Latest Legends & Traditions
Oglethorpe University was selected in 2011 by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation (www.sullivanfdn.org) to have the honor of presenting the highly prized Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards to two deserving seniors. Oglethorpe joins an exclusive list of only 60 Sullivan Award Schools nationwide (including Davidson, Duke, Elon, Furman, Guilford, Rhodes and Sewanee.)
The awards were created 100 years ago to honor the husband and wife for whom the awards are named. The awards are presented to a male and female graduating senior whose nobility of character, integrity and dedication to service sets them apart as examples to others.
Sullivan Awards, represented by a bronze medallion, are highly prized. Previous recipients who have proven their ability to live up to the standards set by this honor range from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to Fred Rogers, noted star of children’s television.
The first Oglethorpe Sullivan Awards will be presented at the Honors and Awards Convocation on April 10, 2012 in the Conant Performing Arts Center, replacing the President’s Community Service Award.
“Since 1835, we have helped students make a life, make a living and make a difference through our commitment to the ideals of service, citizenship, and humanitarianism,” said President Larry Schall. “As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of our Center for Civic Engagement, we are proud to once again be recognized for the extraordinary efforts of our students, faculty, and staff.”
The deadline date for nominations is THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2012. A selection committee of faculty, staff and students has been assembled to review and choose two outstanding seniors. Nominations of worthy candidates may be made online. Oglethorpe faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the Board of Trustees are eligible to make nominations.
Attention all OU alumni, parents, students and friends—the latest issue of Oglethorpe’s award-winning Carillon magazine is here!
This issue delves into the role of liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century and features articles written by senior Foss Baker and Dr. Brian Patterson, assistant professor of computer science & mathematics, President Schall, and our new provost, Dr. Denise von Herrmann.
Read stories about Oglethorpe alumni using their liberal arts education—sometimes in unusual ways! Did you know an OU alum wrote the 2010 CMA Song of the Year? Or, that an OU alum’s thriving business was featured on HGTV, and that another alum is the editor of a top magazine?!
Get a sneak peek into the plans for a new student center. Learn about the freshman class’s new What the Dog Saw common reading program, and hear from the newest additions to the Office of Campus Life—Danny Glassmann, Kendra Hunter and Bre Berris—about the plans they have for student life at Oglethorpe.
Alumna Chloey Mayo’s “Oglethorpe in Lights” offers a glamorous twist on some campus events of Hollywood proportion with a review the TV shows, movies and commercials that have used OU as their backdrop.
Each day of Spirit Week ushered in a different theme:
- Monday, February 6 was Geek Day and the suspenders were in full swing as students embraced their inner geek spirit.
- February 7 was Tacky Tuesday, when being tacky was the new chic as students broke out their ugliest sweaters. (Wow!)
- Wednesday was the annual Oglethorpe Day, honoring our school’s namesake. Students showed their Oglethorpe pride and came out in record numbers to watch the Petrels of Fire Race, a decades-long tradition in which runners try to circle the quad and beat the tolling of the noon bells. (Still no winner this year…)
A contest for highest class participation on Oglethorpe Day was won by the Class of 2015. As a prize, February 15 was declared Freshmen Day and members of the class enjoyed a Freshmen Feast, provided by Campus Life.
After the race, students (and staff!) participated in a shopping carts “floats” parade, decorated by student organizations and university departments. Sigma Sigma Sigma took home the prize for the best 2012 Homecoming Float.
The parade led to the Conant Performing Arts Center for a presentation on “What Happens in Cuba Doesn’t Stay in Cuba,” given by faculty and students who traveled to Cuba over winter break as part of a semester-long study of the historic, economic, political and cultural facets of the country.
- Thursday was deemed Black & Gold Day and students proudly wore the OU colors and participated in that evenings Homecoming bonfire.
- Friday was Spirit Shirt Day and the day of the Homecoming games. The battle with Sewanee was set and Oglethorpe students were riled up from a week of spirit-building. The game ended with a 69-49 win over Sewanee.
Students seemed more passionate than ever at this year’s Homecoming game and that was not overlooked. Student Government Association awarded the first-ever Oglethorpe University Homecoming Spirit Award trophy. This year’s winner was Kappa Sigma, a new fraternity on campus.
The grand finale of the Spirit Week fun was “A Starry Night in Paris,” Saturday’s Homecoming dance at the Westin Hotel Atlanta.
My dad often used the phrase “college teaches you how to learn.” I don’t know where he got it from, or if it was his own invention. All I know is that it made no sense in high school. I would question it because it essentially made college useless. Every high school kid knows how to learn, right? No, absolutely not. All of them think they do; I was no different.
I came to Oglethorpe thinking I had it all figured out: career, dreams, and how to reach both of them. I was going to be a hugely successful sports/entertainment attorney. I was going to make tons and tons of money. I was going to have it all. From Oglethorpe, I learned none of that was what I wanted. I don’t care about money that much, I don’t care about having a hugely successful name that strikes fear in the hearts of sports franchises and movie producers. I just want to learn.
