Ducks Doing Good

Ducks Lend a Hand in Local Communities

By UO student Chelsea Fullmer

Whether tutoring at a local school, beautifying campus, or helping a nearby food bank, Ducks near and far are doing their part to give back to various communities.

May 15 marked University Day at the UO, a day dedicated to beautifying the campus. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni laced up their work shoes and gardening gloves to spread bark dust, plant flowers, and improve the landscaping. Alumni association staff members, SAA members, and even UO President Michael Gottfredson himself joined in the fun, preparing the campus for the thousands of visitors expected to arrive in June for graduation.

“University Day provides a fantastic opportunity for alumni to return to the university and help beautify the campus for commencement in June, working alongside so many current students who are willing to give their time to improve their campus,” said Assistant Director of Student and Alumni Relations Susan Burton ’09. “It's wonderful to see both students and alumni out all over campus giving back to the UO and taking pride in their alma mater in this important tradition. The alumni truly love the opportunity to continue to be involved in this long-standing tradition, and students are able to see the results of all of their hard work every day as they walk through campus.”

The Lane County Ducks chapter of the UOAA held its final Duck Academy for this academic year on May 21, bringing the students of Fairfield Elementary School to the UO for a campus tour. Throughout the year, volunteers visit the school on the third Wednesday of each month, assisting students with homework and joining them in various activities. For the last installment of the year, the Lane County Ducks brought the kids to campus, giving many of them their first college tour experience.

“Bringing students to campus is vital to this volunteer process” said Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Jeremy Olsen. “Often, the students we are working with have only heard about the UO and are not even sure what it is. Bringing them to campus helps them understand what we have been sharing all year—what it means to be a UO student, alumnus or alumna, and an engaged community member; and how the UO and a great education can foster better lives.”

Across the Rockies in Colorado, the Denver Ducks hosted their second annual volunteer event on May 17 by helping Project C.U.R.E., the largest provider of medical supplies and equipment to developing countries. Volunteers gathered to sort through supplies, readying shipments for the charity organization that serves more than 120 countries worldwide.

This summer will continue to be a busy time for Ducks who wish to help in their communities. The PDX Ducks are looking for volunteers to walk in the Portland Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 7, and the Bay Area Ducks are hosting another Duck Night at the San Francisco Food Bank on Wednesday, July 16.