Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making time to relax & reconnect

So what is it that draws alumni back to campus – for Homecoming, May Day, Athletics Hall of Fame or team alumni games?

That’s an easy one – it’s the chance to visit with friends you haven’t seen for a while. The planned activities – the luncheons, picnics, banquets, exhibits and presentations – are just to make sure a critical mass of alumni gather at the same time and place to provide the opportunity to reconnect.

With this in mind, the Women’s Council has scheduled lots of free time in the inaugural R&R (Reconnecting & Reaching Out) alumnae event on March 6.

Women will gather in Ropp Hall to pick up a box lunch, meet up with friends and go wherever they’d like to eat, visit, laugh, reconnect, for the majority of the event. For those who want something “to do,” there will be campus tours, shopping in the Bookstore and a presentation on Bluffton’s Web site and social media.

This presentation is where I come in. Carrie (Holcomb '99) Phillips and I will be joining forces for this presentation. Have to admit that I’m struggling with the request to “show us how to use Bluffton’s Web site.” A good Web site should be intuitive. Something is wrong if one needs to be shown “how to use it.”

So, I’m planning to highlight features of interest to alumni, but then use this session as a type of focus group. What is it that this group is interested in, but cannot intuitively ‘find?’ I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas (and yours - comments are always welcome!) Carrie will address what social media is and how professional women can use it to their benefit.

The day will conclude with a benefit concert by pianist Dr. Lucia Unrau, professor of music and music department chairperson. Women’s Council is providing Professional Enrichment Grants to support female Bluffton students attending professional conferences. A free-will offering will be accepted at the concert to support these grants.

No matter the amount of preparation that goes these presentations, I realize that the highlight of the day will be visiting with friends. And I’m totally OK with that.

So make a few phone calls, encourage your friends to gather for a day of relaxation on Bluffton’s campus. Can there be a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

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