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The Office of Alumni Relations had to look no further than its own backyard when it made plans to form the next chapter of the Old Dominion University Alumni Association.

With more than 600 university employees who hold degrees from Old Dominion, a faculty/staff chapter seemed to be "a natural," according to Claire Geiger Ackiss '99, interim director of alumni relations, though she admits that it's curious why no one had thought of it before.

Approximately 40 former Old Dominion students, now employees of the university, turned out for a meeting on Sept. 11 that was designed to determine interest in forming a chapter.

President Roseann Runte, who spoke to those assembled the afternoon of Sept. 11, said she would welcome such a chapter that she could use as "a sounding board, a consulting group I can ask for advice."

Noting their dual affiliation with Old Dominion, she added, "You of all people ... probably care the most [about the university]."

Runte suggested that members of a faculty/staff alumni chapter would be ideally suited to help attract prospective students to Old Dominion by giving them tours of the campus or having lunch with them.

She stressed, however, that the first thing she tells alumni chapters is that they should take part in "fun" activities.

Katie Van Buren '82, president of the Alumni Association, and Ackiss also spoke to the group. Ackiss passed around a sheet of paper the alumni could sign if they were interested in becoming charter members of the proposed chapter.

She also mentioned a number of activities the chapter could get involved in, from setting up water stations and helping new students unpack on move-in day in August to holding a senior breakfast for May graduates. She added that a lighting ceremony being planned for the close of the fall semester, which would involve all campus community groups and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, could be an ideal activity for the new chapter.

"We have over 30 chapters around the country, and this year we're on the upswing," Ackiss said.

For more information about the faculty/staff alumni chapter contact Ackiss at 683-3097 or cgeiger@odu.edu, or visit the alumni office in Webb Center.

This article was posted on: October 15, 2001

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.