How to Plan an Iowa Alumni Reunion

A few years may have passed since your college days, but the memories can make it feel like yesterday. Reunions are a great way to gather Iowa alumni from the same graduating class, but they can also be a broader celebration of Hawkeyes with like-minded interests—such as members of alumni communities, Greek organizations, athletics teams, and more.

Planning and executing a reunion takes time. It can take four to six months to plan an informal gathering, and nine to 16 months to organize a larger reunion. Download the reunion guide and checklist to get started.

Reunion Committees

A successful alumni gathering depends on a dedicated reunion chair and committee of volunteers who start planning early, work throughout the year, and share in the coordination and promotion of the event. The committee is also responsible for providing programming and activities that balance the interests of the group, while also including time for catching up with old friends.

General duties for the committee chair include:

  • Research, organize, and implement the reunion
  • Recruit and work with a committee of at least five others
  • Schedule meetings and coordinate the committee
  • Create and finalize a budget
  • Welcome attendees and volunteers during the event
  • Act as a liaison for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement
  • Support the mission of the University of Iowa

As you give your time and energy to planning a reunion, know that you are helping to strengthen the connections of proud Iowa alumni and friends.

For more information, email

Looking for other ways to get involved as an alumni or friend of the University of Iowa? Check out upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

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You did it! As a newly minted graduate from the University of Iowa, it's time to celebrate. Students celebrate their graduation from the University of Iowa during a 2019 commencement ceremony. This guide is a collection of ideas and resources to help you (or your family and friends) plan for a special weekend in the Iowa City area. Fall 2021 commencement ceremonies will take place Dec 16-19, 2021, at Hancher Auditorium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Ceremonies will be livestreamed for family and friends who can't be in Iowa City for the event. Visitors to the community are reminded that some establishments require masks in Johnson County. Contact individual businesses if you have questions before you visit. WHERE TO TAKE GRADUATION PHOTOS Fill your Instagram feed with amazing graduation photos featuring your favorite places on campus. Pose in your cap and gown, and grab a few pics with friends and family. Use #AlwaysAHawkeye when you post! Old Capitol Another important stop. There are several shots you can grab here with this beautiful, historic backdrop. Graduates like to take photos in front of the building, near the pillars, and in the doorway where "Iowa" is inscribed above the door. There are also beautiful views from the back of the building, overlooking where Madison Street and Iowa Avenue intersect. Your Favorite Buildings The UI is known for its beautiful architecture. Stop for a photo outside the buildings that meant the most to you during your time on campus. Iowa River Walk The views are gorgeous along the Iowa River, even in the snow! Take your family for a walk, and stop for a photo on the IMU bridge, Hancher pedestrian bridge, or somewhere along the winding riverfront trail. Carver-Hawkeye Arena Pose for a photo with Herky, Dan Gable, or the giant Tigerhawk outside the south entrance. New Iowa alumni stand outside of Carver-Hawkeye area for a photo on graduation day. Kinnick Stadium Pose with Nile Kinnick or one of the Tigerhawks on display. Ped Mall Favorite photo spots on the Ped Mall include the Weatherdance Fountain Stage (outside of The Graduate Hotel), one of the story walls at the Clinton Street or Dubuque Street entrances, and in front of one of the?colorful downtown murals. THINGS TO DO People walking and drinking coffee in the Ped Mall in downtown Iowa City. Outside of official graduation-related celebrations, you may be interested in taking your family or friends on an outing. Here are a few ideas in the Iowa City area: Ped Mall Take a walk around the downtown area and explore the shops, restaurants, and public artwork. Museums Visit the Pentacrest Museums?Old Capitol and the Museum of Natural History are open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday of graduation weekend. Bring a mask. Capacity is limited. Literature Celebrate Iowa City's unique designation as a UNESCO City of Literature and home to the world-renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop. Take a self-guided, 1-mile literary tour. Or complete a literary walk in downtown Iowa City, where the sidewalks are decorated with bronze panels that feature words from authors who launched their careers here. Iowa City Parks Take a walk or jog in one of Iowa City's beautiful parks. Terry Trueblood Recreation Area offers a lake loop and trail. City Park and Riverfront Crossing Parks also feature riverfront views in addition to shelters, grills, and picnic areas. ? Rural Nature Areas If you are looking for more serenity, visit Coralville Lake and the fossil gorge located there. Or venture out further to Kent Park in rural Johnson County or Lake Macbride State Park in nearby Solon.?Be sure to bundle up! Day Trips If you want to escape Iowa City for a few hours, consider visiting two charming communities: The Amana Colonies and Kalona. Both feature breweries, restaurants, shops, and unique histories. WHERE TO EAT An image at sunset of the businesses that line Clinton Street in downtown Iowa City. The Iowa City area is home to many award-winning restaurants. Bring your mask and either dine-in, sit on a patio, or take out a tasty, celebratory meal. Upscale Iowa City's downtown area includes several upscale restaurants that are perfect for celebrating a major milestone?like graduation. From Italian specialties at Basta, to steaks at Iowa Chop House, to foodie favorites at Pullman Diner, the options are vast. If you are looking outside of downtown, you might head over to the Iowa River Landing in Coralville for Mediterranean inspired dishes at Vesta or wood-fired Oaxacan fare at La Vecina. Iowa River Power Company and Monica's are also nice options located just outside of Iowa City. Casual For something more casual, try one of the Iowa City area's famous breweries, like Big Grove Brewery, which offers an expansive outdoor patio, frothy brews, and sensational food. You could also venture out to Backpocket Brewing, Reds Alehouse, or Millstream Brewing Company, which are all located in communities near Iowa City. Or consider ordering a pizza?your fellow Iowa alumni have a few opinions when it comes to good pizza in the area. Breakfast or Brunch If you are looking for one last hurrah before the family heads out of town, consider stopping for coffee at Java House, an Iowa alumna-owned business. Or order a full breakfast from Northside neighborhood novelties like Bluebird Diner or Hamburg Inn. The Dandy Lion, located downtown, is also a local favorite. STAY IN TOUCH Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye. Your Hawkeye family is proud of your accomplishments. Please stay in touch. Here are three easy ways: Update Your Contact Info Before you head off on your next adventure, be sure to share your updated email address and any other contact information so we can reach you about news and upcoming events. Join an Alumni Network Connect and socialize with Hawkeyes in your area through volunteer-led clubs, or find Hawkeyes with shared interests through alumni affinity groups. Read Iowa News and Stories You can read about the latest happenings at the University of Iowa in the?Iowa Newsletter?an email newsletter sent to Hawkeyes?and in?Iowa Magazine.

Each year since 1963, we've honored University of Iowa luminaries with our prestigious Distinguished Alumni Awards.

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