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Open house boosts Sun Devil Destinations


February 27, 2008

Road trips – or trips of any kind, really – are meant to be shared. It’s always nice to have a traveling companion – or a cadre of friends – to share the mountaintop triumphs, the hours spent soaking up culture in trendy bistros or outdoor markets, or the days spent on a boat cruise into a picturesque river valley.

The ASU Alumni Association is expanding its group travel program, Sun Devil Destinations, and invites its members, ASU employees and the public to a free open house for the program. The open house will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., March 5, at Old Main on the Tempe campus.

According to Jennifer Holsman, executive director of operations at the Alumni Association, Sun Devil Destinations has been growing rapidly since it was unveiled last year. About a dozen trips have been conducted by the association, with nearly 100 intrepid Sun Devils traveling to Paris, Italy, the Panama Canal and Peru.

Holsman says the association will be expanding the number of family-friendly vacation options it offers, as well as adding trips of interest to young alumni and recent graduates. This year, Sun Devil Destinations will take travelers to China, India, Paris, Spain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and the Tuscany region of Italy, as well as to Aspen, Colorado and New York.

Participation in the program is limited to members of the Alumni Association, although each member can bring one guest per trip. Holsman says the program was a frequently requested benefit, and that alumni had given her many ideas for destinations, itineraries and trip themes.

Holsman says the association welcomes university staff to join alumni on the trips, and she encourages faculty and staff with appropriate expertise to contact her regarding collaboration with Sun Devil Destinations as a trip lecturer or guide.

“Faculty-facilitated trips are extremely popular at other schools,” she says. “Scholars with a research expertise in a specific geographic or cultural area are encouraged to get in touch with us.”

At the March 5 event, trip vendors such as Orion Worldwide Tours, AHI, Travel Unlimited, Global Adventure, GoNext, International Ventures, Discovery Treks, Avalon Waterways and many others will be on hand to share information about their tours and answer questions about trips planned for this year and 2009.

Light refreshments will be served at this open house, which is free. Giveaways and door prizes also will be presented to some lucky attendees.

To R.S.V.P. for the program, visit the Alumni Association home page www.asu.edu/alumni and click on “Travel Preview.”
For information on the open house or the Sun Devil Destinations program, contact Jenny Holsman at (480) 965-5275 or jholsman@asu.edu.