University of Oregon Alumni Association: why I’m ashamed of you

Award programs are tried and true marketing classics. They invite participation (who doesn’t want an award?) through the rush to get nominated, they encourage viral spread through the endless resume updates and they make everybody feel good about their participation in the award program because, hey, it’s a freaking *award*. Not everybody gets those, right?

Unless we’re mistaken it’s now 2011 and the University of Oregon really doesn’t care about giving out awards

Really? Say it isn’t so! Just look the University of Oregon Alumni Association website…I can’t make this stuff up. The nomination form is a PDF (who has time for that?) and the page listing the past recepients…doesn’t give you *any* detail whatsoever. Just a name and the year they graduated. These people could have won for the most homeless run over in a drunken bender that resulted in a DUI, it could have been the folks behind the latest blackwater scandal, the founding of Enron…or the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. We don’t know why they won the award and frankly, seeing the list in such a crappy state makes me feel sorry for the poor sucker who took the time and effort to attempt to enter (or are the winners the only people who bothered to apply for the award?

Here’s a few tips to make this page really sizzle

  1. Include a full page, per award recipient, of their accomplishments, why they won and how many people were considered.
  2. Enable alumni (like myself) to actually vote or do *something* to interact with this whole shindig.
  3. Make a web based form (GASP!) to nominate an alumni for an award…Alex Bates should win something, even as an undergrad, he did amazing work on Glaucoma research.
  4. Give our a list (with bios) of those who were nominated most often, and why – say the top 10 contenders. Yes, there’s only one award, but if you get nominated for an Academy Award, that’s so awesome that just the *nomination* will make tons of people swon.