The Memory-Making Business

Have you ever thought about the process that went into designing your favorite t-shirt? It’s a basic question for graphic designers; but for people like me with little to no experience in the fine art of design, it never occurs. Until last week, that is. As part of a design class I’m taking this semester, I’ve been assigned to create a t-shirt design. I have decided to create a design for the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Resource Center, perhaps one that could be distributed to volunteers. I was delighted with the idea until I found myself sitting in front of a blank screen, waiting for creativity to fall from the sky. So I began looking around frantically for inspiration.

FalconsOne of the places I looked was the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Resource Center’s online store. It was the perfect place to start: It offers a variety of Fort Wayne-themed wearables, from basic t-shirts to cozy hoodies. Whatever year you graduated, your slogan is available. “Falcons Forever” stands out in gold letters on one t-shirt. “Fort Wayne Bible College” in blue stretches across the front of a crewneck sweatshirt. They even have a TUFW baseball cap. Whatever your fashion preferences, these items let you sport your school pride in style. In need of a wearable for our Chick-fil-A Alumni Spirit Night on May 7? The online store is the place for you.

Photo via Online Store

My perusal of the online store didn’t stop with the t-shirts, and I quickly forgot my design assignment. In addition to their clothing line, the online store offers a charming set of collectibles shaped like buildings from the Fort Wayne campus. Place a tiny Founders or Schultz Hall on your desk to remind you of your campus days. Placed on a bookshelf, it may even inspire you to rekindle some scholarly habits, like picking up a book and reading. The charming wooden replicas also make great gifts for Fort Wayne alumni-in-laws.

Romans book

Speaking of reading, our store offers paperback copies of five books written and published by Dr. Wes Gerig g51, including signed copies. His outline study of Romans is our bestseller so far. We also offer a pocket-sized volume of Jorge O. Masa’s biography of Samuel Morris. Any of the selections would make a great addition to your summer reading list. Gerig’s Lessons from Life for Life from the Old Testament is on mine.

Photo via Online Store

1967-68 Singing Collegians LP cover webPerhaps the most intriguing products we offer are our CD/DVD selections. Campus quartets, Singing Collegians, and Ira Gerig singles are all preserved on CD, the music evoking a time of spiritual significance, according to Archives Coordinator Dr. Jay Platte g69. We also offer several inspirational albums recorded by alumni. One of these isn’t for sale; rather, we send it out to grieving alumni as a sympathy gift. (See our Facebook page to join us in praying about some sad news we received this week.) Our DVDs are equally varied: Familiar faces are captured on promotional films and anniversary montages, and our Fort Wayne Historic Films feature snapshots of the campus’s history since way back in the 1940s.

Photo via Online Store

You can find some meaningful memorabilia in the online store. But when you choose to purchase an item, it’s also a meaningful investment in the Resource Center. Profits from our store have been used to purchase equipment that helps us complete projects more efficiently, or to offer more products, like the recently released “Ira Gerig +” album. This year’s sales lagging behind last year’s by about $2,000, and while we’re not overly concerned with the numbers, we want to continue offering products that our alumni find meaningful. We specifically hope to compile more audio recordings and video footage onto CDs and DVDs for alumni to enjoy. Even if you aren’t interested in buying, take a moment and browse our online store. It’s just one more way we care, connect, and celebrate.

After exiting the online store, I found that blank page still waiting for me. But my quest for inspiration was not in vain. Inspired by the products available in the online store, I plunged into designing my very first t-shirt. Who knows—in a few months it might be our next bestselling product!

What items would you like to see added to our online store? If you were designing a t-shirt for the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Resource Center, what would it look like?

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One Response to The Memory-Making Business

  1. Esther (Diller) Parker says:

    I became intrigued the minute I began reading “The Memory-Making Business”, and that interest followed all the way to your last word. Congratulations on the well-written article, and may many alumni take time to enjoy, remember, and become involved.

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