With a less than two weeks left until graduation, reality has started to set in. Soon, Oglethorpe will not only be my university: it will be my alma mater.
As a senior, everything from conversations with nostalgic friends to commencement updates constantly remind me that this formal departure from my second home is imminent. That being said, I find myself reflecting on not only my Oglethorpe experience, but the parts of OU that I have not yet experienced.
During a discussion in my senior psychology class the idea came up to create an Oglethorpe bucket list—a list of things that every Petrel must do before the long-awaited graduation day. I’ve asked OU students and alumni to submit items to the bucket list, and compiled them below. So Petrels, next time you’re looking for a good Ogle-adventure, why not scratch a few things off “OUr” bucket list?
Walk around campus at night and discover how breathtaking Oglethorpe looks after dark
Pull an all-nighter in the 24 Hour Room
Have a picnic, play Frisbee, or just enjoy the weather on the quad with some friends
Enjoy telescope night on the roof of the library
Sunbathe with some friends at the baseball stadium when no one else is there
Run through the sprinklers on the quad
Go to lunch at that one restaurant you’ve been meaning to try ever since you got to Oglethorpe
Watch a meteor shower from the Traer courtyard or soccer field
Take MARTA downtown and explore the city—no plan, no destination, just a free afternoon and sense of adventure
Drive to Buford Highway and try a new food that you’ve never heard of and cannot pronounce
Have a mini photo shoot in Little 5 Points
Be adventurous. Go white water rafting on the Chattahoochee River, skydive, rock climb at Atlanta Rocks, etc.
Be in a campus publication
Climb a tree on campus
Take a road trip with a friend and spend the night in a new city
Count how many Oglethorpe T-shirts you have…I promise it will be more than you thought
And don’t forget, there’s always Alumni Weekend to finish checking off the list! So, what would YOU add to the list?
Thank you to the contributors of this list: Katie Goddard, Tori Lloyd, Justin Sabree, Betsy Rosillo, Rieddhi Shah, Christian Hartnett, Joshua Steltzer, Morgan Coffey, Marisa Manuel, Dr. Zinner’s History and Systems class.
The naming is in recognition of a generous gift from the Özgörkey family, many of whom were in attendance. Cemal Özgörkey, chairman of Özgörkey Holding, is a member of the Oglethorpe’s Board of Trustees. Both he and his brother, Armagan Özgörkey, vice chairman of Özgörkey Holding, are Oglethorpe alumni. The bell tower’s new name honors their mother, Lale Özgörkey. The family’s gift benefits Oglethorpe’s new campus center, opening in August 2013.
“Oglethorpe’s relationship with the Özgörkey family began more than 30 years ago and we could not be more proud of Cemal and Armagan and what they accomplished,” said Oglethorpe President Larry Schall. “It’s a tremendous privilege for our entire community to name the bell tower that overlooks our campus in honor of their mother, Lale Özgörkey.”
Lupton Hall is named after John Thomas Lupton, the owner of the Southern franchise of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Lupton Hall was completed in three phases, with groundbreaking ceremonies in 1922, 1924 and 1927. The bell tower, a part of the original section of the hall, was built as a memorial to Lupton’s mother. Lupton Hall was the second building erected on the university’s campus.
Last month, our campus celebrated Oglethorpe Day with the annual Petrels of Fire race around the quad in an attempt to beat the 12 chimes of the carillon bells. Another year went by without a “winner”, but unbeknownst to this reporter, there has indeed been someone who achieved this feat, and it’s time the story of this overlooked legend is told to all.
In 1998, Mark Olas ’01, who was a member of Oglethorpe’s soccer team and still holds the school’s record for the 400m, accomplished what many considered impossible: he crossed the finish line within 30.5 seconds, becoming the first and only Petrel to ever win the race.
Mark Olas '01 in his soccer jersey
“It was the only other time the race was run at 1:00 p.m. rather than at noon,” explained Cross Country Coach Bob Unger, who hosts the race each year. “The clock had not been properly reset as it was this year to ring twelve times at 1:00 p.m., (so) a former music instructor of the university (rang) the chimes manually.”
