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39th Annual Conference Schedule & Program
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Schedule at a Glance

Saturday, March 23

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.     Pre-Conference Workshop – additional fee

1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.     Registration

Sunday, March 24

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Registration

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.   First Timer’s Welcome

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Keynote and Brunch

Noon – 4:00 p.m.           Expo

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.   Region 1 & 2 Meetings

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.   Region 3, 4 & 5 Visit Expo

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.     Region 1 & 2 Visit Expo

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.     Region 3, 4 & 5 Meetings

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.     Town Hall

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.     Refreshments in Expo

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Special Interest Sessions, Block A

Monday, March 25

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.     Coffee with Colleagues – Network with attendees over coffee or tea.

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.     CCEP Breakfast – invitation only

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.   One-on-One Exhibitor Appointments

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   Demonstration Opportunities

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.   General Interest Sessions, 3 concurrent sessions

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Roundtables

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Town Hall

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.   Awards & Recognition Luncheon

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.     Special Interest Sessions, Block B

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Institute – additional fee

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.     Special Interest Sessions, Block C

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Affinity Group Sessions

Tuesday, March 26

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.      Business Meeting

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.   Special Interest Sessions, Block D

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Topic Expert Sessions

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Special Interest Sessions, Block E

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.   Networking Luncheon

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.     Special Interest Sessions, Block F

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.     Closing Keynote - Resilient and Ready: How to Thrive Through Challenge and Change

4:05 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.     Presidential Presentation and ACCED-I 40th Annual Conference Preview:
Providence, RI 

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.     Closing Event at Wyndham


Wednesday, March 27

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   Optional Post-Conference Tour, University of Pittsburgh – additional fee



Saturday, March 23

New Conference & Events Professional Workshop
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Lunch is included
$139 student/$169 member/$199 non-member
Maximum attendance: 30 - this workshop is designed for those who have been in collegiate conferences and events for 2 years or less

Presented by: Krysta Kasinski, CCEP, Director, Conference and Events, California State University Maritime Academy, Trish Carlson, Director of Conference & Event Services, Loyola Marymount University, and Mary Cranwell, MA, Director of Conferences & Special Events, Georgian Court University

Have you ever asked yourself “What did I get myself into?”  Well, you’re not alone. This workshop is ideal for the new professional who is looking for an opportunity to learn the ropes.  Join us for a day packed with great information and facilitated interaction. We will talk about the basics, discuss best practices and provide you resources to take back to your operation to help you work more efficiently and confidently.

This workshop will include overviews of the following topics:

  • Defining your mission
  • Managing campus politics
  • Building a team
  • Customer Service
  • Contracts & RFPs
  • Logistical Planning
  • Budgets
  • Business Development/Sales and marketing
  • Using technology effectively
  • Getting the most out of your ACCED-I Membership

> Return to Schedule

Sunday, March 24

First Timer’s Welcome
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

If this is your first ACCED-I conference, be sure to join us before the opening keynote to meet key ACCED-I members, fellow attendees and gain an understanding of how the conference works. Get connected right away to ensure a successful three days.  For those that have signed up for the connections program, this will be the place to meet up with your connector/connection.

Keynote Address and Brunch
10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Teams In Perfect Harmony: Creative Collaboration
Presented by: Peter Himmelman

Learn to develop an instant trust that will make your team powerfully co-creative.

You need four things to grow your business.
• Better creativity
• Better processes
• Better solutions
• Better service

The glue that holds any team together and allows these things to happen is trust. It’s trust alone that reduces fear and allows teams to become co-creative. The magic of Big Muse is that it allows you to quickly create trust.  So often Peter is asked: “Can you help make our people more creative”? Through experience, he's found that that particular challenge has less to do with “making people more creative” than it does with developing an environment that’s more trusting.  The people you employ work for you because you believe they are highly competent and highly intelligent. Knowing that, Peter doesn’t frame the solution around “bringing out” creativity, but rather, on how to create the trust that allows it to effortlessly shine forth.  Intelligent people are creative by nature, all they need is an environment of trust and their creativity will burst forth.

Noon – 4:00 p.m.

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Dedicated time for Region 3, 4 and 5
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Dedicated time for Region 1 and 2
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Refreshments in Expo

Be sure to visit the Expo and learn about the many products and services that can help your operation. We will have games, an opportunity to get a business head shot, product, and cash giveaways to add value to your time in the Expo.  An afternoon break will be provided in the expo hall from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Regional Meetings
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Region 1 and 2
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Region 3, 4 and 5

Join your region for an informational meeting that will cover Association business, your regional leadership, activities, and more. 

Town Hall
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Prior to Tuesday’s ACCED-I Business Meeting, attend one of two town halls to hear the state of the Association reports and ask questions of ACCED-I staff and board of directors.

Special Interest Sessions – Block A
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

New and Innovative Promotional Merchandise Ideas
Presented by: Marty Bear, President, Professional Marketing Services, Inc.

This presentation will help you identify the top 20 sponsorship and attendee promo items of the year.  You will learn how to support special and theme events at your meeting with promo items.  New items and ideas for your exhibitors and sponsors will also be explored.  You will find ways to help increase your sponsorship product offerings at little or no cost, while also discovering new promotional ideas for speaker gifts, VIP, board members and more.  Lastly, we will address how to set up a promotional item sponsorship template to expand your offerings.

 Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the top 20 sponsorship and attendee promo items of 2018-2019
  • Discover new items and ideas for your exhibitors and sponsors
  •  Support special and theme events at your meeting with promo items

Gen Z Has Arrived – Ten Things You Need to Know
Presented by: Steve Robertson, CEO, Julian Krinsky Program Development & Management

Gen Z (born 1996-2010): They are in your home, on your campus and at your office. Are you ready for them? Gen Z have grown up in a time when technology is a tool instead of a toy and when peers — not elders — are their mentors. This means hiring and managing Gen Z will require an approach different from any taken before. If you’re not embracing Gen Z, you are missing an incredible opportunity. Generation Z’s creativity, dedication, innovation and skills will be in high demand in the coming years. This session will leave you excited about what unique skills Gen Z offers and show you how to leverage the talent of these incredible young people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify what shapes and motivates Gen Z
  • Incorporate customizable approaches to recruiting and leading Gen Z
  • Explore actionable techniques that can improve your home, campus and office

Best Practices for Summer Camps and Conferences
Presented by: Kim Araya, Director, American University and Christina LaDue, Associate Director of Conferences & Special Events, Amherst College

This session will address the top ten best practices you need to know in order to host a successful conference or summer camp on your university /college. We will discuss a step-by-step process starting from the beginning of "knowing your Mission and Vision statement" and taking you through the ten steps concluding with "what to do now that the client has departed". This is a basic program for every conference planner that is relatively new to the profession.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the basics about your campus mission, vision and goals
  • Discover the who, what and when in dealing with Request for Proposal (RFP) and client site visits
  • Understand the contract, timeline, when on campus and final billing

Customer Service, Satisfaction Guaranteed: Going from Good to Great
Presented by: Tiffany Hammond, Assistant Director for Conference Services and Jami King, Assistant Director for Event Services, The University of Southern Mississippi

Everyone strives to provide quality service, but occasionally a customer leaves dissatisfied. How do we prevent this from happening? The Department of Event and Conference Services at The University of Southern Mississippi, adopted the mentality of, “Going from Good to Great”. This motto has become our service standard and has proven effective as our satisfaction ratings continue to increase. In this session, we will discuss concepts to help your team set their own service standards and cultivate a customer service mindset. In addition, your staff will be able to implement tools to help improve performance and create buy-in.

Learning Objectives:

  • Create customer service standards that fit your operation
  • Develop staff (both student and professional) to better understand, appreciate and value the role that each person plays and help them see the big picture
  • Discover best practices when working with a variety of audiences and how to tailor services to meet their needs in the best way possible, without sacrificing resources

Stop the Ferris Wheel and Enjoy the View
Presented by: Nikki Lee, Senior Associate Director, The University of Texas at San Antonio

How cool is it that we get to work with students every day! Don’t always feel that way? Pittsburgh is home to the first Ferris wheel ever created. And sometimes training event student staff can sometimes feel like we're circling on a Ferris wheel over and over again and just want to get off the spinning ride. This session will highlight some models to train, motivate and engage student staff whose dream job isn't in the event industry. Explore ways to reinvent student staff training so it’s a fun ride for everyone. If the wheel is running smoothly, we can sit back and enjoy the view!

Learning Objectives:

  • Enhance your toolbox of ideas for motivating student staff
  • Understand how a comprehensive training matrix can bolster accountability and autonomy
  • Incorporate assessment methods of student staff development as a tool for continued campus support

How to Increase Efficiencies with On-Campus Partners – Case Study
Presented by: Brenda Soto, Director of College Events, Colorado College; Jeff Hartmann, Assistant Director of College and Community Events, Colorado College and Jill Newman, Account Executive, Ungerboeck Software International

This session will demonstrate how Colorado College works with internal and external clients by using the initial agreements, contracts and booking portal. The session will then cover how we use that information to communicate with campus partners facilities, audio-visual and campus safety to increase efficiencies in our department.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how on-line forms have eliminated the need for multiple fill in forms
  • Discover how departments get real time information
  • Learn how to utilize the campus calendar

How to Build a Protocol Tool Kit of Resources on Campus
Presented by: Florine Postell, CCEP, Program Director, University of Cincinnati 

Protocol is a field still unfamiliar on most campuses, but with some knowledge of protocol tools, you can begin to build your own tool box of resources. Who owns flags and bunting? Who has a cache of classy gifts? What access do you have for VIP transportation? Come to this session to discuss how to pull existing campus resources together and start to build a protocol tool kit that can be shared. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify opportunities of local collaboration and team work
  • Discover how to allocate existing resources and save dollars
  • Learn about the field of protocol

 > Return to Schedule

Monday, March 25

General Interest Sessions
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Connecting the Dots - How to Stay Relevant and Position Yourself for Success
Presented by: Michael J. Lyons, Speaker and Author

In today's fast-moving, ever-changing collegiate conference and events professionals industry, mastering multiple competencies as a professional is vitally important if you aspire to move up in your career.

Regardless of your current skill set, level of experience, title, or responsibilities, the ongoing expansion of your career tool kit must continue on a daily basis, with the end goal becoming a well-rounded professional ready to assume positions of increased responsibility as you progress in your career.

Learning how to build and fine tune strong relationships, maintain work-life balance, grow as a leader, network better, and polish your personal brand, among other skills – are all important components to achieving your mission.

In this eye-opening presentation, highly respected meetings and events industry veteran Michael Lyons will guide you through an entertaining, interactive discussion that will yield some important and useful learner outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Focus on the key attributes that make up your professional reputation and personal brand
  • Innovate, adapt and change in order to stay relevant and ahead of the curve
  • Articulate your value to your employer and clients
  • Develop consistent positive “self-talk”
  • Become a more compassionate leader, mentor and role model


Free Speech on Campuses: Balancing the 1st Amendment and Valuing Equity and Inclusion
Presented by: Jeffery C. Sun, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education & Department Chair, Affiliate Professor of Law, Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development (ELEOD), University of Louisville

How do campus leaders further interests of equity and inclusion within the law? Increasingly, student expressions and behaviors have challenged equity and inclusion policies and priorities. For instance, many campuses have had to contend with hecklers at speaking engagements, protestors of campus monuments, and social media messages with vitriolic attacks that later affect campus events. This session will provide a set of legal frameworks to analyze several tension points between student rights and responsibilities, one the one hand, and interests of equity and inclusion, on the other hand. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how an institution’s speech/protest policy impacts a conference and special events office
  • Identify and apply key legal responsibilities associated with constitutional and contractual obligations during student protest and other controversial expressions
  • Appraise your policies/protocols using a series of action steps


Campus Events, Public Relations, and Social Media: From Brand-Building to Crisis Response
Presented by: Steven S. Vrooman, Ph.D., Chair, Department of English and Communication Studies & Director of General Education Texas Lutheran University

Could we build a social media culture around a campus event or conference that connected people to each other months before it began? Could we advertise in a way that did not lead those who have already registered to skip or skim? Could we foster a pattern of participant interactions beyond a few comments from power users on the conference hashtag or app? Could we have participants so engaged in our social media that in the event of crises from the small (food or venue changes) to big (weather or safety issues), we didn’t need to hope only in their attention to our emails? And could we find people still engaging with each other about the event after it was over, through airport, home and beyond?

