Calling Young Alumni: Here Is Why You Should Stay Connected With UVA

June 12, 2024 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

Life at the University of Virginia does not end when graduates walk the Lawn. For young alumni, it’s an opportunity to begin the next phase of their life with UVA and it starts with a simple, but crucial step.

Update your contact information,” encouraged Lily West, president of the UVA Alumni Association.

It’s the best way, she said, to start connecting with Princeton Review’s No. 4 “Best Alumni Network” among public schools.

The next step is to save the date for this fall’s Young Alumni Reunions: Oct. 5. It lands on Homecomings Weekend and officially welcomes back to Grounds the three most recent graduating classes, the cohorts of 2024, 2023 and 2022.

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The programming does not stop there. The Alumni Association has several groups that help alumni join social and career networks in the cities and towns where they live and work.

“It’s a wonderful way for newer alumni to tap into established networks,” West said, adding that UVA alumni are known for their eagerness to support one another.

The association holds special events year-round. On Monday in New York, for example, it is partnering with UVA Career Services to host a free UVA Marketing and Advertising Networking Reception, one of several industry-focused receptions taking place in cities around the country this summer.

The Alumni Association is also known for hosting festive reunions for older classes each summer. In 2025, organizers are looking forward to celebrating undergraduate class years that end in -0 and -5 from May 30 to June 1.

Getting Grounded in Your New Home City

“For recent graduates, connecting with fellow alumni and parents and friends of the University is beneficial in so many ways,” Cindy Fredrick, the senior associate vice president in the Office of Engagement, said.

A reunion gathering on the lawn with the Rotunda in the background and nice bulb lights surrounding the picnic tables that alumni sit at
The UVA Alumni Association hosts reunions for recent graduates in the fall during Homecomings Weekend and for other classes in late May, with festivities on the Lawn. (UVA Alumni Association photo)

Echoing West, Fredrick said connecting both with the Alumni Association and the Office of Engagement “extends that University of Virginia family feel of being able to connect with people who have a shared experience wherever you go.”

“That experience can help in so many different ways,” she added. “It can help in careers. It can help in just figuring out a new city that you’re living in. It can help provide a social network.” 

One of the many ways the Office of Engagement supports creating those networks is by participating in the UVA Club Global Network. There are 106 networks around the world that offer programming for alumni and friends. Upcoming events are varied geographically and by topic. They include, for instance, a discussion on democratic capitalism in London on June 19, while the UVA Club of Houston offers opportunities to volunteer at the local food bank.

“I think giving back or connecting and staying involved with UVA extends our mission of being citizen-leaders and reaffirms that you are a Wahoo for a lifetime,” Fredrick said. “And we want to provide with the Office of Engagement or the Alumni Association opportunities to fill that commitment for our alums.”

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications