Young Alumni Reunions to relocate downtown this fall

Alumni Association says the traditions will remain intact in the new venue

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Alumni Association officials kept space and attendance in mind when deciding to move YAR to the Sprint Pavilion. The event has been held in the Amphitheater in recent years. 

Courtesy U.Va. Alumni Association | Courtesy U.Va. Alumni Association

With only a month to go, the Alumni Association is preparing for Young Alumni Reunions to be held in the Sprint Pavilion for the first time. YAR is planned for Oct. 13 from 8 to 11 p.m.

YAR has been held in the much smaller Amphitheater since the reunion started in 2006, but with attendance and space considerations in mind, the Alumni Association decided to move to the Sprint Pavilion downtown.The event welcomes back the four most recently graduated classes to enjoy a night of dancing and reminiscing.

Last year, YAR hosted more than 3,500 alumni and their guests. Alumni Programs Director Jessica Hamilton said the Alumni Association is currently unsure of this year’s projected numbers since registration is ongoing. However, Hamilton said attendance is expected to be roughly consistent with prior years, “about 3,000 people.”

“[The] increase in space is part of why we decided to move to the Pavilion,” Hamilton said. “Over the past couple of years, the feedback that we’ve gotten from alumni about the event is that it felt a little crowded, and that it was hard to find your friends. So, we felt as the event continued to grow and grow, that we would experiment with a more spacious location and see how people like it.”

According to the Sprint Pavilion website, the capacity of the new venue is around 3,500 people.

Hamilton said the Alumni Association saw other advantages in moving the event to the Downtown Mall, one of which is the ability to include Charlottesville in the YAR experience. 

“We figured that [the move] would actually give people even more options of enjoying friends and enjoying Charlottesville,” Hamilton said.

Despite the location change, Hamilton assured that the general format of the event would be maintained. Like in prior years, this year YAR will continue to have a DJ and dancing, late night food and drink and a photo booth.

“This year, the format of the event will be exactly what people are used to,” Hamilton said. “And we believe that — especially in a year where we’re changing something big — keeping all other parts of the event that people know and love is an important thing.”

However, Hamilton said the Alumni Association looks forward to the potential growth the new venue could foster.

“If people like it this year, I think the Pavilion does leave a lot of opportunity for creativity and changing other things about the event if alumni have good ideas of other things they would like to see,” Hamilton said.

Like past years, there will be no ticket sales for the event at the door. However, according to the Alumni Association, the change in venue will not increase the cost of tickets, which will remain the same price as they have been in past years — $20 for Alumni Association members and $25 for general admission. All tickets can be purchased through the Alumni Association website until 2 p.m. on Oct. 13. 

Hamilton did not provide the exact cost of each venue, but did say the prices of each venue are similar.

Graduate Education student Jaclyn Lund, who is also a Class of 2017 alumna, said she is planning on attending the event. 

“I’m going to YAR because I’m so glad to have an excuse for all of my friends to come back and be in Charlottesville at the same time, even if they haven’t moved too far away,” Lund said. “Since I’m spending this year doing a fifth year at Curry, U.Va. just isn’t the same without my friends from undergrad.”

Lund stressed the importance of the YAR and her appreciation for its presence at the University. 

“I think it’s super important that U.Va. holds YAR because it would be so sad to have to wait five years until we get to have our first reunion,” Lund said. “So much changes for all of us in these first few years after graduation, and it’s amazing that U.Va. gives us a chance to come back to Grounds and catch up on all of the amazing things that our friends have done since graduation.”

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