We could. We can.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a more integrated social media strategy that can deepen engagements before, during and after an event
  • Learn how to avoid missed opportunities
  • Increase participant interaction through all phases of your event


10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Roundtable discussions offer the opportunity to informally exchange information with your colleagues on a variety of subjects. Topics will be announced in February.

Town Hall
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Prior to Tuesday’s ACCED-I Business Meeting, attend one of two town halls to hear the state of the Association reports and ask questions of ACCED-I staff and board of directors.

Awards and Recognition Luncheon
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Gather for lunch as we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of your ACCED-I colleagues at our Association’s annual awards program.


Institute – additional fee - $25.00
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Campus Events, Public Relations, and Social Media Institute
Presented by: Steven S. Vrooman, Ph.D., Chair, Department of English and Communication  Studies & Director of General Education Texas Lutheran University

Building on the general session, Dr. Vrooman will take attendees beyond the blueprint and strategy to hands-on design of social media for their events. We will build and refine goals and tactics. We will generate timelines and a menu of different social media post types before, during and after an event. We will critique our work together and revise. Finally, we will form teams and respond to various “problems” at every step of our timeline.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a set of creative idea resources for day-to-day social media before, during and after your event
  • Practice navigating difficult issues
  • Leave with refined big picture questions to take to your colleagues


Special Interest Sessions – Block B
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Good Boss, Bad Boss - What We Can Learn from the Best & the Worst
Presented by: Michael J. Lyons, Speaker and Author

In this highly interactive session - part therapy, part leadership development – session leader Mike Lyons will guide the audience members through a discussion of what leadership characteristics we should all strive towards. Participants will contribute, identify and discuss the traits and attributes of both good bosses and bad bosses they have had in the past, and see how to apply those learning experiences in a positive way in their own growth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Share examples of positive and negative supervisory experiences that will help guide future development as a leader
  • Learn the things you need to focus on to become a positive role model and mentor to people who work for you
  • Identify and take back to the workplace leadership techniques that can be put in place immediately that will foster a better work environment


Leading Your Team at a Public College: How to Deal with Gripes, Contestable Comments, and Free Speech
Presented by: Jeffery C. Sun, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education & Department Chair, Affiliate Professor of Law, Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development (ELEOD), University of Louisville

Do you have employees or co-workers who gripe about their workplace or present “ideas” that criticize your leadership? When are those comments free speech, grudgingly helpful critiques, disruptive to the workplace, or unwelcome expressions needing corrective action? Drawing on the First Amendment, this session offers practical guidelines to address these expressions under legal rules of public employee Free Speech rights.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the legal conundrum between actionable public employee expressions and nonactionable employee expressions
  • Differentiate between an employee’s protected free speech expressions and non-free speech expressions at the workplace using a series of case studies
  • Employ at least three corrective action steps based on various scenarios in which public employees forward expressions that courts would likely deem as non-free speech


ACCED-I’s Collegiate Conference & Events Professional (CCEP) Certification Program
Presented by: Sarah Goodrich, CCEP, MS, Conference Services Director, East Stroudsburg University; Mary Kay Baker, CCEP, Director of Conference & Special Housing Services, Lehigh University; and Matthew Jauregui, CCEP, Associate Director, Conference & Events Services, Loyola Marymount University

This session is for CCEP candidates, current CCEPs and members interested in learning more about the CCEP certification program. The CCEP program encourages volunteering, leadership, and service to the Association. We will cover educational, volunteer and leadership requirements; responsibilities of mentors/mentees; and the essay writing section. Candidates often encounter challenges in completing the certification and benefited a great deal in their professions. The CCEP program follows criteria developed by the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), of which ACCED-I is one of 36-member organizations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about requirements needed to enter the CCEP program
  • Understand the program challenges and how to complete the certification
  • Discover how the CCEP program can benefit you professionally and personally


Implementing and Managing Coordination Fees for Your Services
Presented by: Nicole Braatz, Sales and Marketing Manager and Kathy Newstead, Manager of Operations, Queen’s University-Kingston, Ontario, Canada

As an event services department on campus we often fall as an auxiliary department with mandates to produce revenue streams to assist student programs and to grow/develop your department. Queen’s University has been charging coordination fees since 2006. In 2018 our coordination fee revenue produced just over $400,000 with 55 percent coming from internal campus clients. Charging fees for our services not only creates a professional brand on campus but also offers a one-stop shop. This session will review the who, what, where, why and how of charging and implementing coordination fees within your event services world.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to introduce and manage coordination fees for your services
  • Create a coordination fee chart that makes sense for your business
  • Provide a clear opportunity to review areas where you can grow your services, staff and profits through this revenue stream
  • Create a communication and marketing plan and strategy for implementing coordination fees on your campus


Using Advanced Tech Tools to Improve Your Marketing Strategy 
Presented by: Steven Kaczmarczyk, Assistant Director, Conferencing & College Events, Valencia College

