Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Promises, Promises

Even though the 2005-06 fiscal year isn't over for another three days, it's time to start planning for the 2006-07 Annual Fund. I know what you're thinking: "This means I get another set of Jason Thompson Direct Art! Finally!" Right you are, but that isn't the only thing to look forward to.

In the next fiscal year, the Annual Fund is going to start to be more "donor-centered." "Donor-centered" is a term that is thrown around a lot in fundraising circles (just like the terms "friendraising" or "stepping out of the box" or "in a brainstorm, there are no bad ideas"- which everyone knows is complete hoo-haw. There ARE some really bad ideas). To be "donor centered" means that development offices and goals look at all donors as (gasp!) people rather than pseudo ATM machines or as ID numbers. This means looking at preferences and attempting to make the giving process as easy as possible for you, the donor, rather than us, the University.

What does this mean to you? Well, for starters, it means that you may not receive all of the mailings this year depending on your historical period of giving. Why? Because mailings are going to be sent based upon the historical dates of when the gifts are made- so if you have made your gift to the Annual Fund in April every year, then we'll only send you mailings after January. Also, an e-mail is going to go out in July giving to mark the beginning of the new fiscal year. When you give, you won't receive anything else from the Annual Fund for the rest of 2006. This is just the beginning.

"But Jason, then I won't have the complete set of the 2006-07 Direct Art Series if you start thinking about me more than yourself!" While that is true, if you contact me and make a request, I promise that I will make certain that you receive every piece of mail in next year's set, autographed by yours truly. If the line is busy, just keep trying- there will be a huge demand.

Thanks for all of your support this year.

The Mowry Christmas, er, Holiday Party
Sometimes people wonder what a Mowry Alumni Center office get together is like. What is it like when those Mowry people go out in public? Well, I finally got around to getting the video of the Christmas party digitized and up on the server. We were at the Backstretch in Delaware. This short video clip is interim VP Jack McKinnie '54 dancing with Donna Burtch '79 and Mary Lou deJonge. And yes, ladies, Jack did indeed teach me some of his moves.

Tribute to "The Man"
Speaking of Mr. McKinnie, this week is Jack's last full week as Interim Vice President before handing off the reins of this stage coach known as University Relations to Mark Shipps '70. When Mr. McKinnie first started, every person in the building was excited about having Jack around every day, but I'm not sure if anyone really knew what a positive influence he would be. Jack has done more for the University than anyone in the past 6 months and deserves the recognition of everyone associated with Ohio Wesleyan. Without the steady leadership of Mr. McKinnie, this trying year would have enjoyed the success that it had.

Thanks for everything, Jack. We'll miss you. That is why I am quitting my job here and moving back to Westlake with Jack to become his personal assistant. He thinks I'm kidding about this, but I'm not. I hope Mrs. McKinnie is a good cook.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Don't Make Me Beg, Because I Am Not Above Doing So

Here we are: the final 9 days of the 2005-06 Annual Fund. We've made our appeals, you've received your Jason Thompson Direct Art Series pieces, talked to our student callers. If you haven't made your gift yet, the time is now. If you don't, who knows if this blog can remain? The Annual Fund helps pay for it. I took a sabbatical last week from here to let you remember what your life was like before the AF Blog. I know that many of you were scared and saddened by not having this in your life. (I'm trying to make you act, a lot like school districts when they threaten to take away busing or sports if a levy doesn't pass but they continue to pay 47 assistant superintendents $200,000 each year- there is my social commentary for the day).

Make your gift today.

C'mon, make your gift. Please? PLEASE!?! You have to; please, please, please (I'm making a really sad face right now; I even have tears in my eyes). You know you want to; make your gift.

Stupid Lunch
We had a monsoon this morning. Torrential downpours, thunder lightening, everything. After it stopped raining, I went to Rally's for lunch. If you've never been to the Delaware Rally's, it has two drive-thrus to make orders faster (see illustration). If you go to the left drive-thru, you have to get your food from the passenger side. Also, the Rally's driveway has a gigantic pothole/canyon, which I hit, causing water to explode all over my car with my window down. I'm surprised that my axle didn't break.

So now I'm all wet, but I really wanted a burger, so I kept on task. As I was ordering, another car pulled into driveway and hit the pothole; time moved in slow motion. The car hit the hole, causing another water explosion. I saw a tidal wave coming toward me, and before I could react, I was soaked again. While I was looking down and cursing, another car drove by and the same thing happened again. When I pulled up, the Rally's worker laughed and made fun of me.

