So you’re interested in organizing a get-together with your Lipscomb friends—some of whom you haven’t seen or talked with in quite some time?
Great! How do you find out where they are living now? How do you get in touch with them? When and where do you hold the reunion? What kinds of events and activities should be planned? Here is where you can find the answers.
A successful reunion allows you and your friends to get reacquainted with classmates from the past, to recall fond memories and to catch up with your professors and mentors, all in group fellowship in a relaxing environment. Read on for plenty of guidelines to plan a successful reunion that attendees will leave with a positive feeling, having visited with the people they most longed to see.
A Lipscomb reunion is any gathering of fellow Bisons who come together after having been separated for some time. Reunions might involve your classmates or people who lived with you in a residence hall, who played a sport with you or who belonged to the same club or organization.
The alumni office strongly encourages that reunions be scheduled during Homecoming weekend. Being back on campus can add a significant nostalgic dimension to a reunion, and allows attendees to see first-hand how the campus has changed since their time on campus and meet some of today’s students.
Here are some suggestions to help you have a successful reunion:
- Recruit others to help—The most important ingredient for a successful reunion is a dedicated group of volunteers who are prepared to do what it takes to organize the activities and to encourage their friends to attend. While the Office of Alumni Engagement will lend a hand, the reunion will only be successful if you and your fellow volunteers put in the effort. The first task, then, is to recruit others to help you with your reunion.
- Plan the reunion with these friends—Having a committee will facilitate spreading out the responsibilities and tasks, and aid in making major decisions. These include choosing a format, dates, times and venues, cost, the overall timeline and tasks.
- Make sure people attend—This is one of the most important tasks. Quite often, this effort includes a personal approach to potential reunion goers. Telephone calls, personal letters and/or e-mails are the most effective forms of marketing. And everyone on the committee can help!
- Follow-up with post-reunion reporting—In order to facilitate a successful reunion in the future, providing post-reunion information is extremely helpful. As the reunion organizer, your assistance in providing the Office of Alumni Engagement with post-reunion reporting is greatly appreciated. This will include submitting attendance rosters and any updates to attendee contact information; financial documentation if university funds are involved or other event follow-up details as needed.
Alumni Relations Assistance
Once you have decided to organize a reunion, the Office of Alumni Engagement is ready to assist you with your planning. We have staff members who will work with you and your volunteers to make sure your reunion experience is successful and enjoyable.
Here are ways we can help:
- Locate your friends—The Office of Alumni Engagement has a database of more than 28,000 Lipscomb degreed alumni living all over the world. In most cases, we are able to track down your friends.
- Publicize your reunion to your friends—The Office of Alumni Engagement will be happy to assist in generating an email and sending it out to your group. We can work with you to develop an effective marketing plan. In most instances, we are able to provide you with a list of your group members. (Organizers must sign the office’s Confidentiality Agreement and understand that any shared records are confidential and are only to be used for event planning.)
Our experience shows that the personal touch is important in getting a good reunion turnout. The most effective approach is to personally call your classmates, but that is not the only way. In addition, we can publicize your reunion through our social media channels, and in Bison Tracks, our monthly alumni e-newsletter. You may also want to include a list of “lost” classmates from whom there has been no contact. (Just keep us posted of any alumni address changes for our database.)
- Advice on activities to plan—Based on our experience in working with reunion organizers, we are able to provide you with helpful suggestions for activities that will make your reunion work for you.
- Arrangement of on-campus facilities—We can assist with the booking of facilities and will put you in touch with the university’s various service providers (food, audio-visual, etc.) and help to coordinate your on-campus needs.
- Handle reservations—Through our online registration system, we can handle the RSVPs, keep you posted on who is coming, and collect the monies, if desired.
- Facilitate post-event reporting—Alumni Engagement can distribute a post-event survey for reunion feedback, forward alumni contact cards to donor records for database updates and track who attended the reunion.
- Other support services—Upon request, we will provide name tags for events, provide alumni information update cards, post photos on our social media channels (Be sure to send us your event photos!) and provide a staff member to attend the main event and provide a welcome from the alumni office. We also continually update alumni records in our database and will keep your reunion list up-to-date for future communications and reunions.
For additional questions you may have about alumni reunions, please contact the Laura Sears with the Office of Alumni Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.966.1963 or 800.333.4358 x1963.