University News

WIU-Quad Cities Inaugural Car Putt Classic Brings Education and Business Together

April 22, 2003

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Lining up a putt at the Illini Hospital Course.

Lining up a putt at the Illini Hospital Course. (Download print-quality image)

Trying to sink one at the RIA Federal Credit Union.

Trying to sink one at the RIA Federal Credit Union. (Download print-quality image)

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University-Quad Cities business students put a new twist on a "poker run." Instead of going from place to place to play a card hand, participants traveled from one business to another in the Quad Cities to play a miniature golf course hole at each establishment.

The Marketing Management 497 class, taught by marketing associate professor Ann Walsh, and the WIU-QC Management Society, led by faculty adviser Emeric Solymossy, hosted the inaugural WIU-QC Car Putt Classic Miniature Golf Tournament April 11 featuring 10 Quad Cities area businesses. The classic was developed and organized by Walsh and her students. More than 100 students and 40 faculty, Quad Cities area business professionals and alumni participated in the event. Following the event, all participants attended a reception and dinner at Finney's in downtown Moline.

"We designed this unique event, which featured a 'touring' miniature golf course tournament, to facilitate networking between our students and area business professionals," Walsh explained. "The positive feedback we've received has just been overwhelming. All of the students who participated are raving about the valuable contacts they made and how they developed their business social skills."

Participating businesses included:

MOLINE -- Crippen, Reid and Bowen Accountants; Deere and Company; Quad City Bank and Trust; Federal Express; Sedona Staffing; First Midwest Bank; State Farm Insurance - Roger Clawson; and the RIA Federal Credit Union.
ROCK ISLAND -- Four Points by Sheraton
SILVIS -- Illini Hospital

Duane Crandall, a student in Walsh's Marketing Management 497 class and a Deere and Company employee who organized Deere's participation, stated his company was pleased with the event and plans to participate in the 2004 Car Putt Classic.

"We are always looking for quality college graduates to fill open positions in the company, and this event was a cost-effective way to zero in on those possibilities," Crandall added. "It was a fantastic idea and everyone had a great time."

Walsh added that several Quad Cities-area businesses have indicated their interest in next year's event, which is in the early planning stages. For more information, contact Walsh at 309/762-3999.

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