By Marisa Palmieri
Every year various chapters and societies of the Ohio University Alumni Association make pilgrimages to Athens to relive memories and reunite with old friends.
But for the Eastern Ohio Chapter based in Belmont County, which is uniquely active for a regional campus-based chapter, alumni association events are more than just football games, networking opportunities or college reunions. They give the members a real opportunity to feel like a part of the University, according to Jan Chambers, co-chair of the chapter.
Many of the chapter's nearly 400 members are Eastern campus alumni, and may not have had the opportunity to participate in University activities during college.
The Eastern Ohio Chapter, which was dormant for many years, has really taken off recently. "People were looking for an opportunity to get involved," Chambers said. "Renewed activities and opportunities to participate have revitalized the chapter over the last three or so years."
Besides the annual football bus trip, the chapter hosts receptions for theater events on campus, organizes gatherings for televised Ohio basketball games and issues a quarterly newsletter.
"Our chapter is not only open to Eastern campus alumni," Chambers said. Alumni who live in eastern Ohio are permitted, as well as "friends of the chapter," community members who are excited about and wish to be involved with Ohio University. "If there are people who feel great about Ohio University we welcome them," she said.
The Eastern chapter traveled to Athens for the first time as a group on Saturday, Sept.13, to cheer on the Bobcats against Big Ten opponent, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The chapter's distance from Athens -- a two and a half hour drive -- keeps it from making regular trips to events. West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh, both closer to the Eastern campus than Athens, were the chapter's bus trip destinations in recent years.
The chapter's first group trip to Athens was a success, with about fifty members participating, according to Chambers. The members socialized, tailgated and supported Ohio while appreciating a renewed sense of what it feels like to be a part of Ohio University.
For more information on the Eastern Ohio Chapter, contact Jan Chambers at (740) 699-2334.
Marisa Palmieri is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.