Specific Alumni Events

Homecoming

This is a time that your university’s alumni office goes all out to entice alumni to return to campus. They organize reunions and special events, and hope that these, combined with the efforts of the athletic team, will draw alumni to the school and enhance their loyalty. You can capitalize on the school’s effort to get alumni back to the campus with your own campaign aimed at getting them back to the chapter house. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Send your first announcement mailing well in advance, listing the date and activities. The end of spring is not too early.
  • Follow up with an early fall mailing, listing alumni who have indicated they will come.
  • In your mailings, be sure to list the time of the game, time of activities at the chapter house, where alumni should park, and any other special arrangements.
  • Organize five, ten, and twenty year class reunions, using chapter presidents or other key alumni of those eras as reunion chairmen.
  • List the names and phone numbers of local hotels, and offer to make reservations for alumni who need accommodations.
  • List the cost of meals, the game, and chapter-sponsored events. Alumni will not mind paying a fair price for a first-class event.
  • Review all of your plans with your chapter advisor, board of governors, and/or house corporation officers. They can give you advice from an alumnus point of view.
  • Schedule your activities so that they do not conflict with those of the college.
  • Consider sponsoring a pre-game brunch or barbecue for the game.
  • During the event, make sure all chapter members are present and properly dressed. Once again, you want to sponsor a first-class affair.
  • Invite members of the faculty and administration to your event.
  • Have the chapter house decorated with banners welcoming alumni outside, and posters displaying chapter accomplishments inside.
  • Shop around to get the best facilities, prices, and service when scheduling a banquet outside of the chapter house.
  • Arrange for a good speaker who will be of interest to your alumni. The Executive Offices can help, if you are planning a really big event.

Don’t be afraid to charge a fair amount for the food, drink, and services you supply to alumni. The best guide is to charge what a comparable meal or drink might cost in a local restaurant of moderate price. Do not charge outrageous prices and call it a "contribution". Alumni will be sensitive about the costs to the chapter, if you put on a first-class event. You should not look at homecoming or any alumni event as a money making project. A discreetly placed bowl marked "donations" seeded with some five and ten-dollar bills should be the extent of any effort to solicit money at an alumni event, unless the event has been promoted as a fundraiser. The purpose of the event is to allow alumni to gather to enjoy fellowship and Phi Tau brotherhood.

Founders Day

At other times of the year, you will also want to maintain an active slate of alumni events. Founders Day, traditionally held as close to March 17 as possible, honors the 4 founders of the Fraternity and offers an excellent opportunity to rally local alumni of all chapters. Founders Day is usually celebrated with a dinner, followed by a speech on the past, present, and future of the Fraternity. Many chapters also schedule golf outings, family picnics, softball tournaments, or other activities to maximize the experience.

Commencement

Commencement offers another opportunity to gather alumni who return to the campus for class reunions sponsored by the school’s alumni association. Since parents also come to campus for graduation exercises, many chapters sponsor a suitable event to entertain these two important groups. Many chapters organize summer reunions around picnics, baseball games, or just a special weekend set aside for an alumni golf or tennis tournament. The spring varsity scrimmage football game might also be a good weekend to organize an alumni event on campus. Work up your own theme and time of year based on what you feel will be most successful with your alumni. Whatever you plan, plan it thoroughly to reflect the taste, class, and pride of Phi Kappa Tau.

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