In this session, we will explore data-driven decision making in marketing and the advanced resources likely already available at your college or university to improve your department’s digital marketing strategy. Learn how to implement tools like Google Analytics and AdWords to drive traffic to your website, MailChimp for communication, Qualtrics for data capture and other trending technology. Explore Social Media options like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to discover what is effective for your target audience. Whether you are marketing to outside clients, internal stakeholders, or students, you’ll leave this session with great ideas for new engagement to take back to your teams. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Capture and use data when making strategic marketing decision
  • Discover strategic marketing tools potentially already available on your campus
  • Improve engagement and interaction with clients and partners 


Implementing Change: "But We've Always Done It This Way!" Isn't Good Enough
Presented by: Nathan Lubich, Assistant Director of Operations, Yale Conferences & Events, Yale University

“We’ve always done it this way.” “That won’t work here.” “We already have a system for that.” Anyone who has tried to implement a change on your campus is probably familiar with these phrases. Change is hard and it can be even harder when working in the framework of higher education with long institutional memory, siloed departments and strong personalities. Whether you are looking to re-organize your student staffing model, change the way your department processes invoices or modify an existing university-wide reservation system; implementing change on-campus can result in a lot of feedback, unique challenges and a lot of hard work. This session will explore some of the challenges and benefits to implementing change in your department, your division or your institution. We will look at common responses to change and how to address them as well as strategies for analyzing and presenting your proposed changes in a way that develops buy-in from your colleagues, administration and staff.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn strategies for analyzing and assessing new or changed processes
  • Be able to identify and address common responses to proposed change
  • Understand the intra-department and inter-department dynamics involved in implementing change

Virtual Reality: An Accessible Game Changer in the Collegiate Event Industry
Presented by: Sandy Hammer, Co-founder and CMO, AllSeated

Virtual Reality is the future of conference sales. One day soon, you’ll promote your university or college by giving personal, VR tours. You will transport prospective clients instantly to your site and walk them through the best features as if you were taking them through the actual space in person. In this interactive session, we’ll discuss the history and evolution of Virtual Reality, and how it is positioned to be a major game changer in our industry.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how Virtual Reality evolved and why big brands are investing billions into it
  • Identify pain points VR addresses, how it helps convert sales for your university or college, and how it will help you stand out from your competition
  • Discover how to access VR for your college or university

Special Interest Sessions – Block C
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Collegiate Conference & Events Professional (CCEP) Candidates: Fast Track to Completion
Presented by: Christina Patarino, CCEP, Conference Coordinator, University of Colorado Boulder and Erica Spencer, CCEP, CMP, Director, Conference Services Bureau, Florida Institute of Technology

Designed specifically for those currently enrolled in the CCEP program, this is an opportunity to get motivated, whether you are just getting started or in the middle of the program. During this session we will discuss tips and tricks to completing the program in three years or less.  We will discuss how often and how to submit work completed with educational sessions, volunteer hours, and professional development.   You will receive suggestions on how to work with your mentor and most importantly how to tackle the CCEP workbook questions.   This is an interactive session, come with your many questions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a plan to complete your CCEP in a timely fashion
  • Learn best practices to organize your time with submissions and workbook questions
  • Leave motivated to complete your CCEP certification


To Charge or Not to Charge: The Attrition Dilemma
Presented by: Jim Hodges, Director, Conference & Event Services, Duke University and Mary Kay Baker, CCEP, Director of Conference & Special Housing Services, Lehigh University

Hotels charge an attrition penalty if an event or conference uses fewer hotel rooms than were reserved in the signed contract... but what do we, as collegiate conference and event professionals, do to protect our institutions?  On our campuses, we have experienced an uptick of summer programs providing high initial estimates but coming in with significantly lower numbers.  Additionally, for those of us who manage event venues, this same conversation becomes relevant for these meeting spaces. How do you manage competing needs when a few programs monopolize all the dates?  We will share our thoughts and experiences and at the same time request those attending this session to come prepared to talk about their knowledge on this important topic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine what attrition means
  • Understand what lost business opportunities cost your institution
  • Discover how to implement attrition strategies


The Conference and Event Services Impact on Student Enrollment
Presented by: Luke Warren, Chief Sales Officer, Kinetic Software and Becky McMillen, Executive Director, University Conference Services, California University of Pennsylvania

The departments of Conference and Event Services can have a huge impact on student enrollment. Delving into this data can provide important information for your department as well as the wider institution. Utilizing data and research, this session will explore how conference and event professionals can measure their academic commerciality and itsimpact on student enrollment.  Tips and tricks will be provided on how to harness such intel to boost your teams’ future efforts.

Learning Objectives:

  •  Discover how to compile and interpret data showcasing the importance of your department that can be used in business plans, annual reports and/or shared with the wider institution
  •  Determine how to gauge the impact your office has on student enrollment and academic commerciality
  •  Learn how this data can prepare you to tackle your institution’s decision-making processes more effectively


Hosting International Events on Campus
Presented by: Lina Layiktez, Director, University of California, Davis; Meghan Webb, CMP, Assistant Director, University of Utah; Kim Araya, Director, American University and Kendra Courson, Director of Special Events, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

One of the main purposes of higher education is to bring together the best and the brightest to engage in creative and collaborative problem solving on topics of importance to our world. This makes universities and colleges natural meeting places for conferences and events on both a local, national and international scale. Planning conferences and events has its challenges but adding an international component brings with it added complexity. Listen to a panel of conference and event professionals talk about their experience planning international events and conferences on their respective campuses.

They will go over not-to-miss steps, pitfalls to avoid, and more. Don't miss what is sure to be a lively session.

