Latest Legends & Traditions
As an editor of The Tower literary magazine, I would normally hesitate in writing about Night of the Arts. As much as I love the event, there is the possibility that my praises are biased. But this year, my “bias” seems to be shared by the OU community at large.
NOA, as we’ve started calling it, is an annual event held by The Tower to showcase the artistic talents of the OU community. In the past, we’ve held the event in Emerson; this year, with the new campus center construction underway, we moved to Lupton Auditorium, and students welcomed the change.
“It was bigger than ever,” said audience member Bethany Booth ’13. “The change of venue made it much better and clearer and the performances were lovely.”
“Night of the Arts is one of my favorite Oglethorpe traditions,” added Tes Beals ’13. “It was the first event I was able to take my family to as a freshman…(and) it really showcases our student body’s unique talents and the creativity that we all possess.”
As always, getting everything ready for NOA was an ordeal, but my fellow ‘tri-editors,’ Caitlyn Mitchell ’13 and Lindsey Mitchell ’13, agree that the results made the hard work worthwhile.
“This year was really encouraging—the biggest turnout we’ve ever had—which is a really positive indication of The Tower‘s growth,” said Caitlyn. ” After resurrecting The Tower two years ago, it’s been an uphill battle to get (it) back on its feet, and it’s good to know hard work is paying off and that people are getting more involved with and aware of the arts.”
Also celebrating this increased awareness is Dr. Hornback, who spoke about how essential the arts are, and how we are in danger of losing many potential great artists because of funding cuts for art programs across the country. It was a sobering moment among the festivities, but a crucial one, highlighting the importance of those performers on stage.
People of various backgrounds and interests joined together to create a stellar array of acts. Some of their performances included spoken word, piano performance, and vocals. Audience members really seemed to enjoy what they were watching—some even chose to participate!
“My favorite thing about this Night of the Arts was the involvement that we were able to enlist from the audience,” said Lindsey. “This year we really hit on a theme that many people could enjoy. We had our first impromptu dance routine and people from the audience actually joined in!” That dance, The Time Warp, was a perfect fit with our theme of Cult Cinema.
Out of everything that night, there is only one thing I would change—there were so many people attending that we ran out of cake pops (a complimentary snack for attendees) before I had the chance to eat one!
Night of the Arts is becoming a true work of art in its own right, and it’s thanks to the OU community, that the arts are allowed to flourish. Thank you to SGA for funding this event, to our advisor Dr. Taylor for supporting us, to The Tower staff for all your hard work and dedication, and to everyone who performed, assisted, and watched. It’s all thanks to you that Night of the Arts was such a success.
If you are interested in being published by The Tower (the literary magazine responsible for Night of the Arts), send submissions with your name, email, and phone number to Secretary Caitlyn Mitchell at email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. The cut-off for submissions is tomorrow, October 26th!
In early October, the Oglethorpe sophomore class gathered for the inaugural Thornwell Jacobs Legacy Celebration, a new annual tradition for the sophomore class. The event celebrated Thornwell Jacobs, Oglethorpe President from 1915-1943, who fulfilled a lifelong dream of restoring Oglethorpe to its present location on Peachtree Road in Atlanta.
Sophomore students gathered to learn interesting history and facts about President Jacobs and his mission from award-winning author and historian Dr. Paul Hudson ’72 . Later over dinner in the Great Hall of Hearst, students heard from Sophomore Class President Kurt Reynolds, Alumni Association Vice President Austin Gillis ’01, and Georgia State Representative Dar’Shun Kendrick ’04, an Alumni Association Board member who spoke about her OU experience and how it helped to shape her career and future.
Oglethorpe University will host its first annual Fall Festival this Friday and Saturday, October 19-20.
On Friday the festival begins with events for Oglethorpe parents, including a chance to sit in on classes from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Later in the day, parents are invited to meet Eric Tack, director of the Academic Success Center, and to attend a seminar led by Dr. Jeffrey Collins about Oglethorpe’s study abroad opportunities. Friday’s activities end with Night of the Arts, an annual event put on by The Tower literary magazine to showcase the artistic talents of Oglethorpe’s students, faculty and staff. Expect a diverse range of acts, including spoken word, singing and piano.
Saturday’s invitation extends to the entire community! Experience “A Taste of Oglethorpe,” featuring local food vendors and artists from 12 noon-3 p.m. Enjoy face painting, games, a moon bounce, music from OU Radio Live and much more.
At 1:00 p.m., Oglethorpe alumnus Paul Hudson ’72 will lead a walking tour of Oglethorpe, providing interesting facts about our nearly 100-year-old campus. The OU Museum of Art, currently featuring the exhibit “Burden of Proof: National Identity and the Legacy of War,” will be open for visitors from 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.
Read about all the exciting Fall Festival events and make your plans to celebrate the season here on campus!
Oglethorpe University’s chapter of Chi Phi fraternity raised more than $600 to benefit the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center at their annual charity event, Greekapalooza, on Friday, September 14.
