Oglethorpe Day 2014 Welcomes Arthur Blank & Freddie the Atlanta Falcon

Oglethorpe Day, one of the university’s most cherished annual traditions, honors our namesake, James Edward Oglethorpe. Usually held in February, Oglethorpe Day commemorates the anniversary of General Oglethorpe’s arrival in the new world in Savannah, Ga. In 2014, the scheduled Oglethorpe Day was snowed out, so the festivities were rescheduled for a bright and sunny day, April 2. (Not so bad, as it turned out!)

Each year, the celebration kicks off with the Petrels of Fire race—Oglethorpe students race around the quad in hopes of making a full lap before the carillon bells’ twelfth and final chime. Feel the thrill of this year’s race:

Then the crowds process down to the Conant Performing Arts Center to hear from a special guest speaker. This year, we welcomed Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons. President Larry Schall’s conversation with Mr. Blank touched on business, family, philanthropy—and football, of course.

So, although Oglethorpe Day was a few months late, it was certainly no less exciting—just take a look at the photos below, including Petey’s special guest, Freddie, the Atlanta Falcons’ mascot:

Oglethorpe’s First Lady a Guest on the Martha Stewart Show

It’s not unusual to hear about people giving their time and fortune around December. For Betty Londergan (also known around OU as President Schall’s wife), giving has literally been an everyday thing for almost a year in 2010.

An author and active community member, Betty made local and national headlines with her “What Gives? 365” blog project, a year-long effort in which she donates $100 a day to a different organization or person doing good work in the community.  Each day she hits her blog to express why she thinks the cause is worthy of support and encouraging others to do the same.

Betty Londergan with Project Compassion founder Kaziah Hancock at an Oglethorpe University event. "What Gives? 365" gave $100 to Project Compassion in September.

Her blog garnered national attention in USA Today and Huffington Post and was featured in Whole Living magazine, and she appeared on the Martha Stewart Show in an episode that will spotlight charitable organizations, philanthropists, and giving.

By the end of 2010, Betty donated a grand total of $36,500—funded through a small inheritance she received from her father. On her blog, Betty reveals that her parents were incredible savers but also passionate givers and thinks that her mother would have approved. “Dorothy Mae would love that and say that it’s about time I stopped buying so many darn shoes and did something for others.”

After weathering some financial storms of her own, the old adage, ’putting your money where your mouth is’ took on new meaning. “Giving away money is the absolute antidote to fear and insecurity about money,” Betty said in the Whole Living article. ”Desire and clutching cause suffering—and when you let go, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Tune in to the Hallmark Channel on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. to see Betty chat with Martha Stewart!