I don’t pay much attention to the majority of postings people put on Facebook – especially the regurgitated jokes, photos with cute sayings and the anecdotes that are passed back and forth ad nauseum. I don’t mind people sharing some of their personal milestones or interesting vacation pics – I recently put up my own news and photos about becoming a grandma – or even sharing interesting news stories. But what is the sense of re-posting other’s work? Maybe my distaste has something to do with the fact that a major portion of my day is spent originating new and fresh content in my capacity as a writer.
But given my propensity for “back in the day” type ramblings and the major sustainability initiatives we’ve got going on at Lynn that we’ve dubbed Going Green, I found a recent Facebook “share” rather clever and particularly relevant given the above two topics.
This post though does show what we did do (maybe not by design, but just by the nature of our world back then) …
It’s all about how the younger generation gives the older generation (which sadly I guess is the category I am now squarely placed) a hard time for how wasteful and non-green we were back in the day. But this little ditty belies that. I couldn’t even find the original author, but everyone has seen fit to re-post it. You can read it in its entirety here (if you haven’t already seen it somewhere).
Using the running interlude … “But our generation didn’t have the green thing back in the day” … it makes mention of some undeniable and very green-of-us points:
Here’s how it begins:
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
And it goes on to enumerate how we really were very green, while sarcastically chanting after each: But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Here’s the abbreviated list:
• We returned milk, soda and beer bottles for recycling.
• We kept the brown paper bags from grocery stores (no plastic then) to reuse for other things like book covers (remember that?).
• We washed diapers (okay, I admit I did have Pampers back then) and dried clothes on a line (and a dryer). Okay, maybe not me, but way back then.
• We had fewer electronic devices that sucked up power – one TV per household, a push lawnmower.
• We drank from a water fountain (no plastic water bottles to recycle or clog up the landfills).
• We replaced our razor blades and even refilled the ink in our fountain pens (what’s that, you say?) That was before computers, never mind laptops, iPads and smart phones.
• We rode our bikes, took the bus and dare I say it – walked.
• We had one electrical outlet, not a major strip to power several devices.
Anyway, you get the point … As our friend Billy Joel sang, “We didn’t start the fire!”
In keeping with my Knight Writer tradition of the past three years, here are my picks for Lynn’s top 10 stories of 2012. The number one pick is just a “little event” you may have heard about …
1. Lynn hosts the final 2012 presidential debate.
And even though it seemed like we did nothing but eat, sleep and drink debate, there were some other amazing achievements and initiatives throughout the year including:
5. Not business as usual
Lynn received a $6 million gift to construct the new International Business Center.
The College of Hospitality Management merged with the College of Business and Management.
Ralph Norcio was named senior associate dean of the College of Business and Management.
10. In concert: The Piano Man came to Lynn for a special performance.
I know there is probably even more in all areas that are worth mentioning, so please feel free to add your own picks to this list.
And one final non-Lynn personal pick for 2012: The birth of my grandson Benjamin.
Happy New Year to all!
No sooner do you take your last forkful of turkey than, just like that, the holiday season hits. For those who make Black Friday a tradition, well, there wasn’t much breathing space between the dinner table and the shopping mall. There was a lot of grumbling and snickering over the record early opening times of the stores this year. And I for one make it my own rite of passage never to go anywhere near the malls during Black Friday – or Thursday, if you prefer – craziness.
A lot of people were complaining that the Thanksgiving holiday has been ruined by the greedy retailers. But, just like the Hollywood gossip trade, they only do what the market will bear. In other words, if you don’t like it, don’t go or read or watch! But unfortunately, just as we can’t seem to turn our eyes away from the accident scenes, so we can’t help honing in on the latest reality gossip mongers or in this case, for many, a real good bargain. As one of those incessant cartoons/photos that show up on Facebook said, isn’t it ironic (as Alanis Morissette would say) that we spend the day giving thanks for what we have and then run to the stores to buy what we don’t have. Well, yes, it is ironic.
