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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alumni Weekend?
Why did Brandeis make this change?
Is Brandeis eliminating class reunions?
Can you tell me more about the new events and special guests?
Do you want alumni to bring their families?
What’s the goal of Alumni Weekend?
Is Brandeis making this change in order to save money?
How will Brandeis help facilitate class reunions?
Why can’t Brandeis support class-specific activities in the way it has for past Reunions?
Will all classes celebrating a Reunion have Co-Chairs and a Reunion Committee?
How do I help organize programming for my class that is not celebrating a 5th, 25th or 50th Reunion or for my affinity group?
This sounds like a great idea! How can I help?
Is this a one-time change or something permanent?
I have a question about Alumni Weekend that wasn’t answered here. Whom should I contact?

What is Alumni Weekend?

Alumni Weekend is a new celebration for all Brandeis alumni. The three-day gathering will incorporate the best of Reunion with new events based on the interests of our alumni. Our inaugural Alumni Weekend will be June 8-10, 2018.

Alumni Weekend will feature many of the most popular elements of Reunion, including milestone class reunion celebrations; an expanded Alumni College and other opportunities to interact with faculty; the Ralph Norman Barbecue; Kegs & Kickball; and Ollie’s Family Fun.

New special events to celebrate alumni connections with Brandeis will be added throughout the year, and we will share an updated schedule as it becomes available.

Why did Brandeis make this change?

We’ve heard from many of our alumni that their Brandeis experience goes beyond the year they graduated. They would like to gather with friends from other classes with whom they share common interests, whether that’s a student organization, arts group, athletic team, or something else.  

This sentiment is reflected in the success of our recently launched alumni shared interest groups (Brandeis Arts Network, Brandeis Alumni of Color Network, Brandeis Lawyers Network and Brandeis International Alumni Network).

Brandeis made this exciting change after much thoughtful and deliberate consideration, and with the support of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees and President Ron Liebowitz. We want to give alumni a reason to come back to campus more than once every five years, and we believe Alumni Weekend will provide that.

Is Brandeis eliminating class reunions?

No! We want classes to return for their milestone reunions every five years. We will seat reunion classes together at the Saturday night group dinner so you are guaranteed an opportunity to reconnect with your classmates. 

Can you tell me more about the new events and special guests?

We are working hard on creating a stellar lineup for the weekend, and we will roll out more information in the months leading up to Alumni Weekend. Here’s a sneak preview of a few events:

  • The popular Alumni College will be expanded to feature more events throughout the weekend, providing alumni with more opportunities to interact with faculty.

  • We will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed musician Leonard Bernstein. (Bernstein’s connections to Brandeis run deep: he was part of the Department of Music faculty; organized the first Festival of the Creative Arts in 1952, which featured the premiere of his opera “Trouble in Tahiti; and served on the Board of Trustees. The Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts at Brandeis honors his legacy.)

  • The Alumni Achievement Award will be presented.

Do you want alumni to bring their families?

Yes! There will be fun activities for people of all ages. If your family includes more than one generation of Brandeis alumni, consider coming together. We’d love to see multiple generations of Brandeis alumni from the same family at Alumni Weekend. Let us know! We’ll take your picture!

What’s the goal of Alumni Weekend?

We want alumni to feel more connected to Brandeis. We are grateful for the alumni who have made attending Reunion a priority in the past. We want them to continue that tradition, while encouraging those alumni who feel more connected to aspects of their Brandeis experience beyond their class to return to campus regularly.

Is Brandeis making this change in order to save money?

No. We’re making this change to engage more alumni. We anticipate Alumni Weekend will not cost less than our previous Reunion program. Instead, we are reallocating resources to provide more pr

How will Brandeis help facilitate class reunions?

The 5th, 25th and 50th class reunions will look and operate much as they have in the past. They will feature special designated events throughout the weekend, including Saturday night class dinners organized by the class committee with support from the Alumni Relations staff.

