Quick: What do you immediately think of when you see the colors Green and Gold?
The Oakland A’s? Green Bay Packers? Seattle SuperSonics?
How about the Lyndon State College Hornets?
If you are not from Vermont, chances are that you have never heard of Lyndon, a small liberal arts school with a reputation of producing TV meteorologists over professional athletes.
Dr. Joe Bertolini, the college’s new president, has been boosting LSC morale this year with a weekly wardrobe challenge. He’s made every Wednesday “Green and Gold Day” — asking that all students, faculty and staff flash the official school colors. Taking it a step further, he’s deployed a “Green and Gold Patrol,” students on the lookout for non-Lyndon college logos being worn on campus. Once “caught” expressing their allegiances elsewhere, the offenders are offered a free LSC shirt on the spot. Their “other” college clothing is donated to charity.
Parents: No need to worry that your tuition dollars are padding the school store’s profits. A generous anonymous donor purchased a large number of shirts to support the Green and Gold campaign.
“President Bertolini has really invigorated the school spirit around here,” says Hannah Nelson Manley, Director of Alumni Relations and Development. “It’s safe to say that he’s become our biggest cheerleader.”
And now the school’s most enthusiastic voice is bringing Green and Gold Day to the rest of America. Starting today through Friday, April 19, Lyndon State will attempt to collect as many fun student, faculty, staff and alumni photos as possible to celebrate National Green and Gold Day. Using Pongr’s free Photo Contest management tools for small businesses and organizations, the LSC Alumni Association is asking the college community to vote for Lyndon’s Biggest Fan.
Celebrating the inauguration of President Bertolini on April 17, America’s Green and Golders can snap and send their pics now to LSC@pongr.com, which automatically feeds entries to a live streaming photo gallery where the community can vote and comment on their favorites. (More details here.)
Voting will end at 5 p.m. on April 26. The winner will receive an exclusive LSC gift basket brimming with Green and Gold items.
“We’re a small institution where more than half our students are first in their family to graduate college,” Manley says. “Our goal is to have our alumni, family and friends around the globe spread the word about the great opportunities here. Sharing pictures is the perfect way to reach out to our community. Photos bring back memories and in the fundraising arena, it’s all about tugging at heart strings.”
“Pongr provides a great foundation for us to engage with our alumni — and it helps us do it in a very professional and polished way,” she adds.
Manley hopes that National Green and Gold Day will get an additional boost from its network of successful TV meteorologists, whom she plans to ask to wear their college colors on the air. Those personalities include:
– Jim Cantore, Storm Chaser for The Weather Channel (Class of 1986)
– Nick Gregory, FOX-5, WNYW – New York City (Class of 1982)
– Cindy Fitzgibbon, WCVB-5, Boston (Class of 1995)
– Brandon Wholey, News-4, KRNV-Nevada (Class of 2008)
– Kerrin Jeromin, FOX-44, Burlington, Vermont (Class of 2008)
National Green and Gold Day will also be acknowledged on the floor of the Vermont State Legislature and be read into the Congressional Record by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It will be interesting to see if any of those formal commemorations will contain a glimmer of humor, like the kind the college recently displayed with its April Fool’s gag declaring that the Lyndon Hornet mascot would be replaced with a sword-carrying bottle of maple syrup!
You can participate in National Green and Gold Day early by Pongr’ing a photo of yourself or friends/family in Lyndon gear. Not an LSC alumni? No problem. The Lyndon State College Bookstore sells sweatpants and hoodies to “outsiders” too.
(Pongr’s free Photo Contest Widgets are becoming popular for college and university outreach campaigns. Stay tuned to this space for the inside scoop on Bentley University‘s current “Stronger With Pongr” contest to promote school pride.)