FAYETTE, Iowa (August 6, 2010) —The largest participation, increased financial support, and heightened public visibility are among the high points that will be treasured by the 2010 Team Peacock, which recently returned from its sixth year of participation in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).
“It was a hugely successful year any way you look at it,” said UIU President Alan G. Walker. “We had nearly 50 participants in the actual ride, with 35 riders and some 15 support team members helping the riders and staffing our booths in the mid-day towns and overnight stops. We have raised more than $145,000 to date just this year, with more coming in; and we appreciated the phenomenal response from the public, not only at the venues along the RAGBRAI route but through social media responses as well. Team Peacock continues to be an outstanding opportunity for UIU to raise funds to support our students with scholarships and to build relationships across the state. We look forward to hitting even higher marks in 2011.”
Although contributions to the Team Peacock 2010 scholarship effort continue to be accepted through October 31, the current one-year total is $145,585, which is already about a 19 percent increase over the $122,448 raised by Team Peacock last year. Since 2005, when UIU began participating in RAGBRAI, the cumulative total raised by Team Peacock is now $501,925. Every dollar raised by Team Peacock supports student scholarships at UIU.
The contributions were donated by the riders themselves, 25 corporate sponsors, and other donors. Corporate sponsors in 2010 include Ball, Kirk & Holm; Carney, Alexander, Marold & Co.; Central Iowa Power Cooperative; Compass; Derck & Edson Associates; Encompass Iowa; EQUIS; Fayette Lumber Co.; First National Bank; First State Bank; ME & V; Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle; Midwest Glazing; Millhiser Smith Agency; Palmer Lutheran Health Center; Public Financial Management; Service Consulting; Samuels Group; Schindler Elevator; Scott Pharmacy; Spillman Farmer Architects; The Conley Group; UNICO Integrated Facilities Services; West Union Trenching; and X-Wires Broadband.
Walker noted that he is especially pleased that participation in Team Peacock encompasses the entire UIU community. “We not only have riders and support crew from the Fayette campus, including our student government president, we also had a student from the UIU Center in Cedar Rapids riding with the team along with some of the leaders of our international programs and our Academic Extension programs. With student, faculty, staff and alumni participation in the various parts of Team Peacock, it is truly a University-wide activity in support of our students,” Walker said.
UIU also utilized a successful social media strategy during RAGBRAI week to keep the public informed about Team Peacock’s progress through Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blogging. For example, there were nearly 10,000 views of Team Peacock Flickr photos during RAGBRAI week, and more than 550 views of 24 Team Peacock YouTube videos, as well as more than 200 readers of the Team Peacock blogs. Access to the social media sites was facilitated through a single webpage, which recorded nearly 800 unique visitors who spent, on average, more than five minutes each reading the material about Team Peacock.
“Social media has become a strong channel through which we can keep the public informed about Team Peacock as well as many other UIU activities,” said Melik Peter Khoury, senior vice president for strategic positioning and chief marketing officer. “We are pleased to see increased public use of these social media channels as well as increased news media coverage of Team Peacock activities.”
For more information, visit www.uiu.edu/teampeacock.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,600 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.