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President Hodge announces 4 goals for bicentennial

By Catherine Couretas
On September 8, 2008

  • State Route 73 and Patterson Avenue (U.S. Route 27) are cited as an intersection with possible traffic flow problems in need of attention in Oxford's road plan.

With Miami University's bicentennial celebration only months away, President David Hodge is narrowing his focus on the campaign's four central goals.

The first of the four goals is to raise $80 million to fund the new Bicentennial Student Center, while to second is to simultaneously maximize alumni participation.

"At least half of our alums will donate something, which is truly a gift from the Miami family to the future," Hodge said.

The third goal, Hodge said, is to strengthen bonds with Miami alumni. It ties into the campaign's fourth goal of creating a culture of giving back.

"After the campaign to raise money for the student center, we'll hopefully have 25 percent of alumni (still) giving (to the university)," Hodge said. "Right now we only have about 16 to 18 percent of alumni (giving back). We expect to be at 25 percent at the end of this (year)."

Hodge said he would like to see 71,809 alumni donate to the campaign, the last four digits representing the year Miami was founded.

Hodge added that everyone who gives $200 will receive four bright red luggage tags from the university with the bicentennial logo on them so that they may connect with other Miami alumni while traveling.

Hodge said he hopes that receiving this individual funding will minimize the impact on students.

"There are three ways for us to fund this-private giving, student fees and the contribution from the central budget," Hodge said. "We do intend to see a student fee to help operate the new student center. The challenge we have is to raise a lot of money-at least $80 million-and we're using the bicentennial to help (these) goals."

He added that the student center would not only be a focal point for the bicentennial but a way for students to engage in academic and leadership activities.

"We're encouraging every single alum possible to come back to see what's happened to the university," Hodge said.

The Bicentennial Student Center is not the only way that Miami is celebrating its 200th year though. Many different departments across the university are also preparing ways to celebrate.

According to Hodge, the official bicentennial Web site will be launched Sept. 17 and will list all events for the celebration.

"The Miami Tribe exhibit opens this month at the Miami art museum," Hodge added. "Artifacts have been collected for this from across the country, including the Smithsonian."

In addition, Hodge added that a publication is being created with the help of more than 50 different contributors to illustrate and highlight the history of Miami. He said the library will soon unveil a Web site that will provide access to a large range of historic documents.

Intercollegiate athletics is also celebrating Miami's 200 years by displaying the 200 greatest athletic moments on the Web site,

Charter Day festivities will begin in February, with convocation Feb. 17 and the charter day ball Feb. 21 at Millett.

Jennifer King, the Campus Activities Council co-chair for Charter Day Ball, has been preparing for the event for months.

"We're getting everything set right now, including booking entertainment, getting the decorations together, figuring out transportation and getting food and staff for the event," King said.

King added that attendance for the most recent ball in 2005 was approximately 3,600. She hopes more people attend in 2009.

"Right now we're trying to get the word out," King said. "We want to get people excited about it. It's not only a fun thing to get dressed up for, but it's a campus-wide event for everyone to come together."

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