Chapter Spotlight – Zeta Upsilon (Washington University)

by Alpha Phi Foundation in Focus on Philanthropy

This month’s Chapter Spotlight is on Zeta Upsilon (Washington University)! They held their 2014 Red Dress Gala at a unique venue and introduced a way to tie the importance of academics into their event. Vice President of Marketing Casey Merber tells us all about it.

Event Name: Red Dress Gala
Location: Third Degree Glass Blowing Factory
How many times have you held this event? 7

Who attended the event?
Chapter members, parents and members of the Greek community.

How long did it take to plan the event?
5 months

Briefly describe the event.
We hosted our Red Dress Gala at a local glass blowing factory. The evening consisted of raffle prizes, a 50/50 raffle and a speaker from the Foundation. We also presented awards to two professors for the first time.

Tell us more about the awards you gave professors.
We gave an Alpha Phi Influential Faculty Award to a Psychology professor and a Chemistry professor. We accepted nominations from chapter members and then reviewed the nominations together before putting it to a chapter-wide vote. We extended complimentary invitations to the two professors and then spoke about them at the event. As the chapter with the highest GPA on campus it was a really nice way to highlight two special people who helped us get to this point, and  to show our families how influential Alpha Phi has been in our academic pursuits.

How did your chapter publicize the event?
We created a Facebook event and leveraged a social media campaign with members making individual posts to draw attention to the event. We mailed invitations to all of our members’ parents encouraging them to attend. Red Dress was also incorporated into our overall philanthropy week so other Greek organizations on campus received points for their number of attendees and dollars donated.

What was your favorite part of the event?
The venue! Everyone absolutely loved it. It was decorated with beautiful glass pieces everywhere.

What did you learn from planning your event that other chapters could benefit from?
Start planning early and stay organized! Also, in trying to keep our overall event costs low, it was really beneficial to choose a venue that would shine on its own. This helped us save money on decorations for the evening.

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