Donations increased almost 100% over last year’s event, in part because Chi Phi offered a free benefit show played by local musicians, the Critty Upchurch Band, who played covers of popular songs at the Greek Row block party.
Edmund Smith, a sophomore brother of Chi Phi, says that donating to support the cause is important, but the bigger goal was to raise awareness for the DRCC. “Though we hope OU students never need it, we want people to know that there is a place they can go for help.”
Not only did Greekapalooza raise money to help the victims of rape and sexual violence, it was also the first event of OU’s Fall 2012 Greek Recruitment/Rush. All of the Greek organizations at Oglethorpe attended to show support and to meet potential pledges.
“Greekapalooza is basically a great way for OU’s Greek organizations to come together, fraternize, and unite behind a great cause,” said Chelsea Reed ’13. “It is the perfect kickoff for recruitment because it shows that Oglethorpe Greeks value community and philanthropy—both on campus and beyond.”
Photos by Robert Findley.
I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about attending the 2012 Omicron Delta Kappa National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. this past summer. I, like probably every conference attendee, was intimidated about how I would fit in with some the best and brightest students in the United States. The ODK conference was replete with the future innovators, scholars and leaders who will make a difference in the world for decades to come. Fortunately, I can report that the 2012 ODK National Conference was an engaging, motivating event that showcased the quality of leadership that ODK as an organization embodies and fosters.
In all, more than 200 delegates from almost 30 states attended the conference. The national convention is required every two years in order to ratify any changes that the National Board of ODK has approved. ODK National President Betsy Holloway reported that ODK initiated 15 new circles, and 2800 new members. These increases represent the largest growth in the organization’s history. As well, ODK set a new record in fundraising for scholarships for student members, and announced a new partnership with Nationwide Insurance.
Most exciting, the national branding initiative was announced. In the past, national guidance on official representation of the ODK logo has been undefined. The new logo, seen below, is sleek, simple and dignified. We are looking forward to implementing the new logo anywhere we can.
Besides the new initiatives and announcements, the greatest benefit of attending the conference was the opportunity to share the challenges that our respective circles face. Participation, fundraising, and member selection are some of the common challenges for circles across the country. It was invaluable to hear how others have implemented creative and innovative solutions to these challenges. This experience will allow the Oglethorpe Circle of ODK to improve our effectiveness and make our circle even more vital to the leadership culture on campus.
The conference concluded with a celebratory awards dinner that rewarded those members who had made inspiring contributions to their respective communities and ODK at large. This year’s recipient of the Crown Laurel Circle Award was Col. Ralph Hauenstein who was given the award on the eve of his 100th birthday. Col. Hauenstein served his nation in the European theater under General Dwight Eisenhower as head of intelligence. His service to ODK and his nation was rousing and exemplifies the values of our organization.
For those who are unfamiliar with our organization, ODK is the only national leadership honor society in the United States that focuses specifically on leadership. Induction into the ODK circle is considered one of the highest honors that a student can attain while at Oglethorpe University. ODK is highly selective and only the top 35 percent of students based on GPA are permitted to compete for membership. ODK inducts only one to three percent of the student body per academic year. Initiates are drawn from all pillars of campus life according to the ODK charter; those pillars are scholarship, athletics, campus and community service, journalism, and creative and preforming arts. If you are interested in ODK membership feel free to contact me at email@example.com to learn more.
The Office of Greek Affairs is excited to announce the expansion of Oglethorpe University’s Greek community. Two new organizations (Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Epsilon Iota Psi Local Sorority) join our five existing organizations (Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Chi Omega Fraternity, Chi Phi Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority). Both of the endeavors to bring these organizations to campus have been supported by the Office of Greek Affairs, Department of Campus Life and the Office of the President.
After a year of being an active member of our fraternity community Kappa Sigma officially became our third fraternity on April 21, 2012. This endeavor was lead by 34 men who will have the honor of being known as the founding fathers of the Sigma Beta chapter of Kappa Sigma on our campus.
During the 2011-12 academic year, several women worked together to form Oglethorpe University’s first African American local sorority, Epsilon Iota Psi (Ei Psi). On April 25, 2012, 22 women became the founding sisters of this sorority. This endeavor to create a new sorority has been a rewarding experience for these women and has allowed our sorority community to grow and continue to thrive.
If you have any questions about Oglethorpe’s vibrant Greek community or how to join any of our Greek organizations on campus, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 404-364-8383.
Independent news magazine Washington Monthly has released its annual list of Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation, and Oglethorpe University comes in at #49!
The magazine rates and ranks colleges in three different categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their community). Within the service category, OU was ranked #9 for providing a high number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service, and for providing scholarships for community service.
