Incoming Freshmen Issued Passport to College Life

Fresh faces!

The university’s annual OU Passport summer orientation event held recently on campus gave incoming freshmen a taste of what their new and exciting college lives will be like this fall!  The new Petrels met with their academic advisors to register for their first college classes and received a warm welcome and academic advice from  Provost Denise von Herrmann.

Smile for your Petrel Pass!

A 21st century version of a scavenger hunt (for QR codes!) provided a fun activity for the new students to learn their way around campus.  Tours of the residence halls offered a peek into their new “homes away from home” and a chance to start planning how to decorate. Smiles came across their faces as the newly issued and still warm Petrel Passes were placed into their hands for the first time.

A passport to Oglethorpe!

Parents and students alike picked up Oglethorpe t-shirts at the bookstore where students also could get a copy of the common reading book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, that will be discussed by the entire class at various times during their freshman year. Toward the end of the day, Petey the Stormy Petrel mascot joined the crowd on the quad to enjoy some Rita’s Ice and help wrap up a very busy and exciting day.  We’re looking forward to welcoming more incoming freshman for the second OU Passport on July 13!

Visit the Flickr album to see more photos from throughout the day.

Welcome, Oglethorpe University Class of 2016!

Time to show your Petrel spirit!



Evening Degree Program Graduate Awarded Prestigious International Scholarship for Graduate Study

Cleo “Fifi” Sloan, a 2011 graduate of Oglethorpe, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to attend  Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London to study in the Masters of Arts in Art Business program, commencing in September 2013. The school is the educational wing of Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest auctioneers of art and jewelry.

Sloan joined Oglethorpe’s Evening Degree Program (EDP) in 2008 as a communications major and planned to pursue a career in the field of integrative medicine. However, once she took her first art history course, she says, “I realized that a passion for art steadily pumped through my veins, and there was nothing that I could do to suppress it.” With some encouragement from her mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Collins, she developed an Individually Planned Major (IPM) in Art Business. She says that she soon found herself “being molded into a prime candidate” for the Master in Arts Program at Sotheby’s.

While at OU Sloan served as the David Willis Presidential Fellow and received Oglethorpe’s coveted “Art History Achievement Award” for two consecutive years. She also participated in several study abroad programs in Oxford, Paris and Italy. She graduated in 2011 as the first EDP student in Oglethorpe’s history to graduate Magna Cum Laude with an IPM in Art Business.

Sloan’s advice for other adults considering continuing their education is this: “Dream, and dream big! And when you open your eyes, know that there are others at Oglethorpe who are dreaming big for you.”

Oglethorpe Hosts Diamond Jubilee Festival to Honor Queen Elizabeth II

Pictured: Elizabeth Harkey and Eva McDonald, members of the British American Business Group and official "Ribbon Holders" for the Opening Ceremony

Oglethorpe’s campus was transformed into a festive English town on Saturday, June 2, as people across Atlanta and beyond gathered to celebrate the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee, marking the 60th anniversary of her reign. The event at Oglethorpe, hosted by the British Consulate General in Atlanta, was held on the same day as many other festivities across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Attendees included people representing many of the Commonwealth's 54 different countries.

Festivities included children’s games popular in the Commonwealth, a hat competition, and a performance by Scottish Pipe & Drum group, which marched the crowd onto Anderson Field to watch a game of cricket.

A “Got Talent” competition held on the quad provided some eclectic entertainment for festival-goers, with performers representing Ghana, Scotland and other member nations of the Commonwealth.

There was plenty of good food available as well, with the lines for the fish & chips and meat pies being the longest. And no British celebration would be complete without an opportunity for some afternoon tea.

Oglethorpe was chosen to host the event in part for its architecture. The campus building designs were originally inspired by Corpus Christi College in Oxford, England–the alma mater of our namesake, James Edward Oglethorpe. It created the perfect setting for the festivities and allowed guests to feel as if they had been transported to England, if only for a few hours.