On a more positive – and less ironic – note, it was wonderful to have a few days off to rest, relax, spend time with friends and family – and all without the pressure of a presidential debate hanging over our heads. And the good news for us at Lynn is that it is only a few short weeks until our next nice long and lovely break. But before everyone heads off into the Winter Break sunset, Lynn will, as always, ring in the holidays in style with several of our traditional holiday events: Winterfaith: The Festival of Light on Dec. 3 (with ice skating in Perper Plaza a la Rockefeller Plaza), Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 8 (employees bring their little ones to meet and greet Santa), The Gingerbread Concert on Dec. 9 (celebrating its 10th year of making memorable music for old and young alike), and the Holiday Gala (another seasonal tradition for students) on Dec. 10.
So, although there will always be the bah humbuggers among us, there is plenty to enjoy this holiday season regardless of crowds, traffic jams, long lines, commercialism and materialism. I will be heading up north for a gift that money can’t buy: the gift of life in the form of my soon-to-be born grandson. Enjoy the holidays!
Now that everyone has caught up on their sleep (hopefully) and gotten back to a semi-normal routine, it’s almost hard to imagine the mammoth event - aka the third and final presidential debate – that took place here on campus a scant week and a half ago. And I hate to even bring this up given the devastation and hardship going on in the northeast courtesy of Sandy (my poor mother didn’t have power for 10 days!), but Sandy actually gave us a bit of a reprieve. The university was closed as were all the public schools in the area and we were able to enjoy the day off without much inclement weather. And boy did we ever need it – the day off, I mean.
But we didn’t have too long to rest on our laurels for little more than a week later, we somehow managed to pull off one of our major annual events – and especially important this year on our 50th anniversary – Founders Day. When I say “we” pulled it off, I mean our awesome events department did – with spirited and competitive canoe races, the family picnic with amazing food (including the ever popular fried Oreos), fun for kids of all ages (bounce houses, a zip line), a live band, etc. and even a new “glowing” event for students.
It was one of the best Founders Day ever – and I’ve been around since we started having them eight years ago. I, of course, loved the theme, which included plenty of back in the day references since Lynn was “born” in 1962. So, there was plenty of ‘60s pop culture – hippie costumes, a vintage Beetle bus and car, a psychedelic glow tent, and music to match. There was even a poster made that replicated Sgt. Pepper’s album with members of the Lynn community plugged in to the rock icons’ spots. Plus we dedicated our new front entrance with long-awaited traffic light and the new plaques commemorating Founders Day and the 50th anniversary. More Founders Day photos.
I’ve spent several hours over the last few days digging through our traditional and social media metrics related to the debate. Any way you cut them, the numbers are huge and impressive, but the debate is much more than the sum of it’s numbers, it’s a qualitative experience that our whole community shared. How, after all, do you quantify the fact that Pauly Shore crashed the media filing center or that the TV crew from Poland got into a shoving match with Triumph the Insult Comedy dog.
We are sure to have traditional and social media clips in the tens of thousands and an earned media value in the tens of millions, but I thought sharing just some of the anecdotal gems from the experience would do more to communicate the intangible value the event was to our campus.
1. Pauly Shore takes the debate seriously. That’s right the former late 80s/early 90s MTV VJ famous for his MCing of MTV Spring Break on Daytona Beach and for his catch phrase “the weasel” entered the world of high-stakes politics by exiting the men’s bathroom. At least that’s when I saw him go into the media filing center. I was in the middle of a serious conversation about event execution, when I looked up and to my surprise I spied Mr. Shore leaving the men’s room and going to Spin Alley. In shock, I followed. What followed can only be described as a post-modern experience in politics and celebrity. The following video is for our younger readers:
2. John McCain and his round mound of moving people. Senator McCain was one of the many famous politicians that graced the media filing center the night of the debate. However, he brought by far the most number of people and cameras. They organically formed a nearly perfect circle of people around him into which he disappeared. This round mound developed it’s own patterns of behavior, not unlike a flock of birds, and this flock comically moved around the room where ever McCain went to do whatever he was doing. You could no longer see him so all you saw was this organic mass moving around the room in a random pattern.
