The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs (UCCS; Colorado Springs, CO) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a variety of special events and activities held throughout the entire year.Sterlynn Clendenin, manager of chancellor and university events, says the yearlong festivities were a way to “show how far we've come and celebrate what is to come.”The year began with kickoff celebrations for faculty, staff and donors; branding on buses and parking garages (a new logo was created for the anniversary); and the development and sale of a special Colorado‐grown UCCS wine.The second and third quarters included special graduation features like the addition of recognizing silver and gold graduates (the university absorbed a nursing college allowing for golden grads), a rally to welcome incoming freshmen and a groundbreaking for a new $60 million arts building.Events during the last quarter included the opening of a time capsule during homecoming as well as the creation of a new one; fireworks; and the 50th anniversary culminating celebration, which featured a custom menu, a proclamation from the governor, an interactive photo booth and a review of some of the university's firsts.Additionally, throughout the year, each of the university's six colleges was celebrated during its assigned month.“The goal was to make sure each stakeholder felt like they were able to fully get recognition in the celebration,” Clendenin says.To ensure this happened, she says identifying all key stakeholders was crucial. While some groups like faculty, alumni and current students were obvious, Clendenin says other groups like prospective students and those in the community were also identified, as prospective students are the university's future and the school relies heavily on donors within community.In addition to creating a comprehensive list of stakeholders, Clendenin says there were several other major factors that needed consideration. So, if your organization is looking to celebrate its milestone anniversary, she offers the following suggestions:Determine if there will be a committee in charge of the festivities or if an individual staff member will be responsible for them, as event ownership is crucial.Consider and budget for projects (e.g., logo and website design) that can and will be done in‐house versus hiring an outside source.Develop a timeline. Look for opportunities to combine anniversary celebrations with annual events. In the case of UCCS, graduation and homecoming are two examples.Allow plenty of time for ordering products. While the process sounds simple, products made overseas may need to go through customs, and in the case of the specialty wine, additional time was necessary for procurement.Build in ample time for approval from other departments.Determine a budget and identify opportunities to make the money go farther. Will there be a budget specific to the anniversary festivities? Can you share resources on dual‐purpose events such as graduation? Is partnering with another department a possibility? Recycle custom items like linens and backdrops. Take advantage of bulk discounts and utilize the help of volunteers whenever possible.Set goals. What does your organization hope to accomplish?Reflecting on UCCS's 50th anniversary, Clendenin says she is pleased with the new traditions created and feels the university's goals were accomplished.Source: Sterlynn Clendenin, Manager of Chancellor and University Events, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO. Phone (719) 255‐4201. E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.uccs.edu/50th/events.html
Special Events Galore – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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