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What Alumni Are Saying About Alumni Reunion Weekend 2018

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We were thrilled to have so many guests attend our first June Alumni Reunion Weekend! We saw an increase in attendance over last year, with more than 625 alumni and guests returning home, nearly a quarter of whom stayed in residence halls or sorority houses.

Alumni Reunion Weekend 2018 featured six faculty lectures, three academic department receptions, a Greek reception, the Bearcat happy hour, numerous class-based activities, 10 class reunion dinners, an all-class social, the alumni awards dinner, the Half Century Club brunch and induction ceremony, and of course, the Saturday night dance and casino party under the big tent.

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Nearly 20 percent of all attendees responded to the post-event survey and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Here are some of the results:

Survey Results

  • Overall, attendees rated the weekend a 3.42 out of a possible 4.
  • 75% of respondents were returning attendees, while 25% of respondents were first-time attendees.
  • Classes with the largest percentage of survey responses were 1968, 1973, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008.
  • 65% of respondents said they plan to attend their next reunion.
  • 74% of respondents said they are inspired to attend future events because of their experience.
  • 77% of respondents said they are likely to become more involved with Willamette because of their experience.
  • Favorite parts of the weekend included the Half Century Club ceremony, the Alumni Awards program, presentations and lectures and class reunion dinners.
  • Customer service and campus accommodations received particularly high marks.
  • Record attendance was seen at several individual events, including many of the lectures, the all-class memorial service, some reunion dinners and the Half Century Club ceremony.

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Along with those results, here are some of the comments we received about the weekend:

Attendee Comments

"When I attended Alumni Weekend, it felt like coming back home. I had the chance to connect with people from across the years - to hear where we've been as a University, and to hear where it is headed."

"It's a chance to relive college for a weekend ... It was so carefree and fun! The biggest thing we had to worry about was what time to meet people for lunch at Goudy! Friends left their kids at home and it was a true getaway. So lovely to re-connect and feel 'young' again."

"Every single person I met or saw has this amazing connection through the years and time ... being a member of this alumni family is a thread that makes for an amazing conversation, and a great party. So much fun."

"So much fun [to] have the campus to ourselves. We were not shuffled off to side event areas or worked around the students. Fun to walk through the dorms without feeling like we were invading the current student's space."

"I can't wait to my 45th reunion ... Having the campus to ourselves was unexpectedly nice. I went to the Alumni Board Brunch then joined my sister for the all class lunch at Goudy. Had an enjoyable time catching up with friends from Her class. So I can't wait to do the same with my class and other around the same era."

"I loved being able to spend the night in Delta Gamma. That was the best experience!"

"I was very pleased and had a wonderful time. Only regret is that I did not attend earlier reunions."

"I was highly impressed with Professor Buis Michaux's lecture. I learned a lot, I was impressed with her delivery and research, and am glad to see the direction she is taking the university's motto and teaching students!"

"Thank you for having so many activities available! I loved the lecture options. Past years have not had much for non-Greeks and non-sports people. We had trouble deciding which fun things to attend!"

"I enjoyed the idea of being in the dorms and almost pretending to be a student for the weekend."

"DON'T CHANGE the caring attitude, friendliness, and helpfulness of the staff and volunteers who were there! I've planned or helped plan conferences of from 30 -1300 and your group was outstanding!!!"

"It was also a lot of fun to have the campus to ourselves rather than having the weekend during the school year. Staying in the dorms was great."

"My favorite memory was the Alumni Awards Dinner. The movies were incredibly moving, the company at my table was engaging, and the entire evening was delightful!"

"Loved staying in the dorms with my classmates and hanging out in the common area sharing drinks and stories!"

"I felt a little unsure about going to alumni weekend. Would it feel weird to be back on campus? Would I have awkward conversations with people I didn't really know or remember? I made the decision to attend because I saw it as an opportunity to spend time with a few specific friends. I'm glad I went. Seeing some of my main friends was certainly fun, but it turned out that my favorite part was seeing people I hadn't talked to since graduation. None of my original concerns came true, and I ended up having a lot more fun overall than I anticipated. I'm also glad that I stayed in the dorms. Not only did it make the weekend hassle-free (no need for an Uber!) but it was fun to catch up with friends in the common areas. I would highly recommend that everyone consider going, especially if you're on the fence about it."

"(1) No students on campus! We have it all to ourselves! (2) It's like being a Willamette student again, but with all the parties and none of the homework. (3) Chatting up people from other years is a great way to hear some absolutely amazing stories. (4) OPEN BAR."