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CCU Atheneum: It's a Teal World for alumni.
It's a Teal World for alumni.

Let's put the TEAL back in Teal Tuesday

by Diane Fabiano
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As a Coastal Carolina University alumna and a five-year employee, I have always been proud of my alma mater. I didn’t realize the importance of building traditions and passing them on until I started working in Alumni Relations. I began to wonder why more alumni aren't staying connected. How do we get them back to campus events and involved in the place they call their alma mater? I learned that this connection would have to start with the students their very first day on campus. If they start feeling connected to CCU when they first arrive, they will be more likely to stay involved after graduating.

But what is one thing that will keep them connected as students and alumni? TRADITIONS. Yes, this university is considered “new” in the sense that it is relatively young compared with many other four-year institutions, but are we lacking in traditions? Are we missing opportunities to motivate our students and help them to create more traditions?

I began talking with other departments on campus. We realized that although we may not be able to create traditions for our students, we could create a committee identifying what traditions we do have and where there were opportunities for more. Traditions that everyone could participate in could build a foundation for pride in a university that they will forever be connected to. This would not just help Alumni Relations but would also boost enrollment, retention rates, athletic sales, student involvement and other aspects of campus life. And so Tyger Glauser from OSAL and I were named co-chairs of the new CCU Traditions committee, joined by several other committee members from various departments who have the same passion for CCU as Tyger and I do.

Since most college campus traditions are created and carried on by students, we knew we needed to start with them. We developed two student focus groups for an informal discussion on the topic. For starters, on average each student could only name about five things that they considered to be a CCU tradition, and no one could identify or knew the fight song or the alma mater. The most eye-opening responses (which almost brought me to tears) were that both groups couldn’t stress enough their desire for more support and involvement from the faculty and staff…US! One student even said, “Why would I wear teal on Teal Tuesdays when my professors don’t even wear teal?” Another student mentioned, “If the faculty and staff would wear teal on Tuesdays, the students would catch on.”

Do you think that you play an important role in what makes a tradition here? What traditions do YOU believe we have at Coastal? Can you think of more than five? A simple tradition that we can all take part in for our students (and for ourselves) is simply wearing TEAL on Teal Tuesday! I know changes won’t happen overnight, but my hope is that through the Traditions Committee we can get the entire campus community on board with things like teaching the new students the history of CCU, the C-I-N-O chant, the alma mater, the fight song and all of the things that make us proud to be associated with Coastal Carolina University! We must continue to do so during our entire time here so that our students will forever bleed teal with pride for this university and want to stay connected as proud alumni.

So I ask…will YOU put the teal back in Teal Tuesday?

Diane is a ‘05 graduate.


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