This September, Drake theatre graduates from several decades will reacquaint themselves with old friends and meet some new faces at the All-Theatre Reunion.
Linda Coleman, FA’76, is the head of the committee that is planning the reunion and has been working to put the event together for about two years. She is a large supporter of affinity reunions—events meant to bring together alumni from a certain program or organization, rather than by graduation class—because of the close bond students in certain departments can develop.
- All-Theatre Reunion: September 21–22
- Drake Bands Reunion: October 5–6
Relays Weekend: April 26–28, 2013
- Journalism School Reunion
- Environmental Majors Reunion
- Class of 2003: 10-Year Reunion
- Class of 1993: 20-Year Reunion
- Class of 1988: 25-Year Reunion
- Class of 1973: 40-Year Reunion
Graduation Weekend: May 17–18, 2013
- Class of 1963: 50-Year Reunion
- Class of 1953: 60-Year Reunion
- Class of 1943: 70-Year Reunion
“What is remarkable about these reunions, and the Drake theatre alumni in general, is how close-knit the group is,” Coleman says. “It is also amazing how many alumni reach across class eras and know students from other times at Drake.”
That feeling of community is one that is prevalent among Drake alumni, and one that the Office of Alumni and Development hopes to strengthen through various reunions.
“The people you went to college with, whether close friends through the intervening years, or just an old acquaintance from a forgotten class, represent a significant period of your life,” says Joe Aiello, BN’80, who served as co-chair for the 2012 All-Greek Reunion. “Reunions help us remember who we were, where we came from, who we’ve become, and connect us more strongly with that very important part of our past.”
Reunions are an integral part of life as a Drake graduate. And while class reunions have been a Drake tradition for many years, affinity reunions are a growing trend on campus.
Liz Tesar, assistant director of alumni relations at Drake, has been instrumental in the shift to hosting more affinity reunions. Along with the usual class reunions held every spring, other get-togethers for students involved in specific communities on campus—such as Greek life, pharmacy, law, choir, and African-American students—have been added as a way to pinpoint a more specific crowd of alumni.
“In the past couple of years we have moved toward affinity reunions because we have found that alumni are tied more closely to their affinity whether it be their Greek affiliation, college or school, or student organization,” Tesar says.
The events would not be possible without the help of a committee of dedicated alumni to help plan and organize.
“The biggest help comes from the committee,” Tesar says. “They help plan the feel for the weekend as well as get their friends and classmates excited to come back. We could not have a reunion without their help in reaching out and getting people amped up to come back to campus.”
This spring, the All-Greek Reunion was held over Relays weekend. With around 1,000 attendees, it was the second largest reunion in Drake’s history.
“A huge part of Drake’s tradition is its students, and to lose contact with them when they graduate is for Drake to lose contact with its past,” Aiello says. “Drake needs to continue to reach out to its alumni for many reasons, especially to keep its past and traditions alive.”
Visit the Drake alumni website to see the latest details about upcoming reunions and alumni events. You may also contact Liz Tesar at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 515-271-3378 if you are interested in being part of a reunion committee.