Class v. Class Challenge

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Last month, while I was on campus for Homecoming Weekend, I was reminded of what makes Gettysburg College such a unique place: the four classes that make up the student body (the Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018) are consistently outdoing the classes that came before them!

Every new class is more amazing than the last, and Gettysburg College students as a whole seem to have an evermore impressive array of personal and professional experiences at home and abroad, even before their first day of Orientation. To experience it for yourself, read one of the news stories on the College’s homepage featuring one of these students and their adventures, or better yet, talk to a current student, faculty member, or staff member about their experiences on campus today. Learn just a little about what they are doing, and you will realize how great our current students truly are.

Fear not: the College is stepping up its game to accommodate the talents and dreams of these impressive students. In the coming years, Gettysburg College will continue to work toward its goal of raising $150 million through Gettysburg Great: The Campaign For Our College.

This campaign is not just about raising money, it is about increasing the number of opportunities for student scholarships and other financial support. It is about attracting and supporting a talented and diverse faculty. It is about increasing the number of professional and personal opportunities for growth and development available to students on campus, in and around Gettysburg, and across the world. These are not simply things we can or should do. These are things we must do to ensure that no matter how impressive our incoming classes continue to be, we, the people of Gettysburg College, are prepared to offer to them experiences that are even more amazing than those we had as students.

For young alumni, the time to contribute to these efforts is now. Even though the entire month of October is BOLD Giving Month, this year, there will be a 48-hour Class vs. Class Challenge, which will begin on Wednesday, October 15 at 10 a.m. While the winning class will have its class flag flown high atop the Cupola, think of this challenge as a way to outdo the classes before you, and even to outdo the ones after you.

Give, and encourage your friends to give as well—this challenge is not about donating the most, but about achieving the highest participation of donors. Everyone who gives will have a stake in the new and exciting things that are happening at Gettysburg College, and everyone will be working toward the same goal–making sure that each and every new class is better than the one before.

I give back because I am proud of where Gettysburg College has been and what we have accomplished so far, and because I am excited about where we’re heading. I hope every new class will be better than the one before it, and I am stepping up to help make that happen…Will you join me?

Alex Ferraro ‘12 is the vice chair of the BOLD Council and a third-year student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Be #gettysburgreat this Homecoming and Campaign Kick-Off Weekend, Sept. 19-21

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Homecoming is always an exciting weekend at Gettysburg College! Some of this year’s highlights include: the first weekend back on campus for many who graduated in May; the Class of 2009’s 5-year reunion; the Class of 2005’s final Homecoming as BOLD alums; and Owl and Nightingale’s 100th anniversary of excellence in theatre and the performing arts.

This year’s Homecoming will be even greater, more glorious, and if possible, even more orange and blue! On September 20, Gettysburg College will officially launch the public phase of its comprehensive campaign, Gettysburg Great: The Campaign for Our College. If you haven’t heard about our new campaign, check out the events below during your weekend on campus.

The Journey to Great: An Interactive Adventure
Saturday, September 20
9:30 a.m. – Noon
Plank Gym

Pick up your passport and journey through fun, interactive stations. You’ll enjoy music, science, art, community service, and time with current students all aimed at creating your own Gettysburg great experience–with an toward the future. Everyone is welcome!

Gettysburg Great All Campus Lunch
Saturday, September 20
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Memorial Field Tent

This year, the tent lunch will be hosted by the BOLD Council! Alumni, parents, current students, and friends can participate in fun activities to learn more about the College’s new campaign through the themes of Do, Great, Work, and Community. The tent will include a photo area, games, and faculty cameos. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children.

An Evening of Celebration and Exploration
***By invitation only
Saturday, September 20
6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Lobby, Jaeger Center for Athletics, Recreation, and Fitness

During this unforgettable evening, experience what makes Gettysburg great with others who love our College. Join president Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 for an interactive dinner and engaging conversation with students and faculty.

