Woody Ferris’ treasure hunt

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 3.10.50 PMDear Mr. Editor,

I need your help.

I visited campus last September and left five letters around campus with a small gift inside each one. One recipient of a letter shared her story on Facebook using the hashtag #MakingWoodyProud. The post went mini-viral and died off soon thereafter, just as I had hoped.

With the success of my first visit, I made another trip to campus on Jan. 26 and left five more letters. I did not hear anything from the recipients and just wanted to share a little more of my motive so people might be more inclined to share.

I invite you to look at the post that Ellie Ohm shared in September. There is a picture of the letter and it gives a good background to my goal. I want to give back to the university in a unique, fun way and I think these “spontaneous small scholarships” hit three goals of mine.

1) Financial giving: I know the amounts left in the letter are not big, but I want to show that giving back to the university doesn’t have to be these huge million-dollar-building-naming scholarships to make a positive impact in a student’s life (although those are awesome, too).

2) Student engagement: I plan on coming to campus at the beginning of each semester to drop letters. When this happens I want a dialogue to begin among students, not only about the monetary gifts, but also the letter that is inside and get people talking about Woodbridge and his values.

3) Alumni engagement: This one was a little unexpected, but when Ellie’s post made its rounds on Facebook, there was a ton of positive alumni engagement. Alumni love to reminisce and see what current students are doing. This is a fun way to reach out to them and it also might promote more small donations from alum, which add up quick!

I hope you can respect my request to stay anonymous. The people that make Ferris an awesome place are already there; this is just one more way to highlight some of these stories. I don’t want this to be about me, I want this to be about how people are carrying on the legacy of Woodbridge.

So what am I asking of you? I would love to use your platform to reach out to the student body and share my intentions as Woody Jr. If this makes it out of your inbox and into the wild some way, I also want to thank Ellie for taking the time to share her story. I think I speak for all alumni when I say how proud we are of her and wish her all the best in the future!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Crimson & Gold Forever,

Woody Jr.

Ferris business data analytics sophomore Ellie Ohm was the lucky student to stumble across Wood Jr.’s treasure last semester. She found the letter and fifty dollars in an envelope on the spirit rock in front of The Rock Cafe.

Q: Can you give a summary of what the letter said?

A: “Ferris is all about making it possible for anybody to go to college, and they know that college is expensive, so they wanted to leave a little donation for people to use on groceries, or rent, or books or any other daily expenses college students have.”

Q: Can you walk me through the day that you found the letter?

A: “I was going back to my residence hall from the Business Building and walked past The Rock when I saw an envelope sitting on the spirit rock. It was addressed to ‘a Ferris student,’ so I picked it up, read the letter and then the rest of my day was pretty great.”

Q: How did you spend the money?

A: “The majority of it went towards paying for gas money that I needed to get home for a family emergency, so it really came in handy pretty quickly.”

Q: Why do you think someone would do this specifically for Ferris Students?

A: “Woody has been here. He understands the struggles and how tough it is to be a college student. The letter was really inspiring and it really put me in the mood to do the same. I’m an RA this year, so I really aspire to inspire others as much as that letter inspired me.”

Q: In what way did it inspire you?

A: “That’s something I’m going to want to do once I’m an alumni [sic] and have a steady job and income. It helps. It helped me out a lot in an emergency situation.”

Q: If you were going to go looking for a new set of envelopes, where would you start?

A: “They’re probably in a high-traffic area. Maybe by the Woodbridge statue or by the clock tower. It’s probably somewhere that is easy for them to drop it off and relatively easy for it to be seen.”