Oakland University honored for alumni engagement programs
From left: OU Young Alumni Chapter members Bani Bordoloi, Stephanie Pini, Amy Ring Cebelak, Hallie Bills, and Amanda Fylan, OU's assistant director of Alumni Engagement
Oakland University recently earned three awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), an international association of education advancement officers, who include alumni administrators, fund raisers, public relations managers, publications editors, and government relations officers.
OU received a Gold Award and two Silver Awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in recognition of outstanding alumni engagement programs.
OU received a Gold Award for Best Volunteer Engagement Program, in recognition of its Young Alumni Chapter, and was also honored with two Silver Awards for its Alumni Weekend on Mackinac Island. This initiative, which was organized by the Young Alumni Chapter, was recognized for Best New Alumni Program and Best Practices in Alumni Relations.
The awards were presented in December at the CASE District V Conference in Chicago. The District includes colleges and universities in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. A full listing of award categories and winners is here.
“I feel really proud of the Young Alumni Chapter for how quickly we’ve been able to accomplish so much as a team,” said Chapter Vice President, Amy Ring Cebelak. “Ultimately, our goal is to get young alumni engaged, and these awards demonstrate that we’re succeeding in that mission.”
The Young Alumni Chapter sponsored the OU Alumni Weekend at Mackinac Island as a way to boost awareness of its initiatives. The Chapter engaged alumni through a special package deal, which provided an affordable rate for young alums, families, and retirees to take a relaxing vacation, while enjoying social receptions each night to mingle and network with fellow alums.
The first weekend took place in September 2017, with 100 alumni and guests participating. Throughout the weekend, guests took part in a photo contest, posting and hash tagging their photos with “#ThisisOU.” Winners were announced on social media for creative photos and incorporation of OU school spirit around the Island. The weekend also provided visibility for OU through flags and banners placed on the ferry, horse-drawn taxi shuttle and around the hotel. In addition, the Island House desk staff wore OU T-shirts to welcome alumni guests.
Building on the success of the first weekend event, the Chapter organized another Alumni Weekend at Mackinac Island this fall that had even more participants.
“So many people came back from the first trip and raved about what a great opportunity it was to connect with fellow OU alums in such a unique place,” said Cebelak. “That really helped generate a lot of interest for it to happen again, so we’re hoping that it continues to grow from year to year in size and excitement.”
The Young Alumni Chapter is made up of alumni, ages 35 and younger, who have graduated within the past 10 years. Along with the Alumni Weekend on Mackinac Island, the Chapter sponsors a variety of engagement programs, including a Young Alumni Wine Tour, Young Alumni Night at the O’rena, and Young Alumni 10 Within 10 Awards, which recognize young alumni who have made an exceptional impact within their professions and throughout their communities.
The Young Alumni Chapter operates in coordination with the Oakland University Alumni Association. Learn more about the council and the Oakland University Alumni Association at oualumni.com.