Over 3,500 alumni, guests attend Young Alumni Reunions

About 90 percent of YAR attendees were U.Va. alumni

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The amphitheater was decked out with string lights for the Young Alumni Reunion gathering. 

Emma Feinman | Cavalier Daily

Over 3,500 University alumni who had graduated in the last four years and their guests were invited back for the Young Alumni Reunions in the Amphitheatre Saturday. The party lasted for three hours and included food and drinks, a DJ and a photobooth.

The event was an opportunity for young alumni to hang out with people they had graduated with and also served as a chance for University students of legal drinking age to see their friends who were back on Grounds.

Liz Crowder, assistant director for reunions and class activities at the Alumni Association, said in an email to The Cavalier Daily that 90 percent of YAR attendees were alumni, with the other 10 percent being guests. 

Crowder also said the event followed the same pattern as the previous years and not much was changed other than the ticket policy. 

“We made some minor improvements to the check-in process and layout to improve the overall flow of the event,” Crowder said. “These tweaks seemed to improve the experience for alumni at the event. The biggest difference from YAR 2016 is that we did not sell tickets at the door.”

Crowder also said Young Alumni Reunions was particularly important to encourage the students to stay active within the University community. 

“After graduation, alumni end up all around the country. YAR is a great opportunity to get a large portion of your class back together on Grounds,” Crowder said. “We hope to keep young alumni engaged in their early years post-graduation so that they’ll continue to stay engaged with UVA throughout their lives.”

Jane Canteros, a fourth-year Nursing student and member of the Fourth Year Trustees, attended YAR for the first time and said she took the event a way to reconnect with her alumni friends who had returned to Grounds.

“I had an amazing time and the song choices were great. Once the DJ played ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC, I knew it was going to be a lit time,” Canteros said in an email. “My favorite part has to be the unlimited cider. I’m a big proponent and supporter of Bold Rock.”

Canteros also said that for her and other fourth-year students, the thought of graduating and getting a job can be daunting, and it is helpful to see what others who have already graduated are doing now. 

“YAR means the opportunity to have fun and have a peek at what life after post-grad is like,” Canteros said. “There's a slight anxiety that comes with finally setting yourself up for the ‘real life,’ but participating in events that are yearly constants alongside familiar faces adds a bold, defined line to a foggy and unsure future.”

Jess Hamilton, the senior associate director of the Young Alumni Programs at the Alumni Association, said YAR was particularly important in keeping recent graduates together and offered an opportunity to reconnect in a short amount of time.

“Before YAR started in 2006, alumni had to wait until their fifth reunion to come back to Grounds for a class-specific reunion event.” Hamilton said in an email. “YAR provides young alumni with an opportunity to come together with classmates before the fifth reunion.”

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