Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

James Lewis

Second Advisor

Ann Veeck


The WMU Mud Volleyball Tournament took place on September 26, 2015 as Autumn Gammon and Morgan DeBoer’s honors thesis project for the Lee Honors College. The tournament was a fundraising event that helped bring awareness to The Water Project, a non-­‐profit organization that is dedicated to bringing clean water systems to communities throughout Sub-­‐Sahara Africa. Held at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center and Fairgrounds, the event brought together Western Michigan University students and surrounding community members for a fun-­‐filled day in the mud supporting a deserving cause.

The event took a great deal of organizing, with planning starting in the fall of 2014. With both Autumn and Morgan being event management minors, there was minimal background knowledge of organizing an event but nothing that would have prepared the two for fully developing an event on their own. Luckily, the pair was overseen by a thesis chair, Dr. James Lewis of the Human Performance and Health Education Department, and a committee member, Dr. Ann Veeck of the Marketing Department. Along with the help of various sponsors and numerous volunteers, a successful tournament was held.

Coordination of the event included finding a location to host the event, sponsors to help cover event costs, all marketing and promotion for the event, and the organization of volunteers to help with event day activities. It was no surprise that a number of obstacles arose during the planning process. It ranged everywhere from finding a site to host the event, down to how the bracket of the volleyball tournament was going to be set up. The challenges were constantly present but the generous support that was received from family and friends greatly outweighed the troubles.

Instead, of the 40 teams that were originally expected for the tournament, 7 teams ended up registering. This proved to be best for both the event coordinators and the participating teams. For the coordinators, running a tournament with only 7 teams was a lot easier to manage for a first time event, than a tournament would have been with 40 teams. As for the participants, having a lower number of teams participating allowed them to have a greater amount of playing time and really get their money’s worth.

Overall, the tournament went very well with participants asking about the event continuing in the future and The Water Project receiving a $350 donation from funds raised through team registrations. It provided a great learning opportunity for Autumn and Morgan for what is entailed in organizing and implementing an event from the ground up. The following report is an in-­‐depth analysis of all aspects of the 2015 WMU Mud Volleyball Tournament.


Co-authored by Autumn Gammon.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Thesis Presentation.pdf (2728 kB)
Thesis Presentation

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Marketing Commons