Homecoming weekend 2009— with its theme “Traveling Through Time”— highlighted the association’s history and welcomed thousands of Bobcats back to Athens.

Legacy Program logo

The Legacy Program logo was developed by freelance designer Ellen Gray.

Graphic courtesy of: Alumni Association

CD cover

The Alumni Association put out a 150th Anniversary music CD. The CD cover was designed by OHIO graphic design student Ian Victor and Professor Don Adleta.

Graphic courtesy of: Alumni Association

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Alumni Association recalls successful 150th Anniversary year

What an incredible year it has been for the Ohio University Alumni Association (OUAA)! Not only have we continued to build upon our long record of success in serving more than 200,000 alumni world-wide, we are concluding a year of recognizing the 150th anniversary of our founding in 1859—making the OUAA one of the oldest alumni associations in the country.

Many of you may not be aware of the work the alumni association does each year. Here’s a brief summary: We coordinate or sponsor over 300 events (nearly one a day!), manage nearly 2000 alumni volunteers, communicate to alumni, students and friends through print, social media and more than 3 million emails, and support alumni connections to OHIO with departments and colleges across campus. For a more in-depth look, I invite you to review our 2009 Annual Report.

Our 150th anniversary has been celebrated throughout the 2009-2010 school year across the university and community in numerous ways.

One major initiative has been to establish the Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship, a process led by the OUAA Board of Directors and begun in the fall of 2009. The OUAA’s first Legacy Scholarship recipient is Laura Risaliti ’14, an incoming student from North Canton, Ohio. She has more than 10 family members who attend and/ or have graduated from OHIO. 

Kicking off our 150th anniversary year was the return of Alumni College. A popular weekend-long tradition for decades, it was discontinued in 2001, but brought back to popular acclaim in 2009. Previous graduates of OHIO and their spouses or friends returned to campus to attend classes and “graduate” in just three days.

The fall schedule saw two Bobcat Bashes at both the University of Tennessee and University of Akron. Homecoming weekend 2009— with its theme “Traveling Through Time”— highlighted the association’s history and welcomed thousands of Bobcats back to Athens.

Our spring events included the Alumni Leader’s Conference, where volunteer leaders of alumni chapters and societies across the country gathered in Athens to share ideas.  And recently we hosted the biggest of all our reunions. The triennial Black Alumni Reunion, held May 21-23, celebrated the Alumni Association as well as the rich tradition of African American history at Ohio University.

The year-long anniversary celebration will conclude with a special commencement for the Class of 1970. More than 150 members of the class will return to campus 40 years later to finally walk across the Convocation Center stage.

In addition to these events, the OUAA has created commemorative items to share with members of the OHIO community, including a 150th Anniversary pin, a 150th Anniversary music CD, and a collaborative effort to put all the OHIO yearbooks since 1892 online. Our web presence has expanded dramatically as well, and is full of interesting and informative content about our history, alumni achievements and the many benefits and services we offer. Please take a look at www.ohioalumni.org.

While we have taken time to reflect on our past and help people see what we offer to today’s current students and graduates, we are constantly looking to the future. We are working to become more integral to the mission of the institution each day, and partnering with our colleagues across campus to increase pride and awareness for OHIO.

I often tell audiences that it takes a university to raise a loyal alumnus. True, every employee at Ohio University has a role in fostering great relationships with our current students who ultimately become our alumni. We thank you in advance for joining us in continuing to build one of the best alumni associations in the country!