Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good times at Bluffton/Purple Day

So, did you wear your purple with pride last Thursday, the first Bluffton/Purple Day?

I was so thrilled to receive an email from Barbara Boutwell '68 Wednesday night with “Bluffton Day” in the subject line. She sent a photo with her Bluffton garb. Marcia Gallant, keeper of Marbeck Desk, later said she had told her sister, “I don’t care if you are in California. You must wear purple on Bluffton Day.” Ladies, you made my day!

It was also fun to sit in The Commons during the “picnic” which was moved inside due to cold/windy conditions. It was a sea of purple. Even faculty/staff got into the spirit; President Harder wore his purple tie, communications prof Dan Fultz was decked out in a purple shirt to go with his purple tie, then there was econ prof Gary Schiefer wearing a bright yellow shirt. What’s up with that?

You might be asking, “Why?” Why promote a day for all of the Bluffton community, those on- as well as off-campus, to wear purple?

All year, students have taken it upon themselves to organize a monthly “everyone wear (this color) day.” It just so happened that they saved purple for the last day of class. Meanwhile, PR director Robin Bowlus had shared her alma mater’s promotion of OUr Day, a day for alumni to wear green and share their Ohio University pride.

The two events morphed into one and the idea for Bluffton/Purple Day was formed as a way to encourage the campus community to come together with a common identifier, to remember our university, to share our love of Bluffton, in short, to generate “warm fuzzies.”

There was no down side to Bluffton/Purple Day. As originally planned, there was no expense. All off-campus promotion was electronic, via web, emails and social media. By tagging onto a student event that was already planned, we gained momentum and excitement.

Bluffton/Purple Day grew to include the premiere of the latest Bluffton video featuring alumni including motivational speaker and YouTube sensation Judson Laipply ’98, an on-campus picnic to celebrate the final full day of classes, a faculty/staff vs. student kickball game and the kick off of a text-to-give initiative supporting the Health and Fitness Education Center.

It was a good day. And even though there weren’t many photos posted of alumni decked out in purple, hopefully you dressed for the occasion, thought about your time at Bluffton and it brought a smile to your face. Next year, maybe more photos will be posted!

Don’t forget – May Day 2011 is this weekend. See you on campus!

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