Getting in the Spirit at Oglethorpe

Craig Bourne '15 shows off his smile after discussing OU spirit.

Craig Borne ’15

Craig Borne ’15 has a not-so-secret mission: to help students feel more spirited on campus.

Borne’s identity is not a government super agent but rather a super student at Oglethorpe. (Sorry, had to do it!) He’s a biopsychology major with a double minor in sociology and chemistry. To top this off, he’s a member of the tennis team, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and Phi Delta Epsilon, and is trying to help start a new fraternity on campus, Delta Sigma Phi.

Borne also is in the midst of writing a charter for the Spirit Squad, and hopes to get the new student club approved soon. Through the club, he wants to help keep the school mascot active through try-outs for the most spirited Petey the Petrel and hopes to increase attendance at athletic events by building school pride. Our university has much to be proud of—not only athletic championships (let’s hear for men’s soccer and golf!) but all of the efforts and accomplishments by every team, athlete and student. Borne says he wants all students to feel connected to our collective accomplishments and to be proud and to show it.

Petey’s got spirit, how about you?

Borne encourages Oglethorpe students to get involved on campus and says there’s a club for everyone. Black & Gold Club in the Admission Office is just one example of a way students can get involved on campus and interact with prospective freshmen and their families. There is also a variety of Greek Life on campus between honor societies and traditional sororities and fraternities. And the best part is, if you don’t think there’s a club for you: start one! Gather a group of friends and create the club for you.

Borne is even thinking about the future of the club after he graduates. He wants to put a five-year plan into effect that will help to care for the mascot uniform and create pep rallies to get students excited for upcoming events on campus.

Why is school spirit so important to have? “It’s really tough to make something better without support,” says Borne. “And if we want to make the school better, we need to be better at having spirit for our school.”

 

Oglethorpe Day: A Beloved Tradition Grows

The Petrels of Fire Race ca. 2012

Oglethorpe Day is an annual celebration of Oglethorpe University’s namesake, and as Dean Michelle Hall puts it, a “pride-in-my-school-and-organizations day.”

And this year, there are numerous ways to show your school pride. Student organizations (and maybe even some staff and faculty) will be decorating shopping carts for the parade of shopping cart floats (contact Kendra Hunter for more details). And, to celebrate President Schall’s affinity for wacky socks, the Programming Board is sponsoring a sock decorating event today in The Petrel’s Nest. Then, at 12:45 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday, February 13, put on your craziest socks and head to the quad for the exhilarating annual Petrels of Fire race!

While the race usually begins at noon sharp, this year it will begin at 1:00 p.m., due to class scheduling… which doesn’t mean that the bell will only ring once! It will ring 12 times, and runners will race around the quad in hopes of arriving back before the last bell tolls. To my knowledge, no one has ever won this race—maybe you will be the first?

This year's Oglethorpe Day speaker: President Schall

After the race, a surprise guest (a local celebrity!) will lead attendees to Conant Performing Arts Center for the Oglethorpe Day annual address. This year’s speech will be delivered by our own President Schall on the topic of “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?”

“We have a very student-centered president,” said Dean Hall.  ”Students know they are known and loved by their president…The theme (of his speech) will focus on how to make a difference, and that’s something we want all our students to think about.”

The occasion will include The Ogletones, our new a cappella group, and end with Oglethorpe’s Alma Mater and Fight Song (The Stormy Petrel March), courtesy of OU Winds and Singers. Attendees are then invited to enjoy Coke floats and peach cobbler and ice cream, all served in observance of the day’s Georgia theme.

“We’re building some more traditions into this tradition,” said Dean Hall, who went onto explain that the Presidents of other schools and organizations will be recognized during the event, and that the class with the most participants will win a prize. “Come if you want to support your class, if you are an athlete or the head of an organization… or if you just want to see what socks Dr. Schall is wearing.”

I know my curiosity has been piqued. Join us at Oglethorpe Day, this Wednesday, February 13th starting at 12:45 p.m. on the quad!

Heifer International and Stormy Petrels Unite

Heifer InternationalLater this week, Oglethorpe University will be the first college campus to host the annual meeting of Heifer International, a nonprofit focused on “helping others help themselves.” The Heifer Sustainability Summit will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13. It will showcase leaders in the field, and showcase Oglethorpe’s growing involvement in Heifer’s mission.