Coach Unger also had his stopwatch ready to ensure that the race lasted a full 30.92 seconds, which was the time allotted in previous years. But the manual ringing finished in less than 28 seconds, meaning that racers had nearly 3 more seconds to run after the bells had stopped ringing.
“As the crowd counted down the chimes and reached twelve—and no one had finished—a moan went up,” said Coach Unger. “I looked up to see Mark Olas leading the group to the finish. When he crossed the line, I stopped my watch at 30.5 seconds. He had beaten the bells!”
Sadly, few people realized Mark’s achievement that day, as most spectators assumed the race was already over. But Mark’s victory is certainly worth remembering and acknowledging—the only time in Oglethorpe history that the feat has been accomplished. It might be 15 years late, but congratulations, Mark! May your win inspire other students to attempt the impossible, to compete with their hearts, and to soar into victory.
Oglethorpe Day is an annual celebration of Oglethorpe University’s namesake and is a chance for the entire community to show its school spirit. Check out the photos, videos and comments below to relive it — or to feel like you were right here on campus!
See scenes from throughout the day in this photo album:
Our very own President Schall delivered this year’s Oglethorpe Day speech, titled, “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?” Watch it here:
President Larry Schall’s 2013 Oglethorpe Day Speech
Oglethorpe Day is an annualcelebrationof Oglethorpe University’s namesake, and as Dean Michelle Hall puts it, a “pride-in-my-school-and-organizations day.”
And this year, there are numerous ways to show your school pride. Student organizations (and maybe even some staff and faculty) will be decorating shopping carts for the parade of shopping cart floats (contact Kendra Hunter for more details). And, to celebrate President Schall’s affinity for wacky socks, the Programming Board is sponsoring a sock decorating event today in The Petrel’s Nest. Then, at 12:45 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday,February 13, put on your craziest socks and head to the quad for the exhilarating annualPetrels of Fire race!
While the race usually begins at noon sharp, this year it will begin at 1:00 p.m., due to class scheduling… which doesn’t mean that the bell will only ring once! It will ring 12 times, and runners will race around the quad in hopes of arriving back before the last bell tolls. To my knowledge, no one has ever won this race—maybe you will be the first?
This year's Oglethorpe Day speaker: President Schall
After the race, a surprise guest (a local celebrity!) will lead attendees to Conant Performing Arts Center for the Oglethorpe Day annual address. This year’s speech will be delivered by our own President Schall on the topic of “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?”
“We have a very student-centered president,” said Dean Hall. “Students know they are known and loved by their president…The theme (of his speech) will focus on how to make a difference, and that’s something we want all our students to think about.”
The occasion will include The Ogletones, our new a cappella group, and end with Oglethorpe’s Alma Mater and Fight Song (The Stormy Petrel March), courtesy of OU Winds and Singers. Attendees are then invited to enjoy Coke floats and peach cobbler and ice cream, all served in observance of the day’s Georgia theme.
“We’re building some more traditions into this tradition,” said Dean Hall, who went onto explain that the Presidents of other schools and organizations will be recognized during the event, and that the class with the most participants will win a prize. “Come if you want to support your class, if you are an athlete or the head of an organization… or if you just want to see what socks Dr. Schall is wearing.”
I know my curiosity has been piqued. Join us at Oglethorpe Day, this Wednesday, February 13th starting at 12:45 p.m. on the quad!
As a woman who has been “blessed” with two left feet, butter fingers, and a penchant for laziness, I can honestly say that sports intimidate me. I have always associated sports with winning and being “the best,” two things that are not easily accomplished without the aid of hand-eye coordination. But last week, thanks to the women athletes of OU, I learned something extraordinary about sports and what they have to offer: the real winners in sports are not rewarded with trophies (… though yes, winning trophies can be really great, too!), but with confidence, good health, and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Tennis, lacrosse, basketball and soccer were only a few of the women’s sports teams that came out last week to celebrate the 27th National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This annual event is meant to commend women athletes for their perseverance and excellence in athletics, as well as to encourage other women (and men) to participate in sports.
