Mini and Affinity Reunions

Reunions at Carleton are fun, meaningful, and nostalgic. Why not experience this joy more often than every five years? Many alumni have decided they’d like to stay connected to their Carleton classmates through mini reunions. 

What is a mini reunion?

Any gathering of classmates apart from Carleton's June Reunion that is open to anyone in your class. A mini reunion could equate to a class dinner, an afternoon in the park, or a weekend trip. The kind of gathering depends on the interests of the class.

What’s the purpose of a mini reunion?

To extend and deepen the connections between alumni during non-Reunion years. 

Do mini reunions only apply to classes?

No. The term mini reunion can be defined by a gathering of classmates but it can also mean an affinity gathering. In the past few years, alumni have organized affinity reunions for Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, Track & Field and Cross Country, Soccer, Water Polo, and other teams. Mini reunions can also be cohort-based, meaning they bring together alumni who were at Carleton around the same time--for example, the classes of 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Who organizes mini reunions?

In short: you do...but we are here to help get you started.

Mini reunions are vastly different in their planning from Reunion at Carleton. Sample timelines are available below to help you sort through the planning process. Your fellow Carls are also resources for you as you plan a mini reunion. The class of 1964 has planned many mini reunions; check out their webpage to see photos of past gatherings.

What support does the Office of Alumni Relations provide?

The Office of Alumni Relations will provide one or two mailings (email and/or print) for the event, send a reminder message, and (if you want) send you an event packet with items such as Carleton balloons and name tags. 

Additionally, we can put you in touch with alumni who have done this before and can explain how their successful mini reunions worked. Interested in organizing such a gathering for your class, team, or other Carleton community? Contact Kaara Maki in the Office of Alumni Relations (1-800-729-2586) for more information.

I’m ready to start planning a mini reunion. What’s next?

Begin thinking about the main pieces of your mini reunion: ideal audience size, activities, hotel, food, and transportation. Keep these questions in mind as you go through the planning details:

  • Is there an airport close to the destination? 
  • How will attendees get from the airport to the hotel?
  • How will attendees get from the hotel to any activities? 
  • Where will the group eat? 
  • What costs are associated with the selected activities?

Additionally, consider a planning timeline. Mini reunions can be any length, and more complicated events can take more time to plan. Below are a few sample timelines. Are you thinking about a simple event or have more questions? Contact Kaara Maki in the Office of Alumni Relations (1-800-729-2586). 

Short gatherings like a happy hour, dinner, receptions, evening activity

  • 8 weeks before event: Put the call out to your classmates/group to gauge interest
  • 6-8 weeks before event: Nail down type of event, meeting location, time and notify Kaara Maki in the Office of Alumni Relations
  • 5-7 weeks before event: Office of Alumni Relations sends an invitation to your classmates/group. Invitations can be sent in various forms: email-only, mail-only, or mail/email split (mail for those who do not have email).
  • 4 weeks before event: Collect RSVPs
  • 2 weeks before event: Confirm details with meeting location (if applicable)
  • 1 week before event: Office of Alumni Relations sends email-only reminder
  • Day of event: Get excited for an evening to remember!
  • After the event: Let us know how things went!  Send in photos and we’ll put them on the website.  Send us the attendance list so we can brag about you! 

A trip, any length. This type of mini reunion works well when planned with other people so the burden isn’t all on one person

  • 1 ½ years out: Pull together a small group of interested alumni to help plan the gathering. Think about the ideal size of your trip and decide on a destination and activities.  Confirm dates, location, hosts, activities, cost, and share with Alumni Relations.
  • 15 months out: Office of Alumni Relations sends save-the-date email/postcard to classmates or affinity group and posts event on mini reunion website.
  • 11 months out: Office of Alumni Relations sends invitation via online and/or paper notice.  
  • 9 months out: Registration deadline. RSVPs will be directed to you, the organizer(s). Consider a waitlist if space on the trip is limited and might fill quickly. 
  • 8 months out: Finalize any contracts/agreements with hotels, tour guides, etc.
  • 6 months out: Communicate any updates to trip attendees.
  • 4 months out: Send attendees a confirmation message that includes a schedule, contact information for hosts, and any relevant packing lists.
  • After the event: Let us know how things went! Send in your photos and we’ll put them on the website. 

I’m interested in this but would like to attend or plan a general Carleton event in my area instead

Head over to the main Carleton Clubs webpage to find events in your region and information for planning your own.