The idea behind Heifer International is simple: rather than raising money and donating it to the needy, Heifer uses raised funds to buy and donate livestock (cows,  chickens,  sheep, etc.) to  groups of people in need to help to increase their self-sustainability. Not only can they rely on the animals for renewable resources like wool, eggs or milk, but when the Heifer-gifted animal reproduces, the  resulting livestock provides even more possibility for income.  The self-sufficiency people gain from having their own source of income also helps to improve quality of  life. Suddenly, a family can go from surviving to thriving; a village can go from impoverished to self-reliant. The independence that comes with a Heifer gift is often even more valuable than the gift itself.  Heifer operates in more than 50 countries and has been a driving force against poverty worldwide since 1944.

The summit will focus on the needs of a world stricken by hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation, and Heifer’s current and future plans to help. Special guest speakers will include National Center for Civil and Human Rights CEO Doug Shipman, Heifer International President and CEO Pierre Ferrari, and Oglethorpe University’s own First Lady, Betty Londergan, the wife of Oglethorpe’s President Schall.

Betty and children in a Heifer-assisted country

Heifer International has gained quite a following at Oglethorpe, due in part to  Londergan’s involvement with the nonprofit. She is on a mission to showcase the benefits of Heifer’s work through Heifer 12×12, a blog project launched by Heifer International, which is taking Londergan to 12 countries in 12 months. Since January, she’s traveled to 11 Heifer-assisted countries, including Uganda, Haiti and Rwanda, and has shared her experiences through blogs and photography.

Heifer 12x12

Betty Londergan's blog highlights Heifer's accomplishments around the world

Thirty of Londergan’s photos will be on exhibit in Oglethorpe’s Lowry Hall in honor of National Photography month. The exhibit, titled “Unforgettable Faces,” will debut during the Summit’s opening dinner reception on Friday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art and remain open through December 9, 2012. The photographs will be available for purchase to benefit Heifer International.

But, Londergan isn’t the only Stormy Petrel hoping to make a difference through Heifer. Sophomore Ruwa Romman and a small group of OU students were inspired by Londergan’s involvement with Heifer and decided to get active. They are starting the OU Heifer Club, the first on a college or university campus in the Southeast.

“Oglethorpe’s a good place to have a grassroots initiative [like Heifer],” said Romman. “They focus on self-sustainability, on passing on the gift… We hope to get a movement going. We can’t donate huge sums of money, but if we can donate $10 for chickens and help send someone’s kid to school, that’s still huge. It’s all about giving back.”

The OU Heifer Club will officially launch during the Heifer Sustainability Summit.

Oglethorpe’s Jim Owen Named Nation’s Best D-III Golf Coach

Coach Owen instructs Anthony Maccaglia.

Yesterday, the Golf Coaches Association of America, together with Eaton Corporation, announced the six outstanding collegiate golf coaches receiving this year’s Dave Williams Award, presented by Eaton Golf Pride to recognize the national coaches of the year. Oglethorpe University head men’s golf coach Jim Owen earned the honor among all D-III coaches.

Owen guided the Stormy Petrels through a magical 2011-12 season that culminated with the program winning their second NCAA Championship in just four years. After a fall season that featured three top-five finishes, Owen settled on a spring lineup of a freshman (Anthony Maccaglia), two sophomores (Hayden Jones and Anthony Amodeo), a junior (Eric Quinn) and a lone senior (Matt Rebitch). That quintet proved nearly unbeatable, winning three of six spring events while narrowly settling for second place in the other three.

Coach Owen with Hayden Jones.

The Petrels won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) for the 10th time in April when they led wire-to-wire en route to an easy 21-stroke victory at the Tunica National Resorts in Mississippi. Less than a month later, Owen’s squad duplicated the feat, this time on the biggest stage of them all at the NCAA Championships, on their way to a convincing 20-stroke win at the Mission Inn Resort in Florida.

In addition to the 2012 NGCAA Coach of the Year (COTY) honor, Owen has been named SCAC Men’s Golf COTY 12 times! He’ll be looking to guide his program to their 13th straight trip to the NCAAs when the 2012-13 season gets underway this fall as the Petrels begin play in the new Southern Athletic Association.

Congratulations, Coach Owen!

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!