Reunion Subcommittees - Programs

This committee will be responsible for planning 1-2 class or cluster events during the weekend. This committee will also contribute to the development of the overall Reunion weekend schedule by providing input on events planned and coordinated by the Alumni Relations team.  

Based on feedback gathered from Reunion surveys over the years, the best Reunion experiences include:  

  • A class schedule with a good balance of programmed activities and free time to connect with classmates and explore the campus  
  • One or two programs highlighting class members and/or a topic of general interest with classmates serving as individual speakers, panel participants, facilitators or performers  
  • Family-friendly options, especially for the 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th classes  

As you are discussing ideas for your class or cluster events, consider the following questions:  

  • Do the ideas reflect the broader interests and makeup of the class? 
  • Are there specific groups who have not come back in the past? If so, is there a way to engage them by involving them in the program? 
  • Are we balancing social and intellectual content? 
  • Do we have a balance of scheduled time and free time? 

Class Program Event Guidelines  

Because of the large number of events held during Reunion, the Office of Alumni Relations assumes primary responsibility for the overall schedule of events, including class-specific events. As you are planning class events, focus on the content of the event rather than what day and time it will happen. Staff members take a holistic approach to the Reunion schedule — reviewing class-specific event time and location requests, class photo schedules, and all-class events — to ensure the opportunity for attendees to participate in as many events as possible. 

You will be planning 1-2 programs specifically for your classmates during Reunion. These events can range from a game of Ultimate to a class panel on a timely topic; from a presentation or performance by a classmate who is a renowned professor, politician, musician, athlete, artist, magician, or dancer to an early morning yoga class.  

To ensure the most efficient use of College resources and volunteer/staff time, we ask reunion committees to adhere to the below guidelines. 

  • All class programs must be coordinated through the committee planning process, which begins during the Reunion Planning Workshop and continues throughout the fall and early winter
  • The program planning committee is encouraged to solicit event ideas broadly among members of the class. In turn, members of the class are expected to share ideas with the committee, which is ultimately responsible for creating a Reunion schedule that is balanced and reflective of the best practices identified here. 
  • Program committee members work closely with Alumni Relations staff to plan class-specific Reunion events; class volunteers are assigned to, and are ultimately responsible for, the success of each Reunion class event. 

Funding Class/Cluster Programs

  • The College provides resources to support one to two class-specific programs.  
    • While there is no set budget per class, alumni relations staff will work with reunion committees to assess the feasibility of events based on the budget and staff time required for proposed events. 
    • Please note that some events with more significant costs may require committees to make choices. Each class’s staff liaison will help guide this evaluative process. 
  • Reunion has traditionally highlighted the talents of Grinnell faculty, students, and alumni; we do not have funds available for non-Grinnell speakers or performers for class events. 
  • If you have classmates who are interested in performing for your class, they are welcome to volunteer their time and talent and we can support their performance through procurement of the necessary space and logistics. We do not have funds available to fund classmate travel back to Grinnell for performances.  

Deadlines  

  • All class programs need to be finalized by February 1 in order to be included in the preliminary online schedule, included with the early March registration information. This includes the event title, brief description, name of event coordinator, names of event participants, and preliminary technical and space requirements and requested supplies (e.g., handouts, markers, etc.). 
  • After April 1, staff are not able to make significant changes to class programs or add any new class programs to the Reunion schedule. 
  • By May 1, your staff liaison will confirm any materials or technical needs for your class programs. 

Planning Your Reunion Programs  

Your committee will continue to work with your staff liaison throughout the fall to further refine the details of your class programming. Your staff liaison will walk you through the various aspects of each event, including the following: 

  • Event Coordinator: It is essential to assign at least one committee member to be the overall coordinator for each class program. Events without a committed coordinator tend to lose momentum.  
  • Preliminary Title and Description: While this can continue to be updated and refined through February 1, jotting down a working title and event description is helpful in focusing on the content and goal of each program through future discussions.  
  • Presenters/Emcees/Discussion Leaders: Participant recruitment is key to the success of panels and presentations. 
    • In addition to the names of potential participants, be sure to identify and assign a committee member to do the recruiting, and also specify the order of preference (if needed) in reaching out to potential participants. 
    • Set an early deadline for making contact so that you’ll have time to regroup with the committee if classmates are unavailable. 
    • As you confirm presenters or panelists, collect their titles and obtain a brief bio to include in the online event description. 
  • Suggested Day/Time and Length of Event: Alumni relations staff will schedule each of your class events, but if you have specific recommendations (such as a bird walk early on Saturday morning), please share that information. While most reunion events average an hour to ninety minutes in length, event length can be determined on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Campus Venues: As you plan your class events, think about the type of space you’d like to have for each event. 
    • For example, do you imagine your class panel to be a formal presentation in a large lecture hall or an informal group discussion in a classroom? Will you have audiovisual needs? You can indicate your preference for a type of venue to your staff liaison. 
    • One of Grinnell’s strengths is its small class sizes. However, this means that there are few venues on campus that can accommodate large numbers of attendees. As part of setting the overall Reunion schedule, including your class events, alumni relations staff will assign locations for each event. Staff members appreciate volunteers remaining flexible as they work to balance the needs for all of our wonderful Reunion committees.  
  • Requests for Materials, Supplies, or AV/Technology: It is especially helpful to know if your event will have any technology or audiovisual needs from the beginning so that an appropriate venue can be assigned. You will continue to work with your staff liaison through the spring to finalize materials or other supplies needed. 
  • Open to Other Reunion Classes?: You may want to invite other classes to join certain events, such as athletic games or panels of broad interest. If you do open it up to other classes, it will be listed as “hosted by the Class of ‘XX” in the final schedule for Reunion.