To commemorate Veterans Day today, the newly-formed Oglethorpe Veterans Club distributed yellow lapel ribbons to raise awareness, held a campus-wide moment of silence at 11 a.m. to remember those who have fallen, and hosted a “Lest We Forget” brunch event to honor those who’ve served and their families.
The Oglethorpe Veterans Club members include veterans, family members, students, faculty, staff and alumni who have come together to recognize the contributions of soldiers.
“Veterans are really everywhere,” said Jef Palframan ’13, founding president of the OU Veterans Club—and a veteran himself. “The club is for everyone, not just veterans, and our mission is the aid those who have served and their families.”
The event opened and closed with prayers for those who have fallen in battle, for those who are missing, and those who are fighting right now. There also were toasts made to those who have served and their families, as well as remarks from Dean of Students Michelle Hall, OU Trustee Fred Agel ’52, and Trustee Emeritus O.K. Sheffield ’53. Veterans who attended were encouraged to wear their uniforms and medals.
OU shares a long history with alumni veterans and veterans-turned-students. Oglethorpe’s first international students in the 1940s were four Norwegian veterans of WWII. (Read the full article: Summer 2011 Carillon, pages 10-11.) Currently there are 13 veterans enrolled as students at Oglethorpe.
It was a real treat to recently attend a college fair on behalf of Oglethorpe. It was hosted at a very large high school, just north of Dallas, Texas—and it was probably the first time I’ve stepped foot into a high school in close to two decades (how did that happen?!)
I knew I was long since removed from the high school scene when I realized I could better relate to the parents that evening than the students. I was a bit concerned as I wondered how I was going to connect with a teenager who probably doesn’t have any clue what direction she wants for her life—and how I was going to “sell” her on the idea of an ultra small, private liberal arts school in the heart of Atlanta, more than 800 miles away.
The answer, of course, was in the question. Although I never had students waiting in line to see me (unlike the other OU), the handful of students who did stop by to see me admitted they were intrigued by the name of our alma mater. When I started talking to these seniors, juniors—even sophomores—it became clear that while I couldn’t answer some of the questions that a professional admission counselor could, I could absolutely share my enthusiasm and appreciation for my time spent getting an education at the greatest liberal arts school in America.
Would you like to share your Oglethorpe experience with prospective Petrels? Contact Alumni Relations Director Barbara Bessmer Henry ’85.
Pictured: Kelly hangs out with Oglethorpe mascot Petey at a recent alumni event. Kelly lives in Dallas, Tex., where she is the marketing communications manager for The Container Store. She currently chairs the Alumni Communications Committee for the Alumni Board.
A few weekends ago the campus was buzzing with activity. Perhaps you saw the lines of cars on Peachtree Road packed to the brim with enough furniture, clothes and school supplies to fill all the dorm rooms on campus multiple times over. Buried under it all, were our newest Petrels, ready to start the next chapter of their life.
A few more Petrels—not quite as new—were in the midst of this traffic as well, gathering for the Oglethorpe Alumni Board’s annual retreat held on campus that same day. Despite having to weave through the crowd of parents and freshmen, all members agreed that this year’s meeting was perfectly timed for such an exciting day on campus.
Should you hear the words, “annual retreat” and assume that our meeting was just a social gathering, I am here to report that new Alumni Board President Cleve Hill ’01 not only gave us homework before we arrived but sent us off with additional assignments once we adjourned! Nonetheless, there were no complaints to be heard as all members, ranging from the Class of 1958 to 2008 were excited to be back on campus and continue the exciting and rewarding work ahead of us.
Our meeting kicked off with reports from the Vice Presidents on the Board who each gave an update about their committee’s recent work and upcoming plans. We discussed Oglethorpe’s record breaking year for alumni giving, plans for alumni gatherings across the country, recent and upcoming contributions to the Carillon magazine, efforts surrounding admissions and how alums are continuing to attract the best and brightest students, and plans for various career networking events coming to campus. It was so exciting to hear all the new ideas, recent success stories, and plans for the future coming out of each committee.
