Anniversaries And Reunions

A Successful Anniversary Program

  1. Planning
    1. Appoint a reliable man at the Resident Council level to be the event chairman and to work with the Graduate Council, the Board of Governors, and/or the House Corporation alumni.
    2. Arrange and reserve a location and date as soon as possible.
    3. Set up a communications timetable and stick to it!
  2. Communications
    1. Inform your alumni about the anniversary celebration as soon as possible, providing them with factual information and concrete plans.
    2. Use as many publicity media as possible, newsletters, flyers, and news releases on the local level. Contact the alumni as often as possible from as many angles as possible to generate interest.
    3. Use the "geographic alumni program" to close the "gap" in your communication program, word of mouth approach. "GAP" is key alumni who contact other alumni in their respective geographic areas. "GAP" can be altered to have one alumnus contacting the others in his graduation or initiation class.
  3. Alumni support
    1. Get a "key alumnus" who wholeheartedly supports the anniversary celebration to write articles in the newsletter endorsing the celebration.
    2. Generate alumni interest through publishing in your newsletters a list of those who will attend the anniversary festivities.
    3. Use alumni planning efforts and assistance in as many areas as possible. The more involvement the better the celebration will be!

Planning a 25th/5Oth Anniversary

Planning a chapter's anniversary celebration is no small task…it requires time and effort! But you'll have plenty of help—all you have to do is ask:

  1. The Executive Offices Staff
  2. Graduate Council / Board of Governors / Housing Corporation
  3. The University
  4. Local area alumni clubs

If you do not know when your chapter was founded, you can check the Membership Manual. As your silver or golden anniversary approaches, here's a suggested timetable:

Preplanning

18 months

  • Appoint an undergraduate and alumnus to coordinate the event.
  • Publish a flyer or newsletter announcing the upcoming anniversary celebration.
  • Select tentative dates/locations for your activities. Choose a few dates and then determine which would be best for most people.

12 months

  • Event chairman and editor should establish a publication schedule for publicity efforts and stick to it! Remember to send a brief notice to the Laurel editor for publication, if desired.
  • “Nail down" definite dates and places for events.
  • Publish second flyer or newsletter announcing definite plans.

6 months

  • Publish third newsletter or flyer with dates, places and times, asking for tentative alumni commitments with a list of those who have already committed themselves as coming.
  • Make an extra effort to contact all living chapter founders, if possible, and give them a special invitation to attend. Plan to honor/recognize them in a significant way at the actual celebration.

3 months

  • Publish fourth newsletter or flyer, listing those who have made tentative commitments, enclosing a reservation form, asking for deposit.
  • If you haven't already, contact your main speaker and establish your banquet program. The Fraternity's Chief Executive Officer, National Councilors, National President or Vice President can be available to speak if contacted early enough.
  • Weekend activities should be "firm" at this time!
  • Order Phi Tau 50 Awards and 25-year anniversary certificates from the Executive Offices for those eligible alumni. The chapter must inform the Executive Offices staff of those 50-year alumni who will attend.

1 month

  • Publish final flyer (if needed) listing those coming and letting others know this is their very last opportunity to get in on the fun!

Post Celebration

1 week

*Send digital photos and a news release to the Executive Offices about the event and a general evaluation of the activities, what went right, what went wrong, how many alumni attended, etc. Send a separate, well- focused group photo to the Laurel editor, with a brief press release.

1 month

*Publish a newsletter with stories about the celebration and pictures. Write thank-you notes to speakers, special guests, Executive Office staff, and national volunteers who attended. Leave a detailed report in permanent files for use by others planning such an event in the future.

Model Anniversary Weekend

Friday Evening

  • Registration at the chapter house
  • Dinner at the house
  • Reception or mixer at the house

Saturday

  • Registration & coffee/ donuts at the chapter house in the morning
  • Graduate Council meeting
  • Lunch at the house
  • Sports activity of some kind (university football game, for example) in the afternoon
  • Cocktail hour at the banquet location
  • Banquet in the evening

Sunday Morning

  • Coffee/donuts & goodbyes at the house

Sample Anniversary Banquet Program

This program is simply an idea; it may be altered in any way you see fit, shaped to fit local conditions. Of course, the program should center on the one basic theme-the silver or golden anniversary of your chapter of Phi Kappa Tau!

If your celebration is held in conjunction with another event (i.e. Homecoming, Founders' Day, senior awards' banquet, or whatever), be sure the anniversary remains in the spotlight! All else should revolve around it. The other less-important events occur annually, but your chapter has only one 25th or 50th!

Model Program

Introductory Remarks by Master of Ceremonies
Invocation by Resident Council Chaplain
Dinner
Words of Welcome by Resident Council President
Introduction of Charter Members
Brief reminiscing by each Charter Member (or they may choose one member to represent all)
Presentation of 25 or 50-year anniversary certificates
Closing Remarks
Brotherhood Song

Another Idea

Words of Welcome by Resident Council President
Invocation
Dinner
Introduction of Honored Guests
The Fraternity Past, remarks by a Charter Member
The Fraternity Present…remarks by Resident Council President or National President
The Fraternity Future…remarks by the Chief Executive Officer
Presentation of 25 and 50-year anniversary certificates
Presentation of Other Awards
Closing Remarks
Brotherhood Song

Reunion Checklist

You may not want to use all of these ideas for one reunion, but most can be applied effectively to Homecoming in the fall as well as any late-winter, spring, or early-summer reunion.

