The Reunion Co-Chair's job can be easy or difficult depending on how the task is faced. Chairs who select conscientious reunion committee members will find the job wonderfully rewarding. Failure to pay attention to details prior to the reunion will necessitate expending an inordinate amount of effort during the reunion when the co-chairs should be enjoying the events.
Members of the Class Committee usually choose Harvard and Radcliffe reunion co-chairs as set forth in the individual class constitutions. With or without a class constitution, experience has shown us that it is best to involve the Class Marshals, the Class Secretary, and, when appropriate, the Radcliffe Class Chair, in the selection process. The Reunion Chairs should be chosen by February of the year preceding the reunion year. Chairs should arrange with the HAA to observe and attend the reunion of the preceding class. Since you probably received this manual after the fact, it is also not a bad idea to invite representatives from the subsequent class to observe your reunion.
Because of the nature of the job it is easier if one classmate is appointed to the key position of Reunion Treasurer and Registration Chairman. In all cases, it is expected that those in charge of any aspect of the reunion will take personal responsibility for the job. Chairs should delegate only to classmates, not to their own office staff or non-Harvard/Radcliffe spouses. It has been our experience that it is difficult for classmates and the HAA staff to deal with those who have no personal interest or commitment to the reunion. Specific responsibilities of Reunion Co-Chairs include the following:
- Co-Chairs should choose the sub-committee chairs for each event carefully maintaining a balance between Harvard and Radcliffe classmates whenever appropriate and/or possible.
- Reunion Treasurer and Registration Chair (see note below)
- Class network
- Pre-reunion events
- Thursday night coordinator
- Friday night
- Public service/Class Act
- Memorial Service
- Saturday lunch and football game
- Saturday night
- Sunday brunch
- Mini-Reunion/Special interest Coordinator
- Housing/hotel coordinator
- Class Report (this task is usually undertaken by the Class Secretary)
- Children’s activities
- Class/Reunion Memorabilia
- Co-Chairs coordinate regular meetings to plan the events, outline the schedule, budget the activities for the reunion, and assign responsibilities to committee members for each task. Experience has shown that committees need at least five meetings during the year before the reunion. Some committees meet as often as once a month. Meetings allow co-chairs to see that all activities are being coordinated and that all committee members understand the importance of completing his/her tasks on time - and are in fact doing so!
- One co-chair should serve as the contact person for all information to or from the HAA. Contact with the HAA (124 Mount Auburn Street) should take place on a regular basis. It is more efficient if the offices at Harvard (and Radcliffe) are kept informed of all plans by one of the co-chairs. This helps to eliminate misunderstandings and keeps the number of reunion related calls to these two offices to a manageable level.
- One reunion co-chair operates as the reunion treasurer or both co-chairs work closely with the classmate assigned to do so. This allows maximum control of the budget and facilitates prompt payment of bills.
- The reunion co-chairs are responsible for organizing pre-reunion events such as Commencement activities in the spring or the April "Return to Harvard Day" activities, unless they appoint a pre-reunion events chair to do so.
- Co-Chairs must be sure that all activities are planned with sufficient lead-time and support personnel to guarantee success. This includes arrangements for location, entertainment, food, beverage, decoration, registration, security, clean up, transportation, and all related logistics.
- Co-Chairs design and coordinate at least two mailings, and more often three, to classmates prior to the reunion. These mailings remind classmates of their college experience, entice them to return, and alert them to the reunion dates, times, cost, and location. It is important to give classmates enough lead-time to plan to attend. Remember that their only link to the reunion planning process is through these mailings. Your classmates are unaware of the detailed discussions that go on during committee meetings and are therefore not privy to as much information as you are by serving on the committee.