It may seem odd for a college student to carry around a stuffed pelican in a public place, but members of the Student Alumni Ambassadors at Tulane are having fun by doing just that. The toy Riptide pelican goes by the name Scotty C. A stuffed puppy named Wave also is attached to Riptide. The students have been invited to take the pelican on “adventures” and then submit accounts of their journeys.
The best account, determined by a vote of the 100 members of the Student Alumni Ambassadors organization, wins a prize, a $100 gift certificate to the Tulane Bookstore.
Laurie Orgeron, senior program coordinator in the Office of Alumni Affairs and adviser to the Student Alumni Ambassadors organization, says that in the competition, students can reenact moments with Scotty C. (named in honor of Tulane President Scott Cowen), create a video, write an essay or present an account of their experiences with the stuffed animal in any creative fashion they can conceive.
The competition is open only to members of the Student Alumni Ambassadors. And because there is only one Scotty C., the members must wait their turn to take the stuffed animal along with them.
Orgeron does not know all the adventures that Scotty C. has been on, but she reports that one student took Scotty C. home to The Woodlands, Texas, for the winter break. Another student, a member of the Tulane Marching Band, pinned Scotty C. to her uniform while she marched in the Rex parade at Mardi Gras.
Orgeron sees the activity as a way to get students more involved and aware of the Tulane Alumni Association.
If students are excited about what alumni affairs is doing, Orgeron says, they will be more inclined to remain active in the alumni association after graduating.
“The group seems to have welcomed the project with open arms, and members seem genuinely happy to get possession of Scotty C. and Wave for a turn,” says Orgeron.
Voting for the winner of the Scotty C. competition will take place at the Student Alumni Ambassadors' meeting on April 7.
Members of Student Alumni Ambassadors play an active role in homecoming activities and in the community through volunteer projects. The student ambassadors interact with alumni by participating in alumni association events and through a mentoring program that pairs the ambassadors with alumni who work in career fields in which the students are interested. Members of the Student Alumni Ambassadors also provide support for the Office of the President and the Board of Tulane.
The Tulane University Office of Alumni Affairs endeavors to provide a smooth transition from being a student to becoming an alum through the Student Alumni Ambassadors organization, says Orgeron. Students who would like to become involved can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the SAA website or join the Student Alumni Ambassadors group on Facebook.