One otherwise ordinary day, a design professor from the University of South Carolina named Peyton Rowe came to land in the Riggs Partners offices (aka CreateAthon Mother Ship). Peyton was about to take a well-earned sabbatical, and instead of drifting off somewhere to draw and color on her own, she decided to spend that time working “in the business” so she could return to her design students the following semester with some real-world vim and vigor. Luckily for Riggs Partners, she was there to participate in the 9th annual CreateAthon in 2006.
Peyton quickly announced her conversion and commitment to the CreateAthon movement, and she went on become to CCE (Chief CreateAthon Evangelist) in the world of higher education by masterminding a program called CreateAthon on Campus. Hallelujah.
Her brilliant concept was to develop a semester-long course on nonprofit communications. During the first part of the semester, students in communications, marketing and design would learn about the role nonprofits play in the world, along with their specific communications challenges. The course would culminate in a student-led CreateAthon event, during with students would partner with faculty members and local professionals to develop and produce marketing materials, just like the professional CreateAthon model.
Today, CreateAthon onCampus at VCU is in its seventh year, and other colleges and universities are coming on board. In 2011, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga held a successful CreateAthon onCampus. This fall, the University of South Carolinawill hold it's first event, followed by Furman University in the Spring of 2014. It’s an incredible opportunity for students in the creative arts to apply their developing talents in a worthwhile way, while giving them first-hand experience in working with a client and producing work that is actually completed.