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Take 5 with Eric Barritt

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Take 5 with Eric Barritt
By Katie Land, news editor

Composed of a diverse array of faculty, staff and administrators, the Oakland University community is unique, creative, and dedicated. As part of a continuing effort to explore the various roles and lives of our Golden Grizzlies, the News @ OU website presents a new interview series. We invite you to share these stories and “Take 5” with OU.

“Take 5 with Eric Barritt”

Eric Barritt is the vice president for Development, Alumni and Community Engagement. Eric has spent his career largely in development and fundraising roles for non-profit organizations in health care and higher education settings. Born in Iowa, Eric has been a Michigander since his college days, when he attended the University of Michigan for his bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in public administration. He joined the Oakland University community in 2011 and oversees all of Oakland’s fundraising, alumni and community outreach efforts. Currently, Eric lives in Northville with Erin, his wife of 15 years, and their two daughters, Alexis and Alayna.

1) What makes Oakland a unique institution in the community?

The university provides a great education at an extraordinary value, and consistently increases its offerings with strong professional degrees in growing fields such as nursing, engineering, teaching, the liberal arts. Oakland’s campus is also really unique in the area, offering more than 1,500 acres of beautiful land. But more than that, I think it is the people, the dedicated faculty and staff that have the greatest impact and who work to make Oakland special. I have been uniquely surprised at how genuinely the faculty and staff care about this institution and care about developing students into productive and rounded citizens.

2) What do you enjoy most about your work at OU?

The growth and opportunity for Oakland to have a huge impact on the region, state, and local community is incredible. I love that the university is large enough to be a destination but not so large that you can’t see changes happening. Since I have been here, I have seen the addition of the new medical school, the completion of the Human Health Building and the new Sharf Clubhouse, as well as the groundbreaking for the new engineering center. Oakland University is a great place to be a part of, and is growing to become a university with great impact.

3) What is your workout routine like?

I usually work out five to six days a week at 5 a.m. for about 45 minutes. I combine cardio like biking or elliptical with lightweights. 

4) What is your favorite vacation spot?

One of the best places to go on a family vacation is Mackinac Island. It is very beautiful and offers a number of great things to see and do for everyone. I have done some travelling to places such as London and Dublin. There is so much culture to experience there, you can walk around from one museum to another and never get tired. Laguna Beach, California is a great place for a more relaxing vacation because of its very casual atmosphere. It is a beautiful beach community with great views.

5) Why is it important for a university to connect with its alumni base?

I think having a strong alumni group and philanthropy makes the difference for a university between good and great. At Oakland, we are 90,000 alumni strong. These are hardworking individuals who want to stay engaged in their alma mater, and who want to learn about the great changes we make. Sharing their personal stories extends the success story of the university, and creates powerful advocates across the region and nation.