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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Pride of CASE District V Gold Award

Office of Alumni Relations honored for Gage implosion event planning.

2013-11-01
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 11-1-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Office of Alumni Relations recently received a Pride of CASE V Gold Award for its efforts in planning the events surrounding the June 29 implosion of Gage towers, which housed more than 50,000 students in their 47-year history.

Minnesota State Mankato won gold in the category of “Excellence in Special Events, Individual Event,” which according to the award criteria “recognizes a single event and outstanding program” with judges considering how the event successfully and creatively met objectives.

Minnesota State Mankato’s entry, which was titled “Gage Goes Boom: Planning for an Explosive Experience,” was selected for the Gold Award over entries by Michigan State University (which won silver and bronze awards), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (which received honorable mention).

The 2013 Pride of CASE V Awards will be presented at an awards ceremony during the CASE District V Annual Conference on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. in Ballroom I and II at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chicago.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of Alumni Relations led all campus planning efforts for events associated with the Gage implosion. Staffing support was provided by numerous departments and offices from across campus in addition to more than 20 volunteers. Local businesses provided $2,500 in sponsorship money and Radio Mankato provided an emcee and music on the day of the event.

The morning of the demolition, an estimated 6,000 alumni, friends and community members came to campus to watch the 12.23-second implosion, which received local, state and national media coverage. A wide variety of promotions were held in conjunction with the event, including a free breakfast, cafeteria tray giveaway, sales of Gage mailboxes, t-shirts, buttons, photos with a ceremonial plunger, alumni merchandise and more. A virtual scrapbook of memories and photos was published in the weeks and months leading up to the event. A Gage demolition video posted online has been viewed more than 13,000 times.

Interim Director of Alumni Relations Jen Myers said the award recognized the work and planning that took place in advance of the implosion events.

“Our Alumni team planned this event for months and months, so it was only fitting that we would submit our hard work to CASE,” said Myers. “We felt we did a ‘bang-up’ job capturing the emotions of our alumni and what Gage meant to them. The judges must have also seen that we pulled out all the stops for this once-in-a-lifetime event. We are thrilled to be recognized as the best event in our region!

“The planning of the Gage implosion event was unique; no one in our Alumni Relations team had experience with the physical or emotional ramifications of experiencing a building – a home – coming down with such orchestrated precision. All the details, from saving mailboxes to creating a video scrapbook, were new territory for us and I’m proud to say that we, and CASE, realized the hard work we did and decisions we made led to thousands of alumni and community members having an unforgettable experience.”

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District V awards program honors institutions and individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of programs within the advancement, alumni and communications fields throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The contest generated 482 entries from institutions in five broad areas: excellence in alumni relations, fundraising and development, communications and marketing, special events and diversity programming. Awards are divided into 45 categories. A complete list of award winners can be seen here.

For more information, contact Jen Myers, Minnesota State Mankato’s interim director of alumni relations, by phone at 507-389-1794 or by email at jennifer.myers@mnsu.edu.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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