University of West Georgia alumni from the 1930s and ‘40s gathered for the annual reunion luncheon on Friday, October 4. They met in the lower level Z-6 to reminisce on their time at the university. The oldest class at this year’s event was 1938, represented by alumna Rachel Hunt Rice. During the luncheon, the ‘30s and ‘40s graduates enjoyed coffee, took a group photo, and had the opportunity to share their favorite UWG memory and the impact the university has had on their lives for a historical video.
“Reunions serve as the backbone of our mission to engage alumni in meaningful and purposeful ways,” explains Frank Pritchett, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “This particular reunion group has been meeting for more than 20 years. During that period, the alumni from the 1930s and 1940s have created an endowed scholarship to honor Dr. Irvine Sullivan Ingram, who was their president, while providing financial assistance to today’s students.”
The UWG alumni attendance rate has continued to increase over the years. The Alumni Awards Gala attracted 115 attendees in 2012, but topped 220 in 2013. Hoping to see a never-ending spike in alumni attendance, the Office of Alumni Relations recently began conducting post-event surveys to get honest feedback on the products delivered to alumni.
“Engagement is a year-long process, and we offer a variety of ways for UWG to engage alumni,” says Frank. “Our alumni networks are based on geographical location as well as affinity. Currently, we have networks in Carroll, Cobb, Coweta, Douglas and Gwinnett counties. We also have networks for the cities of Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, in addition to one that serves all alumni and former students who live and work abroad. Meredith Ledbetter and Kevin Hemphill do terrific work in their roles in the alumni program to help us engage alumni of all ages as well as our students.”
With all the recent renovations on campus, it’s no surprise that the alumni are always impressed by UWG’s growth over the years. “Most alumni can still identify areas on campus, such as buildings where they had class or a pathway where they became engaged to their sweethearts,” Frank adds. “But the change and growth of campus, particularly newer facilities and a larger student body, seem to be the most frequent change that alumni mention.”