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Community Events

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In It for the Lawn Haul
CURRENTS Article Moving day can be stressful, but for University of Wisconsin-Madison students and local renters, the chaos can be as joyous as Christmas. For decades, every August 14, apartment leases have ended and not begun again for a full 24 hours so apartments can be cleaned and repaired. This leaves the city in a whirlwind of furniture and appliances at many curbs while homeless-for-a-day hippies and other residents scour through trash for treasure. For one magical night, dubbed Hippie Christmas, crashing on couches in the open air and lawn-camping are the norm.

A Summer Camp That's Never Been Done C4
CURRENTS Article Here's a summer camp where kids will have a blast. For the past 12 years, Missouri University of Science and Technology has hosted Explosives Camp, for which high school juniors and seniors gather for a five-day session to learn the ins and outs of handling explosives; operating bomb squad robots; blasting rock; and making, setting up, and shooting fireworks.

The Return on Revelry
CURRENTS Article Improving events ROI requires frank questions, mindful deconstruction, and continual assessment. Be honest when considering the need for an event. When the turnout or energy level at an anniversary gala is too low, for instance, or a fundraising event doesn't raise enough funds, it's often because planners didn't carefully consider the occasion's intentions—or whether it should happen at all. Consider why you are doing an event and who the audience is. What do we want them to think or know? What do you want them to do?

Egg-stra Curricular Fun
CURRENTS Article At Pennsylvania's Messiah College, Easter egg hunts aren't just for kids. Hosted by Eyas, the Student Alumni Council, the campuswide Eggstravaganza fosters friendships and memories among its 2,800-plus students, building community and boosting school spirit. Here are the key numbers.

Pass the Hamantaschen, Please
CURRENTS Article Every spring since 1991, 2,000 students and community Members of all ages and faiths let loose at the State University of New York at Binghamton's Purim Carnival. One of the lesser-known Jewish holidays, Purim commemorates the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther. The holiday's joyful, celebratory spirit makes it ideal to bring together students of different faiths.

Decking the Halls
CURRENTS Article Fun holiday traditions at the University of Virginia, High Point University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Dayton.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Ideas we love from institutions everywhere: University College Dublin's September 2015 Woodland Walkies event brought alumni and community members to campus for a day of guided walks, animal behavior talks, pet care tips from practitioners and students at UCD's School of Veterinary Medicine; Wake Forest University's June 2015 "52 Hours of Giving" annual fund campaign challenge spurred excitement with a limited edition deck of playing cards; and Imperial College London's October 2015 Imperial Apocalypse social media campaign encouraged students to submit scientific tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Bug Bites
CURRENTS Article As part of its summer 2016 Edible Bug Challenge at agriculture shows across the U.K. and Ireland, Harper Adams University, which specializes in agriculture and food education and research, served up barbecue-flavored bamboo worms, queen leafcutter ants, and giant water bugs.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article Wallace State Community College's Little Black Dress Charity Bash is an annual ladies-only event for dressing up, catching up, dining, and networking.

Cycles of Giving
CURRENTS Article For Life Cycle 5 in 2015, cyclists will raise £350,000 funds for dementia research at the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

A-maize-ing Messaging
CURRENTS Article Colleges and universities have turned the corn-maze trend into an art form, etching their names, logos, and historic buildings into acres of cornfields. Here's a sampling from recent years.

Gifts to Gab
CURRENTS Article Each year, The Honors College at the University of Houston hosts The Great Conversation fundraiser. The event is a hybrid between a dinner party and a college seminar, and is modeled after the college's signature course taught in the Socratic method of dialogue between a professor and students.

Right Under the Nose
CURRENTS Article Students on campuses around the world participate in Movember to raise awareness about and money for male cancers.

Trash to Treasure
CURRENTS Article Members of Luther College's junior varsity men's basketball team move actual tons of discarded belongings out of the campus's eight residence halls for the annual Trash to Treasure sale, the proceeds of which benefit the team.

Serious Fun
CURRENTS Article An intense campus trivia contest that began in 1980 at St. Cloud State University as an effort to give students something to look forward to in the post-holiday period of Minnesota's long winters blossoms into an event that hooks students as well as alumni and community members who come back to compete or volunteer every year.

Advance Work: Best Foot Forward
CURRENTS Article Dominican University has become a lead sponsor of the endangered Frank Lloyd Wright Races, reinvigorating the institution's ties with the community in Oak Park, Ill.

Advance Work: Growing for Grades
CURRENTS Article Students at Rice University in Texas maintain a community garden as both an academic exercise and a relationship-building effort.

Individual Public Relations and Community Relations Projects: University of Pittsburgh - Bronze Medal
Best Practice In late 2005 the University of Pittsburgh and a local Pittsburgh-based nonprofit agency called Three Rivers Youth collaborated to create a publication, museum exhibit, video, and other supporting materials that celebrated the nonprofit's 125th anniversary and its work with the city's children in need.

Individual Special Events: University of Pittsburgh - Gold Medal
Best Practice In late 2005 the University of Pittsburgh and a local Pittsburgh-based nonprofit agency called Three Rivers Youth collaborated to create a publication, museum exhibit, video, and other supporting materials that celebrated the nonprofit's 125th anniversary and its work with the city's children in need. An elegant opening reception for the exhibition was held at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center on February 1, 2006.

AdvanceWork: Alma Mater Month
CURRENTS Article San Diego State University built ties with local donors, alumni, and the business community by naming March 2003 SDSU Month. The celebration included the launch of a redesigned alumni magazine, 70 special exhibits and concerts, a media campaign, and discount promotions from 20 local businesses. This AdvanceWork item is of interest to communication and marketing managers and special event planners.

AdvanceWork: Towering Tributes
CURRENTS Article Campuses across the United States discuss their plans for commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in an article of particular interest to public relations officers.

AdvanceWork: Art for Alumni's Sake
CURRENTS Article Putting graduates' artistic talents to work for alma mater

AdvanceWork: Giving High on the Hog
CURRENTS Article A passion for motorcycles inspired a unique method of cultivating donors.

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