Stand-Up: OC’s Unique Welcome

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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Stand-Up isn’t just another college tradition; it’s THE The University of Olivet tradition. Stand-Up is a welcome, a new beginning and a dawning of not only the new school year, but of student life at OC.

As early the 1870s, and confirmed in 1896, Stand-Up has been a custom of The University of Olivet. The entire campus participates in the event. A handshake, or more importantly, a first impression, is the basis.

The simplest way to explain this longstanding OC tradition is this: The entire college community gathers in a line that circulates as people shake hands and greet one another. By the time you reach the end of the line, you will have greeted every person on campus, from your new classmates to the college president.

Today, Stand-Up operates much the same way. After President Corey completes his Opening Convocation address on Wednesday at 11:15, he will begin a line followed by his wife, Traci Corey. As students, faculty and staff exit the building, each has the opportunity to shake hands with the presidential couple and add onto the line to continue shaking the hands of everyone else.

Songs, speeches and refreshments are staples to the ceremony after the greeting. The goal is for students to get acquainted with President Corey as well as each other, professors and other friendly faces on campus. As quoted from early reports of the event, the intent of Stand-Up is to eliminate the “stiffness of conventional introductions.” A picnic lunch, music by DJ Butcher and carnival desserts will be certain to achieve that goal.

Senior Rachel Senople said, “Stand-Up is a great event to ring in the new school year! Meeting the new freshmen, if only briefly, definitely benefits them. When I was a freshman, it was reassuring to start recognizing familiar faces so quickly.”

Stand-Up in the 1960s.

Stand-Up has changed throughout the years, as accounted by Director of Alumni Engagement Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67. “When I was in school in the mid-1960s, it was held in the Kirk Center, what we then called the CC (Collegiate Center), and it was a ‘dress-up’ affair,” Jennings said. “President and Mrs. Reithmiller wore formal clothes – a tuxedo and long dress. The rest of us wore clothes that we would have, at that time, worn to church. It was so much fun getting dressed up and meeting everyone from our new classmates to the college president! Alumni from all decades have fond memories of Stand-Up, and I’m glad we continue the tradition today.”

Stand-Up is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 31 following Opening Convocation. President Corey will begin the line on the way out of Upton, and the procession will travel to the Square where a celebration and lunch will be held afterwards. Join the tradition and become part of OC history!


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