Optimistically Cautious

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

University of Alberta Holiday Shindig

A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers alerted me to a University of Alberta alumni gathering to take place at LUX Steakhouse & Bar. We quickly RSVP-ed when we found out there were free drinks involved.

A group of us headed down to LUX after work today, and at the door, we each received a coupon redeemable for either a "Golden Bear Martini" or "Peppermint Panda Hot Chocolate" (cheesy, I know). Once inside, we found ourselves rubbing elbows with the chic happy hour business crowd.

I was lucky enough to get to try out both drinks. The Martini, green and lime-flavored with what must have been heaping teaspoons of Kool-aid, was quite tasty, and made me long to return on a Martoonie Thursday. I thought they copped out on the alcohol, as I couldn't taste it at all, but my coworker set me straight on that (you know what that means...). The hot chocolate was great as well - rich, but not too sweet, though the peppermint flavor was a bit lacking.

There was an article in "ed," a weekly magazine in the Edmonton Journal on Saturday featuring an interview with Chloe Chalmers, the University's first ever "young alumni" coordinator, and organizer of tonight's shindig. She stated that she has three goals, "To increase the awareness amongst alumni of the Alumni Association and what and what we offer; to increase services available; and to increase awareness amongst students." Events in the new year include debt management and investment seminars.

While true the University may indeed want to provide more support to recent graduates, I'm sure the activities they arrange may be less altruistic than at first glance: ply alumni with free drinks, and they may end up feeling more fiscally generous come collection time. Or, offer financial management seminars, and alumni may have greater savings in their retirement years, and thus more disposable income to donate.

While I can't say I'm willing to give back to my alma mater just yet, I will accept any and all future invitations to free parties.

Golden Bear Martini

Peppemint Panda Hot Chocolate


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