View the full Homecoming schedule and be sure to use the hashtag #gettysburgreat throughout the weekend. If you aren’t able to make it to Gettysburg, follow the activities live via the College’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and check out the BOLD blog over the next few months for more information about Gettysburg Great!

Article by Laura Baldasarre ’12, BOLD Council

Accepting the Challenge

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The slew of “Ice Bucket Challenges” on my Facebook newsfeed got me thinking—specifically about philanthropic contributions. At first, I was a skeptic; I’m ashamed to say that I may have even talked a little trash on the Ice Bucket Challenge…that was until I heard the raw numbers.

In the month of August in 2013, approximately $2.6 million were raised in the fight against ALS. This year, the figure soared to $88.5 million in the past month. Wow…just wow. I know that a great deal of this figure can probably be attributed to celebrity donations, but does it really matter where it comes from, as long as its being put to good use? So exactly what IS the correlation between a freezing cold bucket of ice and $80 million?

I began to think about this challenge in relation to giving at Gettysburg College, and the various giving opportunities that are proposed to our alumni base. No, I’m not comparing ALS research to annual giving at Gettysburg; there is a fundamental difference between the two and I opt to give to both, as I have a friend who recently lost his father to this debilitating disease. But what I’ve come to realize is that it takes more than money and more than physical resources to truly rally around a cause, in the true sense of the word “rally” (to come together again); it takes enthusiasm and inspiration; passion and energy; perhaps even a little craziness. There is a different mentality and spark to the Ice Bucket Challenge—a certain philosophy of, “I am dumping a bucket of water on my head because I can…because I am excited about the cause. I am healthy and I am alive, and I can advocate on behalf of the people who cannot.”

At Gettysburg, as the beginnings of a new academic year unfold, I am rallying around what a Gettysburg College education means to me, and I am charging other alums to do the same. Show your enthusiasm, your passion, and your energy as your think about your support of the college we all know and love. No, I do not have the means to give a lot, but I give because I can, and I am excited about the cause.

I can advocate on behalf of Gettysburg College from a unique vantage point: that of an alum. I charge you to think about the incoming class in relation to yourself—what resources did you have at Gettysburg that you want to ensure classes have for years to come? If you do not have the means to donate financially, consider donating your time through an internship or externship (we promise you won’t have to dump ice cold water on your head to do so).

The Ice Bucket Challenge has shown me, and the world, the power that one simple challenge can hold. We challenge you to make it a Gettysburg Great year as we welcome the Class of 2018!

Article by Katie Eissler ’10, BOLD Council Communication Committee Chair

8 Gettysburg Great things every first-year student needs to know

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1.
 Servo cookies really are as amazing as everyone makes them sound. Trust us. We know. There will be people who try to tell you that they’re overrated, and these people are not your friends. We recommend getting up early and often at lunch to get the freshest batch available!

2. Stine Lake is not ACTUALLY a lake. Don’t bother walking all the way to Quarry for your first-year hall social event because that’s the only lake that came to mind….although it is a nice spot for a walk.

3. No, you’re not living in Manhattan; however, sometimes the ominous and random “Gettysburg wind tunnel” will give you that impression. Don’t ask why it happens: just bundle up in your windbreaker, keep your head down, and get to class. Unfortunately, in the spring the wind tunnel smells like manure. Don’t worry–it will pass.

4. Sometimes your roommate WILL bother you, and that’s okay. When you’re spending that much time together in a small space with no air conditioning, things are bound to get a little tricky.

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5. It will take a good month or so to adjust to the “acronym capital of the world”: aka Gettysburg College. Between the CUB, CAB, GLC, CPS, and GRAB, we can’t blame you if your head is spinning. Just promise us you’ll learn the most important one of all; JMR is not a building, student group or dining hall—it’s short for President Janet Morgan Riggs! Can you blame us for giving her a nickname? We all want to be her friend!