During lunch, we were joined by another group of hard working alums—our class agents responsible for generating continued growth in alumni giving—and OU President Dr. Larry Schall, who discussed some new and exciting efforts and priorities for the future of the campus.
In addition to the full Board meetings, we were able to participate in various roundtable discussions. As a member of the Communications Committee, I joined in on a discussion related to how we could make the Carillon an even greater publication for all Oglethorpe alums. We came up with some GREAT ideas so be on the lookout for several new features!
Finally, the Alumni Weekend 2012 theme was revealed by the Events Committee. Mark your calendars for April 26-29, 2012—you won’t want to miss this!!!
Being back on campus always makes me nostalgic and it is such a pleasure serving on the Alumni Board with so many committed and excited people who are all “making a life, making a living, making a difference.” I always come away from our gathering energized and so proud of my alma mater.
Photo above: Jodie Sexton Goff ’02 with Alumni Board President Cleve Hill ’01.
Each year 10,000 abused and neglected dogs are brought to Atlanta’s Fulton County Animal Control. Though half of those animals are adopted out to loving families, nearly 5,000 dogs become casualties in the most populated animal shelter in Georgia. That’s where people like Michael Rowe ’95 come in. Michael works for the Barking Hound Village Foundation Rescue, a non-profit that rehabilitates and find homes for dogs that end up on the shelter’s death row. Their mission is to save the lives of lost, abandoned and unwanted pets in Fulton County. And that mission, according to Michael, falls right in line with his life course.
Back in June of last year, three pit bull puppies found Rowe as he walked his pit-pointer mix, and through his search for a good home for those pups, he stumbled on Barking Hound. This wasn’t the first time Matt had found himself seeking help for a misplaced canine in his community. After spending some time with the organization, Michael seized an opportunity to carry out this work full-time.
“[People] have always said, ‘Do [for a living] what you like to do anyway,” says Michael. “Well, I’ve always taken the dogs in…I’ve done that all my life. This is something I really love doing…and I think I’ve found my niche.”
There are only a handful of full-time associates at BHVFR, so Michael shares a number of different responsibilities—but his main job is preparing 60 dogs each month for a new home. Unlike most other animal shelters, Barking Hound guarantees a home to the 60 dogs they take in each month, relocating them through other rescues in the northeastern U.S.—where strays are fewer and sterilization laws are stringent. Each month, Michael selects the dogs he is confident the foundation can place, and spends the entire month rehabilitiating, socializing, and nursing sick dogs back to health. After placing the dogs on their website for other reputable rescue organizations to see, the dogs are then transported to the partner rescue, where a loving family meets the dog. In less than two years, Barking Hound has saved the lives of over 1,500 animals.
Oglethorpe’s Hermance Stadium took the form of Rome’s Colosseum for the filming of a contemporary jazz music video shot by Twelve Media Group, which has Oglethorpe connections.
Dina Marto ’05 is the co-founder and President of Twelve Media Group, an Atlanta-based boutique label and publishing entity which discovers and cultivates creative talent. Dina identified her alma mater as the perfect setting for the production of the music video for the single “State of Mind” by electric violinist Ken Ford, the company’s first signed artist.
Ford is currently on tour and will play the Buckhead Theatre on Roswell Road in Atlanta on Saturday, August 20.
This issue explores Oglethorpe’s engagement in the world, recalling the beginnings of international study and examining how the university and its partners continue to make an imprint on our world today.
The Carillon also shares how Oglethorpe alumni endeavor to “make a difference,” relating stories of Petrels who have made their marks around the globe. And, the pages of this issue introduce us to globetrotters like Scott Zannini ’96, a mountain climber who makes fascinating trips to the Earth’s highest summits, and Rodney Drinkard ’92, who manages international security for top Coca-Cola executives.
In addition to fascinating profiles of alums, meet some of OU’s newest Petrels—one who has already begun paving her way through the realm of international athletics, and another who has weathered war and displacement to finally find himself at home, here at Oglethorpe.
Read the Carillon here or look out for the magazine at your home—and let us know what you think!
To start the race, of course!
