small gifts from many people add up to something significant), and as you become more successful professionally you will be able to give more.
Melanie McClellan 
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