Voices September/October 2021
Q: Our university will mark its 125th anniversary in 2023-2024. We’re in the process of organizing a committee to plan everything for the milestone, from events to displays to publications and more. Is it best to hire an “uber-producer and manager” to make sure expectations and deadlines are set and met, so that everything is coordinated and complementary and not ad-hoc? If so, how did you find that person and what did you call him or her?
A: We celebrated our 75th anniversary in 2019-2020 and did all the planning and execution in-house. As you can imagine, there were committees. Our secret was a small but fantastic events staff (two full-time positions), the leader of which in many ways became the uber-producer you’re talking about. The director of the library (a longtime staff member, alumnus, and lover of our history) was another excellent choice for an integral committee member. We had a strong schedule of events and devoted two issues of the magazine to the subject until the pandemic shut us down in the spring of that year. — Wayne Steffen, associate director of publications and media relations, Fresno Pacific University, U.S.
CASE members share their most popular institutional swag
“We purchased leather tag key chains a few years ago, and they’re still our most coveted item—purposeful, durable, and personalized.”
“This sweatshirt-material koozie is a favorite! We’re constantly asked about them.”
“We ordered custom cookie cutters with the IU dome, an iconic campus landmark and part of our logo. They were originally used as a “buy it now” item for our 100 Years of Memories auction (a component of our Charter Day of Giving for our 100th anniversary celebration) but I am using some of the extras as a prize option when needed.”
“For a recent virtual donor event, we mailed branded coasters made from seed paper that our guests could plant after use to grow wildflowers.”
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Town-Gown Relations: How and why institutions should collaborate with their communities. Plus, understanding alumni personas, navigating nontraditional paths to advancement, and creating a new normal as institutions return to campus.