First alumni weekend acheives success
Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Relations Laura Lang, after a year of planning, emailing, promoting, and advertising, finally got to have her cake and eat it too at the first annual Alumni Weekend, which kicked off Friday, Sept. 30.
“An all-alumni weekend was something we had been thinking about for a long time, most colleges do all-alumni weekends, and we started talking about it last fall. We talked with Beth Siemek, the chair of the alumni committee and class of ‘78, put separate committees together, and started formally meeting last February,” Lang said.
The event started with a President’s luncheon on Friday at noon, held by President Richard O’Hara and Principal Madelyn Ball. The intention was to let the alumni get a chance to meet with these two newer additions to JC.
“We had hoped to have more participants, there were maybe 20, but it’s difficult on a Friday afternoon,” O’Hara said.
The all-alumni reception later that night was attended by over 200 alumni, according to Lang.
This event cost $30, which covered food, beer, wine, desserts, and entrance into the football game against St. Paul’s on Friday, Sept. 30.
Even though they did charge for this event, “it was never intended to be a fundraiser, more of a friend-raiser, to bring alumni back to campus,” Lang said.
On Saturday, the graduating classes with years ending in a one or a six had their individual reunions.
Three of them were at JC and the three others were at other venues, which Lang, O’Hara, Ball, and Vice-President for Institutional Advancement Kurt Sudbrink visited throughout the day.
“We just drove from event to event all day,” Ball said.
The events culminated with a memorial Mass on Sunday with a slideshow of every deceased member of the JC community, so that alumni could reminisce about their time at JC and the friends they had made.
Lang believes the event “was a tremendous amount of work and it couldn’t have come together better,” but she is still asking alumni’s opinion to improve it for next year.
Lang was also pleased with the attendance of the events. “People came from Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Houston,” she said.
“Our school is reaching an age where our alumni want to come back. We’re not one of those schools with generation upon generation of alumni, but we’re still trying to build relationships,” Lang said.
Brianna Glase is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.