Building Better Reunions


Two, 90-Minute Online Trainings:

Planning an Alumni-Centered Reunion

Reunion Volunteer Management and Giving Structures


Learn how Marquette increased reunion giving by 35% and attendance and involvement by 20% with just 1.5 full-time staff members.

Reunions are a vital part of your strategy for energizing alumni, building affinity, and maintaining connections to your institution. Yet, many colleges and universities are seeing declining or stagnant reunion attendance. With a few small adjustments and a bit of customization, your reunion can become a destination event, with more alumni returning to campus, volunteering, and giving to their alma mater.

Join us online to learn how Marquette University increased reunion giving by 35% and attendance and involvement by 20% with just 1.5 full-time staff members. In the first session the speakers will provide an overview of Marquette’s current reunion weekend and logistical planning. In the second session the speakers will talk about how to make it all happen with a robust volunteer structure, and how to translate increased engagement in the reunion into more gifts to the institution.

Who Should Attend

Annual giving and alumni relations professionals charged with overseeing reunions and reunion fundraising will benefit from this innovative approach to reunion organizing.

Learning Outcome

After participating in these online trainings, you will be able to make adjustments to your reunions to increase reunion attendance and engagement.


Session 1: Planning An Alumni-Centered Reunion

  • Institutional Context
  • Overview of Weekend
    • Class-year-based reunions
    • Affinity reunions
  • Customizing Your Reunion
    • Friday night parties
    • Incorporating retired alumni into major reunions
    • Improving local, off-campus relationships
  • Portability
    • Larger/Smaller institutions
    • Institutions with different AR/AG/reunion structures
  • Planning: One Year in the Making
  • Dollars and Sense: Budget
  • Marketing and Communications
    • Targeted marketing by decade
    • Including current students in reunion communications
    • Social media marketing and videos
    • Use of Marquette’s archive in reunion communications

Session 2: Reunion Volunteer Management and Giving Structures

  • Reunion Weekend Execution
  • Volunteer Recruitment and Management
    • Volunteer management
      • Recruitment
      • Organization of volunteer responsibilities
      • Volunteer training
      • Keeping up with volunteers
    • Affinity-based volunteers
      • Increasing affinity involvement
      • Sustaining motivation in reunion off-years
    • Impact of improved volunteer management
  • Collaboration across Advancement/Alumni Relations
    • Building and maintaining the partnership
    • Identifying unengaged constituencies and rebuilding their relationship with Marquette
    • Enhancing opportunities to give at/around reunions
  • Translating into Giving
  • Follow-up and Assessment


Andrea Petrie, Director of Development, College of Nursing, Marquette University

Andrea has more than ten years of event planning and fundraising experience. She leads a team of three that is responsible for Marquette’s alumni reunion giving program, affinity giving, parent programming and fundraising, Marquette’s faculty and staff giving campaign, and student philanthropy programming. She meets with approximately 120 donors and volunteers throughout the year and manages an annual portfolio of 100 constituents.

Taylor Schult, Associate Engagement Officer, Marquette University

Taylor’s primary focus is on reunion efforts, student philanthropy, and affinity programming, specifically around Marquette’s ROTC program. She also works with Marquette’s faculty and staff giving campaign and parent programming. Taylor works as engagement’s primary liaison to Marquette’s Chicago office and coordinates volunteer club activities as well as broad-based programming for the Chicago region.

Included Products

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