3. Budweiser’s food tent was amazing. When I found out that Budweiser caters the debate with food and beer, it was one of the more pleasant things I learned about hosting a debate. However, as the debate drew near, this just became another of the 100s of details in my mind. And, this forgetting ended up being a good thing because in one of my more exhausted moments I looked up to behold the Budweiser sign and suddenly remember that warm food and cold drink awaited me there. Since I forgot, I had little expectations of the quality of grub that would meet me, and to my absolute delight, the food was amazing! They had prepared a Hawaiian chicken mix served in a hallowed out pineapple that would have been scrumptious even on the best of days, but on a day where I had been on my feet for 18 plus hours and only grabbed crumbs here and there, it was a god send. I proceeded to eat two servings of the delicious delicacy and enjoy some cold beverage–non-alcoholic for the record.
Those are just three of the more memorable moments from an event full of dozens of amazing and surprising happenings. Having been a witness to history, I know that hosting this event is much more than the sum of it’s numbers.
An eerie calm has washed over the campus … It’s all over and we did it – and did it well! The day we prepared more than a year for has come and gone, but the memories linger on. Our university is like that famous children’s book, The Little Engine that Could. Our tiny “unknown” school landed a huge coup – the third and final presidential debate –and was thrust into the national spotlight and onto the world stage. (And by the way, we never heard of you either – as some of our t-shirts said.)
So, everyone is asking me, how was it? Well, it was pretty amazing – so much activity, so much media, so much of everything. It was non-stop for 4 days. I worked pretty crazy hours since Friday, but it all went really well. I wasn’t stationed where all the real action was – like in the debate hall or media filing center (you’ll have to get my other Knight Writers’ point of view on that one as they were in the center of the storm), but there was plenty of excitement “outside the fence,” as we were called. There were live broadcasts on campus (Face the Nation, Hardball), our Social Media Lounge was buzzing with action, there were lots of events and activity, including our Red, White & Pool Party which an Inside Edition reporter I escorted to it thought was particularly “cool ” – only in South Florida in October. I saw the 10-second clip the next night – and blinked and almost missed it.
Though the big story was in the debate hall and the media filing center, there were so many “little” stories that I’m sure can and will be shared over the next few weeks – and beyond.
When we were in the planning stages of this massive event – an event that we hoped would help us get the exposure we needed to “tell our story,” as well as give the students an awareness of the political process and a real sense of their civic responsibility, many were skeptical that students would use the extended weekend (no class day of debate) to get out of town and that they wouldn’t care enough about the debate and all that was attached to it. But I have to say that I was so impressed with the students’ enthusiasm, involvement and participation: More than 750 students came en masse to see if they won a coveted ticket during the ticket lottery drawing; they came out in force for all the events of the weekend; they volunteered all hours and shifts; they literally squealed with delight at the opportunity to be in the debate hall.
I was equally impressed with the enthusiasm of the volunteers, whether they were students, staff or outside community members, they came to help and be part of it with big smiles on their faces. As a team leader of media assistants, I was so pleasantly surprised at the turnout and the can-do attitude. Some had to man (or woman) a media check-in point for hours. At one point, I went to pull some of my volunteers off their shift and even though there wasn’t much activity there, they said they were having such a good time getting to know each other, they begged me to stay. And this was a student and an older PR veteran from the outside community. They had never met and somehow bonded strongly over the experience. I felt the same way about so many wonderful students and community members I met that I would otherwise never have gotten to know.
