Recent Press and Praise

Jun 16, 2010

Avid UWP sponsor, James McDonald, dies at 87

Former GM president and CEO of General Motors, Jim McDonald, died on Sunday, June 13, in Florida. He was an avid sponsor, board member and supporter of Up With People, and was instrumental in raising funds to send UWP to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Without his sponsorship, many Up With People activities during Mikhail Gorbachev's "perestroika" or "restructuring" of the economic and political structure of the Soviet Union would not have been possible. During the Cold War, members of UWP believed that by performing in communist countries and representing a positive, multi-racial, multi-international cast on-stage, they made a difference by changing minds and hearts to Western values of freedom and democracy. Within a historical context, perhaps on some level they did. There is no doubt that the international friendships within Up With People remain.

It is our hope that Jim McDonald is honored at the 45th Up With People reunion in Tucson, Arizona this summer from July 28-August 1. It is richly deserved.

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