Tori Van Wyen ’14, a member of the women’s golf team, explained that “it’s a great opportunity for all kinds of kids to be introduced to sports… it’s a great thing for OU and the community.” Coach Cindy Vaios, who organized the event, expressed hope that it would introduce sports to elementary and middle school students, while attracting the interest of OU students.
Area children showed up to the event, all eagerly awaiting their chance to try out the track and field obstacle course, or to throw around a basketball. Oglethorpe athletes were in attendance to help these children learn the ins and outs of playing, and to encourage them to participate on future teams.
“It’s not just about the players,” said Tori. “It’s about involving the community… These kids might see those female athletes and think, ‘hey, this might be me one day.’”
Athletic Director Becky Hall agrees, admitting that there are some sports that she is just “not good at,” but that it doesn’t stop her from loving sports. This idea, that there is something for everyone in sports, seemed to be the consensus of all in attendance.
“All of my best friends are on my team,” added Caitlin Hollis ’16, a freshman on the women’s soccer team. “Sports gives you a way to be with other competitive, driven people… (my team) is like a family to me.”
Sydney Sparks '16, a center mid-field player for OU Lacrosse.
A similar sentiment was expressed many times throughout the day by others. Lacrosse player Sydney Sparks ’16 added that the lacrosse team was “like a sisterhood,” and that “playing at the collegiate level is really exciting… I’m excited to be part of a brand new tradition at OU.”
Paolette Matute ’16, a member of the tennis team, referred to tennis as “an empowering princess sport,” before enthusing that “the most important thing, even if you’re not an athlete, is (to) go out and exercise… Get those endorphins running!”
The message of the day was clear, and based on the excited looks on children’s faces, that message was well received: sports are something that everyone should consider trying, as they can offer something worthwhile for everyone. Being active is not solely for athletes, nor are sports enthusiasts solely concerned with winning. Sports are about camaraderie, growing, and thriving, and the women athletes of OU are not simply looking for teammates; they are looking for friends to join their family through the bond that only sports can offer.
As the holiday season approaches, your thoughts may turn to buying gifts, decorating your homes, or celebrating break with family and friends. But for me, one thing comes to mind before any thoughts of winter vacation: there is a pig raring to be kissed, and some of you may see me kiss him.
“Arnie Sidman deserves this honor and we are very happy to recognize him,” says Jef Palframan ’13, current President of Oglethorpe’s OΔK Circle. “(We) are trying to move beyond just students to more faculty, alumni, staff, and trustee members… This shows that leadership doesn’t just start in your junior or senior year. It’s for a lifetime.”
Also being inducted are Dr. Mario Chandler and Dr. Nicholas Maher, alumni Eli Arnold ’06 and staff member Katie Paden. There are also 12 student inductees: Brittney Blalock ’14, Tirzah Brown ’14, Kirsten Glaeser ’14, Krista Gray ’14, Justin Munson ’14, Corey Ray ’14, Kate Siess ’14, Kendall Burke ’13, Jeet Budha Magar ’13, Marisa Manuel ’13, Caitlyn Mitchell ’13, and Lindsey Mitchell ’13.
In addition, through the end of November, you can assist the OΔK Circle by donating to their fundraising campaign. The campaign’s purpose is to help Oglethorpe’s OΔK Circle become self sufficient for at least the next five years. More than half of the $5000 goal has already been achieved, and OΔK hopes to double this goal. OΔK aspires to become self-sufficient and not require SGA funding, because membership is exclusive and extended beyond the student body.
If you would like to come to the Boar’s Head Concert & Celebration on November 30th, don’t forget to reserve your ticket by calling 404-504-1074 or visiting the Conant Performing Arts Center box office.
November 11th is Veterans Day. It is an occasion to honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our country, to recognize the families who have stood by them in service, and to reflect upon all of the freedoms that these men and women have fought to preserve.