Oglethorpe has been designed in such a way that questioning your self is unavoidable. Just look at the first year of Core. “Narratives of Self”? What else could that be other than an examination of your being and values? Just when you think you figured out the problems from that course, you have “Human Nature and the Social Order”. Another puzzle for yourself that you must answer: what values do you hold, where do you stand in society, and what do you want from society? After this, you’re thrown another curveball, being forced to reexamine these practices and decisions in “Historical Perspectives.”
All of this, hopefully, allows you to look at yourself and question the pit of your beliefs. Maybe you have to find new ones, maybe the ones you held before Oglethorpe are reinforced; either way, you’re a better person for it. You have gained a system of beliefs that you hold concretely, and there are very few things more comforting than knowing you stand for beliefs that have been stripped down to their very core, and you found them agreeable.
Perhaps this type of examination of Oglethorpe only exists in the mind of a philosophy major. Perhaps I examined this the way I did because of the professors that I have. Dr. Belcher showed me that your beliefs are basically worthless if you don’t know why you stand for them. Dr. Carton taught me that nobody is the same, and there are so many different internal processes that make up a person that understanding them all is impossible. From Dr. Smith I learned everybody does things their own way. We don’t know why some things are done the way they are, but the fact that they are done in such a way might tell us more about that person or those people than if they had done it the “normal” way. Numerous other professors here taught me other things, but these are the ones I hold in the highest regard.
The most important thing to notice about the things I learned is that none of them are classes. I didn’t take a “reasons why your beliefs might be wrong class” or a class on “things that people did in history that we don’t understand” because they don’t exist. Sometimes, the most important thing to learn from a class isn’t the subject of the class at all. This takes some work, but the work and payoff will be well worth it. Your experience will undoubtedly be different. You will have different classes, different professors, and different friends. This difference will make you examine things in your own way, and that leads to a different experience for everybody. This means Oglethorpe has done its job.
In hindsight, I want to leave the readers of this with a few suggestions. First, don’t live your life thinking you know what you want because that is what your parents want for you, or because you saw it on TV. If you really want to be this idea you have in your head, no amount of reexamining will change your mind. If you end up changing your mind, it means you’re growing, learning. Have an open mind, it will do wonders for you. Second, take Oglethorpe for what it is. The classes can be frustrating and, believe me, I hate Petrel Points* as much as the next guy, but I love Oglethorpe. The community, professors, faculty, and students will always hold a special place in my heart. If you come here expecting perks of a large university, don’t expect to be satisfied. Take the small school atmosphere and embrace it. Develop relationships with your professors; and gain close friends; you won’t regret it. The third suggestion is to just listen to people. You can’t learn if you don’t. Listen to professors; they are wildly intelligent and are here only because of the students. They honestly have your best interests at heart. If they suggest you think about something or reexamine something, do it. They care and know best.
And above all else, just learn.
*All first-year students are required to accrue a total of 12 Petrel Points during their first academic year by participating in three areas of campus life: arts, education and ideas; civic engagement; and campus leadership and citizenship.
Greetings OU Students! As the Fall semester continues and many of you are searching for organizations to join, I would like to invite you to consider becoming a member of a sorority or fraternity. Greek membership provides you with the opportunity to develop valuable leadership skills, pursue academic excellence, serve the Oglethorpe and Atlanta communities, enjoy social activities and make lasting friendships that will be treasured forever.
Scholarship is the most important aspect of college life, so naturally it is first in Greek life. I am extremely proud of our Greek Community, as our Greek student average is consistently higher than the overall GPA of Oglethorpe University students. Every chapter has academic help available in the way of mandatory study hours, help with professors and courses and more.
Membership in a Greek organization will give you the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities including Greek Week, socials, mixers and community service and philanthropy projects. Offices and chairmanships of committees within the chapter will provide a chance for development of leadership abilities. Involvement does not stop within the chapter. On average, Greeks are involved in at least two other campus and community organizations. Every chapter at OU supports its own national philanthropic event, which is raising funds for a charity of its choice and dedicating time, as well as working with the service projects of all the other Greek organizations. Greeks are also supportive of events that occur on campus, including supporting our Stormy Petrels.
To learn more about Sorority recruitment, please join the Facebook group “Sorority Recruitment 2011.” You can also register for Sorority recruitment online. To learn more about Fraternity rush, please like the Facebook page “Oglethorpe IFC Rush 2011.”
I encourage you to participate in recruitment and to keep an open mind. Greek life is a source of pride at OU, and every chapter has something unique to offer. Thank you again for choosing Oglethorpe and good luck! The Office of Greek Affairs looks forward to working with you in the future and is here to assist you in any way possible! If you have any questions, please contact me (email@example.com) or any member of the Greek community! Looking forward to meeting you at our recruitment events.
GO GREEK…Alpha Sigma Tau, Chi Omega, Chi Phi, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Sigma Sigma!!
Photos: Fraternities and sororities participate in some friendly competition during Greek Week earlier this year. Photos by Chelsea Reed ’13.
I’ll never forget the first time I spotted the “Ogle-turkey” on campus through my bewildered freshman eyes. “A turkey!?” I thought to myself. “He’s strutting around like he owns the place.”
