A Toast to the Tassel celebrates almost-grads



Seniors gathered at the Royal Park Hotel on Thursday, March 30 to raise a glass and celebrated the night with a performance from Gold Vibrations.

The bubbly has been brought.

Around 400 students graduating from Oakland University celebrated in style during A Toast to the Tassel. Held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, festivities took place at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester.

Dressed in polished cocktail or business attire, guests gathered in a grand, ambient ballroom. The event kicked off with a performance by the Gold Vibrations, OU’s coed a cappella group.

This was followed by a brief program featuring Amy Coe, regional assistant vice president of the Oakland University Credit Union, which  sponsored the event. Student Congress Vice President Anders Engnell also got quite a few laughs from the audience with his speech.

After a heartfelt message from President George Hynd, those eagerly eying the hundreds of champagne flutes were finally given the go-ahead. With a room of raised glasses, Hynd proposed a toast in honor of the graduates.

Students spent the rest of the evening enjoying each other’s company while munching on hors d’oeuvres. Attendees got the chance to strike a pose with the Grizz or commemorate the event with snaps inside a photo booth.

The celebration wrapped up with the announcement of a lengthy list of raffle-prize winners.

This included a Elliott Clock Tower VIP tour package, dinner with Vice President for Student Affairs Glenn McIntosh, an OU Night at Comerica Park ticket package, a Meadow Brook Hall tour and gift basket, and VIP Courtside tickets to Young Alumni Night at the O’rena.

These gifts were specifically selected to connect students back to campus after graduation.

“I think it was a great tribute to graduating seniors,” said Emily Burnett, a senior communication major who attended the event. She enjoyed the speakers’ emphasis on the pride of graduation.

Burnett feels it is important to stay connected to the university.

“I believe the Alumni Association offers opportunities to its alumni that could be very beneficial, whether it be for a job or for just making friends that have similar interests,” Burnett said.

This was the second-annual A Toast to the Tassel. The event was named one of the Best New Alumni Programs by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2016.

The night was presented by the OU Alumni Association and hosted by the Young Alumni Council.

“The OUAA and Young Alumni Council work to engage alums back to the life of the university in a meaningful way,” said Amanda Fylan, assistant director of alumni engagement and head coordinator of the event.

Fylan said this event introduced students to different alumni programming and events.

“Just because students are graduating does not mean they can’t still be involved in campus life,” Fylan said. “We work to provide meaningful ways for alums to stay connected to their classmates, as well as the university, through events, networking, volunteer and mentor opportunities.”

Fylan said the event went better than she could have hoped.

“The students seemed to have such a great time and looked lovely all dressed up,” she said. “I believe students will remember Toast fondly as their first Alumni Association event.”

The organization’s next event is the OUAA Golf Challenge on June 12, where alumni and friends can meet up for a round of golf at the OU Golf & Learning Center. Visit the OUAA website for more information.