OBT Wins Two Awards; GAA Programs Recognized

orderofbelltowerThe oldest GAA-sponsored student group, Order of the Bell Tower, has received two awards in regional competition among student advancement groups in the Southeast.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Affiliated Student Advancement Programs (CASE ASAP) recognized OBT in the category of Most Outstanding External Program for its “Shadow Day,” a program that brings high school juniors to spend a day on campus with Carolina students.

OBT also was recognized as Most Outstanding Organization for its overall body of work between December 2012 and November 2013, said C. Hawkins ’00, GAA’s manager of student engagement.

The awards were presented during CASE ASAP’s District III Conference in Charleston, S.C., in February. The recognition puts OBT in the running for national awards when CASE ASAP convenes in August for its national conference in St. Louis, Hawkins said.

The GAA’s Programs Department also was recognized by CASE, winning an Award of Excellence in the Best Practices in Alumni Relations category. The recognition is in light of GAA’s work in 17 program areas between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. That includes efforts getting soon-to-be-graduates involved with alumni programs, forming bonds between alumni and students, and building a tech-savvy website, among other initiatives.

Chartered in 1980, OBT members serve as the University’s official student ambassadors and tradition keepers, overseeing legacy-pinning and class-ring ceremonies. It also hosts the chancellor’s box at football games, plus a wide range of other events.

Sophomore Bryan Lewis, president of GAA’s Student Alumni Association, was elected as CASE ASAP’s state representative for North Carolina, Hawkins said. Lewis’ responsibilities will include hosting a state conference in Chapel Hill for student ambassadors from around the state.

The GAA has been recognized with national or district CASE awards for 15 years in a row, earning 53 awards in all. Last year, OBT won at the national level for Most Outstanding Internal Program for its “End of Year Banquet.” Hawkins took home Most Outstanding Adviser.

UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center also received a CASE Award of Excellence in the Special Event category for its “Cirque des Sciences” fundraiser.

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 awards recognize outstanding student and adviser leadership and achievements as well as outstanding student educational advancement programming by member organizations.

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