Milestone reunions 50 and 25 years from graduation
The milestone reunions of 25 and 50 years from graduation are especially celebrated by the College. They are considered important landmarks and are hosted by the Athens College President and spouse (usually a finger food reception for the 25 years and seated dinner for the 50 years, both “classmates only”, followed by a commemorative photo shoot on the steps of Benaki Hall). They provide an occasion for a class to revive their memories, celebrate special moments or achievements, honor loved classmates that are no longer with them and leave their mark through their class gift for a cause that best represents them.
These reunions are organized in collaboration with the Development Office (DO) and are celebrated at the company of School senior administration and faculty, including living professors from their School years that the class designates, student ambassadors and/or scholars (eg. of the program the class has chosen to support on the occasion of their reunion), who attend for a special welcome of the class back to School. As such, some additional steps need to be followed for the organization of the milestone reunions.
Tradition has it that the celebration hosted by the President is followed by a party (starting after 11 pm, usually at SAKA premises) organized by the class in order to prolong the celebration and make the best of the occasion.
In view of the Athens College 2025 Centennial Campaign and celebrations coming up, the milestone reunions of that year, namely for classes of 1975 (50 years) and 2000 (25 years), will have a special significance. Brainstorming and discussions are already underway this year in order to seize the momentum and ensure that milestone reunions will leave a mark and increase the impact of the campaign.
Checklist to organize a successful milestone reunion
- Meet with the DO to set a roadmap, discuss a fundraising cause and coordinate with the President’s Office for date alternatives.
- Recruit help and get your classmates involved! Recruit more classmates as Class Agents to increase representation (ideal number is 1 Class Agent per 50 classmates) and create a reunion organizing team to make the process more fun, engaging and representative.
- Get your updated class contact list copy from the DO, update it with help from your classmates and share any updates with the DO for their database.
Note: Please handle the list carefully, due to GDPR restrictions. Only Class Agents who have signed a confidentiality agreement with the School can have access to all classmates' contact and giving details and update it accordingly. Every change/update needs to be recorded in collaboration with each classmate who needs to be informed that all data collected are sent to the School for data updating and communication purposes. Suggestion is for all communication to classmates to be done using BCC.
- Create a Communication and Time Plan on how you’re going to contact your classmates (social media, letters, e‐mails, or a combination) and when. Consult the DO for available tools and other ideas.
- Make initial contact with your class through e‐mail or social media to alert them that your milestone reunion is up, inform them of the program and processes, set a date early on and send a Save the Date as soon as possible to facilitate also those that live abroad, and start the discussion, spurring enthusiasm.
Note: The official invitation is dispatched by the College President with RSVP function. Usually the invitation includes a note by the Class Agent/s. Coordinate with the DO for content and RSVPs. Reception and photography (during reception) costs are covered by the School. A symbolic commemorative gift is also offered on behalf of the School.
- Take the opportunity to organize a party to follow the official event as well as think of and prepare a commemorative gift for your class, according to standard practice.
Note/Tip: Should you proceed with organizing a party, standard practice is for costs to be moderate in order not to derail the class from the main class gift cause and efforts to be made for some of the necessary costs (catering, drinks, music, symbolic commemorative gift etc.) to be offered or covered (in-kind gifts) by classmates, in which case their contribution is registered by the DO. Proper recording requires the Class Agent/s to submit to the DO a report on the costs covered by classmates.
- Capitalize on social media for keeping the crowd “warm” and responsive (sharing past photos, memories, engaging members, seeking organization support/sponsors).
- Identify faculty and staff that were your teachers and administrators while students and communicate them to the DO.
- Send out information about your class fundraising status and participation -currently as well as historically- and start talking to other class members about our School's unique -both in character and in breadth- Scholarship Program that offers students whose families are facing financial hardship the opportunity to be schooled at the College. Many classmates and fellow alumni have benefitted by the Program in the past and it is time to show their gratitude. You may find the necessary class giving information at the unique innovative Athens College Alumni Class Monitoring Tool development by the DO to facilitate the work of the Class Agents.
- In collaboration with the DO, set a target fundraising/monetary goal that would most accurately reflect your class (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).
- 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 recorded by the DO and memorabilia). In any case, it is important to keep a proper attendance list and record the contribution of each classmate, where such contribution differs. This list and recording is submitted to the DO for proper recognition.
- Prompt classmates to give online or through other ways, including recurring gifts, to support the cause or any other cause that is closer to their hearts.
- All donors - irrespective of gift amount - are acknowledged, upon donor consent, on the Annual Fund Digital Donor Wall, available online on the School website and hosting all Financial Aid gifts during the current financial year (September 1-August 31) . Donors are also acknowledged in the Annual Report on Giving (el) within Giving Societies (Honor Roll of Donors), according to their annual aggregate giving level (≥250€) the past financial year and their stated preference. Consecutive giving of 5 and 10 years is indicated. Consent is acquired by the DO once the full list of contributions is received by the Class Agent/s accordingly, namely for those who have not given directly to the College (via online gift forms) or for those who have given via bank transfer and have not completed the required form, consent for the digital donor wall is given by completing the form available here. Regarding acknowledgement in the Report on Giving, all donors with annual aggregate giving of ≥250€ receive a targeted communication and consent form after the end of the financial year (August 31). All gifts from alumni count toward class giving totals.
- Following receipt of a collective gift, a thank you letter referring to the Class Agent/s is sent to the Class Agent/s in order to be further communicated to the Class along with the class gift receipt.