Check over this list.

  • Decide which of these things or others you want to do.
  • Make assignments involving many members.
  • Follow up to see that the assignments are carried out.

The checklist:

  • Appoint alumni committee six months or so before reunion date.
  • Call committee meeting to decide elements of reunion, promotion to be used, speaker and location choices, and assignments.
  • Line up alumnus of your chapter or other main speaker three months prior to event, or earlier if necessary to get a particular person. (The Executive Offices can often send a representative or help you to find an appropriate figure.)
  • Notify the university alumni office of your plans and see if they will provide additional publicity and promotion in their publication.
  • Secure a block of seats at football or other athletic event, using information in promotion; orders place to be on reservation card, tickets to be distributed by welcoming committee.
  • If spouses are not to attend the main event, arrange for their dining and/or entertainment elsewhere while alumni are occupied. Include this information in invitations and programs.
  • Select and reserve location for major event (banquet, picnic, dance) if other than the chapter house. Good to have something at the house; and something away. Another location can provide variety, more space, glamour, fewer restrictions, and better parking facilities.
  • Arrange for an issue of your alumni newsletter prior to reunion, to carry picture, biography of main speaker, build interest.
  • Involve as many alumni as possible in planning, promotion, conduct of reunion. so that reunion events appeal to all members. Participation builds interest.
  • Invite representatives of the university, Executive Offices, and national officers.
  • Capitalize on particularly prominent alumni, or other dignitaries to be present, in publicity before, during and after the event.
  • Determine direct mail promotion schedule and other means of promotion to be used; key regional alumni, class presidents, personal appeals to charter members, telephone committees, appeals to wives, etc.
  • If an annual alumni meeting is involved, make sure the Graduate Council president, treasurer, and nominating committee chairman get their material in the mail on schedule
  • Include in the first general mailing (at least two months prior to the event) all important plans: date, major program events and locations, major speaker, plans for wives' activities, information about over night lodging, registration fees and/or other costs to be involved, all members involved. Enclose a return envelope if reservation check asked for, otherwise a simple reservation card.
  • Arrange for overnight lodging (you may want to reserve a motel or two), offer spaces in the chapter house, or make reservations for alumni desiring this service. Check for possible on-campus housing.
  • Determine necessary registration fee based on anticipated attendance and costs or meals, drinks, promotion, programs, souvenirs, guest dinners, awards, senior dinners, etc., and means of collection.
  • Recruit and instruct class/year presidents to promote the event by writing personal letters, telephoning former classmates to urge their attendance.
  • Recruit/instruct key members in major cities to promote attendance, arrange cooperative transportation.
  • Call alumni committee together again to clear plans as decided by the chapter and alumni structure, get further ideas, make sure all plans are rolling smoothly.
  • Arrange for welcoming committee to supervise registration, signing of the guest book, preparation of name tags, handing out programs, football tickets, hotel registrations, etc.
  • Plan a social hour prior to evening banquet, including food and drink, persons to serve, entertainment (keeping in mind all relevant issues of the Risk Management Policy of Phi Kappa Tau)
  • Arrange for all luncheon or dinner participation, including invocation, songs, emcee, speakers, entertainment, etc.
  • Prepare printed dinner programs listing after-dinner activities, committee names, menu, charter members (if an anniversary celebration), contributing alumni (if dedication or fund raising dinner), others to be thanked or honored.
  • Consider a souvenir memento if this is a special dedication or anniversary reunion
  • Plan golf or a bowling tournament or other participant sport, trophies, advance notice in communications (alumni vs. undergraduate football, basketball, softball, etc.).
  • Be sure all chapter members and associates are aware of the event, expectations on attendance and expected participation.
  • Arrange for final direct mail promotion, listing list of advance reservations, last- minute additions and changes in the program, and a last-minute push for attendance.
  • Arrange for a group picture of all alumni attending, including mention of when picture will be taken in advance publicity, programs.
  • Arrange for write-up of reunion in alumni newsletter, scrapbook, other archives, The Laurel, etc.
  • If formal dinner or luncheon included, arrange for speakers table, welcoming and instruction of persons 10 be seated there, special instructions to welcoming committee.
  • Arrange for selection and presentation of outstanding alumnus award traditional with most chapters, necessary engraving, etc.
  • Arrange for traditional, possibly humorous, award to member who traveled the most miles to attend.
  • Arrange for open house if desired to give to both sexes a chance to tour the chapter house at certain hours during the reunion.
  • Plan a display during the reunion of group and informal pictures of alumni at previous reunions, publicity clippings, promotional material, old scrapbooks, composites, letters from alumni who couldn't attend, etc.
  • Use Fraternity colors to decorate the main banquet with crepe paper, flowers, replicas of crest or pin, pennants, flags, etc.
  • Publicly and privately thank all alumni who helped.
  • Present 25 and 50-year membership certificates to older alumni who have reached these milestones in Phi Kappa Tau. (Available from the Executive Offices.)
  • At the banquet allow for some reminiscing. Ask alumni to take the floor if they have anything they'd like to say.
  • Arrange free babysitting as a service to young alumni members. Contact campus sororities and see if they can help out with the babysitting.

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