And politically, I was impressed with the enthusiasm the students exhibited for their candidates. They were totally engaged, holding up signs and cheering as they became the backdrop for the live broadcast shows. And during the Red, White & View party, cheers and applause rang out as the candidates made their points. The atmosphere felt less like a TV viewing, more like a rock concert.
We dubbed the inside-the-fence area Debate City and it was just that. Though I only got a quick glimpse inside the media filing center, the feeling was electric. The sheer number of people on our campus was amazing and the excitement in the air was palpable – and not only that, the weather was picture perfect! (Thank goodness, Sandy decided to make an appearance now instead of then.)
It’s been a long year and a very intense experience and in the midst of such a massive undertaking, with stress levels high and tempers short, you get to witness human nature at its worst and its best. There was a little of both going on and everything in between, but I think when you all was said and done, everyone rose to the challenge. Lynn called on its “troops” and they all reported for duty with bells on. Were there some glitches and missteps here and there along the way? Probably, but as far as I can tell, Lynn University shone very bright during our amazing moment in the sun.
Oh my … So it’s been a month since my last post (sounds a lot like confession). I was on a roll there for a while, keeping Knight Writer alive and beating out my fellow Knight Writers with 10 posts in a row (to their credit, they were way busy with other important projects). But then preparations for the presidential debate really ramped up and have taken our workload hostage. And now we’re down to 25 days and counting. Boy, are we counting. Or, should I say, who has time to count?
To say it’s been a bit busy in the Marketing Department is a massive understatement. After all, we’re hosting the mother of all events, welcoming 3,000 journalists and the next leader of the free world to our campus. And though we’ve been talking about it and promoting it for the last year, it all comes down to these next few weeks: There is the actual physical reconstruction of many facets of the campus, the coordination of copious numbers of volunteers, trying to meet the expectations of the CPD and the demands of an ever hungry media – and we’ve only just begun.
So, though I am by no means in the eye of the storm, I would say that I am certainly part of the outer bands.
Our campus is really taking on a red, white and blue hue, and now I feel like I am, too. I wear my debate t-shirt on Red, White & Blue Jeans Days, proudly sport a debate decal on my Beetle bug, have a debate window cling on my office door, am coordinating a Debate Office Decorating Contest (so, of course, mine has to set an example), and everything I write these days has what else – a distinct red, white and blue hue.
It’s amazing how many variations you can use with red, white and blue. You can tell from our named events: Red, White & Que (a barbecue), Red, White & Pool (pool party), Red, White & Zoom (5K run), Red, White & Point of View (Causeway) and Red, White & View (viewing festival). So, you see what I mean.
And to all who might think that because I’m a Lynn employee, I’ll be waving to you on TV from the debate hall – not even close. I will be working with volunteer students who will be media escorts/runners “inside the fence,” which means the area near the debate hall where all the media who are not in the hall will be congregating.
Anyway, I’m not quite sure how to psychologically prepare personally or professionally for this kind of massive event – unlike our Big LU mascot, who started training early on (Check him out in action in this video, in which I actually had a speaking part, but don’t blink, you might miss me). But I know it will be an amazing and, as we say to everyone else, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
So, if I’m still standing after it’s all over, I’m sure I will have fabulous stories to tell my grandchild – who I’m very happy has decided to wait until after the debate to be born.
It has been a long time since my last blog, but I promise it has been for a good cause. Unless you’ve been under a big rock, you know we’ve been working tirelessly towards towards hosting the final 2012 presidential debate on Oct. 22. I have been so focused on this, that I must admit my blogging has taken a back seat. But no longer. I plan to post my weekly blogs here every Monday no matter how crazy it gets. I hope to share the anecdotal and funny stories that can often be the most valuable way to record an event of this magnitude for posterity.
My first installment in this series has to do with how work trip related to the debate managed to bring together my old life with my current life, and unexpectedly provided emotional connections that made me realize the importance of the debate’s topic: foreign policy.
