Crawford Alumni Center

Tennessee Tech alumni explore Utah and Colorado 

Tennessee Tech alumni stand in front of balancing rock at Arches National Park. They are holding a Tennessee Tech banner.

“Wings Up Across America.”

That’s what alumni are saying about the Tennessee Tech Crawford Alumni Center’s new Golden Eagle Travel program, which allows travelers to experience the comradery of exploring the country with fellow Golden Eagles. A group of alumni just returned from Tech’s first Golden Eagle Travel experience: a week visiting Colorado and Utah’s parks.

“Golden Eagle Travel is a great way for alumni to meet one another and see new places,” said Kelly Chambers, assistant director of the Crawford Alumni Center. “The travelers share a common bond – Tennessee Tech – and that makes it fun to travel together. We loved showing our Tech Pride in Utah and Colorado.”

The “Utah’s Mighty National Parks” itinerary included Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks; Dead Horse Point State Park; an evening cruise down the Colorado River and a visit to Colorado National Monument. The travelers also spent a day in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and visited John Ford Point, the location of many classic Western films.  

Twenty-three Tech alumni and friends signed up for the weeklong tour, and they encountered even more alumni along the way.

At an overlook in Colorado National Monument, Garret Gordon, `80 business management, noticed a car with a Tennessee license plate parked behind the tour group’s motor coach. Gordon introduced himself to the driver who turned out to be a Tech graduate as well.

A few days later, Kathleen Lordo, digital media coordinator for the Crawford Alumni Center, wore a Tech t-shirt to Arches National Park. As she passed a group on a walking trail, a woman noticed her shirt.

“Hey, Tennessee Tech!” the woman said. “I went to Tennessee Tech!”

The proud Tech graduate was Ellen Puckett Amuso, `84 elementary education. Amuso works as a tour guide for JG Outfitters in Moab, Utah.

“How amazing is that?!” said Lordo. “Running into even more Tech alumni on the other side of the country while getting to discover these amazing places with new friends was an experience I will always remember.” 

Chambers and Lordo say the alumni who went on the Utah and Colorado trip are already asking about other travel opportunities, and the Crawford Alumni Center plans to offer more trips in the future.

The Crawford Alumni Center currently has two additional itineraries planned for 2022-2023: a five-night Tournament of Roses Parade trip Dec. 30, 2022-Jan. 4, 2023 and a six-night Black Hills, Badlands and Mount Rushmore trip July 26-Aug. 1, 2023. For more information, visit

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