6. Always, always, always take your parents to the nicest places when they come to visit. Whether it’s the Blue Parrot or The Dobbin House, suggest going where you can’t afford to go with your friends!

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7. Midnight Madness is awesome. Servo theme-nights are equally awesome. Servo Thanksgiving is on a whole other level. Put them on your schedules early and don’t miss the opportunity for great food amongst even better friends.

8. Fifty-seven percent of students in the graduating Class of 2012 studied off-campus for a semester or longer, ranking Gettysburg College 5th in the nation for liberal arts colleges according to the Institute of International Education. Nearly 100 percent get involved in some kind of public service. This makes you part of a very special student body. You only have 4 years—don’t waste it!

Article by the BOLD Council Communications Committee

BOLD alum Anthony Angelini ’06 receives Educator of the Year award

Anthony Angelini, a New Oxford Middle School social studies and language arts teacher, is the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce 2014 Educator of the Year.

Angelini was recognized during the chamber’s annual Education Breakfast on May 22 at the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center in Gettysburg.

“Mr. Angelini is an exceptional educator who inspires the love of learning in his students,” said Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce President Carrie Stuart. “We thank him for his commitment to developing the potential of students and strengthening the local community.”

SONY DSCAngelini started his career at the New Oxford Middle School in 2008 as a social studies teacher. He later volunteered to help reduce class size and raise student achievement by also teaching language arts. In his dual role, he led the revision of a 7th grade social studies course, integrating technology and writing to create engaging lessons. He also created a school-wide system to track student achievement and is reforming grading procedures to better communicate those achievements.

Committed to service, he is teacher union president, member of faculty committees and has been a student council facilitator. He is a Gettysburg Presbyterian Church youth leader, guest lecturer and adjutant instructor at area colleges, and volunteer at the Historic Round Barn in Biglerville and Crestfield Camp and Conference Center in Slippery Rock.

“Mr. Angelini is one of the top educators I’ve worked with and is deserving of this recognition,” said Dr. Gretchen Gates, the middle school principal who nominated Angelini. “He is full of enthusiasm and always goes above and beyond his professional duty to see that all students have access to a quality education and life-enhancing social, emotional and physical opportunities in and out of the classroom.”

Past honorees are Dr. Eric Eshbach, Upper Adams School District former superintendent; Alecia Kraus, New Oxford High School Spanish teacher; Matthew McFarland, Conewago Township Elementary School second grade teacher; and Amy Beckman, New Oxford Middle School special education teacher.

The chamber supports the Adams County business community by promoting diverse economic opportunities through advocacy, networking and information. More than 500 local businesses and organizations are members. For more information, visit http://www.gettysburg-chamber.org.

Article by The Evening Sun. Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce.

Learn. Grow. YALP.

I remember sitting at my desk this time last year and seeing an email pop up from Gettysburg saying that the Young Alumni Leadership Program (YALP) was accepting applications. I thought to myself, am I too young to apply for something like this? And, I don’t manage anyone, so do I really need to be taking a leadership course? Ultimately I decided that 1) I wouldn’t be receiving this email if I was “too young” (and—newsflash—I’ve been out longer than I care to admit) and 2) professional development opportunities are never something you should pass up. So, I asked my boss if he would be willing to pay the $250 participation fee and my travel expenses, which he was more than willing to do (seriously, $250 is a steal—I’ve seen hour-long webinars that cost more than that) and sent in my application.

WeitzmannWhen I first heard I’d been accepted, I was excited and a little confused. At least on paper, my mentor and I had nothing in common. How was she supposed to advise me? We introduced ourselves via email and then decided to meet for dinner at The Pub the night before the first workshop in Gettysburg (for anyone who gets accepted, I’d highly recommend trying to make this work. It helped break the ice before Erin, Jen, and Andy really kick things off).

