The University of Central Arkansas Alumni Association is kicking off its first membership campaign this July with a series of videos featuring UCA personalities sporting purple and grey socks.

Jan Newcomer, director of Alumni Services, said the campaign’s purpose is two fold.

"Number one, we want to increase the number of members, and number of alumni and friends who are supporting the university," she said, "but it’s also a type of spirit campaign."

The campaign is called "Bear Your Stripes," and encourages alumni membership by giving away a pair of exclusive spirit socks featuring bold purple and grey stripes with the UCA logo to anyone who joins or renews their UCA Alumni Association membership.

"We want to remind everyone to be proud and show their Bear Pride," Newcomer said.

Alumni association members are encouraged to wear their socks to UCA games, special events and all around town.

The promo videos feature UCA alumni and university administrators "bearing their stripes" with a pair of exclusive spirit socks in places that reflect the university’s relationship to the city.

Gabe Gentry, a 2003 UCA alumnus who majored in digital film and minored in political science, is directing the videos.

Eric Rob & Isaac, a full-service advertising, public relations and marketing agency in Little Rock, is coordinating the marketing effort.

"They bring lots of energy, enthusiasm and overwhelming creativity to the whole concept," Newcomer said.

A teaser video was revealed on the big screen during UCA Night at the Arkansas Travelers game last weekend.

The whole video will be revealed when the campaign officially kicks off in July through email, Facebook and other social media portals.

UCA President Tom Courtway was in Downtown Conway about two weeks ago filming a scene for the video.

He said he feels it is an honor and a privilege to be included in the campaign, and he’s excited about getting alumni even more connected to the university than they have been.

As for the socks, Courtway said, he planned to wear them for the rest of the day.

UCA Alumni Association membership is available on four levels:

• New Grads, those who have received their first degree within the last 12 months, can join for $10.

• Individuals can join for $35 annually.

• Couples can join for $50 annually.

• The UCA Alumni Association also offers a Life Membership for $500.

Those who are already life members can get a pair of spirit socks with a $25 donation.

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(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at