July 21, 2008
Summer planning behind successful event season
Eric Rangus, director of communications for the Emory Alumni Association
Summertime is planning time at the Emory Alumni Association. June through August is when events like Emory Homecoming Weekend, among others, take shape. Alumni volunteers are recruited to lead University-wide efforts like class reunions or asked to take charge of local activities for their regional chapters. The essence of summer is in full swing around the country with alumni-led events like a concert in Chicago, an outdoor happy hour in Philadelphia, and baseball games in Dallas-Fort Worth and Tampa Bay (the sold-out game in Tampa Bay is actually indoors at St. Pete’s Tropicana Field, but we don’t quibble).
Our summer social events can be serious and socially conscious, too. Emory GALA (Gay and Lesbian Alumni) sponsored several activities around the Atlanta Pride Celebration earlier this month. The Houston chapter is presenting an alumna author, an oncologist, who chronicled her friendship with one of her terminally ill patients.
On the lighter side, in July and August, the EAA is hosting more than 20 Let’s Go Emory! parties around the country to welcome new students to the University community — the Atlanta area alone has three of them (at Mellow Mushroom on LaVista Road and others in Decatur and Marietta). The Let’s Go Emory! parties bring together these new students with current students and alumni, all of whom can give valuable first-person accounts of campus.
Let’s Go Emory! parties are just one way the EAA reaches out to students. One of our most successful outreach endeavors is our internship program, now in its third year. This summer we’ve added a quartet of new staff members. Paige Jackson ’07Ox, Chelsea Long, Kelley Quinn, and Kaitlyn Dennihy are all completing summer internships at the EAA. Jackson, Long and Quinn are all Emory students assisting with and frequently leading projects in reunions and homecoming, alumni programs and volunteer programs.
Dennihy is a rising junior at the University of Georgia. A public relations major at UGA, her developing skills are perfectly aligned to the communications and marketing tasks she performs at the EAA. And when the EAA visits Athens on Aug. 22 for its final Faculty Destinations speaker event (featuring the School of Medicine’s Arthur Kellermann ’80M and Oxford’s Mike McQuaide), Dennihy, who will be back in school by then, will be moonlighting as an EAA staff volunteer as well.
So while it’s summertime at the EAA and the pace, honestly, is a bit slower, the hard work that takes place here through August pays off for the entire Emory community come fall.