Oregon Migrations

Oregon alumni help welcome incoming freshman and their families to the flock at Oregon Migration events

By UO Student Lili Wagner

It’s finally fall, which means the intersection at 13th and Kincaid is bustling, the dorms are a hive of activity, professors are back from summer sabbaticals, the leaves are falling on campus, Autzen Stadium erupts on the weekends with the cheers of 60,000 fans. Amplifying this excitement is the addition of 5,184 new Ducklings—from close to home, across the country, and around the world—who arrived on campus Thursday, September 24.

Of course, before coming to Eugene these Ducks-to-be had a summer of anticipation and preparation. Helping in this transitional process was the University of Oregon Alumni Association, in partnership with the Office of Enrollment Management and the Parent and Family Association. The Oregon Migrations, previously known as Student Send-Offs, are events hosted by UOAA chapters that invited incoming students to join Oregon alumni for a program of refreshments, activities, question and answer sessions, and more. The Oregon Migrations helped ease the transition from home to school by welcoming incoming freshmen and their families to the University of Oregon community, and demonstrating its strength not just in Eugene but across the country.

Brook Taylor, president of the Sacramento Ducks, explained the strength of his city’s Duck network, “Sacramento has a high concentration of Ducks, so much so that we’re becoming known as Eugene South. You can see Oregon O’s all over. Our hope as Sacramento Ducks is that these students return to the area as local leaders.”

With approximately 400 members, including not just alumni but also family and friends, the Sacramento Ducks are one of California’s biggest alumni groups. Their Oregon Migration event, held at the corporate offices of the Sacramento Republic FC, drew more than 50 incoming Ducks and their family members, and more than 30 alumni.

“A lot of our programming was to help the parents understand what it’s like to be a part of the University of Oregon network in Sacramento,” said Taylor. “We have watch parties, and alumni and family activities throughout the fall.”

As parents and families enjoyed their break-out sessions, students enjoyed a session of their own where they could ask questions, hear advice and campus recommendations, and get to know one another.

“The best advice I’ve heard for incoming students, that I would echo, is to experience as much as possible,” Taylor says. “There are so many opportunities at the University of Oregon, from clubs and campus organizations to study abroad opportunities. Students should get involved and try as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, 2,404 miles across the Pacific Ocean at Waialae Country Club, the Hawaii Ducks hosted their own Oregon Migration.

“The kids from Hawaii are a little different in that the mainland is far from their families and much different than Hawaii (weather, culture, et cetera),“ Matt Moore, president of the Hawaii Ducks, explained. "This event is very important for them to be reassured they are going to love it.”

The Hawaii Ducks drew ninety-one people to their event this year, including students, parents, and Hawaii Ducks board members.

“During the event our agenda is registration, mingling and networking, speeches, lunch, questions, a breakout session, and a final thank you,” Moore says.

Incoming students also had the opportunity to ask questions to current UO students.

The Oregon Migrations extend the strength of the Oregon support system to new Duck families, demonstrate the power of the university’s incredible network of alumni, and help welcome Ducklings to the University of Oregon community.