Centennial celebration planning begins

Kandace Sebastian

The candles aren’t on the cake yet, but plans are developing to celebrate Western’s 100th anniversary in 2006.

Five teams of Western students have worked for months developing campaigns to celebrate the centennial.

Yesterday, those five team members presented their work to a committee consisting of Bob Edwards, vice president of University Relations, university archivist Sue Lynn Stone and Gene Tice, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Services. The group evaluated each team and announced the best presentation yesterday afternoon.

The top presentation’s slogan “Topping a Century: 100 Years of Excellence,” flashed across the projector. A 59-second commercial appeared featuring alumni sharing their favorite Western memories. Archived photos faded in and out on the screen.

Somerset senior Amy Merrick was a part of the team that won the judges’ overall approval. Judging was based on historical value, budget feasibility and a professional presentation.

Merrick said the effort of her group paid off because they will benefit from the centennial celebration as alumni in 2006.

When Western celebrates its 100th birthday, some students said they hope to have their advertising ideas as part of the campaign.

“I hope to see something and see if they will take us seriously,” Merrick said.

Members of the top team were Merrick; Steven King, a senior from Birmingham, Ala.; Louisville senior Diana Ray; Scottsville senior Crissy Testa; Campbellsville senior Leslie Blevins and Danville senior Brandon Ponsoll.

Although the committee chose their presentation as the best, the group said they would take different aspects of each presentation and carry them into plans for the celebration.

Most of the presenters were students of campaign classes in the School of Journalism and Broadcasting. The two classes are taught by John Barnum and Alan Palmer.

The teams spent their entire spring semester forming ideas, gathering historic facts and compiling slides for their presentation in hopes of being a part of the centennial celebration plan of 2006.

“When you start a project like that, you should start ahead of time,” Palmer said.

All the presenting groups emphasized that the centennial focuses on the vast history and tradition of Western and is a celebration of the past, present and future.

The groups targeted their campaign to students, faculty, alumni and the Bowling Green community.

One group of students created examples of labeled shirts plaques and memorabilia to show what Western may sell to alumni and students. They also showed an example of personalized pieces of bricks that could be sold.

Another group called Wheels and Heels, Inc. coined the slogan, “A New Western Built on an Old Western.”

The group passed out multimedia discs to the audience to show logo ideas and a colorful slide show filled with Western’s history.

Bowling Green senior Ron Ray said that his group’s presentation was a lot of hard work and he’s excited to finally get the ball rolling.

“These are ideas that they could get moving on,” Ray said. “It’s not the same old thing with a label on it. There’s a campus spirit.”

Edwards will be a part of the centennial committee and said that the presentations have sparked ideas on what the celebration may look like.

“I will definitely pick pieces of each presentation,” Edwards said to the groups after they finished their presentations. “What you have done will work with what you will finally see.”

Stone is attempting to gather more members for the 2006 centennial celebration committee and said knowing Western’s history is essential in developing a spectacular centennial.

“Daily I learn new things about Western’s history,” Stone said. “So much of student life is not documented.”

Stone said it was interesting to see what students thought about celebrating the anniversary.

“It’s fun because we have what we think is interesting,” Stone said. “But we wanted to look at the students’ perspectives.”

Reach Kandace Sebastian at [email protected]