I’m now about to enter my junior year and not much has changed. The other day I drove onto campus through the side gate, but not before yielding to the beloved Ogle-turkey who had insisted on crossing as though the stop sign didn’t apply to him. (I guess it didn’t!) I chuckled to myself and thought fondly about how this pretentious bird has evolved into an unofficial mascot for Oglethorpe. No one really knows for sure how we ended up with a stray wild turkey, but this affectionately regarded addition to our community has become legend and ingrained in the student sub-culture.
Or should I call it Ogle-culture? The practice of adding “Ogle” as a prefix to all things Oglethorpe has become a consistent language pattern among students, faculty, and staff. Here in our “Ogle-bubble” we even have our very own vernacular. In fact, the Ogle-turkey is not the only representative of our unconventional campus pets. The felines that live in the woods adjacent to campus are dubbed—what else, but—Ogle-kitties. For the most part they are rather un-socialized, quickly thwarting the domesticating efforts of the occasional student who tries to confine them to their dorm room.
But, if you’re that kid who misses their pet that badly, or even if you’re just an animal lover, there are always animal-friendly events as well. During last semester, students got a little “doggie therapy” when Animal Rescue Savers brought some adorable puppies to the campus quad. Animal Rescue Savers adopts dogs who are on death row at the pound. Even finals couldn’t get us down after a study break with these furry friends. Special thanks to Joscelyn Stein ’13, then Student Government Association President-elect, for arranging that playdate with rescued Ogle-doggies!
Did you know that Oglethorpe once had an all-women’s rifle team? Or that OU’s athletics department once included a wrestling team—and a football team? Or that Oglethorpe’s first yearbook was produced in 1920?
Thanks to a grant-funded project through LYRASIS, the Philip Weltner Library now features a number of new digital collections online, including almost the entire set of Yamacraw yearbooks dating back 90 years. According OU reference librarian Laura Masce, returning alumni often are interested in tracking down their old yearbooks. Now everyone can look back on their glory days from the comfort of their own computers.
The other new collections now available online include OU’s alumni newsletter, Flying Petrels, from 1956 to 1971, two years of the Stormy Petrel newspaper from the early 1990s, and all issues of the Carillon alumni magazine.
These newly digitized materials add to the library’s existing online collections that includes early photographs of the Oglethorpe’s buildings and grounds (including original campus construction), campus life in the 1950s, and athletics images (including the 1920s football team that beat Georgia Tech!)
According to Masce, the library will continue to expand its digital collections to document and “celebrate the history of our university.”
What’s a Yamacraw? Oglethorpe serves as a “living memorial” to the founder of Georgia and borrows many references to the life and legend of its namesake, General James Oglethorpe. The school yearbook is named after the Native American tribe in Georgia that befriended Oglethorpe.
Once a year, tradition beckons the Greek community to commence for a series of competitions that ends in glory (for the winners). Last week, the heated endeavor known as Greek Week brought out every sorority and fraternity chapter, each with pride in their organizations and one collective desire: to win.
Last year’s winners, Alpha Sigma Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, emerged to defend their envied title of Greek Week Champions. Sports day kicked off the competition on Monday with ultimate Frisbee and kickball, dominated by Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Chi Omega, who also continued on to win Greek Bowl Trivia, Board Games, and Field Day. Tri Sigma and Chi Phi stepped up their game and swept the skit and singing events.
Greek Week not only provided an opportunity for some healthy competition, it also was a chance to unite with alumni, in honor of Greek custom. At the end of the week, many Greek alums arrived back on campus for the 2011 Alumni Weekend and joined in the fun. The singing competition was judged by alumni members from all three sororities and attended by many more Greek alumni. Chi Phi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon both hosted events at their houses, where they were able to mingle with their alumni members.
The points have been tallied — and the overall champions have been announced. Congratulations to Sigma Alpha Epsilon (which successfully defended its title) and Chi Omega for prevailing!
And, for those who faced defeat… there is always the prospect of Greek Week 2012!
On February 9, 2011 Petrels all over the country celebrated Oglethorpe Day, an annual celebration of James Edward Oglethorpe, the university’s namesake and founder of the Georgia colony.
On campus, students and staff welomed former CNN President Tom Johnson and current CNN International Anchor Natalie Allen for a lively discussion about their experiences in global media.
The festivities began with the Petrels of Fire race, a 270-yard dash around the quad in an effort to beat the 12 noon carillon bell toll. This year’s race drew five brave sprinters who battled the cold and each other in the fierce race to the finish. In keeping with tradition, runners had 30.92 seconds to complete the challenge, and this year freshman Billy Colbert reportedly came within three seconds of the bells.
Following the race, a bagpiper summoned the crowd of spectators to the Conant Performing Arts Center to attend the OU Day dialogue. Both Johnson and Allen engaged in an hour-long discussion, moderated by Devon Belcher, assistant professor of philosophy, about their careers in media. They entertained questions from students and touched on current issues such as censorship, Wiki-leaks, and the future of journalism.
Afterward, OU President Larry Schall and Dean of Students Michelle Hall presented the speakers with plaques commemorating two four-year scholarships that have been established in their names. Two deserving students in next year’s freshman class will be the recipients of the scholarships.