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Celebrating Chapter Anniversaries

April 13, 2011

By Shawn Wilson, Cal State-Chico, Past VPAR

Epsilon Theta at Cal State-Chico hosted a 50th anniversary celebration for alumni and collegiate members on December 3, 2010.

In honor of this milestone anniversary, 118 brothers—92 alumni and 26 active brothers—gathered to celebrate.  Initiation numbers of attendees ranged from 12 to 1150 and the celebration brought together brothers of all ages.

Past chapter president David Davini spoke about his experience as a charter member when the Fraternity was still all male in 1960. Other alumni had the opportunity to share memories and the chapter showed a slide show of pictures chronicling its history. Chapter President Chanel Nalani and VPAR Shawn Wilson also spoke about brotherhood.

Here are some things I learned while planning:

Step 1: Plan, plan and plan some more. This event is about the alumni and you want your team to work together to make it engaging and successful. Remember to reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel in advance so alumni travelling from out-of-town will have somewhere to stay.

Step 2: Make it happen. Meet continuously with the planning team, ideally starting 3 months before the event to choose the venue, set price points, find a catering company and choose food options, secure a DJ, arrange transportation and all other details necessary to a successful event.

Step 3: Create a webpage for your event, where alumni and collegiate brothers will find event details and can purchase their tickets. A good site is Eventbee.com, costing only $1 per ticket sold.    

Step 4: Develop your database. Send an e-mail to alumni notifying them of the event and encouraging them to reach out to other alumni brothers. Create a Facebook event, send snail mail and reach alumni in every way. Word of mouth communication will expand your alumni network and increase attendance. The e-mail should include a link to the event website and also request brothers to update their current contact information and submit pictures, fun facts or stories to share during the event.

Step 5: Make it happen. The planning ahead will ensure the event runs smoothly. Ensure your team and all those involved know their roles well before the event takes place so there are no surprises. Encourage all alumni to keep the brotherhood alive and stay involved.

A successful alumni event will resurrect traditions from the past, grow the alumni network for jobs, donations, etc., and help ensure higher attendance in the future.

Good luck! My love for Delta Sigma Pi is in my heart everyday—thank you Delta Sigma Pi!

Editor’s Note: GIN Systems is a great way to keep in touch with alumni brothers and post announcements and share events. Alumni can ask to be added to their initiated chapter’s GIN System and use this tool to connect with the chapter and other brothers. 

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