Hurricane Productions wins NACA Board of Excellence award

This year’s Hurricane Productions became the first board in HP history to take home the top honor at the National Association for Campus Activities, the Board of Excellence award.

The conference took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Oct. 5-8, highlighting professional development, creative programming and inventive entertainment ideas from more than 100 schools in the southern region, including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Productions is UM’s entertainment and programming board and the largest student-run organization on campus. It hosts 230 events every school year and heads seven umbrella organizations, such as the Cinematic Arts Commission, Patio Jams and the Rathskeller advisory board.

“The board of excellence award was something we really wanted to take home for UM,” HP Concerts chair Kyle Gordon said. “We have not won this in the past so it was an extremely big deal for UM.”

Last year the HP board was a finalist for the award but didn’t win, which is why executive chair of HP Hunter Carpenter said this was not only an HP win but a UM win.

“It reflects our organization’s continuous dedication and passion to deliver quality entertainment and create memorable college experiences for all students,” Carpenter said.

The conference individually honored Gordon when he was received the “Outstanding Educational Session” award for his presentation “Engaging the Stubborn Student Body.”

NACA holds 10 voluntary 50-minute sessions for students and staff to learn and take notes.

“My presentation highlighted how other colleges should try to brand their committee to best interact with students,” Gordon said.

UM also took home the “Shuronda H. Smith Outstanding New Professional Award,” which awarded Alexander Martin, the assistant director of Student Activities & Student Organizations.

Martin was one of the advisers to HP, and as Carpenter said, a huge help to the HP board.

“Our advisers, Michael Baumhardt, Alison Sanchez and Alexander Martin, along with Gail Cole-Avent, went above and beyond to guide and refine our presentation,” Carpenter said.