Celebratory & Ad hoc reunions
Class reunions are usually organized to celebrate anniversaries such as 10 years, 20 years etc. from graduation and are held at the class’ initiative at the premises of the Athens College Alumni Association (SAKA). However, it is possible for an active class agent to motivate reunion organization on a more regular basis in other places (bars, restaurants, cultural spaces etc.) at class level or in smaller class groups (eg. Classmates living in Athens, living in London etc.).
Summer, Christmas and Easter breaks are ideal times for ad hoc reunions, as many alumni /ae living abroad return home. Save the date and early announcement of date, time and venue increases participation and is extremely appreciated by those that need to travel and plan ahead. Moreover, keeping in contact throughout the organization and building momentum (sharing pictures of school days, reminiscing online etc.) is also key to increasing attendance. And, participation is very important! While the impact of good food and well‐organized, enjoyable activities should not be overlooked, alumni/ae understandably evaluate reunions by considering the number of classmates present.
Remember: People make reunions possible!
Good attendance and sufficient social time, essentially guarantee that class members will return home satisfied with their reunion experience. To engage and ensure the participation of more classmates, recruit some help! What better way to get people to attend your reunion than by giving them a job that enhances the reunion (e.g., helping with the class kit, organizing a reunion "party", typing up song lyrics, etc.)? By delegating tasks, you'll also be able to enjoy events without feeling overwhelmed.
Checklist to organize a successful celebratory or ad hoc reunion
- Inform the Development Office of your initiative, date and place of the reunion. Make sure the date does not coincide with holidays, celebrations or other major events.
- Get your updated class contact list copy from the Development Office, update it with help from your classmates and share any updates with the DO for their database.
- Create a Communication and Time Plan on how you’re going to contact your classmates (social media, letters, e‐mails, event management softwares or a combination) and when. You can consult the Development Office for available tools and other ideas.
- Make initial contact with your class through e‐mail or social media (through a class Facebook group or a separate event page). Send a Save the Date as soon as possible.
- Capitalize on social media for keeping the crowd “warm” and responsive (sharing past photos, memories, engaging members, seeking organization support/sponsors).
- Recruit help and get your classmates involved! Create an organizing team to make the process more fun, engaging and representative.
- Identify faculty and staff that were your teachers and administrators while students.
- Start talking to other class members about fundraising ideas for your class gift. You can get in touch with the Development Office beforehand to help you select and build the case for support.
- Send out information about your class fundraising status and participation -currently as well as historically- and set a target goal.
- Select a cause that would most accurately reflect your class story or special characteristics and sensitivities (possibly in memory of a loved classmate that has passed away or to honor a special occasion that has left a mark with your class). Get inspired! See more here.
- Examine the best ways for your class to raise the amount for the selected cause (party entrance fee, individual giving on site, individual giving in advance, online giving).
- Prompt classmates to give online or through other ways to support the cause or any other cause that is closer to their hearts and wishes.