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Sign the Gold Star

In May 2021, the OCU Office of Alumni Engagement launched the “Sign the Gold Star” tradition. Since I began serving OCU in December 2018, we had been searching for a meaningful tradition for our graduates that had “heart” and could withstand the passage of time. Legend has it, students have been sneaking upstairs to sign the Gold Star Memorial Building since the 1960s. After several conversations with colleagues and alumni, an idea emerged to create an official event that would grant all graduates permission and access to the seventh floor of the Gold Star Building to join the decades of other alumni who have signed their name inside the tower.

The Gold Star Memorial Building was built to honor OCU alumni who lost their lives in World War II. The upper floors were never completed due to accessibility concerns, and the tower is now locked for safety. Sign the Gold Star is a special opportunity for graduates to see the beautiful views from the seventh floor and leave a lasting mark on our campus.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans were made to launch the inaugural tradition in May 2020. The implementation of OCU's new alumni tradition has now taken on more significance and meaning given the resiliency of the classes of 2020 and 2021 in the face of challenges and adversity. The Sign the Gold Star tradition honors the original memorial, while creating an opportunity to recognize the grief, loss, and new beginnings that took place during the 2020 and 2021 academic years.

Moving forward, during graduation week, all new graduates will be invited to join the legacy of Stars who have established a strong foundation of which we can be proud. By signing names as alumni to our beloved Gold Star Building, we hope that when you see our iconic building on campus, in the community and in photographs, you will experience pride for your alma mater and remember the tradition you helped codify in the Gold Star tower.

Honored reunion classes are now invited to come back and Sign the Gold Star during Homecoming. Individuals who choose not to or are unable to climb the tower to the seventh floor have the option to sign a plaque on the ground floor that is hung throughout the year on the wall on the seventh floor of the Gold Star Building next to all other alumni signatures.  

OCU Stars shine brighter,

Megan Hornbeek Allen, ’03
OCU Alumni Engagement & University Advancement

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