As part of our debate activities, I worked with others to put together a tour for Lynn’s President, Kevin M. Ross. The tour included meetings with important media outlets in Washington D.C. and New York City as well as attending alumni parties. It was very successful. We met with the staffs of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, the Washington Times (who immediately ran this story), the Washington Post and the Huffington Post among others. We were also able to share Lynn’s exciting developments (see the new business school gift story or the first I Vote for Lynn video for example) with the many alumni who came to the DC and NYC parties.
But the successes of the trip are not the point of this blog. The points I am writing about are more about the symbolic importance of the debate to Lynn and I.
Lynn was recently ranked 4th in the nation for percentage of international students. The point is not lost on us. Many of our students are from countries who have a major interest in seeing how the debate on foreign policy goes.
I was reminded of the honor it will be for us to host such a debate among an international audience during our cab ride to the train station in DC when we were leaving for New York City. We began a friendly chat with the cab driver who as from Sudan (as many know a war-torn country). He was first generation, and all he wanted to talk about were the successes of his children who were raised in America. He son is going Stanford and his daughter is in the medical field. They worked hard and have risen to high levels in academics and healthcare. You could hear the wide ear-to-ear grin of this most proud of fathers as he said Don King’s famous phrase, “Only in America!” When he learned why we were traveling, he was amazed and you could feel his pride in both his children and new homeland. I can’t think of better proof of what the debate could mean to our international students.
And now for a more personal point.
I went on this trip knowing that we would be traveling through DC and NYC around Sept. 11. Everyone knows the importance of this day and how it fundamentally changed America’s foreign policy of the last decade. What few know, is that I lived in New York City on that horrific day. I am one of the few American’s who witnessed the events in the City first hand. Because of this, it was more than a important news story or something watched in dismay on the television when it was happening. When the images are replayed each year, it deeply affects me and makes me sad for the City I loved and left. Every year, I’ve wonder how what I’ve called “my adopted home town” is doing. And since the attacks, I’ve never been there on the 11th.
I think it was fitting that as part of our trip, we arrived on Sept. 12 the day after the anniversary. So how was the city doing: actually pretty great! The hustle, the bustle, the horns, the smells, the curse words–they were all alive and well in all their glory. The energy and slamming pace were rolling along just fine thank you.
In the perfect bookend to the trip, the New York City alumni event was held in a restaurant I went to just before the attacks (that’s why I remember it so well), Ponte’s. It is way downtown on the Westside Highway. I remembered it because I’ve often thought about how my night at that restaurant was the last time I was downtown just before Sept. 11. Well, it was still there and as wonderful as ever.
But the single moment that really tied up the emotions of my first time back to NYC around Sept. 11 happened on my way to the alumni event as I sat in the back of the cab speeding down the Westside Highway. As we got close, I began to see the new Freedom Tower rising from where the World Trade Towers once stood. I’ve only seen it on TV. This vision gave me goosebumps and damp eyes.
I know truly understand the importance of not just the foreign policy debate, but this crazy thing we call democracy. For all it’s faults it is the light that makes the darkness of fundamentalism, ignorance and hate recede. It has always done this and will continue to do so.
Bring on the debates, the election and democracy!
On Oct. 22, less than six weeks and a mere 39 days from today, more eyes will be on Lynn University than ever before. Approximately 50-60 million viewers will tune in to watch the third and final presidential debate in Lynn’s Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center, and between 2,000-3,000 media personnel will be camped out on campus – that’s nearly double Lynn’s student population.
Lynn, the youngest school in modern history to host a presidential debate, will welcome the future president of the United States of America to our campus, and our students, staff and faculty will be in the middle of the hype. In addition to the physical transformations around campus – including the temporary buildings and fences that seemingly appear overnight – Lynn’s Office of Marketing and Communication has been busy creating, populating and fine-tuning our social channels.
