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new Chapters Orange pride is spreading as new OSU Alumni Association chapters form across the country. In the past year, new chapters have started in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Des Moines, Iowa; San Diego, Calif., and in the Texas panhandle region. The Texas Panhandle Alumni Chapter began last summer in mid-August when four alumni who call themselves the “Core Group” joined forces. These founding members are Marc Wilson, president, Cassie Rash, vice president, Mollie Barney, secretary, and Scott Mitchell, treasurer. The four officers came up with a twoyear plan to target alumni living within the more than 100-mile region the chapter encompasses, says Wilson, adding there have been at least three previous attempts during the past 20 years to start an alumni chapter in West Texas. The plan for the new Texas Panhandle chapter is to organize quarterly meetings and events in Amarillo, Texas, and host guest speakers such as university, news and sports representatives at as many meetings as possible. About 100 people attended the kickoff meeting in November, Wilson says. The chapter also held a watch party in November for the Colorado game, and in February hosted OSU alumnus Robert

three years, says he had no idea there were so many OSU alumni in West Texas until he helped organize the chapter. He says word-of-mouth is the key to ensuring the success of new chapters, which are important for building personal and business relationships. Wilson and the other officers are using a number of different communication tools to overcome the problem of connecting with alumni in the area. Josh Pulver, director of chapters for the OSU Alumni Association, provided

Texas Panhandle Alumni Chapter

recruiting cards to the officers, which include their names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Wilson says the cards come in handy when he or the other officers see people wearing an orange shirt or displaying OSU bumper stickers on their cars. The Texas Panhandle officers also use Facebook, e-mail updates and general announcements from the OSU Alumni

“Most of us don’t go back to Stillwater very often, so this gives us at least one tie to the university after we graduate. It is a way to meet new people we already have something in common with.” Allen, a recruiting analyst and reporter for scout.com, as the guest speaker. One drawback for the Texas Panhandle chapter, Wilson says, is the long distances many alumni have to drive to attend meetings. “We are different from the big city chapters because we are regional. Our biggest problem is connecting with people. “But people are responding pretty well given the distance they have to come. They have an interest in making our chapter successful.” Wilson, who lived in Amarillo for

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local bar that has become the group’s watch party location. “Having an official location helps people get in the habit of going to a certain place,” Escott says. “Tavern at the Beach even bought an OSU flag and displayed it out front during our watch parties, and they listed our chapter events on their website.” So far, the San Diego chapter has hosted mostly watch parties for football and basketball games. In the future, Escott says the chapter hopes to participate in

Association to connect with alumni. Another new chapter that also covers a large area geographically is the San Diego Alumni Chapter. It was formed by Allison Escott, chapter president, and two other alumni who began hosting community events together. To help spread the word, the OSU Alumni Association set up an e-mail address for the San Diego chapter and began promoting the group on its website, Facebook and other social networking sites. The San Diego chapter also began partnering with Tavern at the Beach, a

Big XII Alumni events, such as an annual golf tournament and chili cook-off. Networking events and trips to local attractions such as Disneyland and nearby Temecula wineries are also a possibility. Escott says the San Diego chapter will help alumni in the area stay connected to OSU even though they live far away. “There are a lot of OSU alumni in the San Diego area,” she says. “Most of us don’t go back to Stillwater very often, so this gives us at least one tie to the university after we graduate. It is a way to meet new people we already have something in common with.” Wilson and Escott agree the number one short-term goal for new chapters is to recruit more active members. “Since we just got the San Diego chapter started, we are still trying to build interest,” Escott says. “We have some challenges, but hopefully as we have more events we will see a better turnout.” Besides building interest, the Texas Panhandle chapter also strives to recruit students for OSU. “Our vision is to become a mechanism for student recruiting,” Wilson says. “We are trying to help the university and the community at the same time. Each time we meet, we are making history.”

STATE Magazine, Spring 2010  
STATE Magazine, Spring 2010  

STATE Magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University.