When it comes to campaign communication, most universities are pretty good at sharing how much is needed to complete a project (“the goal for this important effort is $XYZ”)…and not quite as good but still decent at sharing the finished product (“see the impact of your $XYZ!”).
Where our communication falls apart is in the in-between.
What do you say after the target’s been targeted but before the ribbon’s been cut? Our word is usually “mum,” and I’ll give you two big reasons why:
1) The in-between lacks excitement. Beginnings and endings are major events. One introduces new possibilities, bringing a rush of hope, fresh energy, and anticipation. The other places the final period in this chapter, filling us with a sense of accomplishment and celebration, and allowing us to embrace that uniquely wonderful depressurization that accompanies the phrase “we did it.”
The in-between is not an event. It’s an ever-changing and sometimes uninteresting process that’s difficult to nail down. It’s meetings and budgets and phone calls and plans. It’s gutted buildings, shopping lists, open interviews, contract proposals, and pending investments.
Generally accepted wisdom says don’t tell people about the in-between too often. It’s too messy, too mundane, and too repetitive. If you market everything that goes on with a project from start to finish, you’ll bore your audience out of their minds long before you’re done.
2) The in-between raises too many questions. It’s a case of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Give twenty of your friends a hearty meal that tastes great for $7 apiece and they’ll probably love it. Invite their advice as you set the menu, select your ingredients, choose your shopping venue, make your purchasing decisions, assume your cooking style, etc. and you’re in for opinion overload…and, suddenly, some newfound discussion and perhaps even misgivings toward that $7 price tag.
This situation gets even harder when your “hearty meal” is a $64,000 auditorium conversion and your meal advisors number well more than twenty…they’re closer to twenty thousand. If you’ll pardon my mixed metaphor, it’s much less stressful on all of us if we just take our community directly from an ‘A’ they believe in to a ‘Z’ that satisfies, without messing with the subtleties and opinion-catalyzing-moments of ‘B’ through ‘Y.’
In Thrive, though, our goal of transparency challenges us to give you more than just the beginning and the end. And, while I recognize that you don’t want to know everything, we are committed to showing you much of the in-between.
So today I have one of many in-between updates for you, this one focused particularly on our fully funded high-definition conversions of Hardeman Auditorium and Judd Theatre. Our teams have not finalized all purchases on these projects, but (back to our first metaphor) the menu is nearly set and shopping has begun! What follows is the $128,000 shopping list* for these two venues. Much of the language is technical, so I’ve included some menu commentary for you:
Hardeman HD Upgrade Menu
- 3 New Wide Format DLP Projectors – “Wide Format” means we’re trading the square, 1990s television look we’ve had in Hardeman for a more theatrical widescreen effect. Meanwhile, “DLP” stands for “digital light processing,” but the most important thing to know is that these are high-quality projectors that are commonly used in movie theaters.
- 3 New Wide Format Projection Screens – These new screens will better accommodate the widescreen aspect ratio mentioned above and will provide for a cleaner, more uniform image than existing screens.
- 1 HDMI Matrix Video Switcher and Scaler – The short answer: this equipment will help make it possible for various media to display properly on the Hardeman video screens and for content in Hardeman to be shared with some other screens/equipment on campus.
- 1 Panasonic 65” Display – In response to many requests, this HD television will be setup near the front stage area and display reference notes/slides for presenters in Hardeman.
Judd HD Upgrade Menu
- 1 New DLP Projector – Like Hardeman, this projector will be cinema-grade.
- 1 Video Switcher and Control System
- 1 HD Streaming Camera with Picture-in-Picture Capability – Permanently mounted in Hardeman Auditorium, this camera will stream HD video to Judd for overflow chapels and for events. Picture-in-picture will allow the camera to stream slides and video of a presenter at the same time.
- 3 Microphone Systems
- 1 New Tension Screen – Replacing a traditional hanging screen, the tension screen will stretch flat for better, undistorted picture quality in Judd.
- 1 Hearing Impaired Loop System – Currently lacking in Judd, this system will broadcast event audio directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants. No headsets required.
- Upgraded Sound System – Specifics here are still in the works, but OC’s teams are planning to upgrade Judd’s sound capabilities to match its new HD visuals. More to come.
That information is almost certainly more exciting to some of you than others; and it almost certainly prompts more opinion in some of you than others. Wherever you are on either scale, I hope these menus help you feel even more informed about the work happening at Oklahoma Christian and in Thrive. And I hope they give you a sense of the great forward motion we already have on some of these Year One projects. Thanks to your support, we’re really cooking!
As always, don’t be shy with your excitement or your opinions. Feel free to sound off in the comments below or in a personal email to me at email@example.com.
Love you, friends, from beginning to end and all in-between.
*You may have read $128,000 and thought, "Huh? I thought Hardeman HD had a set goal of $64,000..." You’d be right! But we were blessed with another $64,000 to renovate Judd as part of our Ethos project. That’s also why I titled this entry “Garvey HD,” as both of these wonderful facilities live in our Garvey Center. Blessings to you for your astute observations and ongoing interest in Thrive!