The History of Class Connections
What started as an informal relationship between current undergraduate classes and the returning 50-year reunion classes has turned into a meaningful tradition for both alumni and students. Together they would participate in dinners, lectures and even DOC trips. In 2004, Dartmouth Alumni Relations formalized Class Connections to formally pair each graduating class with the 50-year reunion class that would be attending their commencement.
Matriculation and Pin Project
The 50-year Class Connection has been responsible for officially welcoming the incoming first year class to Dartmouth following their matriculation. The students exit Parkhurst and are ushered into a tented reception by your class. Each freshman is given a pin with their class year on it and a short welcome from a representative of your class. Organized by the First Year Office and the Office of Alumni Relations, the 50-year Class usually helps co-sponsor this event financially, but most importantly assures a good turnout of class members for the welcoming!
First Year Summer Reading Project
Each year, the incoming first-year class is asked to read a book selected by a faculty member who will lecture on that book during their orientation week. In the past, the 50-year Class Connection has also read the book and, at a fall mini-reunion, hosted a reception and book discussion with the first years. Several have also attended the lecture themselves!
Having a mini-reunion? Want to meet current students? Look no further than your class connection! 50-year Class Connections have invited their corresponding undergraduate’s Class Council to reunion dinners and homecoming receptions—though the Office of Alumni Relations is happy to help connect your class to any corresponding group!
The Sky’s the Limit
Because each class is different, each class connection focuses on different things. Some classes have events that focus on traditions, others focus on the arts, others focus on networking. The important thing to recognize is that this is a collaboration between the two classes, and you decide what is right for you. If you have a great idea that hasn’t been tried before, don’t be shy about trying it out!
Congratulations! It’s your 50 year class reunion and the students you’ve supported for four years are graduating! We celebrate in the following ways: BBQ The Friday before graduation, the 50 year class and the graduating seniors have a chance to reflect back on their Dartmouth experiences at a barbeque lunch.
Class Day and Challenge
On the Saturday before Graduation, the Senior Class assembles for awards and reflection at the Bema. There, they are presented by a check from the 50 year class president. This money will be the seed money for the graduating class and their reunion fund. At their 50-year reunion, they will carry the tradition forward and present the graduating class with a similar check. The 50-year class also challenges the graduating class to meet and exceed their fundraising goals and encourages them to contribute to the Senior Class Gift fund.