This is the first post of EverTrue’s Reunion Month, a time for reflecting on best practice and new ideas around alumni gatherings. Our first guest post for the month comes from Sujata Adamson-Mohan, Director of Alumnae/i Relations at The Masters School and a client of EverTrue. In this post Sujata reflects on three lessons her office has learned from alumni reunions in the past.
1. Create buy-in from the entire School Community:
Alums coming back to campus for Reunion often have not been back in awhile, or even since graduation. It is important that the entire school community is aware of the weekend events and activities, especially students. Reunion presents an incredible opportunity to showcase your newest courses, buildings, or events by including faculty and students who are involved with these aspects of the School. Students will soon be alums, so even though they might not grasp the idea completely, it is important to engage them in reunion while alums are on campus.
2. Increasing Reunion giving after the Big Weekend:
Like many schools, we present the top five classes donor/dollar lists to date at Reunion Weekend. In the past we have found that when certain classes are closely ranked it tends to spark competition after Reunion. Because our Reunion is held in the spring, it gives us a few weeks before the close of the Annual Fund to continue to build on donations generated by the friendly competition.
3. Reunion Committees and Committee Structure:
Often there is an expectation to have reunion committees with very specific goals and outcomes. Every class is different and not all classes even like the word “committee.” It is important to be flexible. Alums might not want to be on the “committee” but would be willing to call a few classmates, write notes, or send email blasts. Adapt your goals and outcomes to the unique attitudes of each class. What works for some classes might not work for others. It is important to have a few key alums in each class who will help get others involved. What I have learned as we move through cycles is that each decade is different and that what worked for the 50th Reunion ten years ago is not always appealing to the 50th Reunion of today.
Do you have an interest in sharing your reunion insights, ideas or stories? Let us know and be featured in our blog this May!