This spring, The University of Tulsa’s Amy Dodson (BA ’80) was named Ms. Homecoming 2019 during a Tulsa Alumni Chapter board meeting. President Gerard Clancy’s special announcement came as quite a shock to Dodson, who has served as assistant director of alumni engagement for nine years.
“I’m very humbled. There are so many worthy people, and I’m just so grateful to be considered,” she said.
To know Dodson is to know her friendly smile and infectious spirit for TU. Her role involves working closely with alumni of all ages to organize reunions, receptions, tailgates and other events while preserving items and memories from TU’s past. The Heritage Room in Collins Hall is filled with TU memorabilia and photos Dodson has helped acquire and carefully curate through relationships with alumni.
“That has been a treasure to me,” she said. “Those items have incredible stories, and I hope the collection continues to grow in the future.”
Dodson is a devoted advocate for TU’s 12 alumni chapters and 22 clubs and said one of her favorite parts of the job is collaborating with the Future Alumni Council. “I love working with these young leaders,” she said. “I love watching students grow through the years and then graduate as they go out into the world and take TU with them.”
Homecoming is a highlight each year for Dodson. After months of planning alongside colleagues, committee members and volunteers, all of the long hours culminate in a week of unforgettable experiences.
“I don’t know what it is, but every year the bonfire and fireworks make me cry,” she said. “And I love that moment on the football field when we recognize all of the Homecoming award recipients. Honoring them is so much fun!”
Now, it’s Dodson’s turn to receive one of TU’s most cherished distinctions. As Ms. Homecoming, she will represent TU at all Homecoming activities, scheduled this year for Oct. 24-27. Although it is not required for the honoree to be a TU graduate, Dodson’s status as an alumna makes the award that much more special. Originally from the St. Louis area, she remembers feeling an immediate connection to TU as a student. She is a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, majored in advertising and public relations and met her husband, Mike (BA ’80), during their junior year.
“Those bonds started instantly when I stepped on campus, and as a Tri Delta, I had instant friends and sisters for guidance,” she said.
This year’s Homecoming celebration will be particularly bittersweet for Dodson as she wraps up another TU chapter of her life. She has decided to move on to other adventures and will complete her last day as an employee on July 1.
“The main thing that touches my heart about all of this is the love and incredible passion I have for TU,” she said. “I’m so honored that I can continue to share that wherever I go. I’ve learned and grown so much, and being named Ms. Homecoming goes above and beyond anything I could ever dream of in my life.”
Dodson plans to remain active in TU Alumni volunteer opportunities and nonprofit projects around Tulsa. She’s excited to explore new adventures such as traveling more with Mike and visiting their sons, Jake (BS ’14) and Sam, in Texas as often as possible.
Although Dodson is not looking forward to letting go of her duties and responsibilities at TU, her job at this year’s Homecoming celebration will be a much-deserved change of pace. Surrounded by friends, family and Tri Delta sisters, it promises to be a week of memories, laughs and maybe a few sweet tears for one of TU’s favorite alumni.