To top it all off, the burger wasn't even that great and my fries were cold.

This Week's Awkward Rant About Stuff That Doesn't Have Anything to do with the Annual Fund
How can Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson be so rich for doing absolutely nothing expect being born? They were babies on a T.V. show for a couple of years and now cajillionaires? They have dolls and clothes and cell phone wallpapers and Gameboy games and straight-to-DVD movies*. And what happened to Jodie Sweetin? To top everything off, their brand is their names with no spaces (mary-kateandashley). Some marketing guy made a ton of money, and all he did was sit in a meeting which he wasn't prepared for and said "Uh, we could just take the spaces out from between their names." And then his boss was like "Genius!"

It is time for me to cash in on this craze. That is why I am proud to announce the creation of JasonandMike-Dewitt. Yes, you read that correctly: the OWU head basketball coach and the Assistant Director of Annual Giving joining forces to turn the fashion and entertainment world upside down. Following our successful ventures together during the previous two Alumni Weekends, Coach and I are going straight to the top.

We will be releasing a clothing line (both active and formal wear inspired by the garb that we wear every day to work), CDs (a comedy CD by Mike and a compilation of old favorites and new hits sung by us, including Forever Young and the OWU fight song), books (the first entitled "How to Beat a #1 Team: a Retrospective Look at Leadership," the second being an advice/self-help book written by us), movies (the initial movie will be called "Me and Mike DeWitt" and will follow our cheeky and crazy antics leading up to and through Alumni Weekend. Mike also finds love and Jason solves a mystery with the help of a crazy cartoon hippo), and a line of coffee beverages and energy drinks called "DeWenergy."

Keep your eyes peeled.

* Note: I refuse to watch any movie that wasn't in theaters prior to going being available on DVD. If the movie wasn't better than 13 Ghosts, which is the worst movie ever made and it was in theaters, then I refuse to even let it taint my DVD player.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006



Whoa. Look at the date.


I was going to wait and write the blog tomorrow, but then I remembered the date and I knew I had to write something. Maybe the devil made me do it (ZING!).

I read that there were a bunch of pregnant women who were due today that induced their labor yesterday just so that their baby would not be born on 6/6/06, or the Number of the Beast (I should find an Iron Maiden concert to attend tonight). On the other hand, that would be a great conversation starter for the kid at a bar in college. "Hey Baby, I was born on 6/6/06. Want a drink?" or something to that effect. I have to keep it clean- this is a family blog.

Because these dates are a marketer's dream (see the new version of The Omen being released today), I tried to remember what I did on each of the number/date correlation thingys:

01/01/01- New Year's- I believe I spent the day recovering from the party the night before. I don't think I even realized that this whole number thing existed.

02/02/02- Groundhog's Day- a couple of friends and I were sitting (at 3 a.m.) around watching Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and realized what the day was. We promptly got into my car and drove to Punxsutawney, PA, to celebrate the "Phillennium*" (I have a shirt that says that). It was like Spring Break in February in the middle of nowhere.

03/03/03- Absolutely nothing happened. How worthless and full of missed opportunities.

04/04/04- Perhaps the most important of the number/date correlation thingys, this was my 24th birthday. I celebrated by going out with my friends and stumbling into a quarter-life crisis.

05/05/05- I think this is my cousin's birthday. I can't remember. This is right up there with 03/03/03.

06/06/06- Today. I have a grad school final today- talk about evil incarnate. Those things are scarier than anything Hollywood can dream up. I'm sweating and screaming already.

* for those who don't know, the groundhog who decides whether we have six more weeks of winter or not is named Punxsutawney Phil. There are statues and murals of him all over the town. It's actually kind of creepy, but then again, where I come from, we have cheese factories and Amish people everywhere.

Annual Fund Update (since this is the official OWU Annual Fund Blog)
The Annual Fund is chuggin' along- but we need your help. While the last of the 2005-06 Jason Thompson Direct Art Series was sent out in early May, we're still in need of support for the Annual Fund. Later this month, if you gave before April 1, you'll be receiving a letter asking for an additional gift. While this isn't a Direct Art piece (meaning you probably won't hang it on your fridge), please consider giving again to the Annual Fund.

If you are a LYBUNT (hooray acronyms!) or Last Year But Unfortunately Not This, you will be receiving a letter asking you to renew your gift from the previous year. We need your help to beat the goal.

If you do help us, maybe I'll make up another fundraising acronym.

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