Become a Reunion Volunteer

Contact

Director of Alumni Relations

E-mail Dania

914.813.9212

Reunion offers a wonderful opportunity for alumni of all ages to return to the College’s beautiful campus and connect with fellow alumni, faculty, staff, and even current students. Reunion Volunteers are the most important component of the Reunion planning process. Alumni have the best insight into the kind of celebration their classmates enjoy and that can make a real difference in the quality of the experience. By calling friends to invite them to Reunion, assisting in the planning of class-specific gatherings, and/or asking others to pledge financial support to Sarah Lawrence College, Reunion Volunteers truly make Reunion weekend a great occasion for all.

Being a Reunion Volunteer

Your class Reunion is the perfect occasion for reconnecting with old friends, visiting campus, and sharing news and memories. The Alumni Relations and Advancement staff greatly appreciate the time that Reunion Volunteers give to the College, and we want to make your job as simple and as satisfying as possible. Below is a list of general Reunion Volunteer expectations:

  • Make every effort to participate in conference calls and meetings
  • Contact classmates to promote attendance and participation
  • Support the Reunion Class Gift efforts
  • Brainstorm class programming and special events
  • Notify Alumni Relations of updated classmate contact information
  • Make every effort to attend Reunion!

Organizing and Supporting Our Volunteers

Sarah Lawrence's Office of Alumni Relations sends e-mails and letters during the summer and fall prior to Reunion to secure volunteers. This effort yields several volunteers per class. We also rely on classmate referrals to help us identify alumni who would be active volunteers. Personal contact from a classmate is by far the best way to secure Reunion Volunteers.

Reunion Volunteers can provide different levels of support. Some are able to devote time to brainstorming programs and fundraising, while others might only be able to lend their names to a class letter. We make every effort to recruit volunteers from across the nation/world, and, ideally, volunteers will be alumni who were active members of the Sarah Lawrence student community (student groups, service organizations, sports teams, performance groups, etc). The Office of Alumni Relations will provide class lists to Reunion Volunteers to assist in identifying additional volunteers.

Ways Reunion Volunteers Can Help

Communications

There are a number of Reunion communications scheduled throughout the months leading up to the big weekend. Some of these letters and brochures will be generated by the Office of Alumni Relations and The Fund for Sarah Lawrence, and they will be sent to all Reunion classes. Others will be generated by the Reunion Volunteers from each class and then forwarded through our offices by e-mail, postcard, or letter.

Office-Sponsored Communications
  • Save the Date postcard
  • Reunion Magnet
  • Planning to Attend Letter
  • Citation Awards Ballot
  • Reunion Brochure and Registration Forms
  • Registration Reminders
  • Call for Participation in the Art Show and Cabaret
  • Reunion Giving Appeals
Volunteer Communications
  • Letter encouraging classmates to submit program suggestions
  • Personal Communications (phone/e-mail) via Class Gift efforts
  • Social Media
  • Registration reminder to classmates highlighting choice Reunion events
  • Class Gift Appeals
E-mail vs. Snail Mail

In an effort to be green, the Office of Alumni Relations will use e-mail to contact alumni when possible. Reunion e-mails will always contain links to Reunion web pages and class Facebook groups.

Updating Contact Information

To make sure classmates are in the Reunion loop, it is important for the Office of Alumni Relations to have current contact information, particularly e-mail addresses. You can help by sending updates to the office or by asking classmates to contact us directly with their updates. The Office of Alumni Relations can be reached by phone at 914.813.9219 or by e-mail alum@sarahlawrence.edu.

The Office of Alumni Relations honors all "exclusion" requests. We will not send mail or e-mail to classmates who have requested they not be contacted by the College.

