Alumni: Welcome back!

Thousands of Yale graduates, many with spouses, partners, and families, will be on campus the weekends of May 23-26 and May 30-June 2, as individual classes and the Association of Yale Alumni host reunions for the Yale College classes graduating in years ending in “3” and “8”, from 1948 and 1953 down to 2003 and 2008. The Yale School of Medicine will also welcome back graduates for quinquennial reunions on the weekend of May 31-June 1.

Alumni/ae who use social media channels like Twitter and Instagram are encouraged to share photos and stories using the #YaleReunion hashtag, and also to use the #YaleAlumni hashtag these weekends as well as throughout the year when they participate in activities with their classes or other alumni groups.

“Reunions are one of the most joyous traditions at Yale, following the Commencement celebrations in the calendar and carrying forth its spirit of Yale as a place of commitment, connection, and community for life,” says Karen Jahn, senior director for Yale College classes at the alumni association. She notes this living tradition of connectedness is especially deep: “It’s thought that Yale, starting back in 1792, was first among colleges to organize alums on the basis of class year affiliations.”

One abiding tradition of Yale reunions is that graduates and the alumni association staff keep innovating and finding ways to improve the celebrations. There are numerous family-friendly activities, for example, that have developed in recent generations, along with more in-depth engagement with Yale faculty, museums, libraries, and other resources. 

In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability, the alumni association and its partners have worked to make “blue go green” – with every Yale College reunion last year achieving platinum-level certification by the Yale Office of Sustainability. Organizers expect this year’s reunions also to achieve platinum-level certification.

Jahn notes two other developments in recent years. “Younger classes are returning in bigger numbers than was the case decades ago,” she says. “Also, more people register at the last-minute, including walk-in registrations. We love when people sign up far in advance, of course, but it’s true: It’s not too late to register.”