Young Alumna Builds a Bridge

An energetic, extremely busy college senior jumped on the opportunity to combine a graduation requirement with community involvement in her hometown.

Halle Runion, 2006 graduate of Orrville High School, immediately saw a beneficial partnership between her required senior project at The University of Cincinnati and the 2010 Orrville High School Alumni Reunion.

“It was perfect timing. I had already committed to chairing a committee for the 2010 [OHS Alumni] reunion and it seemed like an experience that would also work well for my senior project” explained Runion.

This is not the first time Orrville provided Runion with an educational opportunity. In the spring of 2009, she interned with the Orrville Historical Society focusing on developing programming at the Smith Orr Homestead.

“Everyone in my family is involved [in Orrville” stated Runion. “It just seems natural for me to give something back.”

In addition to serving as the event chair for the Joy and Memories SWEET Block Party that will be held from 9pm – 1am on Sat, June 26, Runion will also be researching ways to use emerging social media technology to attract the attention of young alums with the hope of increasing the number that attend the reunion.

Runion defines “young alumni” as those who graduated from high school in the last 15 years (1996 – 2010).

“As college students and young professionals the reunion is a perfect networking opportunity.” stated Runion. “Not only can it help you reconnect with classmates, but with older alumni who may be in the position to hire you.”

Connecting with younger alums requires the OHS Alumni Association to meet them where they are. OHSAA already has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and You Tube. Email communication, increased website traffic and online event registration have already saved the OHSAA thousands of dollars in printing and mailing costs.

“I welcomed Halle’s involvement as a young alumna on Reunion Planning Committee. This project helps to engage her even more. I value her insights,” stated Lori Reinbolt, OHS Alumni Reunion Weekend Coordinator.

Another aspect of Runion’s project will be to create a trade show type booth display showcasing Red Rider spirit to an audience that is not familiar with Orrville. Runion selected the tradition of painting “the bridge” as the focal point of her display.

“It’s not just about planning a party. I need to be able to demonstrate the pride of Orrville across generations of high school grads.”

While painting “the bridge” is not an activity endorsed by the school, it is something that Runion felt connected Orrville alumni. Regardless of age, memories of painting the bridge are ones that many can vividly recall.

Orrville alumni are encouraged to email pictures and stories about their bridge painting escapades to halle.runion@gmail.com or send them to OHS Alumni, PO Box 422, Orrville, OH, 44667.

Halle Runion, is the daughter of Jack and Linda (Volpe) Runion of Orrville. She will graduate from the University of Cincinnati in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Facilities and Hospitality Management as well as an Associate Degree in Business Management. Her sights are set on a job in the hospitality industry.

The Orrville High School Alumni Association strives to support the strategic plan of the Orrville City Schools; preserve historical school records and memorabilia; maintain an alumni database; provide channels of communication among alumni; and coordinate events that serve to connect and engage the alumni of Orrville High School.

For more information about the Orrville High School Alumni Association and the 2010 Old OHS Forever Alumni Reunion Weekend visit orrvillealumni.com

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