Guide To Successful Class Reunions – Bob Takei, Executive Director
The Office of Alumni Services can assist you in organizing your reunion and the following suggestions may help you make the occasion enjoyable for everyone:
1. Planning your Reunion
It is vital from the start that you pull together a small working group (reunion committee) to spread the load, particularly for the larger classes. Tasks can be allocated to avoid one person being over-stretched, although, irrespective of class size, minimum of 2 Class Representatives will be necessary to keep tabs on progress, to liaise directly with Alumni Services, to encourage a maximum attendance from class members and to act as the main contacts for the class. For the reunion committee, the key areas will be communications, class accommodation arrangements and entertainment.
The dates for your reunion events should be determined by you and may be planned for publication well in advance through the Alumni Newsletter and our Website.
3. Who to Invite
All those who graduated within your class are automatically invited. (You also have the option to invite other class members who did not graduate with your class, for whatever reason). Spouses and guests should also be included. Many classes have included the “Sister Schools” (Sacred Hearts Academy, Star of the Sea, Saint Francis School) in some of their reunion events and report successful results. A good number of St. Louis Alumni are married to graduates from the “Sister Schools”.
4. Class Reps
Class Reps are the ones who make reunions exceptional, encouraging and co-coordinating classmates' participation. While the Alumni Services actively promotes reunions by handling all mailings such as class invitations on your behalf, assisting with arranging venues, Class Representatives are essential to ensure strong alumni participation and are the key to a successful class reunion. There are some classes where the Class Reps have not been identified. These classes are usually the more recent graduating classes. Please let me know whom your Class Reps are or if you would like to serve as a representative of your class.
5. Class List
Your class list will act as a refresher and enable you and committee to make direct contact with members of your class. Please note that the addresses and contact details provided will be as current as the information on our database. However, should you have more up-to-date contact information for individuals, please pass this on to Alumni Services prior to the first mailing. The information provided to you is strictly private and confidential and should be used only for organizing your Class Reunion and other Class activities.
6. Class Photos
Class Reps should plan on arranging for a professional photographer to take a class portrait for reunion events, especially the “main event”. A souvenir copy should be made available to every classmate in attendance. Someone from the class typically serves as photographer to “capture the moments” of the other events.
Alumni Services will mail letters/invitations on your behalf (normally two mailings in advance of a reunion). This service is a tremendous benefit to classes and saves your class the costs of paper supplies, printing, postage and mailing services. The text for the mailings should be drafted in by the reunion committee and forwarded to me for mailing. Class letters/invitations should also include a list all “lost class members” for whom we do not have current address, in the hope of finding them so that they too can participate in their reunion. Replies to invitations should be sent directly to an address of one of the reunion committee members for processing. Details of your reunion (as well as old photographs, memorabilia) can also be publicized in the Alumni Newsletter, as well as on the SLAA website.
The costs associated with organizing a class reunion are significant and the St. Louis Alumni Association has generously decided to subsidize the mailing costs for your reunions to ease the burden for each class. In return, we ask that a sincere effort be made by each class to solicit their classmates to join the Alumni Association, make use of the Clubhouse facilities, and participate in the growing list of activities provided by the Association. At $12.00 per year, membership in the St. Louis Alumni Association is the best deal in town.
The Office of Alumni Services has a list of local hotels, travel agencies, golf courses, caterers, etc., which is available to classes. Someone from the reunion committee should be responsible for organizing the block bookings to assist class members traveling from out of state requiring hotel accommodations.
10. St. Louis Alumni Clubhouse Facilities
Class Night - Most classes begin their reunion weekend with a “Class Night” (stag event). We welcome you to schedule this event at the Alumni Clubhouse. Our prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is conducive for fellowship and fun. Many classes schedule their Class Night at the Alumni Clubhouse, following their Golf Tournament. Tournament participants come to the Alumni Clubhouse after the golf event and mix with their classmates who came to meet them at the Class Night event.
Banquet/Luau – Classes that schedule their banquet at the Clubhouse reap the benefits of reasonably priced menus, ample free parking, and the special privacy of our venue. Remember, this is your Clubhouse!
For a reunion to be successful, sufficient notice needs to be given to both the class members and Alumni Services. For assistance from Alumni Services be sure to contact me well in advance of the anticipated date of the reunion.
Plan a Reunion
Telephone: (808) 955-6618
Fax: (808) 949-6673