Learning Objectives:

  •  Identify the additional steps needed to plan an international conference/event on your campus
  •  Learn how to prepare your team for international guests
  •  Discover how to manage the experience of an international guest, speaker and/or sponsor


Maximizing Reach, Impact and Return on Investment (ROI) of College and University Events
Presented by: Robert Vignali, Regional Sales Director, Cvent, Inc. and Mary Seaton, Assistant Director of College Relations in College of Agricultural Sciences, Office of Conferences and Small Courses, Penn State University

Events leaders across colleges and universities are turning to event technology to drive enrollments, accelerate gift giving, engage more alumni and increase the reach and impact of events across all types of institutions. This session will introduce benefits and best practices for implementing event technology, regardless of role, department or division within an institution. A lead implementer of event technology will share first-hand how they were able to scale up efficiencies and deliver tremendous value to their internal clients, all done without increasing staff. At a time when institutions everywhere are being asked to do more with less, this session is a must-see for anyone looking to maximize the reach, impact and ROI of their university events.

Learning Objectives:

  •  Understand how technology can support the operations and goals of all types of university events, from the perspectives of both an institutional practitioner and an event technology expert
  •  Learn best practices on implementing event technology across a multitude of university use cases
  • Identify opportunities to collaborate with teams outside of their traditional functional area to maximize reach, impact and ROI

New Job, New School, Same City – Making the Right Moves Towards Success
Presented by: Wendy Villeta, Assistant Director of Conference Services, University of Miami

Moving from a comfortable, familiar space to unfamiliar territory can be challenging. Whether you are making the transition to conference and event services from another institution, industry or taking on a new role, this session will reframe your thinking by offering insight based on actual experiences. Learn how being the new kid in town can be a good thing as most places welcome and need fresh ideas to revive their operations. Discover new ideas and tools to use in your new environment or enhance the connections you currently have.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how to identify certain aspects of your skill set to achieve success in your new environment
  • Use your status as a new employee to your advantage by learning how to navigate institutional and inter-departmental politics in order to create successful partnerships
  • Explore tips for implementing your ideas to contribute to the long-term strategy of your CES operation

2019 Event Tech Trends that will Transform how you do Conferences in the Collegiate Space
Presented by: Sandy Hammer, Co-founder and CMO, AllSeated

Technology is transforming the events industry as a whole. There are apps and programs to address practically every pain point of being an event professional in the collegiate space. Whether you’re struggling with getting quick approvals on proposals or collaborating with clients to visualize a space, technology offers something to help you work more efficiently and effectively. This fast-paced session will ensure you’re staying on top of the tech trends that influence the collegiate event planning industry and finding and applying the best solutions for your businesses.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover technology available right now to help manage your college or university
  • Learn how event pros are applying tech solutions to give their work an edge
  • Utilize available technology to address pain points that could be holding you back 

Affinity Group Sessions
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Attendees will have the chance to get together with their peers who fall into a similar group, whether it is the type of operation, department or affiliation. 

Jesuit Institutions
Facilitated by: Trish Carlson, Loyola Marymount University

One-Person Departments 
Facilitated by: Lois Kubinak, CCEP, Albright College

Meeting Planners Facilitated by: Suzette Escobar, CCEP, CMP, Stanford University

Student Unions
Facilitated by: Ofelia Dominguez, University of Texas at El Paso

Event Designers
Facilitated by: Kay Lewis, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Facilitated by: Kerby Nelson, Johns Hopkins University

Sales and Marketing
Facilitated by: Sravanthi Meka, Georgia Institute of Technology


> Return to Schedule


Tuesday, March 26

ACCED-I Business Meeting
8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Join us for the ACCED-I Business Meeting to learn what your Association has accomplished over the past year and what’s planned for the future. 

Special Interest Sessions – Block D
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Financial Futures - Data-Driven Decision Making
Presented by: Daniel Dykstra, Director, University of Colorado Boulder

Consideration of the financial environments our departments operate under is essential. Understanding and defending your conference and event services role related to your institution's financial bottom line and other desired returns is your second critical step. So, how do we ensure we are maximizing and communicating a desired return? Attendees will hear simple yet deliberate steps for reviewing your current business model; its various components, and the processes and priorities which drive how your operation makes a significant impact at your institution. Attendees will have opportunity to consider and discuss strategies to review their activities that will produce daily and breakthrough operational results, make any necessary sustainable adjustments, and create metrics designed to assess and report on outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

·         Learn the considerations being discussed at high levels regarding budget principles and processes and strategies for overcoming funding gaps

·         Understand that your operations business model has various factors and influences that must be identified, reviewed, and ultimately assessed

·         Consider what data is being tracked to make business decisions and how metrics developed allow for consistent calculation and communication of your operation's value


Out of Site, Out of Mind: Facilitating Mind-Blowing Site Visits
Presented by: Torrez Wilson, MPA, CMP, Conference & Program Services, Georgia State University

Do you want to make a lasting impression on potential clients?  Learn how to showcase your space in a way that will blow their minds and convert into a booking.  From pre-site visit to post-site visit and everything in-between, learn the tips and tricks to ease the mind of your clients and provide an experience of a lifetime.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to provide a memorable site visit experience
  • Gain tools to convert a site visit into a booking
  • Generate ideas on how to best showcase event space to potential clients

Unleashing Your WOO (Winning Others Over) To Make an Impact
Presented by: Michael Pulli, CMP, Conference & Event Specialist, University of California Irvine

WOO – Winning Others Over, is a Clifton StrengthsFinder(TM) talent theme that many have but don’t know it and many others use but don’t know what to call it. In this fun and interactive session, learn how to recognize, develop and productively use WOO.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify WOO, even if you think you don’t have it
  • Enhance your customer service skills using WOO
  • Break the ice, even with challenging individuals, using WOO


One Weekend, Two Institutional Events - An Inauguration and Family Weekend Mash-Up – Case Study
Presented by: Frani Mancuso, Director of Conference & Event Services, The University of Scranton

In September of 2018 I was part of the planning committee that led the activities of the Inauguration of our 27th President at The University of Scranton. He was no stranger to us, our 27th President, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, was also our 24th President returning to us after his departure in 2011. When Inauguration planning began, it was decided the date would coincide with our annual Family (Parents) Weekend....which was also managed by the Conference & Events office. We were able to take the two stand-alone events and make them unique in their own way but also combine elements to bring a sense of community to campus.

