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The Tiger Scholarship Club and their letterwinner's society, the M Club, will host a Hall of Fame ceremony.

This post was contributed by Sean Phifer, a MBA/MSA student at Ohio University. Sean is a new contributor to the site and readers can expect more great work from him as we continue to cover the innovations, practices, and results of athletics development departments around the nation.

Almost every athletics department has a hall of fame that honors the accomplishments of former student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. While hall of fame inductions celebrate the great contributions of honorees, they also provide a medium to engage these hall of famers in a giving relationship with the foundation. As many schools prepare their 2009 inductions, their respective fundraising arms will prepare for the giving opportunities they present.

The ceremony is one of the biggest opportunities for development offices to invite both important donors and former athletes back to campus, a vital step in cultivating major gifts and building awareness of their student-athlete cause. Developers across the country use hall of fame banquets to entertain these constituents in a celebratory setting different than the typical athletic event.

A typical ceremony will include former athletes elected for enshrinement, family members of these athletes, other hall of fame members and donors who are willing to pay to attend the ceremony. As with any event, there will need to be marketing and personal invites sent to constituents. In a traditional ceremony, the University of Southern Mississippi M-Club will welcome six new members in its 46th Hall of Fame class on Sept. 18 with a social hour and ceremony. The M-Club, which is a collection of letter winners, coaches, trainers, and cheerleaders, provides members the avenue to continue their support of the university after their days on campus.

Another hall of fame, the M Club at the University of Memphis, will induct seven new members to its hall of fame on Sept. 18. Similar to the group at Southern Miss, the M Club is the collection of former letter winners who remain involved in Tigers Athletics.  On top of the seven new hall members, the ceremony will hand out four other awards to supporters of the university, including Alan Graf, Jr., executive vice president and chief financial officer for FedEx Corporation, a long supporter of Tiger Athletics. This duel celebration creates an ideal atmosphere to celebrate accomplishments on the the field and in its foundation. It simultaneously ensures the event can be used for development purposes, enhancing the revenue generation capability of the ceremony.

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