You won’t be surprised to hear that one-on-one contact with your classmates will make all the difference in your reunion attendance. Since it’s unlikely that each of you will be able to establish contact with every classmate, we urge you to recruit an attendance chair and an enthusiastic group of volunteers to help build attendance. If you have a reunion committee, you can start with that group, but you should reach out further. A successful attendance campaign is based on a broad leadership team whose members feel a personal stake in encouraging great attendance. They might volunteer to call classmates in their local area, from a student group they were involved with, from a shared identity group such as black or Hispanic alumni, or from their residential college. Some of the most successful attendance efforts are led by a dedicated attendance chair. We encourage each class to find that special person.
When aiming to maximize reunion attendance, you want to be as inclusive as possible – Yale prides itself on the diversity of each entering class. You are no less diverse now than when you were students, and perhaps even more so! So your efforts need to embrace that diversity and be tailored to the different audiences you are reaching out to.
To get you started with recruiting your attendance chair and committee, the AYA will provide you with a roster of classmates who hold or have held a variety of alumni leadership positions. The people on your list are those who have served their local clubs, their class, on the AYA board, on the Yale Corporation or other governing bodies, or who have expressed a personal interest in certain shared identity groups.
Once you have your attendance team in place, you will need to provide them with appropriate lists & contact information. There are many ways to divide up the class, as I mentioned, and your staff liaison can generate lists for you for almost anything that is coded in Yale’s database – including many athletic teams, student organizations & other affiliations. In addition, we’ve put a packet in the back of your notebook that you can share with you attendance chair. It includes tips for your volunteers and sample correspondence. We’d be happy to forward this electronically or by mail to the members of your committee.
As you and the attendance team contact your classmates, you may want to keep in mind the reasons why people come to reunion: memories, friendship, entertainment, lifelong learning, shared interest or identity, and interest in Yale. We will work with you to create a reunion program with broad appeal, one that will entertain your classmates and stimulate their minds. We encourage you to be creative in your communications, to catch their interest and bring them back to campus so they can relive the memories, create new ones, visit with friends old and new, and reconnect with Yale.