There is a student organization at Messiah College that has recently been drawing much attention from students and alumni. It’s Messiah’s student alumni council Eyas, an organization that seeks to build school spirit and tradition, unify students and connect the student body with alumni. Eyas was founded in 2006 and has quickly grown in popularity as its members have been creating exciting programming for students and alumni.
So, where did a council with such unique impact find an equally unusual name? According to Eyas’ website, “An eyas is a falcon in the stage of its development when it learns to fly. This stage occurs right before the falcon leaves its mother to exist on its own. In the same way, Eyas looks to positively impact students during their time at Messiah before they move on to their various future endeavors.”
One particular way Eyas recently assisted students was by co-hosting “Mocktail Hour.” If you had walked into the Oakes Museum the night of the event, you would have witnessed more than 100 students and alumni interacting and exchanging business cards over a spread of catered hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Mocktail Hour simulated a typical networking environment and was co-hosted by Eyas and the College’s Career Center.
The evening was designed to teach students how to properly network in a business or social environment. Mocktail Hour did just that and more, according to sophomore Rachel Scarborough. “Attending Mocktail Hour helped me become comfortable conversing with professionals in my own field as well as other fields,” said Scarborough. “It was also beneficial to learn that although the people you are networking with may not be directly in your field, you can learn from their experience.”
Mocktail Hour is just one of the many events Eyas hosts on an annual basis. Others include sporting tailgates, an annual dodgeball tournament and soccer and basketball whiteouts. (Whiteouts encourage all fans to wear white clothing and cheer on the Falcons as a unified body.) All of Eyas’ events revolve around their goals of creating spirited traditions and unifying the school as a whole.
Currently Eyas is preparing for its second annual Eyas Eggstravaganza on April 21. Last year, the event invited students and alumni to campus for a grand-scale egg hunt. In the morning, Eyas held an egg hunt for children of alumni and later in the day, an egg hunt for Messiah students. Inviting alumni back to campus for a day of fun is just one tactic Eyas uses to connect students with alumni in hopes of creating mutually beneficial relationships.
Another creative way Eyas is looking to impact students is with its new “Give ‘em a Break” program. This year, alumni have the opportunity to sponsor a care package for students during finals week. Every student will receive a package which will include finals “necessities” for students—items such as gum, granola bars and pencils. Alumni can sponsor one care package for just $10 and include a personal note of encouragement to the student who receives it.
Eyas not only has a positive effect on College alumni relationships but also on its members. Junior Class President and Eyas member Matthew Fenton attests to this. “Eyas has been immensely important in my life at Messiah College. Over the last three years, I feel that I have learned so much about what the College sees as important concerning community and school spirit. I have received the opportunity that not many students get: to help the College actually achieve these goals.”
To learn more about Eyas and their upcoming events, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EyasMC.
By Jordan Parenti ’13, chair of Eyas