Public Universities

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University

November 24, 2021

For this edition of Almabase Spotlights featuring Public Universities, we shine the light on Pittsburg State University. Their Great Gorilla Tour is helping foster meaningful relationships with their alumni by means of an elaborate road trip across the West Coast.

💡 An Idea to connect with constituents through a road trip

The University’s Great Gorilla Tour had its inception during pre-COVID times, all the way back in 2017. The crux was simple — Gus Gorilla (the lovable University mascot) and a few members of the Advancement team got on a road trip to meet their constituents in different cities. Due to popular demand, the Advancement team decided to host another tour in 2019, this time focusing on cities in the West Coast. Aptly titled the Great Gorilla Tour: West Coast Edition, the tour featured some incredible stats — 4,719.3 miles, 9 cities, 9 states, and 225 alumni and friends, all in a matter of a couple of weeks!

A few members of the University’s Advancement team on the road to Colorado

The elaborate tour had frequent stops at various hubs, where alumni used to gather at events called ‘Gorilla Gatherings’. These weren’t your ordinary meet-and-greets — rather, these fun, mini events featured an evening of food, PSU updates, prizes, and networking, which was definitely something their alumni enjoyed. These tours help the University get closer to their constituents by bringing a little piece of Pittsburg State to its alumni. There were also plenty of photos taken from the trip, which were all uploaded to the University’s social media handles. After nearly 20 amazing ideas featured on Almabase Spotlights, we’re thrilled to see how the Gorilla Tour is embracing alumni centricity by meeting alumni where they are. 💛

Alumni pose with Gus Gorilla, the University mascot, at a ‘Gorilla Gathering’ event

🌟 Our Sources of Inspiration


Danielle Driskill is currently the Assistant Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations at Pittsburg State University. As part of her responsibilities at the University, Danielle works on planning and coordinating alumni engagement events, which helps foster more meaningful relationships with constituents.

Danielle is an alum of the University, having obtained both her Bachelor’s (Communication), and Masters (Communication) from PSU. Outside work, she is passionate about marketing, design, and photography.

Jon Bartlow currently serves as the Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations at Pittsburg State University. He has been a part of the Alumni & Constituent Relations team at the University for over 7 years. Prior to this, he served as the Associate Director of Admission.

Jon has his B.A. and M.A. in Communications from PSU. He also has a PhD in Higher Education Administration from St. Louis University.

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