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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Reconnecting with former classmates

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Photo by Courtesy of Patrick Danielczyk

2017 marks the fourth year that the Young Alumni Weekend has been held. 

This weekend, October 27 and 28, the Association of Former Students will host the year’s largest event for the Young Alumni Network.
Targeted towards the classes of 2007 through 2017, the weekend will provide an opportunity for former students to rekindle past friendships and develop new ones through participation in planned events. Friday’s itinerary features a pub crawl, while Saturday is centered around a tailgate for the Mississippi State football game.
The Northgate pub crawl will begin at 7 p.m. at the Dixie Chicken, and will continue until 2 a.m., with an intermission for former students to attend Midnight Yell in between. Because Halloween falls so closely to the weekend, a costume contest will also take place. Kathryn Greenwade, vice president for communication and human resources at the Association of Former Students, said that the weekend is an important time for alumni to reconnect.
“I think the opportunity to come together in the shadow of Kyle Field, and in the shadow of the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center, and just enjoy quality time with other Aggies is certainly well worth the time and effort for the individuals coming to this event,” Greenwade said.
Attendance for the event has grown since the first Young Alumni Weekend was held in 2014, Greenwade said. Due to the nature of the young alumni network, events incorporating multiple classes have more success, according to Greenwade.
“Their social group may not be as limited to their class year, as you would have with some of our older classes,” Greenwade said. “Having a cluster reunion like this allows them to see friends not just from their class, but from the classes right around them as well.”
Chris Buckner, class agent for the class of ‘07 and member of the Young Alumni Advisory Council, said Young Alumni Weekend was created to cater to the fast-paced lifestyle of recent graduates. Buckner said that even for the first Young Alumni Weekend, former students were quick to buy tickets.
“The purpose of the Young Alumni Advisory Council is to try and find ways to improve the Aggie network, if that’s even possible,” Buckner said. “One way that we thought we could help is trying to consolidate class reunions, just to make it a little bit easier on everybody, and it was a wild success.”
Gifts including 12th Man Towels for the first 500 people at the event will be given out at the tailgate. Buckner said that based on previous years, he anticipates the most successful aspect of the weekend will be the Saturday photo opportunities.
“We did the photo area just as a side event the first year,” Buckner said. “We asked people to share their pictures via the Association Facebook page and the Young Alumni page, and it was ridiculous how many people wanted their pictures shared. The [phone]line didn’t stop the entire day.“
Alicia Kappel, class of ‘14, worked at the Association of Former students during her time as a student, but will attend her first Young Alumni Weekend this year as a graduate. Kappel said she’s looking forward to the tailgate the most, and to catching up with old friends.
“I’ve been on the working side of a lot of alumni events,” Kappel said. “I’m really excited. It’ll be my first time to go as an attendee. It’ll be fun to see the other side of it, and participate rather than working it.”
Kappel said that her experiences as an Aggie haven’t stopped, even though she no longer lives in College Station.
“Just because you graduate, it doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected to Aggieland and to all your fellow Aggies,” Kappel said. “As a young alumni, it’s such an awesome opportunity to get to connect with Aggies that you may have not met in school.”

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