At Lynn, we are proud of our dedication to social media. StudentAdvisor consistently ranks us as a top social media college, and with the debate around the corner, we decided to step up our game. Although Facebook (and other platforms) existed in 2008, the importance of social media to 2012 election will be more prominent than ever before. Today, most people have smart phones, and more moments, more stories and more multimedia will be shared this election season than ever before.
So, what has Lynn upgraded? Well, here’s a list of what’s new.
This summer, we created a special Tumblr blog specific to the #lynndebate. This is where we will archive Lynn’s debate-related social postings – and where the community can post their favorite Lynn debate moments.
- Share from the web: Go to lynndebate.tumblr.com and click “share” to post photos, links, videos and comments directly to the blog.
- Share from your phone: If you’re on the go, you can post directly from your phone too. Just e-mail your debate-related photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and type your caption into the subject line.
We also decided foursquare would be a great place for the Lynn community to share their experiences at the numerous debate-related events. So if you’re attending a debate related event on campus – or any event on campus for that matter – be sure to check-in and let us know you’re there. Volunteering for the debate? Stay tuned for special ways you can get involved.
We love sharing our photos on the go through Instagram. Are you a member? Follow us at http://statigr.am/lynnuniversity. Be sure to tag @lynnuniversity and use #lynndebate for your debate-related photos.
Although @LynnUniversity has been active on Twitter for several years, we are encouraging our tweeps to use #lynndebate when tweeting about debate-related happenings – both on campus and off. Soon, all of our #lynndebate tweets will be displayed chronologically on debate2012.lynn.edu. We want to know what the #lynndebate means to you.
Lynn loves Facebook, but how will the debate play a roll? Other than housing interactive debate-related multimedia, we’ve added a #lynndebate Tumblr tab, and are featuring YouTube, Instagram and Twitter as tabs too. (FYI – tabs are the thumbnail images found underneath Lynn’s cover photo.)
Interested in Lynn’s debate-related videos – including my favorite, Big LU’s training day set to the tune of Rocky? We made a special playlist just for that: debate2012.lynn.edu/videos. Check out what Lynn’s videographers, Justin Hearn and Zack Caplan, have been producing this summer. Many more debate videos and campaigns are in the pipeline for the next 50 days, including a special 48-hour video contest. Stay tuned for details.
Want to download high-resolution photos from #lynndebate activities – or download marketing logos and Facebook cover images? Visit our debate collection at: debate2012.lynn.edu/photos.
Since I kicked off Lynn’s blogging initiative in 2005, the Lynn U blog squad has grown more robust each year. This year our bloggers will be more involved than ever before. They’ll be volunteering for the debate, attending debate-related activities and writing about what the #lynndebate means to real-life students. Check blogs.lynn.edu for the latest updates.
Remember when Google came to map our campus this summer and we proudly wore our #lynndebate t-shirts? Well, the Streetview maps are finally up! Can you find yourself? In October, we’ll be using Google Hangouts to host dialogues – both locally and internationally – about the importance of the #lynndebate.
In case you haven’t been following him, Little LU has attended both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Check out what he learned – and the various places he explored on Facebook, Twitter and foursquare.
Happy socializing! Don’t forget to share your favorite #lynndebate moments online!
What could be better than listening to the Rocky anthem to get hyped for the Oct. 22 debate on Lynn University’s campus? How about watching Big LU train for the #lynndebate set to the Rocky anthem?
Hosting a debate is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Like Rocky and his intensive training, Lynn has been preparing for this debate for nearly a year. Finally the preparations are coming to a close and it’s almost game time. We’re ready – physically and mentally.
With help from the class of 2016, Lynn completed the final scenes of the video running to the Wold and ending on stage – the same stage the future president of the United States of America will be standing on in October. Lynn’s vice president of academic affairs, Greg Cox, served as Big LU’s official trainer, and with more than 80 debate-related courses set for the fall, there is no wonder why he played such an important roll.
Are you excited to be part of history? Lynn is ready. If you haven’t heard of Lynn before, you soon will. We’re making moves. Here we come world.