As with so many communities, the foods that students share help shape their experience together. Whether dining at a campus cafeteria for a study review, celebrating a team victory at a local burger joint or grabbing a late night slice at a popular pizza shop, the flavors and memories of these foods stir alumni to look back on their time at their second home.
So without surprise, local grub is a fantastic way to thank donors for their gift, and to reward an alum’s palate.
Matt Siegel, the Director of Reunion and Recent Graduate Giving Programs at the University of Rochester, mentions how his office will often treat younger alumni visiting town to an iconic Rochester dish – The Nick Tahou Garbage Plate. Matt also points out how a cookie platter from a popular bakery, and other relatively non-perishable goods, can serve as an effective gift to send out to distant donors.
At Northfield Mount Hermon School, recent graduates are sent from their alma mater an “exam packet” as they brave their first exams in college. The most cherished item in that care package for these college freshman? Some local NMH Maple Syrup.
In this busy time of feast preparation take a few moments to think about how you can bring the local flavor back to your alumni. Make a list of special plates, sauces or treats that strongly resonate with different generations. At the very least, if you’re in a short bind you can always take a photo of famous hometown dishes and upload it to Instagram (we stand with Mashable’s recommendation to use the Lo-Fi filter for food!)