On July 22nd, the Purdue University Northwest Alumni Community came together to have a wacky wild day at Zao Island. The event was hosted by the Office of Alumni Affairs at Purdue Northwest, and what an event it was. Purdue Northwest alumni and their families were invited out for an afternoon of rides, mini-golf, games, and free food and drink.
The Purdue Northwest staff were excited to see the families come out and mingle with fellow alumni. The Office of Alumni Affairs puts on an event about once a month, but many of those events are more adult-oriented and focused around networking. This event at Zao Island was a nice change for the alumni to bring their families and have a good time.
Megan Davis-Ochi, Director of Alumni Affairs and Advancement at PNW said, “This is a great opportunity for alumni to get together and celebrate with their families. We really focused on young alumni for this event because they tend to have younger families, and Zao Island is ideal for that kind of a setting. We do a whole array of alumni activities throughout the year and really try to engage them as alumni and with our students to start relationships. You’re 'Purdue Northwest for Life' and we want to get it started early.”
This was the first event like this of its kind since the unification of the two schools. The staff was excited to announce that it was a full event, that is they had reached maximum capacity in attendance.
Dawn Wojkovich, the Alumni Events Coordinator at Purdue Northwest, welcomed families as their arrived. Each alumnus received a PNW pin and cup so they could access the greeting area and join their fellow alumni.
“It’s basically a ‘get to know you’ kind of thing," Wojkovich explained. "We really want to create an event that makes people feel involved and let people feel like they are a part of something. It’s a little bit of a way to give back, and draw them back into the PNW family.”
Christine Rumbaugh, PNW Alumni Community Board Secretary said, “This is a great event that we want to open up to have more of a family focused event so that the families can come and say 'Ok, well we’re going to do bumper cars, we’re going to do mini-golf, or we’re going to do batting cages. We just want to celebrate that being part of a Purdue Northwest Alumni Community.”
It was an excellent day out with beautiful weather for indoor and outdoor events. Purdue Northwest Chancellor Tom Keon was also in attendance with his family, enjoying the time with the alumni.
Keon said, “I think the best thing is that we see all the families, it’s not just the graduate it’s all the families and hopefully future Pride members coming down the road.”
Krystal Keuhl, a new alumna of Purdue Northwest, just graduated this May with her degree in Behavioral Science. She and her family were enjoying the day over a game of mini-golf.
Keuhl said, “It’s nice to meet people that you maybe didn’t know in school. You see a lot of faces, and it’s kind of nice just to interact with people.”
There were 105 alumni, not including their families, registered for the event. So many alumni, spanning generations were in attendance to get to know one another and enjoy the weekend with their families.
For more information, visit the Purdue Northwest Alumni Community website or call Alumni Affairs at 219.989.2308.