This weekend, ACU alumni from nine different classes are returning to campus to take part in reunion dinners.
These dinners, which will happen all over campus and in places downtown, typically draw anywhere from 50 to 150 class members. Classes have the opportunity to reunite every five years, said Samantha Adkins, senior alumni relations officer. This year marks the first reunion of the 2006 graduating class.
Adkins said, for each class, a committee of class members is assembled to decide on the specifics of the dinner. The committee typically consists of people who were heavily involved on campus while they were here, pulling opinions from individuals involved in a variety of activities to get a representative look at what the class wants.
Each class gets to choose from a buffet dinner or a reception style menu, Adkins said. About half chose a full sit down dinner while the other half chose more of a reception setting with highboys and a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvres.
“Some of them are doing slideshows of pictures that they have collected, and many of them do an open mic where they go around the room telling fun stories,” Adkins said.
Adkins said, for a few of the classes this year, they were able to secure some of the oldÂ Sing Song videos for a showing.
“Some classes get together for more than just the reunion time that we set up. They’ll have chapel service on Sunday, or they’ll meet for a continuation party at a hotel, and some of them will meet at the carnival on Saturday night,” Adkins said. “The class of ’76 is going to be a part of the homecoming parade this year.”
Each class is very different, Adkins said. Typically, the 15th reunion is smaller, because of the stage of life the classmates are going through during that time, and the association spends three days with the 50th anniversary class as it relives its glory days.
“They love coming back to campus and seeing the changes,” Adkins said. “There’s some beautiful things to see, and it’s nice to see that students are continuing to be blessed by this place in the same way with some added benefits.”
Adkins said the Student Alumni Association is hosting all of the dinners, which gives them an opportunity to mix and mingle with all the classes.
Amanda McVey, senior advertising and public relations major from Round Rock, is the Student Alumni Association’s senior chair and has helped organize the reunion dinners.
McVey said the alumni are always really interested in the students on campus, and they seek to find similarities between their college experience and current students’ experiences.
“Alumni stay connected to the university through their memories and through current students,” McVey said. “So, as students, if we can give them an insight into what’s happening on campus now, ACU will continue to stay relevant to them.”
McVey said the more unified a class is, the bigger their reunions tend to be. A class that was more invested and involved during its time on campus will show the highest attendance at reunions, no matter if it is their 5th or 50th reunion.
“Hearing about their experience and how much it meant to them makes me appreciate the time I have now but also makes me look forward to coming back to ACU,” McVey said.
Adkins said alumni keep coming back reunion after reunion because of the relationships they have with their classmates.
“Even when you have Facebook and social media and all those types of activities, you still don’t get to see somebody face to face and have a true conversation. This is that opportunity to get together and to love on each other to some extent,” Adkins said. “I think that’s part of it, too. We see it’s just this community that really does care for each other, and even if you’ve gone through some tough times in your life, this is a place you can come back to and be blessed by the people you knew.”