Learning Objectives:

  •  How to manage multiple large-scale institutional events with a limited staff
  •  What Inauguration looks like the 2nd time around
  •  How to maximize the budget when multiple events occur at the same time

On-Campus Conference Centers - How Does Your Match Up?
Presented by: Rick Glass, Assistant Director: Events, Conferences, and Support Services, University of Richmond; Justin Michaelson, Assistant Director, Trinity University; Heather Roden, Sales Director and Event Manager, Hope College and Meghan Webb, CMP, Assistant Director, University of Utah

Join this panel discussion with others from across the country who manage conference centers on their campuses. No two are the same, learn how each operates; who can/can't use, who gets charged, how is billing handled, etc. Learn as well as offer your expertise.

Learning Objectives:

  •  Discuss Conference Centers across the country - they are as different as they are the same
  •  Learn how others around the country operate their conference centers
  •  Discover marketing tools for business development of your conference center

Engaging Your Event Chain
Presented by: Matt Florian, Principal Consultant/Founder, Eris Enterprise, LLC

Event Linking is the process by which events, attendees, and points of interests engage with each other to heighten the attendee’s experience and drive value through the event chain. Knowing the interactions along the event chain provides insights to conference and event centers to increase engagement. Channels that feed event linking engagement begin as early as the event is announced and continues well past the event closing ceremonies. Feeding and nurturing the event chain will increase customer satisfaction, drive attendee engagement, and create a positive image for the host organization, institution, and locality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify five key value propositions of engagement through event linking
  • Be able to implement techniques that put social media to use to drive engagement
  • Measure success of event linking across the event chain for process and operational improvement

Topic Expert Sessions
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Do you have specific questions on a new program you are developing at your institution?  Or do you want to brainstorm ideas and practices for a current program?  Join a topic expert in one of the following topics and get your questions answered.

  • Financial Futures - Business Intelligence Decision Making: Daniel Dykstra, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Corporate Intern Housing: Pam McElrath, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Mentoring and Motivating the Millennials:  Megann Murphy, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Beating the Sterotypes: How to Debunk Misconceptions of Hosting an Event on Campus: Jami King, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Think Sustainability! Offer Carbon Offsets: Christina Patarino, CCEP, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Clery Act, Title IX and Conferencing: Renee Soutiere, University of Vermont


Special Interest Sessions – Block E
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

How to Manage Guest Expectations: Campus Venue/Services vs. Five Star Hotels
Presented by: Kim Araya, Director, American University

Most of us have been given the task to generate significant revenue for our institutions or provide a pathway for more exposure to our campus programs. Universities/colleges have become a popular venue to hold conferences of all sizes year round, and many our clients believe we are a five-star hotel. With all of the competition in our market, clients are demanding more high-end services and at a reduced rate. This program will help you understand how to rise above in a demanding market, meet the needs of your clients, while managing their expectations on housing, dining, meeting space and other on-campus services. We will also discuss the importance of communication, transparency and managing expectations from the first point of contact.

Learning Objectives:

  •  Be honest: you will be shown how to focus on the best qualities, while not hiding thepotential negatives
  •  Keep your guests informed: I will share with you how I handle communicating toguests about potential construction on campus or in residence halls
  •  Before the arrival date: we will give you a sample of our pre-arrival guide to share with yourguests, so there are no surprises about amenities and services before the arrival date


Streamlining Your Commencement Ceremony - Case Study
Presented by: Trish Carlson, Director and Matthew Jauregui, CCEP, Associate Director, Conference & Events Services, Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) was tasked with reducing the commencement ceremony by two hours in one year. In this session we will discuss the process the team used to gain buy-in from the university as well as the strategies used to successfully coordinate a more efficient ceremony while still

maintaining the integrity of the celebration.

Learning Objectives:

  • Create campus buy-in to streamline the decision-making process
  • Learn communication strategies and ideas to market new objectives and changes
  • Discover how to leverage technology to keep you on track of commencement tasks


Selling the Dream and Delivering the Reality (and Avoiding the Nightmare)
Presented by: Tess Saffar, Assistant Director, Conference Services & Continuing Legal Education, American University Washington College of Law and Johni Amos, Associate Director, Conference Administration/Fiscal Affairs, American University

In 2016 and 2017, American University and the Washington College of Law each opened their own dedicated conference facilities. Through opening these facilities, staff, clients, and partners had to frequently adjust their expectations on how to best utilize the new spaces. Original plans and policies rapidly changed, often creating a disconnect between what had been promised to clients and what we were able to deliver. We had to continuously work to make sure what was promised matched what we could operationally deliver. Whether you are working in a new space or are looking to tweak current policies, this presentation will identify ways to create sustainable policies, all while meeting client needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn sales and marketing strategies that align with department facility operations
  • Identify ways to collaborate across departments/divisions/schools to best meet client needs
  • Gain an understanding of the tips/tricks/suggestions on how to create new policies or adjust existing policies related to space use


From Paper Forms to Scheduling Software: The University of the District of Columbia's Scheduling Software Roll Out ProcessCase Study
Presented by: Nancy Martin, Associate Director, Student Center and Deniece Clifford, Manager of Operations & Event Services, The University of the District of Columbia

Rolling out new software campus-wide already comes with standard challenges such as institutional policy changes, communication walls, unrealistic deadlines, and overall resistance to change. Come and learn how the University of the District of Columbia, a HBCU and DC's only public institution, rolled out a scheduling software campus-wide and streamlined the event and classroom space reservation process. This session will highlight unique challenges, lessons learned and growth opportunities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about UDC's unique event scheduling process
  • Understand the challenges of classroom scheduling as an Event Manager
  • Identify creative work-a-rounds for roll out speed-bumps

Our Town to Gown Impact: Benefits of Building Strong Business and Community Relationships
Presented by: Heather Roden, Sales Director and Event Manager, Hope College and Meghan Webb, CMP, Assistant Director, University of Utah

