May 29, 2012 — The University of Virginia's graduating classes of 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 will celebrate Reunions Weekend beginning Thursday.
Jason Life, managing director of alumni engagement at the U.Va. Alumni Association, said he expects 5,000 alumni and guests to attend Reunions Weekend – 50 percent more than the last time these classes returned five years ago.
Life said he believes most grads return mainly to see the friends they made while on Grounds, but added, "Alumni also really enjoy re-engaging with the University, its students, and the faculty to learn how the school has changed while maintaining the strong and holistic undergraduate experience."
Beginning Thursday, the weekend will be filled with various academic, dining and social experiences, from casual to formal.
This year, several new events have been added to the schedule. Among them: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" will be screened on the Lawn; an alumni panel will discuss military life; and alumnus Robert McDonald, a 1992 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences, will discuss "Ten Things You Don't Want to Know About Thomas Jefferson."
The alumni should eat well. For example, the class of 1972 will have cocktails at Monticello, the class of 1992 will indulge in a Southern dinner on the Lawn, and the class of 2007 will enjoy a locally sourced dinner outside Brooks Hall, among many scheduled gastronomic events.
There will also be lectures, tours and workshops open to Reunions attendees. Activities include yoga on the Lawn, a talk on U.Va. football history and an open house at the newly renamed Fralin Museum of Art.
The entire weekend schedule is available online.
Children are welcome to attend the weekend. Special activities – such as child care, movie screenings and art classes – are planned just for them. Additionally, an admission liaison program is being offered for rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade children of alumni.
U.Va. Conference Services will provide on-Grounds lodging in dorm rooms, including Lawn and Range rooms, for those interested. Several local hotels are offering special rates for Reunions attendees; find a list here.
Online registration closed Friday, but walk-in registration is available.