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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


Alumni board president committed to educating for lives of service

By Greg Brewis

Becky Burad '74
Becky Burad ’74

A dedication to serving others is at the heart of a PLU education. It seems such a natural part of life when you accept and have been immersed in the tradition.

“I do think a lot of it has to do with how you were raised,” said Becky Burad ’74, president of the PLU alumni board. “I know my parents set a great example with their involvement in church and community activities with neighbors and friends.”

Burad also feels her PLU experience set her on the road to becoming an active volunteer.

“I felt empowered by the university’s commitment to educating for lives of service,” said Burad, who is also on the Board of Regents. “PLU trains students not just for a career but for a career that includes a sense of responsibility to others.”

Burad is a San Francisco CPA and partner in the consulting company Bridgeway LLC., providing part-time and interim chief financial officer expertise for clients.

She is also an extraordinarily active volunteer. Burad serves on the board of her church, where she is also treasurer, teaches leadership, and is a reader. She volunteers in nursing homes, providing one-on-one visits with residents, and plays the piano at monthly church services in the homes. She volunteers at a soup kitchen in San Francisco once a month, and as a board member participates in fund raising activities for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. During the Christmas season, she and friends put on a holiday party for children in a low-income neighborhood.

“I’ve thought a lot about why everyone doesn’t have a sense of responsibility to others,” Burad said. “All I know is that I will continue to set an example for them by staying involved and being very vocal about what I do and why.” Whenever she can, Burad invites others to share these experiences to show them what a significant and rewarding part of life volunteering can be.

When it gets right down to it, Burad volunteers more for selfish reasons than for noble ones.

“I find volunteering personally rewarding,” she said. “I get great satisfaction from the appreciation that others express for the work I do for them.” Burad’s “day job” is very technical and often the skills involved are not fully appreciated by clients. When she takes those same skills to a nonprofit, they are appreciated tenfold.

“When I volunteer I know that I am really making a difference for other people” Burad said. “I also learn how privileged I am to have a home, food, a car—all of the things that we who are more fortunate so often take for granted. It’s a new and powerful perspective from which to rediscover the fact that we are not here on this earth alone, and we have an obligation to help others.”

Burad said that her message to alums is to remember what a wonderful place PLU is to get an education, and their time and talents can be used to help keep that commitment alive. “PLU needs your time, your resources and your financial support if it’s going to continue to provide the education that has helped make you successful.”

Burad knows that PLU has had a positive influence on her life, both educationally and spiritually. “It has helped develop my desire for a well-rounded life, a successful career and deep desire to serve others.” she said. “You know, I bet that’s much more than any other university provides.”

Pacific Lutheran University Scene
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