For most Americans, July 4th is a time for cookouts, family, and fireworks. But here in Atlanta, Independence Day is also about challenging the world to the largest 10K on the planet. And this year, there were plenty of Petrels in the Peachtree Road Race—from students, to staff, to alumni.
Michelle Hall, OU’s Vice President for Campus Life, was among the Oglethorpe staff who ran, as well as Admission Counselor Jeremy Sale and Director of Finance/Controller Amy Rentenbach.
“This was my fourth race that my wife and I ran together,” said Jeremy. “I love all the spectators on the course and this year the Atlanta Track Club outdid itself with the number of entertainers on the course as well… It’s great that so many from the OU community run the Peachtree, it shows our commitment to Atlanta and being healthy.”
Of the Petrels that ran, rising senior Beth Cleary certainly had a lot to be proud of. She has run the Peachtree eight times, finishing her first race at the age of 11. Beth has improved upon her time ever since, clocking a respectable 44:18 this year—a major jump from her 70-minute race time back in 6th grade.
“I LOVE the Peachtree! My goal time is always faster than the last time. [This year,] once the final results came in, I found out that I missed the Top 1000 by a little bit ….[but] I want that Top 1000 mug. So next year, it’s gonna happen.”
All competitiveness aside, Beth reveals why the race keeps calling her back year after year.
“I love road races,” said Beth, who is interning with the Atlanta Track Club, the nonprofit that organizes the Peachtree each year. “I consider myself a pretty serious runner, but I consider Peachtree more of an event and an experience than an honest to goodness race. It’s a reminder of the community that running can provide…The atmosphere is fantastic and I feel as though I’m surrounded by hundreds of my best friends.”
This summer, Elizabeth Lanier ’12 and Kyle Brumley ’12 have had to wear many hats—literally. As Georgia Shakespeare interns, they have been acting in the company’s summer productions, performing in The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Jungle Book, all in repertory through late July. Both Kyle and Elizabeth are the first Georgia Shakespeare Scholars to work as interns during the summer season, and though they may be trainees, their schedules alone suggest that their jobs are the real thing.
“Jungle Book is a blast,” exclaims Elizabeth, who hopes to work as an actor, choreographer, and a costume designer after graduation. “During the rehearsal period we worked 14-hour days…now that [most] shows are in repertory, we typically do Jungle Book in the morning and then either The Tempest or Antony & Cleopatra at night, plus three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday. During the day we have been having understudy rehearsals which is another great opportunity for character development. The internship is 200 percent worth it!”
But, Elizabeth and Kyle aren’t the only Petrels making their marks in the world of theatre. Within the past year, several OU theatre students have been awarded exciting professional opportunities.
- Alexandria Ducksworth, a 2011 graduate, was a member of the Apprentice Company at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta and her play, Tell-Tale Board, was produced in a festival of plays by young playwrights.
- Weston Manders ’13 and Kyle Brumley ’12 completed prestigious internships at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta.
- 2011 graduate Britton Buttrill became an Artistic Associate for Pinch ’n’ Ouch Theatre. Check out their edgy current season: www.pnotheatre.org
- Jessica DeMaria ’11, was hired as the Education Coordinator for Horizon Theatre. She also directed The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) at North Fulton Drama Club. (Ben Silver ’13 performed in this production.) She also works as an Instructor at The Center for Puppetry Arts.
- Ben Silver ’13 is teaching improv at Camp Barney this summer.
Several students worked with Georgia Shakespeare on various projects, or are a part of GS’s 2011 Summer Season:
- Danielle Hitchcock ’13 was production manager for the 2011 High School Acting Competition and currently is a Box Office Assistant.
- Seth Langer ’13 is the Company Manager Assistant and Assistant Stage Manager for The Jungle Book.
- Ryan Boland ’14 is a Front of House Assistant and Box Office Assistant.
- Justin Munson ’14 is a Front of House Assistant.
- Racheal Sharp ’13 is House Manager and Box Office Assistant.
- Chris Richardson ’14 is a Directing Assistant for The Jungle Book.
Congratulations to these thespian Petrels!