Milestone reunion classes other than the 5th, 25th, and 50th, the most highly attended reunions, who wish to orchestrate a gathering beyond the group dinner Saturday night are welcome to do so. The key difference from the past is that volunteers will do most of the planning, with guidance from Alumni Relations staff. This volunteer-driven approach to reunions is a model many other universities use with success. If a class wants to have a private dinner or reception, volunteers may plan a gathering at a local venue or home of classmate. The Office of Alumni Relations will provide volunteers with a number of resources, including space on campus (with the exception of Friday and Saturday night) and contact information of classmates. All class-specific programming must be finalized by Jan. 5, 2018, which will allow the Office of Alumni Relations to incorporate the event into the registration form in order to collect RSVPs and payment. The same parameters apply to affinity group reunions. 

Why can’t Brandeis support class-specific activities in the way it has for past Reunions?

Due to an increase in programming throughout Alumni Weekend and the expansion of opportunities for all alumni to connect, we no longer have the capacity to support class-specific efforts at the same level as we have in the past. We hope that volunteers will help organize reunions for their classes and organizations, a model that many other universities use.

Will all classes celebrating a Reunion have Co-Chairs and a Reunion Committee?

It depends. The Office of Alumni Relations will recruit chairs and help organize committees for the 5th, 25th and 50th Reunions. Other classes celebrating a milestone reunion that wish to establish a volunteer-driven class committee may do so.

How do I help organize programming for my class that is not celebrating a 5th, 25th or 50th Reunion or for my affinity group?

All classes, specifically milestone years, may opt to plan a class program. Volunteers from an organization, club, team or other group may organize an on-campus event as well if they have a large group planning to attend. Volunteers may choose to plan something in conjunction with a pre-planned event (e.g. everyone meet at the Ice Cream Social) or perhaps do something more formal. Timing of class and affinity gatherings is still to be determined given other large-scale programs that will be taking place during the weekend. Class members and affinity group members will be responsible for planning and organizing gatherings.

The Office of Alumni Relations will provide volunteers with a space on campus (with the exception of Friday and Saturday night) and a class or affinity contact list to assist in organizing a committee of volunteer. Please note that lists of group participants and contact information may be limited. For events on campus, if needed, the University will arrange for set-ups including:

  • Chairs and tables

  • Technology needs (microphone, projector, screen and laptop)

  • Limited print reproduction (booklets, class articles)

  • Custodial maintenance

Volunteers will be responsible for drafting emails to send to fellow volunteers for planning purposes, as well as to the entire class or group announcing any activities. These emails may be sent from either a volunteer’s personal email address or a class/group member may request that the Office of Alumni Relations send them out on his/her behalf.

Class- and group-specific receptions/dinners should be held off campus at a local restaurant or perhaps at a private home. The Office of Alumni Relations can provide a list of local venues. Volunteers will select a location, determine the menu and establish the cost per person to cover the function. These events are to be developed and paid for by attendees or sponsors. Any events in which food or beverages are provided must be held off campus. Unfortunately, the university is unable to secure initial deposits or final payments for off- campus events.

All class/group-specific programming must be finalized by January 5, 2018. This allows the Office of Alumni Relations to incorporate the event into the registration form in order to collect RSVPs and payment. All other amenities must be arranged and paid for by attendees.

This sounds like a great idea! How can I help?

First, thank you! That’s music to our ears. We hope you’ll consider becoming an Alumni Weekend Ambassador, a role that will be very important to the success of this new event. Ambassadors can get involved in a number of ways. You can help spread the word about Alumni Weekend by promoting it to your network of friends. Or, if you are part of a large group that would like to gather during Alumni Weekend and you don’t mind doing a little legwork, you can help organize an Alumni Weekend event for a class, organization, club, team or other group. Please fill out this short form about how you’d like to help out with Alumni Weekend, and we’ll be back in touch soon. Being an Ambassador is a perfect role for people who love being in the know and enjoy connecting people.

Is this a one-time change or something permanent?

We plan to hold Alumni Weekend each year moving forward.

I have a question about Alumni Weekend that wasn’t answered here. Whom should I contact?

Please be in touch with any questions. We know this is a big change, and we’re here to answer any questions you might have. Email us at alumniweekend@brandeis.edu or call us at 781-736-4071.