PAC awarded NACA’s ‘Programming Organization of Year’ honor

Group photo of PAC students

Pioneer Activities Council (PAC), Marietta College’s student-run organization that plans and executes events and programs on campus, recently won the Programming Organization of the Year award at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Mid-America Conference.

However, this is only one of many accomplishments for PAC. Students and members of the Office of Student Life said the organization is continually improving and its success over the years has resulted in some well-deserved recognition.

In last year’s NACA Conference, PAC received six total awards for both its marketing efforts and its event programming, including the “Program of the Year Award” for PAC Music Fest.

This year, the NACA Mid-America Conference awarded PAC for “Best Innovative Programming: The Vibe” and the overall award for “Programming Organization of the Year.”

“It is exciting to see a student organization that works so hard to meet the needs of our community,” said Dr. Lisa Phillips, Dean of Students. “While we have recognized PAC’s impact on our community it is really nice to have the additional validation that comes from NACA Mid-America Conference. I think that PAC has seen a resurgence over the past two years due to strong student leadership and great advising.”

PAC is continuing to make a focused effort on improving the quality of its programs to ultimately provide the Marietta College community the type of events that will excite the entire campus. PAC’s most invaluable asset — the exceptional leadership within the organization, is more than capable and motivated to take on this challenge.

“This year’s awards, along with those that PAC received last year, are a really nice testament to the quality of PAC’s student leadership and their strong working relationship with their advisor, Erin Riordan-Dye,” said Dr. Richard Danford, Vice President for Student Life & Diversity.

Danford commends PAC for constantly creating opportunities for the students to get involved themselves and believes that this type of student ownership was a critical piece for the success at NACA.

“If you're a student and you want to make an impact on the kinds of programming offered on campus, PAC is a great outlet for your energy and motivation,” he said.

PAC always welcomes new student members because the students are the backbone of the organization. Student members in PAC not only develop their own skills and experiences, but they also gain the privilege of playing a role in the creation of campus-wide events.

“I joined PAC in order to further my leadership skills and help make an impact on campus,” said Emily Toppin ’19 (Stow, Ohio), one of the newer PAC members this year, who is the Special Events Assistant Director. “I believe that PAC works incredibly hard to put on events for the students and I wanted to be involved in that process. Not only have I learned a lot about planning on campus events, but I also have developed useful skills which can be applied to other organizations that I am involved in.”

Phillips recognizes this emphasis on student involvement within PAC.

“I think the students in PAC have been empowered to not only maintain traditions, but also to try new things,” she said. “PAC solicits ideas and support from many people. As a result there are a variety of programs, essentially something for everyone.”

During the fall semester PAC has organized a variety of events, including Music Fest, Homecoming Week, Halloween Bingo and Multicultural Fest.

“We put a lot of time and dedication into the activities we bring to campus; always keeping the entire population in consideration,” said Sarah Little, PAC Traditions Director. “Any feedback or ideas students have, please bring them to us, there is never too many. The students are really a more apart of this than we are and we want to keep it that way.”

The NACA Mid-America is also where PAC members have an opportunity to learn from other schools and other programming organizations.

As an ambitious new member, Toppin is already learning the benefits of attending the NACA conference and is pleased to be a part of an organization like PAC.

“NACA was a great opportunity for our organization to learn from other schools and also to find new events for our campus community,” Toppin said. “I feel that NACA helps us grow individually and as an organization. The awards that PAC received were a huge honor and we are excited to continue to make our organization grow and better accommodate the students at Marietta College.”