One Senior’s Oglethorpe Bucket List: 20 Must-Do Activities for Every Stormy Petrel

Janet Wood '13

With a less than two weeks left until graduation, reality has started to set in. Soon, Oglethorpe will not only be my university: it will be my alma mater.

As a senior, everything from conversations with nostalgic friends to commencement updates constantly remind me that this formal departure from my second home is imminent. That being said, I find myself reflecting on not only my Oglethorpe experience, but the parts of OU that I have not yet experienced.

During a discussion in my senior psychology class the idea came up to create an Oglethorpe bucket list—a list of things that every Petrel must do before the long-awaited graduation day. I’ve asked OU students and alumni to submit items to the bucket list, and compiled them below. So Petrels, next time you’re looking for a good Ogle-adventure, why not scratch a few things off “OUr” bucket list?

  1. Walk around campus at night and discover how breathtaking Oglethorpe looks after dark
  2. Pull an all-nighter in the 24 Hour Room
  3. Have a picnic, play Frisbee, or just enjoy the weather on the quad with some friends
  4. Enjoy telescope night on the roof of the library
  5. Sunbathe with some friends at  the baseball stadium when no one else is there
  6.  Run through the sprinklers on the quad
  7. Go to lunch at that one restaurant you’ve been meaning to try ever since you got to Oglethorpe
  8. Watch a meteor shower from the Traer courtyard or soccer field
  9. Take MARTA downtown and explore the city—no plan, no destination, just a free afternoon and sense of adventure
  10. Visit all the Atlanta hotspots (i.e. World of Coke, CNN, Piedmont Park, Georgia Aquarium, Rocky Horror Picture Show, High Museum, etc.)
  11. Try to take a picture of the Ogle-turkey, Ogle-kitty, Fratcoon, or whatever animal is roaming the campus at the time
  12. Show your support: go to an Oglethorpe play, cheer on the Petrels at a sporting event, go to Greek Sing, visit the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art
  13. Be an active member or participant of something
  14. Drive to Buford Highway and try a new food that you’ve never heard of and cannot pronounce
  15. Have a mini photo shoot in Little 5 Points
  16. Be adventurous. Go white water rafting on the Chattahoochee River, skydive, rock climb at Atlanta Rocks, etc.
  17. Be in a campus publication
  18. Climb a tree on campus
  19. Take a road trip with a friend and spend the night in a new city
  20. Count how many Oglethorpe T-shirts you have…I promise it will be more than you thought

And don’t forget, there’s always Alumni Weekend to finish checking off the list! So, what would YOU add to the list?

Thank you to the contributors of this list: Katie Goddard, Tori Lloyd, Justin Sabree, Betsy Rosillo, Rieddhi Shah, Christian Hartnett, Joshua Steltzer, Morgan Coffey, Marisa Manuel, Dr. Zinner’s History and Systems class.

 

The Lale Özgörkey Bell Tower Dedicated at Oglethorpe’s Lupton Hall

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Cemal Özgörkey, Armagan Özgörkey, Coca-Cola's Chairman & CEO Muhtar Kent and President Schall

On April 8, Oglethorpe University officially dedicated the iconic bell tower of Lupton Hall as The Lale Özgörkey Bell Tower. A dedication ceremony held in front of Lupton Hall included special guest speakers Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.

The naming is in recognition of a generous gift from the Özgörkey family, many of whom were in attendance. Cemal Özgörkey, chairman of Özgörkey Holding, is a member of the Oglethorpe’s Board of Trustees. Both he and his brother, Armagan Özgörkey, vice chairman of Özgörkey Holding, are Oglethorpe alumni. The bell tower’s new name honors their mother, Lale Özgörkey. The family’s gift benefits Oglethorpe’s new campus center, opening in August 2013.

“Oglethorpe’s relationship with the Özgörkey family began more than 30 years ago and we could not be more proud of Cemal and Armagan and what they accomplished,” said Oglethorpe President Larry Schall. “It’s a tremendous privilege for our entire community to name the bell tower that overlooks our campus in honor of their mother, Lale Özgörkey.”

Lupton Hall is named after John Thomas Lupton, the owner of the Southern franchise of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Lupton Hall was completed in three phases, with groundbreaking ceremonies in 1922, 1924 and 1927. The bell tower, a part of the original section of the hall, was built as a memorial to Lupton’s mother. Lupton Hall was the second building erected on the university’s campus.

Setting the Record Straight: Petrels of Fire Winner Mark Olas ’01

Mark Olas '01, the Petrels of Fire record holder

Last month, our campus celebrated Oglethorpe Day with the annual Petrels of Fire race around the quad in an attempt to beat the 12 chimes of the carillon bells. Another year went by without a “winner”, but unbeknownst to this reporter, there has indeed been someone who achieved this feat, and it’s time the story of this overlooked legend is told to all.

In 1998, Mark Olas ’01, who was a member of Oglethorpe’s soccer team and still holds the school’s record for the 400m, accomplished what many considered impossible: he crossed the finish line within 30.5 seconds, becoming the first and only Petrel to ever win the race.

Mark Olas '01 in his soccer jersey

“It was the only other time the race was run at 1:00 p.m. rather than at noon,” explained Cross Country Coach Bob Unger, who hosts the race each year. “The clock had not been properly reset as it was this year to ring twelve times at 1:00 p.m., (so) a former music instructor of the university (rang) the chimes manually.”

Coach Unger also had his stopwatch ready to ensure that the race lasted a full 30.92 seconds, which was the time allotted in previous years. But the manual ringing finished in less than 28 seconds, meaning that racers had nearly 3 more seconds to run after the bells had stopped ringing.

“As the crowd counted down the chimes and reached twelve—and no one had finished—a moan went up,” said Coach Unger. “I looked up to see Mark Olas leading the group to the finish. When he crossed the line, I stopped my watch at 30.5 seconds. He had beaten the bells!”

Sadly, few people realized Mark’s achievement that day, as most spectators assumed the race was already over.  But Mark’s victory is certainly worth remembering and acknowledging—the only time in Oglethorpe history that the feat has been accomplished.  It might be 15 years late, but congratulations, Mark! May your win inspire other students to attempt the impossible, to compete with their hearts, and to soar into victory.