Monday, October 1, 2007
OU not alone in 50th anniversary celebration
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
This year Oakland University is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but it isn’t the only Michigan icon to do so this year. The Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, also turned 50 this year. Registrar Office Coordinator Ellen Keaton has had the privilege of celebrating both anniversaries. Labor Day weekend, Keaton and her husband and some friends walked across the Mackinac Bridge as part of the anniversary celebration.
“This was the very first time I’ve ever done anything like that. It was quite an event,” said Keaton, who planned to walk the nearly 5 miles in the morning and then eat breakfast in Mackinaw City.
Keaton and her traveling companions went to the city at 9 a.m. to get on the bus to go across the Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace and walk back.
“There must have been a million people there. We got in line at 9 a.m. and we stood there until 12:50 p.m. until we were boarding a bus,” Keaton said. “I’m glad we did it. It was definitely an experience. We got to know the people standing around us. They were so friendly. And I was amazed — they had come from everywhere just to walk across the bridge.”
The Mackinac Bridge Authority opens the bridge once a year, on Labor Day, to allow pedestrians to cross it.
“It gives you a different perspective of the bridge. It’s huge. The workmanship is just incredible. You can actually see the water below you,” Keaton said. “It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Keaton and her husband, OU retiree Warren Schroeder, received certificates for walking the bridge.
“I would definitely do that again,” Keaton said.
Keaton has worked at OU for 22 years and Schroeder, who retired in 2003, worked here for more than 30. They met at Oakland University, on the bowling league the university used to run.
“This is a good place to work. I work in a very busy office and the changes that we see from day-to-day and year-to-year are a challenge, but that’s what I like about it,” Keaton said.
For more information about events planned for OU’s 50th anniversary, visit the 50th anniversary Web site.