GAA's Order of the Bell Tower, Adviser Win National Awards

The oldest GAA-sponsored student group, Order of the Bell Tower, has won its second consecutive national award for work the organization does to fulfill its mission as the University’s official student ambassadors.

This year’s award — from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Affiliated Student Advancement Programs (CASE ASAP) — recognized the organization’s end-of-year programming, involving OBT’s “End of the Year Banquet,” in the category of Outstanding Internal Program.

C. Hawkins ’00, the GAA’s manager of student engagement, also has been recognized the Most Outstanding Adviser by CASE ASAP at the national level. Earlier this year, both Hawkins and OBT won the same district-level honors from CASE ASAP for the Southeastern U.S.

The national awards were presented in mid-August at CASE ASAP’s annual Network Convention in New Orleans.

The GAA also won a Bronze Medal in this year’s national awards presented by CASE in the category of mobile website/application for a staff mobile Web app, created by the staff for use during major GAA events, including spring reunions and Homecoming. The project was recognized earlier this year at the district level with an Award of Excellence.

Also in district recognition this year:

  • The GAA received an Award of Excellence for Overall Alumni Relations Programs for the ninth consecutive year, recognizing the GAA’s offerings related to career services, travel, lifelong learning, reunions, Carolina Clubs, athletics, admissions, Family Camp, legislative advocacy, and programs and events for young alumni, current students and their families.
  • It received an Award of Excellence in the category of Alumni Relations Project, Event or Program for its Carrier Classic “Making Something Ordinary, Extraordinary” efforts.
  • The Carolina Alumni Review, which is published by the GAA, won a Grand Award in Online Innovation and Experimentation for the Review’s digital archive and completion of, which as of September 2012 includes all issues of the Review dating to October 1912 and all issues of the University Report (1970-94). The Review also was awarded an Award of Excellence at the district level for design in the illustration category for its March/April 2012 cover of “The Family Tree,” accompanying the magazine’s annual admissions feature; that issue reported on how legacy applications for admission to Carolina work at UNC.

OBT, chartered in 1980, acts as the University’s tradition keepers to oversee legacy-pinning and class-ring ceremonies and to host in the chancellor’s box at football games, in additional to a wide range of other events. The group received an Outstanding Organization Award from CASE ASAP in 2012.

The GAA’s Student Membership Program won the same award as an Outstanding Organization Award in 2010. The SMP and OBT have consistently earned CASE ASAP recognition for individual programs as well as their overall body of work. This year’s awards are the GAA’s 20th CASE ASAP awards since 2002. CASE and CASE ASAP combined have recognized the GAA and the Review with a combined total of 94 awards since 1996. The GAA has been recognized in the Overall Alumni Relations Programs category each year since 1999 and in communications categories annually since 1996.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CASE is a worldwide professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas. The CASE ASAP annual awards recognize outstanding student and adviser leadership and achievements as well as outstanding student educational advancement programming by member organizations.

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