Programming

Class Activity: Reunion Volunteers are tasked with planning a class-specific activity on Saturday, June 8 from 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Please make sure your special class program is planned in a timely manner as it can help boost excitement and participation. The Office of Alumni Relations will support you in planning and executing this event. Here are some class activity examples:

  • 1958 reconnected over wine and cheese in Marshall Field
  • 2003 hosted a party behind Andrews House
  • 1987 played croquet on Andrews Lawn and made Pimm’s Cups
  • 2007 compiled a nostalgic slideshow and watched it in Slonim
  • 1964 held an open salon to highlight classmates’ accomplishments
  • 1994 played softball at Marshall Field
  • 1989 had a casual gathering at the Teahaus
  • 2004 had a student band Reunion in the Cannon Theatre
  • 1983 took a bird-watching tour of campus

Suggesting Programs and People: You know your class best and we rely on you as Reunion Volunteers to provide suggestions (faculty, seminar topics, performers, alumni performers and artists, and programs) that will draw your classmates.

Attendance

Here are a few pointers on getting a great turn-out:

Set a Reunion Attendance Goal

A good starting point is 10-15 percent of the active alumni in the class. A stretch goal might be 25-30 percent. People love working towards a stated goal and your classmates will enjoy feeling that their registrations support a larger effort.

Divide the Class List for Phone Calls

The best part of volunteering is catching up with people you have not talked to in 5, 10, or 50 years! The class lists that we provide can be divided geographically, alphabetically, or by other criteria. Your representative from The Fund for Sarah Lawrence will work with you to divide the lists for encouraging participation in the class gift and Reunion.

Lead by Example

Always start your phone calls, Facebook posts, and/or e-mails by letting classmates know that you plan to attend.

Get a Verbal Commitment for Attendance

Many are hesitant to attend Reunion be-cause of the common fear that they won’t know anyone there. As mentioned above, nothing breaks the ice like a volunteer saying, "I am planning to attend our Reunion, and I hope you and your friends are too." Before registration opens, the Office of Alumni Relations will post a “Look Who’s Planning to Attend” list to the Reunion website. After Registration opens, we will post a “Look Who’s Coming to Reunion” list. These lists are great buzz generators!

Use Social Media

The Office of Alumni Relations has created private Facebook groups for some Reunion Classes. These groups have been very helpful in encouraging attendance! Please post your own plans for attending Reunion and use the groups to increase enthusiasm and to encourage classmates to join you for the festivities.

Update Contact Info

During your outreach, always ask for contact information updates. Please share any updates you receive with the Office of Alumni Relations so that we may correct our records, and keep everyone in the Reunion loop!

Class Gift

An important part of the Reunion tradition is the Class Gift Campaign. Reunion Volunteers will work in conjunction with Fund for Sarah Lawrence staff to raise money for their class gift. Any gift donated between June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019 will be counted toward your class gift.

Your gift and your involvement will provide support to Sarah Lawrence on a day-to-day basis, enabling the College to meet the needs of current and future students. Reunion giving helps provide financial aid, much needed professional support for faculty, as well as service programs and leadership opportunities. This is a perfect time to give back while acknowledging all that you have accomplished and all that you continue to gain from being a member of the Sarah Lawrence community.

Celebrants present their class gifts to the College during reunion. Classes also compete for prestigious Westland Awards. Established in 2007, the Westlands Awards recognize outstanding fundraising efforts by classes celebrating their reunions.

Specific Duties for Fundraising Volunteers

Classmate-to-Classmate Fundraising: The personal touch is always the best way. Making phone calls, signing your name to letters, and sending e-mails to your classmates are the most effective ways of reaching out to them. As a volunteer, you can connect with classmates in ways that general requests from the College cannot.

Making Your Own Gift to Sarah Lawrence gives volunteers the opportunity to lead by example when asking classmates to make a Reunion gift.

Reviewing volunteer training materials in advance of making any personal contacts with your classmates: Your Fund for Sarah Lawrence representative will work closely with you to help support your efforts.

Reporting the results of your communications to your FSL team member so that we can accurately measure class giving and respond to any questions raised: Prompt reporting will ensure that classmates are not asked to donate after having already pledged or given.

Personally thanking classmates for their gifts by phone, e-mail, and/or handwritten notes: Fund for Sarah Lawrence staff will provide volunteers with note cards.