The workshops are great because you get to meet new people with the common Gettysburg connection, but everyone hails from across the country, they work in a variety of professions, and there’s a range of class years. Of course all the young alums are new, but some of the mentors are veterans, showing their dedication to the program. It’s energizing to be in that room of people, all wanting to better themselves and each other. But, while the formal workshops are terrific, building a relationship with my mentor is what really made my experience worthwhile.

I quickly learned that what differences I thought my mentor and I had on paper, really did just exist on paper. We only lived an hour apart so we decided we’d get the most out of the program by meeting half-way for lunch about every other month, and then sending supplemental email updates in-between. Having my mentor came at a crucial time for me because about two months into the program, I was faced with some challenges and unknowns at work. I was incredibly grateful to have my mentor there to help guide me through; she was someone who had a vested interest in my future, but she could also be more honest in her advice than a friend or family member could be. She was able to help me look at situations from a different perspective. The readings and assignments given to us by the YALP team were also great because they get you to truly think and reflect on your job, your career, and yourself in ways that you wouldn’t do outside of a structured program.

Whether you’re trying to advance/grow in your current position or you’re looking to change things up (I think three or four young alums got new jobs over the course of the program), it never hurts to grow your network, think in new ways, and learn about yourself. I just hope that a few years from now, when I’m eligible to serve as a mentor instead of a mentee, the program is still running so I have an opportunity to pay it forward to a new young grad.

Interested in becoming a YALP mentee this year? Make sure to apply by June 15!

Article by Leigh Weitzmann ’11, Young Alumni Leadership Program mentee

5 Great Things About Commencement Weekend at Gettysburg College

There’s no denying that Gettysburg’s campus is buzzing with energy and excitement when Commencement weekend rolls around. As the Class of 2014 prepares to graduate, let’s recap 5 great things about Commencement Weekend.

1.   The Stole of Gratitude
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The culture at Gettysburg is not one of solitude and isolation; the odds are that someone helped you along the way, whether it was a professor, advisor, roommate, parent, or mentor. Not all colleges and universities take part in the tradition of offering the stole of gratitude to one another, which is why we should be extra proud to share in giving thanks. It’s the one time during the weekend to step out of the spotlight and honor another individual who has made your Gettysburg career possible, memorable, or special.

2.   The receiving line on the way to Penn Hall
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At Gettysburg, everything seems to come full circle. Just as students, staff, and neighbors came to cheer you on and welcome you to Gettysburg on the First-Year Walk, they all come back out of the woodwork on graduation day. The workers from Servo, the CUB, the library, and health center give you well-wishes, and show you once again what a truly strong, close-knit community Gettysburg College provides.

3.   Walking through Penn Hall
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Speaking of circles, didn’t we do this before? You’re not going crazy—you did do this before. Just as you did at Convocation 4 years ago, you make the trek up the stairs and through Penn Hall—a truly iconic building at Gettysburg College. This time, however, you go the opposite way, marking the significance of your undergraduate journey. My mom still says that this was one of the most emotional parts of Commencement weekend. As BOLD member Courtney Hughes ’07 states, “It’s a visual symbol of what it means to graduate.”

4.   Seeing your class flag fly over the Cupola of Penn Hall
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It doesn’t happen often…so when it does, it gives you chills. Seeing your flag fly over Penn Hall really puts everything in perspective, and reminds you that you are a small part of an overwhelmingly amazing history.

5.   Sharing Gettysburg with family and friends
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Commencement weekend is the perfect occasion to celebrate Gettysburg, while everyone is simultaneously celebrating you! My family still talks about the fun they had over Gettysburg’s Commencement weekend, because let’s face it—your love and enthusiasm for Gettysburg is addicting! (Plus, it was like being in college again!) They got to see Gettysburg through my eyes, and they all left feeling the same way about the college as I do.

Congratulations, Class of 2014! May you look back at your graduation day with many fond memories! Be sure to follow Commencement live this weekend via #gburg2014!

Katie Eissler ’10, BOLD Council Communications Chair