June 5, 2008 — Approximately 4,000 alumni and family members will take part in a variety of activities as part of the University of Virginia's Reunions Weekend, set for June 5-8.
The weekend was scheduled to open Thursday evening with a gala celebration on the Lawn, hosted by President and Mrs. John T. Casteen III. Sara James, a class of 1983 alumna and "Dateline NBC" correspondent, will be the keynote speaker.
Friday brings several organizational get-togethers and class dinners. On Saturday night, there will be an illumination of the Lawn from about 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. Special lighting will highlight the dramatic architectural aspects of the Lawn.
Organizers have planned a wide range of activities for the weekend, including the 17th Annual Birdwood Bowl Golf Tournament, Monticello excursion and wine tasting, Virginia winemaking excursion, seminar sessions, tours, open houses and receptions, band parties, the annual Stumblefoot Derby reunion race, Cavalier Kids Day, a demonstration of "Tommy Jr.: The Self-Driving Robotic Car," and networking receptions. Click here for the full schedule of times and events.
Reunions Weekend is a 17-year tradition at U.Va., when alumni return and specific classes are honored. This year, reunions are being held for the classes of 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003.
Jason Life, director of reunions and class activities with the U.Va. Alumni Association, said hundreds of people contribute to the Reunions Weekend, working catering, event set-up, planning and giving presentations.
Alumni reaction to the Reunions Weekend has been very positive.
"We send out surveys every year and last year 93 percent of the surveyed attendees said it was excellent or above average, and 98 percent said they would recommend it to friends," Life said.