COLUMBUS, Miss. – After moving to a fully virtual auction, the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association announced the 2020 Long Blue Line Auction raised $26,000 for faculty enhancement grants.
The grants are designed to enrich the educational and professional activities of faculty members. Also included in funding is the New Faculty Award, which is given to a newer faculty member to recognize their work supporting the academic mission of The W.
Since fully endowing the Legacy Scholarship, the MUWAA Board of Directors elected to direct proceeds to faculty grants. Proceeds that exceed the amount of these grants will further work toward endowing additional funds to eventually sustain these awards.
Earlier this year, the MUWAA Special Events Committee elected to delay the auction when Homecoming and all connected events were postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the committee worked to transition the auction to a fully online format in August.
Committee Chair Carolyn Wilson Byrd, ‘76 noted her gratefulness for the auction’s faithful bidders, “which resulted in spectacular bidding. We are also grateful for the wonderful items donors had already provided.”
The ongoing pandemic has created the need for creative thinking for a variety of events since March.
"Our Alumni Association board members have done an amazing job thinking outside of traditional boundaries to achieve their committee goals and charges,” said Rebecca Rogers ‘00, MUWAA president. “2020 has been a year like no other, and rather than being defeated by frustrations, these outstanding alumni have risen to the occasion with a seemingly insatiable desire to seize this opportunity, change things up and make each of our annual events new again. It has been a very exciting year for us so far!"
This innovative brainstorming led to the conjunction of two major events: The Boogie Back to Blue campaign, which is the Alumni Association’s annual membership drive and the online Long Blue Line Auction.
"When the Membership Recruitment Committee presented the idea for their annual social media membership campaign ‘Back to Blue’ to become a virtual dance party, there was instant agreement. It would be the perfect kickoff for the virtual 2020 Long Blue Line Auction,” said Rogers. “Bringing people together, moving through the decades of music, and spotlighting some of the most sought-after auction items via live-stream in real time was more fun than I could have imagined.”
Rogers also noted that it helped to launch the auction and helped alumni to find different ways to support the MUWAA. “Boogie Back to Blue made the MUWAA and its efforts more visible and accessible to alumni of The W. I hope we can keep some type of live-streamed entertainment after we are free from our pandemic-induced virtual lives."
The MUWAA supports and promotes the mission of The W and provides alumni engagement opportunities. Any former student who has completed at least 12 semester hours at the university and has made an annual contribution to the MUW Foundation is an active member eligible to vote and hold office for the year. For more information, visit the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association website at https://longblueline.muw.edu.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 8, 2020