Small or large, private or public... listen to individuals from vastly different institutions who have developed great solutions to building business and community relationships through effort and focus. Discover similarities and differences in how we work with our staff to create a culture where networking in our communities is commonplace and everyone serves as an ambassador for the brands we serve. Learn about working with the CVB, campus partners, local groups of meeting planners, business partnerships, and local events to elevate sales simply by connecting with the people in attendance. Listen in as self-identified introverts touch on the importance of diversifying your network, and encourage you to seek further community involvement through volunteering at a local organization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how to plan networking into your weekday 
  • Learn how to selectively spend quality time with key players including important customers, productive and invested staff, and community leaders
  • Hear about the impact of service on your team and the community

Swag with Purpose: Intentional Selection for Maximum Effect
Presented by: Heather Cockrum, Executive Assistant to the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“Swag” is a staple in the supply closet of most event planners. Placed in registration bags for conference attendees, thrown into crowds at student events, distributed as freebies at vendor booths, presented in hotel welcome baskets for VIP guests, etc., it is a standard means to show appreciation, despite its incredible range in cost and purpose. Unfortunately, promotional items are often accompanied with little expectation for quality, distinction, or lasting effect, and, it is here—in this vast underrating—that they lose their power and potential to impact the recipient, especially beyond the event’s conclusion. This session is intended for event planners who need revitalization in their funding allocation, selection process, and marketing/distribution of event swag.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify promotional items that will reflect your institution beyond an imprinted logo
  • Maximize your budget and minimize waste
  • Create a plan to capitalize on the use of promotional items once the event concludes


Unleash Your Data for Insight and Growth
Presented by: Matt Florian, Principal Consultant/Founder, Eris Enterprise, LLC

Data comes at you consistently from every direction. It is streaming from events and conferences. It is coming from facilities. It is coming from the institution. The challenge is in understanding what data are important to capture, record, and use to your advantage. Collecting and managing data will give you greater insight to your customers’ needs, their customer’s wants, and operations effectiveness. Furthermore, when you are able consider how previously unrelated data tells a new story, you can track

how that story unfolds over time. When you are better able to understand your customer’s needs and wants, you can open doors to greater services and revenue opportunities with recurring customers year after year.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Identify five sources of data that leads to greater insights of customers and services
  • Capture data from sources that have not been collected today
  • Create data visualizations that drive change and create an impact


Networking Luncheon
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Take a break from the education and connect with your colleagues.

Special Interest Sessions – Block F
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Student Staff Recruitment
Presented by: Krystal Grace, Assistant Director for Conferences, Special Events and the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

During this session we will discuss tips for recruiting student staff for summer as well as academic year employment. At the University of Illinois we have noticed that what students need from a student position has changed. While some still value a flexible work schedule others want a position that will help their resume. This session will provide tips on how to tell students what they will learn from a student position in your department. We will also discuss new ways of advertising your positions that students will see. This session will also discuss potential campus partners who can help get the word out about your positions for academic year or summer positions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover where to advertise student positions; including some areas that have worked well for the University of Illinois and some ways that don’t reach students
  • Learn tips for clearly advertising available positions so students know what work they will be doing
  • Determine which campus partners can help get the word out about your open positions


How to be Successful with a Small Office
Presented by: Carye Vogt, Manager for Conference Services and Hospitality, California State University, Northridge

Often small offices of less than three people feel overwhelmed and under-served because of a lack of collaboration with other offices on campus.   This session will empower small offices to embrace their individual touches to their clients and help them be successful with low financial investment but high personality investment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Get the client to love you and your people, and loving the school will follow
  • Learn how to set reasonable client expectations
  • Understand that you are human and mistakes will happen, you are pulled in multiple directions


Say “I Do” to Weddings on Your Campus – Case Study
Presented by: Jordan Farmer, Events Manager and Stacey Cornett, Events Manager, Events at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University

We will cover all things wedding and how we make them work on our college campus. From branding weddings at Vanderbilt to selling our event space, contracts, catering, services and more. We will discuss how we operate our wedding business and how you can apply these practices to your own campus. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the benefits of hosting weddings on a college campus
  • Learn branding and marketing techniques for weddings
  • Identify unique details for planning weddings on your college campus


Give Em the Pickle – Customer Service Training
Presented by: Pam McElrath, Associate Director of Residential Camps and Conference Services, The University of Texas at Dallas

It can be challenging to get your whole team on board with a customer service model, but UT Dallas has utilized a motivating practice that our student staff loves.  Based on a letter from a customer, Bob Farrell created the battle cry of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours to “Give ‘em the Pickle!”.  Pickles are the little extra touches that you can provide to make your customers have an extraordinary experience. Through four key elements: Service, Attitude, Consistency and Teamwork we will discuss how you can create your own pickles and get your whole team on board.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the Give Em the Pickle model of customer service
  • Discover resources to implement Give Em the Pickle at home institutions
  • Gain insight as to how this philosophy translates in conference and event management


Marketing is the Door, Constancy is the Key: The Importance of Staying Constant in Your Marketing Message
Presented by: Marie Voitus, Director of Camps, Slippery Rock University

Marketing is necessary to business development and growth, but how do you get plugged in without becoming white noise? Marketing efforts can become messy with the constant updates in new technologies and media outlets. Identifying your unique selling features and capitalizing on creative strategies are vital steps in the success of your brand. Then taking it one step further and integrating that into the hands of the new age tech-savvy consumers, can make marketing feel like fitting the right key to the right door.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to identify their business’ key selling features
  • Understand the importance of constancy among various marketing outlets
  • Identify new and creative ways to market their business to niche markets


ACCED-I Volunteer Opportunities: Learn How YOU Can Get Involved
Presented by: Devin Shelby, Director of Membership, ACCED-I; Laura Bachman, Assistant Director, Conference Services, Lehigh University; and Cal Seelye, Executive Director Auxiliary Services, Central Michigan University

Join us to learn more about the various short and long term volunteer and leadership opportunities ACCED-I offers.  These opportunities can span volunteering at the Annual Conference, serving on committees and action teams, becoming a regional director or board member.  We will focus on how volunteering with ACCED-I will provide you with professional growth and networking opportunities while making a contribution to your industry.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how ACCED-I volunteer opportunities can contribute to your professional growth in the collegiate event industry
  • Gain an understanding of each of the different volunteer roles ACCED-I has to offer
  • Determine which volunteer opportunity is right for you

Closing Keynote Address
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Resilient and Ready: How to Thrive Through Challenge and Change

Presented by: Valorie Burton, President, Inspire Inc.

