This response is regarding the January 31 article “UCCU only enhances little brother status to BYU”

UCCU has partnered with UVU as the institution’s financial representative.
Randy Neilson/UVU Review

While I normally wouldn’t take the time to respond to an opinion piece such as UVU Review’s February third editorial, “UCCU enhances little brother status to BYU,” it gives me an opportunity to correct some of the writer’s assumptions and to help the UVU community better understand and appreciate the partnership between Utah Valley University and Utah Community Credit Union.

First of all, we disagree that UVU is anyone’s “little brother.” UVU takes a back seat to no one. BYU is a great university and asset to our community. They fulfill their mission very well and UCCU appreciates the association we have with them. We look forward to a continued relationship with BYU. But UVU fills a vital and unique role in our community, and it does it better than any other institution. For young people living in our community, UVU is where most of them will have the opportunity to gain an education. Did you know that 87 percent of UVU graduates stay here in our community and state?

Secondly, UCCU has a community charter. We serve all people and institutions in our community, including both BYU and UVU. We don’t choose between them – we choose to serve both. As a community credit union, it would be strange if we didn’t have a presence at UVU.

Thirdly, there is a real difference between sponsorships and partnerships. Through sponsorships, organizations trade money for advertising. Partnerships, however, run deeper. In addition to funding, partnerships include the shared pursuit of reaching goals and establishing results that make our community a better place to live, work, and raise our families. We have such a partnership with Utah Valley University. The money received for the naming rights of the UCCU Center is used to fund scholarships, administrative priorities and even athletic programs. The UCCU/UVU partnership funds several annual internships. UCCU provides more than 18 UVU scholarships to graduating high school students from our community each year. Our award-winning “Be MoneySmart” program teaches and rewards children for developing wise financial habits and getting good grades (over $12,000 in 2010!). We hope that you will see the credit union often joining with UVU to promote financial literacy, Latino student development and financial education. Our partnership with UVU is a manifestation of our support and interest in furthering the education and well being of our community.

In conclusion, UCCU is a first-choice financial institution. The writer would have been well served to check the financial ratings of the institutions cited as “wealthy” or better institutions. We are rated by Bauer Financial as “one of the best managed credit unions in the U.S.,” with a continuous four-star rating for over 82 consecutive quarters. With 18 local branches, we are growing in market share and capital. We are strong and stable, but more importantly, we are here in the community and at UVU because we want to be.

We are convinced that this relationship between UVU and UCCU as community partners will make both institutions – and our community – better and stronger.

By Jeff Sermon
Guest Writer