Open Eye: First Thursday: Time to plan a celebration

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The Independent Online
Holidays over, summer school or graduation day (or both) but a blurrred memory, and the global warming debate is back on the back burner to await another heatwave. It's now time to turn our attention to... having some fun.

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the creation by Royal Charter of the Open University. It will also see our 250,000th graduate. We thought that it would present an ideal opportunity to celebrate.

The only question is: how?

One suggestion from a reader is that we organise a lot of events around the country to run concurrently, perhaps all linked by television (it is also the anniversary of the BBC's association with the OU).

It could be a black tie event at a posh hotel in London and a '60s evening in Manchester, or vice versa -there's no reason why the Main Event should be in the capital, nor even why a black tie function should be the Main Event.

Perhaps a formal dinner in a second city and an informal buffet in a third, a jazz evening in one place and a folk evening in another... Anything, in fact, that the members of the OU community want. And a sufficently wide range of events to enable OU alumni to pick their event and to travel to it.

Another suggestion is that we organise a series of commemorative celebrity lectures. On what? Perhaps on every subject that the University offers. This too would need to be a moveable feast.

And of course we can do more than one thing: we can have celebratory parties as well as lectures; 12 months allows for a lot of celebrating - and it would be a good rehearsal for the Millennium.

Any ideas? - If so we would dearly like to hear from you. Please tell us how you would like to celebrate. The e-mail address is alum@open.ac.uk and the snail-mail address is on the page facing this.

The Alumni Association exists to give its members what they want - it will be a great help if you tell us what that is.

It also helps if, when you communicate with us, you give us your PI Number (if you can remember it) and your full address - this means that we can keep our records up to date and, in fact, we plan to write soon to ask you to co-operate with a readership survey for Open Eye.

Potential advertisers, not unreasonably, wish to know what sort of audience they would be addressing - and since advertising pays to keep Open Eye going as a unique publication in the world of alumni affairs, we need to supply that information. It is frustrating when mailings are returned marked "not known at this address".

So, do contact your alma mater - a letter to this magazine, a suggestion for next year's celebration (or both), or just an update on your current whereabouts, at home or at work.

Let's keep in touch!

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