A drum and dance group from Ghana

Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI. In the 60 years that she has held the crown, there have been 12 different Prime Ministers, six Popes…and 30 royal corgi dogs. She is the second longest serving monarch in the world.



Miles Mattison of Brookhaven takes a shot at the "Queen" during the Goal Save the Queen competition




Remembering FDR’s Commencement Speech at Oglethorpe

Backstage at the Fox Theatre, Judge Edgar Watkins adjusts Governor Roosevelt's doctoral hood. Dr. Thornwell Jacobs stands to the far left.

On May 22, 1932, then New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt received a Doctor of Laws honorary degree from Oglethorpe University at the commencement ceremony held at the Fox Theatre. He gave a rousing speech about the state of the nation—and that speech went on to become  historically significant as the beginning of the future President’s New Deal plan.

“The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you. May every one of us be granted the courage, the faith and the vision to give the best that is in us to that remaking!”

Thornwell Jacobs, the President of Oglethorpe at the time, chose to award Roosevelt with the honorary degree “in recognition of his high achievements in statesmanship, economics, and philanthropy.”  (New York Times, March 28, 1931.)

FDR had deep connections to Georgia. He often visited the state for treatment of his paralytic illness. His personal retreat, Little White House, was built on his 1,750-acre farm at the top of Pine Mountain. The farm is now part of Georgia’s biggest state park that was named after him.

Our own President Schall also reflected on this speech in his personal blog.

President Roosevelt’s words withstand the test of time—and his entire Oglethorpe commencement speech is well worth the read!

Petrel Sports Network

by Chloey Mayo ’10

Imagine that it’s game night and you can’t make it out to that season opener of your favorite Oglethorpe sports team. What do you do?

If you’re like a growing number of OU sports fans, you tune in to Petrel Sports Network, Oglethorpe Athletics’ live, online audio streaming of all the home game action—commercial free. Play-by-play and color commentary of home conference games and other home contests is delivered by OU students—athletes and non-athletes alike.
Hoyt Young, associate athletics director for media relations, founded the program in fall 2007 after observing another school’s students at an SCAC baseball tournament making calls for their online listeners.

“After talking to them I realized how easy it would be to do something similar at Oglethorpe,” recalls Hoyt. “Honestly, I was motivated by my peers in sports information and the student-athletes we promote. I saw how other small schools were taking advantage of this new technology and thought, ‘If they can do it, why not us?’ Once I realized how inexpensive it would be to start the Petrel Sports Network and how many of our fans could benefit from our content, I knew it was only a matter of time before I was able to get Oglethorpe students to get behind it and potentially use it as a career builder.”
As one of only a handful of SCAC schools to host a live audio stream of home sports matchups, the Petrel Sports Network prides itself on being not only a program that enhances the experiences of sports fans, but also that of the students behind the program.

“Ideally, the Petrel Sports Network… provides an opportunity for students to fast-track a career in sports broadcasting,” offers Young. And although it is still in its relative infancy, the Petrel Sports Network already has had alumni transition their broadcasting experience into a career. But, in addition to voice talent, there is a variety of positions in media production necessary to make the network function and both athletes and non-athletes—from a variety of majors and disciplines—participate.
“We are working with the Communication department to identify prospective talent for this program,” says Hoyt. “But, ultimately, all you need [to work with the Petrel Sports Network] is a general enthusiasm for sports.”

The Petrel Sports Network archives all of its broadcasts and makes it easy for fans to access them at any time on the Oglethorpe Athletics website, The network also hosts “Coach’s Corner,” a show that recaps the week and includes player interviews and more sports commentary. This fall, the Petrel Sports Network added live video feed to this season’s home basketball games, synched to the audio broadcast. This low cost, pay-per-view service is available online at the website, in addition to the free audio stream already offered on the site.

The growth of the network reflects its burgeoning number of followers, ironically, many of whom are fans of rival teams. “Even though Oglethorpe is our home team, we try to speak highly of our opponents, and make fair calls without bias,” relates Hoyt. “We get compliments quite frequently from parents of visiting schools who are impressed by the quality of [our podcasts] and the professionalism of our students.”