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Monday, Nov 24, 2014

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Janis Miller- Fox (front row center) recently hosted a Dinner for 12 Strangers.

Photographer: David Fox

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Participants enjoyed dinner, conversation and networking.

Photographer: David Fox

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Alumni Association brings Dinner with 12 Strangers to Ohio University


Have dinner with 12 strangers and leave with 12 new friends. That is the idea behind Dinner with 12 Strangers, a unique program designed to build a stronger connection between students, faculty and alumni.

University faculty and friends host 12 Ohio University students to dinner in their homes or at a local restaurant, offering an evening of good food and conversation. The aim is to bring the University community a little closer together. The Ohio University Alumni Association recently adopted the program, which will become an annual tradition.

Six separate dinners, held Feb. 25, 26 and March 3, offered students the opportunity to network with OHIO alumni and faculty and interact with professors outside the classroom. The program also provides a chance for alumni to stay active in the OHIO community after they graduate.

The 56 students in attendance were composed of freshman through seniors and represented a variety of majors. Many of the students expressed their excitement for the new program and their intentions to continue participation with the program. 

“I enjoyed talking with the other students and learning about their involvement on campus. I would love to be able to participate in another dinner in the future and know that I would love to host a dinner when I am an alumna,” said Alissa Huston, a junior studying child life.

The faculty and alumni involved also enjoyed the program and all of the 12 hosts said that they would host future dinners.

"We had a lot of fun planning the event and appreciated the opportunity to connect with a wonderful group of students," said co-host Janis Miller-Fox, who received her bachelor’s degree in art in 1977.

Dinner with 12 Strangers is a valuable experience for members of the OHIO community, said Elizabeth Miller, a junior studying restaurant, hotel, and tourism and who served as the program’s coordinator.

“The dinners are a fun and laid-back experience where alumni and students can hang out and talk,” she said. “By the end of the dinner we were all talking like we'd known each other for a while.”

Next year’s Dinner with 12 Strangers will be held during spring semester 2013.