Oglethorpe provides numerous volunteer opportunities for its students throughout the year. Most recently, 350 freshman and first-year students participated in the annual Orientation Day of Service alongside faculty, staff and community volunteers. The group was spread out across Atlanta, volunteering with nine different nonprofit organizations. Five groups’ efforts went to environmental stewardship, lending a hand to Grant Park Conservacy, TREES Atlanta, Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, Crop Mob Atlanta and Park Pride. Three groups volunteered at nonprofits that focus on homelessness and hunger issues: Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, Senior Citizen Services of Atlanta and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. And, one group of 80 students helped to sort and pack books at Books for Africa.
Earlier this month, Oglethorpe also was named to Forbes magazine’s list of top colleges in the nation, and for six consecutive years has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
The university’s annual OU Passport summer orientation event held recently on campus gave incoming freshmen a taste of what their new and exciting college lives will be like this fall! The new Petrels met with their academic advisors to register for their first college classes and received a warm welcome and academic advice from Provost Denise von Herrmann.
A 21st century version of a scavenger hunt (for QR codes!) provided a fun activity for the new students to learn their way around campus. Tours of the residence halls offered a peek into their new “homes away from home” and a chance to start planning how to decorate. Smiles came across their faces as the newly issued and still warm Petrel Passes were placed into their hands for the first time.
Parents and students alike picked up Oglethorpe t-shirts at the bookstore where students also could get a copy of the common reading book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, that will be discussed by the entire class at various times during their freshman year. Toward the end of the day, Petey the Stormy Petrel mascot joined the crowd on the quad to enjoy some Rita’s Ice and help wrap up a very busy and exciting day. We’re looking forward to welcoming more incoming freshman for the second OU Passport on July 13!
Visit the Flickr album to see more photos from throughout the day.
Welcome, Oglethorpe University Class of 2016!
OU shook things up this semester by adding a variety of short courses that focused on fun topics and experiences. Many students took advantage of the 13 one-time learning and recreational experiences, mostly taught by Oglethorpe staff.
This semester’s short courses have explored interesting topics like “How to Survive in the Woods…in a Hammock” with Jon Nooner, technical director for the Conant Performing Arts Center, and “Extreme Couponing” with Bre Berris, director of Greek affairs. Students indulged their sweet tooth with Kim-Marie John, Emerson Cafe’s baker, in a short course that introduced the art of decorating your own cupcake. Residence Life Coordinator Alyssa De Gazon led a short course discussion about the The Hunger Games book series. Students also toured Elm Street Gardens, a two-acre community organic garden, founded by alumnus Robert Currey, which provides food for hundreds of families in Hancock County, the poorest county in Georgia. Students also gathered to learn “Sign Language: 50 words you need to know”, a short course taught by Jay Gardiner, OU’s athletics director (pictured above). Gardiner shared his knowledge in a fun and interactive environment that left the students asking for more.
The short courses were so popular that there are already plans for them to return in the fall semester. The Office of Campus Life invites students to submit ideas for short courses. If there is a skill you would like to learn—or teach—send your suggestions to Kendra Hunter at email@example.com and the Office of Campus Life will do their best to make it happen!
On Tuesday, the OU community gathered for the 2012 Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium to celebrate the academic achievements of our students. The annual event provides OU students with a platform to present their own work—and fellow students, faculty, parents, and staff take the opportunity to learn more about the various topics, support the presenters, and engage in passionate discussions. Nearly 200 students presented during more than 30 sessions about topics drawn from a wide variety of disciplines.
We asked students Joscelyn Stein, Dayana Diaz, and Weston Manders to give us their thoughts about the Symposium:
This year’s topics ranged from “The Homeric Hero: What Winston Churchill and Odysseus have in common…or not” to “Mosquito in the Room: America’s Cuban Obsession and the Need for a New Era of Cuban-American Relations,” to “The Evolution of Fairies in Literature: From Oral Folk Tales to Peter Pan” and “The Benefits of Cooperative Interspecies Evolution: Why Would you have a Dog?”
A new addition to the day-long event was StoryCore, where students from the OU radio station video recorded students and faculty sharing “OUr Core moments,” reflections on the Core Curriculum. Oglethorpe’s Core Program helps shape our academic community and is regularly the focus of shared stories. Many of us have our “Core moments”—when something we encounter reminds us of something we learned in a Core course, when ideas are suddenly are connected. The collection of 90-second videos will be posted on the StoryCore page over the next few weeks. Here’s the first StoryCore video in the series, by Chelsea Reed ’13, a Communications and Rhetoric major.
Also new to the Symposium this year was an “Homage To OUr CORE in Poetry and Creative Verse.” The poetry slam/creative word jam took place in the Lupton Auditorium and gave a stage to students and faculty to share their poetry, spoken word and freestyle compositions, penned in honor of our Core Curriculum. The friendly competition chose winners in a few categories:
Judges’ Choice: Kaci Palmore
Most Creative: Chou Thao
Connection to Core: Will Carter
The day-long celebration of student achievements ended in the Conant Performing Arts Center with the annual Honors and Awards Convocation, which recognized individuals who had excelled during the academic year. Congratulations to all of the honorees!