Alumni Days folded into homecoming events

The alumni association has discontinued its annual Alumni Days event and, instead, will put more resources toward alumni activities during homecoming weekend.

The annual spring reunion began in the 1920s. Alumni Days recognized the 50-year anniversaries of graduating classes, and "Gold Medal Club" groups that graduated more than 50 years ago also were invited.

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Katie Hartranft
ISUAA reunions and awards

Julie Larson, director of outreach and events for the alumni association, said attendance at the spring event has declined over the last five years. Only 75 alumni returned for this year's event. Part of that, she said, can be attributed to closer relationships among smaller, special-interest groups within increasingly larger graduation classes.

"We're seeing more interest in smaller reunions for alumni who shared living spaces, majors or student group involvement," Larson said.

Beginning with the 2015 homecoming celebration, the alumni association will identify graduation classes who return for milestone anniversaries -- such as one, five, 10, 25 or 50 years. Gold Medal Club participants also will be recognized. Organized tours, open houses and presentations will be offered as part of the weekend activities. Alumni also will be encouraged to plan group reunions -- for instance, residence halls, student organizations, colleges or majors.

"Homecoming is the true time for alumni to come back and enjoy campus, each other and the Ames community," said alumni association president Jeff Johnson.