A NEW REUNION
In my last column I announced an initiative to build an endowment to support alumni programs. I am pleased to report that we are making good progress toward our $1 million goal. The enthusiastic and generous response from so many alumni is very gratifying. This important support will afford us flexibility and the opportunity to try new approaches to some of our best programs, among them class reunions.
      Thanks to feedback from you, our alumni, and the advice of our Alumni Relations Campus Council and Alumni Association Board of Directors Campus Events Committee, we took a long look at our class reunion system and decided to make some changes.
      So, with Reunion 2000, we will keep what worked so well for many years while modifying timing and program schedules to keep up with the changing needs, lifestyles, and interests of our ever-expanding alumni population.
      Classes from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s will continue to celebrate their reunions during our traditional Reunion Weekend. For example, June 2 to 4, 2000, the classes of 1925, 1930, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1950, and 1955 will be invited to return to campus.
      Now here's the twist. Classes from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s will be invited to return to campus in the fall during Homecoming Weekend. For the past two years we have welcomed back our classes from the 1980s and 1990s during Homecoming Weekend and received a great response.
      So to welcome a new century, we bring you this new Reunion schedule:
  • Reunion Weekend, June 2 to 4, 2000:1925, 75th reunion; 1930, 70th reunion; 1935, 65th reunion; 1940, 60th reunion; 1945, 55th reunion; 1950, 50th reunion; and 1955, 45th reunion.
  • Homecoming Weekend, fall of 2000:1960, 40th reunion; 1970, 30th reunion; 1975, 25th reunion; 1980, 20th reunion; and 1990, 10th reunion.

      You may have noticed that we are scaling back on celebrating some anniversaries, particularly the 5th and 15th. That's because we've found that our most recent graduates stay connected with Syracuse University and each other outside a class reunion framework. So we will start class reunions with the 10th anniversary and that class will next meet at its 20th reunion.

      In addition, the 35th class reunion will be discontinued, as we find the majority of our alumni prefer to return to campus for such major anniversaries as the 40th and 50th.
      We also are supplementing our class reunion programs with a series of smaller, more focused special reunions. We encourage those of you who were in a student organization to consider such an event. We are pleased to work with a variety of alumni groups, including cheerleaders and Greek letter organizations, to welcome back their members for special celebrations.
      As with anything new, we expect to go through a trial-and-error phase. This new approach is in response to your ideas, requests, and feedback. We ask your patience and—most important—your participation.
      In addition, with Reunion 2000 will come the ability to get specific class information and weekend schedules, and register online. We urge you to visit our web site, http://www.syracuse.edu/alumniWe hope you take advantage of this service.
      How else will we communicate about your class reunion? Every issue of Syracuse University Magazinewill include announcements about dates, classes participating, and how to access more information. I suggest you refer to our pages for the latest information as a matter of routine.
      Traditionally, we share news with you about your class reunion through the mail. Every year 25,000 alumni celebrate a class reunion. This means sending bulk mailings at high cost. We will continue to use the mail, but are trying to develop more cost-efficient and effective ways of communicating. We need you to actively seek out reunion information, referring to the magazine and our web site.
      SU is an exciting and vibrant place; as alumni, you are a vital part of the University community. We are eager to welcome you back to campus anytime but hope you will join classmates to celebrate important anniversaries.
      I welcome your thoughts and ideas about class reunions or our other alumni programs. You can always reach me at eorourke@syr.edu or 1-800-SUALUMS.

Lil Breul O'Rourke '77
Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations

Alumni have been returning to campus for class reunions for almost 125 years. In fact, the first such gathering was June 22, 1875. For many years the 50th reunion class marched in Commencement.


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