This year, Oglethorpe University, together with various campus organizations and departments, will host a series of events throughout the week to honor our veterans called “Our Country, Our Voices: Oglethorpe Honors Our Veterans.” The events are in conjunction with the OU Museum of Art’s current exhibition “Burden of Proof: National Identity and the Legacy of War,” which runs through December 9, 2012.
Sophomore Antonio Mántica (left) and senior Jef Palframan, president of the OU Veterans' Club, form sheet metal into large "ribbons." Photo: Krista Palframan
On November 4th, the OU Veterans’ Club launched a yellow ribbon campaign to increase awareness of the day’s significance. Club members constructed and installed 10-foot high sheet metal yellow ribbons at the front entrance of campus. They also plan to hand out 1000 personal ribbons on campus and will host a remembrance event, “Lest We Forget,” on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in Lupton Auditorium. (Find out more about their efforts on their Facebook page.)
Usually closed on Mondays, the OU Museum of Art will open its doors to host a Veterans’ Open House, with free admission to all veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 12 noon-7:00 p.m.. Various veterans’ assistance groups will be onsite throughout the day. Plus, the OU Veterans’ Club will be accepting donations for their clothing and coat drive for homeless veterans, and a giveaway of gift items from area businesses will benefit veterans’ services.
Later that evening, veterans of WWII, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan will discuss their experiences and struggles in a panel discussion, “Transitioning to Civilian Life,” at 6:00 p.m. Many skills learned in combat are not applicable to the workforce, and veterans are generally required to go through an arduous process of re-qualification in order to get work. Plus, many veterans feel isolated or out of place, unaccustomed to their new lives at home. In addition, policymakers in Washington recently failed to approve a bill that would have eased veterans’ reintegration into the civilian workforce, and recent reports estimate that 88% of veterans will drop out of college.
“It would be wrong of me not to make people aware of this,” said Jef Palframan ’13, president of the OU Veterans’ Club and a veteran himself. “Our military size is going to decrease… Now starts the work to take care of the guys coming home.” Admission: $5; free for veterans, OUMA members or with a Petrel Pass. Co-sponsored by OUMA, the Office of Admission and the OU Veterans’ Club.
Other events to commemorate Veterans Day include:
Open Forum/Open Mic: “Empower to Inspire Progress,” Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OU Museum of Art
What does being American mean to you? What are you doing to make your voice heard? Do you feel you have patriotic obligations? Which American alive or dead inspire you, and why? All are welcome to join this open forum and share your opinions, ideas or a story, song or poem. Admission: $5; free for OUMA members and with a Petrel Pass. Co-sponsored by OUMA and Epsilon Iota Psi.
Lecture: “On the Downstream Biological Effects of Agent Orange,” Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OU Museum of Art Dr. Karen Schmeichel, associate professor of biology at Oglethorpe, will present about the hotly debated and complex subject of the widespread use by American troops during the Vietnam conflict of the defoliant called “Agent Orange” and its far reaching effects. Admission: $5; free for OUMA members and with a Petrel Pass.
Movie Screening & Discussion: Agent Orange: 30 Years Later, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OU Museum of Art
OUMA and ECOS (Environmentally Concerned Oglethorpe Students) will co-host a screening of the award-winning 2009 film by John Trinh with open discussion to follow. Reel Earth – Environmental Film Festival of New Zealand said, “Despite the horror, the film is at times intensely moving and beautiful, showing also the better side of human nature—qualities like kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.” This event is free and open to all.
The Fall Festival festivities included Night of the Arts, a historical tour of campus by alumnus Paul Hudson ’72, “A Taste of Oglethorpe” featuring local restaurants, artisans, and children’s activities, and then hot air balloon rides in the evening, sponsored by the Oglethorpe Student Government Association.
“The idea was to transform Parents’ Weekend into a festival atmosphere so that parents and their families could spend some quality time together,” said Robin Brandt, Oglethorpe’s Director of Experiential Learning.