How do I go about planning a reunion? (A
collection of thoughts and ideas)
I have had a number of questions about planning a class reunion.
To help fill this need for information I have put together
a general set of ideas to consider in planning a class
reunion. I have been involved in the planning of my high
school reunion for a period of time, and have gained
a good deal of insight form this experience. I graduated
with the Biglerville High School Class of 1962. We have
a Class web page and are also putting out a class newsletter.
More about these later.
Reunion Planning considerations:
One person, should not attempt to plan for a class reunion
with out the help of a committee.
Usually, the senior class officers forms the committee
that plans the first reunion. After the first reunion
is held, a committee can be chosen form those who attend
this reunion event. The first reunion may be held at
five years after graduation or some wait until ten years
after graduation. There are a few classes that hold a
reunion the first year after graduation. The sooner that
one is held the easier it is to keep up with the changes
of class members’ addresses. After the first reunion
is held, a reunion is usually held every five years.
A few classes only hold these every ten years. Once the
class gets older they often have them closer together.
Planning should start form six months to a year before
actually holding the reunion. This will make it easier
to set a date and give each class member a chance to
work this date in to their schedule. It is better to
start planning about a year ahead to get the best response
from your class members.
The first thing that needs to be accomplished, is obtaining
a list of addresses for the members of the class. One
place to start is to visit your high school office and
see if a mailing list can be obtained from them. With
regulations, this may not be possible with many schools.
Even this list will have many incorrect addresses. The
next method is to get a list of the class members from
the last yearbook for this class. Check with the parents
of these class members for addresses. Check with friends
that you know are still in the area, to see if they may
have stayed in contact with others class members. Start
a web site for the class and place a notice on this web
site asking that former members send you their address
for the purpose of a reunion. The web site can also be
used to announce the particulars of the next reunion.
A number schools have an alumni connection where you
can add your web site to the school web site. Check phone
books and do web searches to find addresses.
The next step involves deciding what type of reunion
event that you want to hold and where and when. This
might be a picnic type affair, or a more formal dinner
affair, or just a simple gathering at a well known theme
park. There are many possible ways to hold a reunion
event. Some classes hold a weekend event where they have
a formal dinner on one night and a picnic event the following
day. Some choose to go on a short river or bay cruise
in order to have their event. [For our 50th reunion we
had a 3 day affair. We started on Friday and got met
at the our town library (which was new) and took a tour.
After this we held a class talent show in the meeting
room of the library. We then has an evening meal at a
local restaurant. We all then went to the home football
game and were honored at halftime. On Saturday we met
for breakfast at a local restaurant after which we took
a tour of the local history society building and then
on for a tour of our high school. That evening we had
a formal dinner where among many other activities we
honored those who had passed away and who were in our
class at some time. On Sunday we held a picnic starting
at noon. Each person brought along a food dish to share
and a basket filled with different items for a raffle
or silent type auction. A pig roast and a few other
items were provided by the class.]
If you area going to hold a dinner, you need to check
out restaurants or caters and find out when they are
available and how much they charge. You
need to decide
if you want to use a DJ to provide music and dancing.
You need to find out if there will be a cost for the
place you are holding this event above the cost of the
food. If you are going to have a bar at this event, there
might be flat fee for this along with each person paying
for what they drink. If you would like to have a class
picture of this event, you may need to hire a photographer
to take a group picture. This may not incur any direct
cost to the class, but those who want a copy will need
to know how much this is going to cost. If you decide
to have a decorative cake for the event, this is still
You will need to decide on what type of food to offer
as well as how many people will be served. Early on,
you have know way of knowing how many will be attending.
You will have to make an educated guess so you know what
size room to reserve. Most caters or restaurants need
to know about a week before the actual event as to the
You need to contact the class members and find out who
will be attending and what food they would like if you
are going to have choices. You might have a list of several
meals they can chose form or you might have a buffet
with different items.
You will need to figure out what each person attending
will have to pay. This will include all the cost including
rental, food, DJ, postage to send out letters, cost to
send out notices for the next reunion, etc., divided
by the number of those who you believe will attend.
If you are planning to have a picnic event instead,
you can keep the cost downs, by having everyone bring
something to share. The committee can provide table settings,
a meat and drinks and take up a collection to cover these
Program of events for the event:
You also need to decide on a program for event - Who
will offer a blessing? What time is the meal served?
Who will make announcements? What time will dancing
start, if you are having a DJ. What time will the class
Photo be taken? What time will you have a meeting to
talk about who will be on the committee for the next
reunion and what was good and bad about this event?
There are a lot of things to take into consideration
as a class reunion is planned. The cost can be a major
factor. Some classes hold fund raising events in between
to keep the cost down to individual members. Some classes
also hold a monthly get-together at a local restaurant
for those who live close, just to meet and keep up with
what is happening. Another thing to consider is that
some classes when in school had many clicks that will
make it difficult to get some of the members to attend
a reunion event. Many times it takes years before some
will get beyond those memories of school clicks. With
that in mind do not slight any class members in letting
them know what is going on or what your committee is
planning. It may be a good idea to have the reunion committee
made up from a cross section of class members.
Note about DJ’s:
We use to have a DJ at our reunion event, but we no longer
do. We found that very few wanted to dance at the reunion.
Most just wanted to sit and talk to classmates, that
we had not seen in a while. This can be a big savings.
Many classes also put out a reunion booklet at each reunion
which contains information about what each class members
is doing, what their address is, their spouse if married,
children, and other interesting information. Sometimes
they ask a question for each class member to respond
to, to make the information even more interesting.
What happen in our school that sticks out most in your
mind? Who was your favorite teacher? Do you remember
when such and such happened? What teacher had the biggest
impact on your life and how? Which class did you like
the least, etc.
I also put together a self running PowerPoint CD that
we have running during the reunion event. Anyone who
wants a copy of the CD can purchase it at cost. It
contains pictures form the class members of when they
were in school, or of social events when they were
together. It contains most of the pictures form our
yearbooks. It contains pictures of the planning committee
working to get the reunion up and running. It contains
pictures from past reunions.
Reunion event bulletin Board:
You may want to have some sort of portable bulletin board
at the reunion, where those attending can bring along
photos to share with the class.
Class Web Site:
Once a class has established a routine for their reunion,
they may want to establish a web site for the class,
where information about class events can be placed.
Here are a few examples.: http://www.littlestownpa.info/cl58/ ,
http://www.bhs62.us/ , http://www.littlestownpa.info/class97.htm
My high School class has just started putting out a class
newsletter about 3 times a year. It contains information
about class members, information about our school buildings
and what is happening to them, information about our
towns that would be of interest, information about
former teachers that we had, etc. We send it to those
members who have an email address. If anyone else wants
a copy they have to pay $5 a year to cover cost of
postage, paper, ink, envelopes, etc.
This is a collection of ideas and information that I
have gathered from my own experiences. It is my hope
that it might give you a little help as you plan your
reunion. Maybe it will spark an idea that will make
your class reunion an memorial event. I hope your reunion
is a success and that you enjoy yours as much as I
enjoy mine. If you have other thoughts that you would
like me to add to this collection of information, send
it to me. If I think it would be of help, I will post
it with this information and give you credit for your