Today’s world requires the ability to adapt to change and thrive despite the challenges that occur. Valorie Burton will help you understand how to create the building blocks of resilience so you can:

  • Bounce back from setbacks
  • Maximize opportunities
  • Develop the thinking style research proves helps you succeed under pressure
  • Find your joy and maintain a positive perspective
  • Navigate disappointments in a way that makes you better, not bitter.


In this practical, engaging presentation, Valorie will equip you with a survival toolkit to face any challenge that comes your way!

Presidential Presentation and ACCED-I 40th Annual Conference Preview: Providence, RI
4:05 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.    

Immediately following the closing keynote, ACCED-I Board of Directors President Sherry Ebrahimi, CCEP, will address accomplishments during her 2018-2019 presidency. Then we will look to the future and hear the vision and understand our Association's goals presented by our 2019-2020 Board of Directors President, Mary Kay Baker, CCEP.

Then, get a preview of Providence, RI, location of the ACCED-I 40th Annual Conference. Region 5 will give us a taste of what to expect in 2020. 

Closing Dinner at Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Join your ACCED-I colleagues one last time for a fun farewell dinner.  There will be buffets of food available, cash bars, a DJ, and lots of fun. 


> Return to Schedule


Wednesday, March 27

University of Pittsburgh College Tour
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$45.00 member/$60 nonmember
Minimum participants: 15
Maximum participants: 35

Join your peers for a comprehensive tour of nearby University of Pittsburgh.  Tour destinations will include:

The Cathedral of Learning:

The Gothic Revival skyscraper that Pitt Chancellor John G. Bowman commissioned in 1921 inspired local industries to donate steel, cement, elevators, glass, plumbing, and heating elements. Thousands of adults today still have the certificates they received as school children upon contributing 10 cents to “’buy a brick” for the Cathedral.

In addition to its magnificent four-story Commons Room at ground level, the 42-story Cathedral houses classrooms (including the internationally renowned Nationality Classrooms) academic and administrative offices, libraries, computer labs, a theater, a print shop, and a food court.

In 2007, on the 70th anniversary of the Cathedral’s dedication, Pitt trustees approved a project to clean and restore the iconic building. Its interior has since been upgraded and its limestone exterior scrubbed of industrial grime.

A landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 535-foot-tall Cathedral is the second-tallest educational building in the world after the University of Moscow’s main building. In recent years, families of peregrine falcons have nested atop the Cathedral.

William Pitt Union:

Once a luxurious hotel, the William Pitt Union is today the epicenter of Pitt student life outside the classroom and home to more than 300 student organizations.

Opened as the Hotel Schenley in 1898, the beaux-arts building hosted every U.S. president from Theodore Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower as well as such cultural luminaries as American singer-actress Lillian Russell (who married there), Italian tragedian Eleonora Duse (who, tragically, died there), and Neapolitan-born tenor Enrico Caruso.

Visiting ballplayers, professors, and students joined the Schenley’s clientele in 1909 when Forbes Field (home to baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates) opened nearby and when Pitt relocated to Oakland from Pittsburgh’s North Side.

In 1956, Pitt bought the building to serve, among other things, as the University’s student union. Following an 18-month renovation that restored much of its original belle époque charm, it was renamed the William Pitt Union in 1983.

Alumni Hall:

Alumni Hall is home to the Pitt Alumni Association, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, a 270-seat auditorium/lecture hall, and the 500-seat Connolly Ballroom, among other offices and facilities. The building’s first floor hosts the Legacy Gallery, a permanent exhibit featuring two unique touch-screen interactive kiosks. Visitors use the kiosks to explore the achievements of alumni, faculty, and students through video, audio, archival photos, and text.

Mellon Financial Corporation Hall, located on the fifth floor, includes classrooms, team rooms, and meeting space for the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business’s Center for Executive Education and Executive MBA Program. This refurbished space was made possible by a $1 million gift from Mellon Financial Corporation.

The seventh-floor auditorium lobby houses a collection of oil paintings, 365 Views of the Cathedral of Learning, completed in 1997-1999 by Spanish artist Felix de la Concha. Each painting features the Cathedral of Learning from a different vantage point for each of 365 days.

Originally a Masonic Temple and designed by renowned architect Benno Janssen, the limestone-clad building was constructed in 1914-15 and acquired by Pitt in 1993. It is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and part of the Oakland Civic Center Historic District.

O’Hara Student Center:

The O’Hara Student Center houses Pitt’s Math Assistance Center and Writing Center. In addition, the building provides meeting and activity space for student organizations.

The elegant three-story building, designed in Romanesque Revival style, opened in 1913 to house the Concordia Club, a private social club whose members included many of Pittsburgh’s leading Jewish residents. In the face of declining membership and a cash shortage, club members voted in 2009 to approve the sale of the building to Pitt. Following a renovation and preservation upgrade, the University reopened the building as a student center in April 2011.

  • This tour is available on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • The minimum of 15 attendees must be made by February 22, after this date if minimum is not met tour will be cancelled and attendee notified with refund
  • All tours are a firm commitment and cannot be cancelled
  • All tours are non-refundable once purchased, unless cancelled by ACCED-I