At the beginning of every year, one of my favorite things to do is plan alumnae chapter events. My alumnae chapter (Central Iowa) is close to Alpha Epsilon at Iowa State, so we do a lot of events with the collegiate chapter. We plan about one to two events per month, on a variety of days and times so alumnae with different schedules can attend. A mixture of family events, collegiate chapter events and alumnae-only events creates a well-rounded calendar.
My favorite event of the year is the Spirit Week Recruitment Practice event. In August during pre-recruitment week, we visit the chapter house and help the collegians practice their conversation and house tours. Then we also get a sneak peek of the chapter’s philanthropy video that they show during primary recruitment. At the end of the event, alumnae share their favorite memories of recruitment with the collegians and encourage the collegians.
For our events, we engage alumnae through our Facebook group. The Facebook events feature has been very effective for inviting alums and securing responses. In addition, I send out a monthly email newsletter using MailChimp with upcoming event dates and links to the Facebook events. Don’t forget to take pictures at your events and share them with alums, via a Facebook page or email newsletter. Also, submit them to the alumnae commercial!
15 Alumnae Chapter Event Ideas
- International Badge Day (March). Celebrate this day by participating in a service event like Meals from the Heartland. You could also donate a meal to the local Ronald McDonald House or young women’s resource center. This year, International Badge Day is on Monday, March 6, 2017.
- Spirit Week Recruitment Practice at the chapter house. Join the collegiate chapter during pre-recruitment week to help them practice their conversation and house tours. This is a great event to encourage the collegians and share special memories of recruitment.
- Alumnae/Senior dinner and Order of the Triangle at the chapter house. Invite the seniors to join you for dinner, then participate in the Order of the Triangle to welcome seniors into their alumnae experience.
- Walk to End Alzheimer’s with the collegiate chapter. Our local Walk is held in the fall at Iowa State, and it’s a fun family event. I like taking my kids to the walk so they can get excited about philanthropy from a young age and see the collegians volunteering.
- Summer Brunch. Brunch on the patio in summer with my sister friends is one of my favorite things to do!
- Greek Alumni Reunion. Our university coordinates a great Greek Alumni reunion in the fall during Homecoming, and it’s nice to see local alumnae from other chapters. If there’s not a local reunion in your area, consider coordinating one!
- Founders’ Day celebration with the collegiate chapter. I coordinate with the VPAR on the planning of our local Founders’ Day event, usually as a brunch. During the short program, I give a report from the alumnae chapter, recognize membership anniversaries, and encourage graduating seniors to join an alumnae chapter. Last year I made this fun video of highlights from our events and special messages from alumnae who could not attend the event.
- Dinner at a new local restaurant. Our alumnae like trying new restaurants in the area. I’m excited to visit a new southern comfort food restaurant this year.
- Cycling event. Our local alumnae Panhellenic association coordinates a “Pedal for Panhel” event each year. We start at a local bar, then cycle to another local favorite for Taco Tuesday.
- Ultra Violet. Our alumnae chapter supports the collegiate chapter’s UV philanthropy fashion show each year. Your alumnae chapter may coordinate your own Ultra Violet event in order to donate to the Sigma Kappa Foundation. Fundraisers could include a silent auction, a bowling tournament, or yard sale.
- Dinner and finals week snack attack for the collegiate chapter. We go out to eat at a favorite local restaurant and then drop off study treats at the chapter house. The women are always so happy and excited to take a study break and enjoy some treats.
- Bunco Party. Host this event at someone’s house and ask a few alums to bring refreshments. Bunco is a fun dice game where you rotate tables so you get to play with lots of different people. You could choose a dress-up theme and have wacky prizes. Consider combining this event with a winter warmth drive and donate items to a local nonprofit.
- Happy hour. Get alumnae together after work for a cocktail.
- Meal prep event. Our local grocery store hosts meal prep events where guests pay to make several freezer meals with no shopping and no cleaning! I know that I could use more meals in my freezer for nights where I don’t have dinner planned. Our alumnae chapter may try this event this year.
- Cookie exchange. Especially fun around the holidays, get alumnae together to drink wine, enjoy cookies and go home with a variety of treats!
What are different event ideas for your alumnae chapter? What is your favorite alumnae chapter event of the year? Comment below or let us know via social media!