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The Department of Social Work at NC State Hosts Tony Hale and His New Friend Archibald

 |  Glennetta Burrell

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On Saturday, November 8th at 7:00 PM, the Department of Social Work at NC State welcomed American actor and author, Anthony “Tony” Hale to James B. Hunt Library at Centennial Campus. That night, Hale—best known for his comedic television roles as the neurotic Buster Bluth on the Fox series Arrested Development and vice-presidential aide on HBO’s Veep—attracted a crowd of approximately 400 students, faculty, and committed fans from the community to his spectacular event. The agenda for the night featured a reveal of his recently published children’s book, Archibald’s Next Big Thing, preceded by a VIP reception. In an interview published by Indy Weekly Magazine between Hale and author Allison Hussey, Hale expressed intentions for the take-away from his event to have been a lesson accessible to all. His piece of advice to all students and professionals everywhere—“I think you can get into a habit of being so focused on your next adventure that you miss the adventure that you’re on…stay mindful and stay present” (Indy Weekly Magazine 2014). [This event was also featured in the Technician and The News&Observer] But what some may not know is that Hale is the brother of the master-mind behind this event, Kimberly “Kim” Hale Andreaus. Hale Andreaus has worked with the Department of Social Work at NC State for the past seven years—first, as a field liaison, and most recently, as a full-time lecturer—and is always searching for opportunities to benefit the Department that she loves. A recent interview with Hale Andreaus demonstrates how this event allowed her to support her brother while uplifting the Department and community.  

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  What inspired this event? I came to this department in August of 2013, and I really wanted a way to bring some awareness of the great work that we are doing. As many departments are, we are sort of under-resourced, and so if I could make it into a fundraiser, that would be great. I wanted to just bring some attention and awareness to the Department of Social Work. How did you envision this event benefiting the department? So, we were trying to think of different fundraising ideas. I started thinking about the fact that I have a brother who is a celebrity and who has always been very supportive of me. I had a fundraiser for him for a movie that he was in about seven years ago with Will Ferrell to benefit InterAct, which is our domestic violence shelter and I raised $11,000. So I thought well maybe I could do something on behalf of the Department to bring some awareness and possibly a little money. How does your brother’s book connect to social work? I had been thinking about it for a while, and then I knew that he was writing this book, Archibald’s Next Big Thing. I think that many of the concepts in his book really relate to the concepts that we as social workers find really important about self-care, setting boundaries, really figuring out what our big thing is or what our journey looks like, and focusing on being mindful, those sorts of things. How were social work students involved? So, I worked with Mary Morris who teaches the Management class and asked her if as part of that class, could coordinating and planning this event serve as one of their required assignments. And she said “yes” very graciously, and so I had a great core group of graduate students who worked with me starting at the beginning of the semester. They planned, managed, organized, executed, got donations, and did a fantastic job. We put together all of the publicity materials, engaged various media sources, and had lots of media coverage. I will say that we were very curious about what kind of attendance were going to have because everyone we talked to said, “typically, book signings don’t really get much attendance…don’t set your expectations too high…students aren’t going to pay.” And so we really struggled with how to organize this and whether to charge. But we ultimately decided that we were going to charge. We were going to have 100 free tickets, but that we were going to charge students. And so we posted it; we started advertising; we had a Facebook page for the event, and all of the students on the committee were very media savvy and had it on their twitter feeds. We had an amazing amount of press and we actually sold out the venue at 400 people. Would you say it was a successful night? We ended up making about $4,000, which isn’t a ton of money, but you know, it was a lot more than we thought it was going to be. And it was a fabulous event. He sold a bunch of books, and it was just a fantastic evening with lots of students and lots of fans who weren’t students. And the community came together and it was just wonderful. Written by Glennetta Burrell. To be included in the Department of Social Work’s 2015 newsletter.

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