Homecoming 2009

Ohio University Homecoming Festivities had a big ACRN presence this year, from the OU Alumni Association’s Friday night barbecue being dj’d by ACRN’s mobile services to ACRN affiliated house shows, to parade float prep to the finale of the Homecoming Parade, themed Travelling through Time.

Construction of the parade float started Friday, October 16 around 7PM at Promo Director Aaron Vilk and Music Director Ty Owen’s residence on Brown St. Using banners, various lobster decorations from the promo closet, scrap vinyl albums, and signs reflecting the origins of ACRN in 1971, ACRNers and alumni decorated the truck that was to be used as the parade float. From there, the gang moved to the Spacement (Columbus Rd) for an evening of electronic music provided by ACRN’s own Jason Wright, and then split off for uptown activities (including pitchers with the 110). The gang regrouped across town at an ACRN house party, but when that got invaded by too many non-lobsters, the decision to finish the night at the Union was made.

After hours at Brown Town (back on Brown St), kept Lobsters going most of the night, getting a short reprieve for a nap before heading to parade lineup on May St on Saturday at 8am. The gang was treated to hot chocolate by homeowners on the block (and tea from a nearby lobster’s kitchen) to keep warm till the parade started a few hours later. Thanks to advisor Greg Newton and the quick thinking of GM Jason Robinaugh, a stereo system was able to be attached to the truck for tunes from the 1970s to be played.

Being that it was too cold, the gang dressed in layers over their red ACRN hoodies, but still marched the whole parade route. Snat Rocklobster marched as well, greeted by both hugs and drunken punches from the parade watchers. The parade route went from East State down Carpenter to Court Street (the wrong way) to the New Baker Center for judging, and across past Alden Library to the spot formerly known as the Oasis.

The float (and especially Snat) drew cheers from alumni, friends and fans in the crowd all along the route, and definitely let the community know that ACRN was here to stay.

Alumni Leaders Conference 2009

On May 7th through the 10th, Ashley Sheehan, Matt Latham, and myself attended the 2009 Ohio University Alumni Association’s Alumni Leaders Conference. Thankfully the title was about the only longwinded thing about it.

We walked away with the impression that the ACRN Alumni Society is highly valued by the University… and not just because they handed us a big ol’ major award. We really felt our input was valued by the University as well. Between all the fantastic food the University shoveled our way, and time spent with current Rock Lobsters, we did find the time to attend a variety of educational and interactive seminars.

Did you know OU offers career services for alumni? Yup, we get full access to the CareerBeam services, and times being what they are, that’s a good tool to have. In fact, they’re revamping the on-line alumni portal, and that’s going to be one of the big parts of it. We got a walk through of the current alumni site and it’s easy to get registered and get in touch with other Alumni organizations and resources… check it out at ohioalumni.org. Get officially registered with the university, with us, with other affiliations you had back in school. Yes, they’re going to call you for donations occasionally, but there’s a lot of tools and networking to be done as well.

Between seminars on marketing and alumni engagement, learning about the alumni site and, yes, OU Alumni’s facebook presence, it all made for a wired conference. Maybe next year they’ll issue laptops… (a guy can dream, can’t he?)

While Friday was seminar-filled, Saturday featured more serious presentations from the University and open roundtable discussions. The biggest announcement we walked away with is that of “cash.” The university is soon going to be setting up bank accounts for Alumni groups that they’ll host. Not only are they going to make it easier to manage resources but they’ll also be offering incentives to us to throw great alumni events. Expect raffle prizes, event kits, and funds for future events. Throwing successful events will also EARN us funds from the University. Expect more ACRN Alumni events hosted by us and partnered with larger Alumni organizations coming up in the near future.

Brainstorming with other organizations gave us lots of bright ideas and new tools as well. For example, July 10th we teamed up with the Mid-Ohio chapter for a Columbus event for new Alumni…it got our name and visibility out there in a big way. As an award-winning mover-and-shaker of an Alumni organization, it simply makes sense for us to take over and rule the Alumni roost! Outside Central Ohio, July 18 will be a big, midwest-wide official ACRN Alumni event in Chicago centered around the Pitchfork Music Festival.

We also got great suggestions to help us keep an organized and energized Executive board. Expect engagement, events, communication, and more Rock Lobster fun. We’re going to track down and get more old friends involved and continue getting current Lobsters and those freshly minted alumni involved as well. We’re looking forward to a big and bright new year.Outstanding Society