We all have had the experience at one time or another of trying to “rejuvenate” a tradition while keeping the event customary and comfortable. Sometimes we do this successfully, and sometimes the whole plan was better left alone. Ah, but if we succeed, we feel empowered to continue to make changes. The JHUSON Alumni Homecoming event in October represents such a feat. The Homecoming committee recruited alums from more recent classes to shake things up with the goal of creating a Homecoming weekend that appeals to all and increases the interaction among the alumni classes and current students. It was a success–you did not have to be in a reunion year to have a good time at the ole alma mater in October.
The addition of a kick-off cocktail party, held at the school on a Friday evening, set the tone for fun and festivity over the entire weekend. Alums gathered to sip cocktails and sample hors d’oeuvres while moving around the room meeting and talking with others. The committee and board had the opportunity to introduce older alums to more recent grads, imparting the richness of the Hopkins nursing tradition. The greatest opportunity of the evening was the interaction with students in a relaxed atmosphere. Our students are our treasure, and the cocktail party was a great place to get updated on the daily buzz around the school. The ambience of jazz music and laughter made for a very enjoyable evening.
On Saturday, participants attended the annual meeting to learn of the accomplishments of the association over the past year. Those accomplishments included: continuing the agenda of the archives project; the documentation of our history in the publication of our book; the welcoming of the Church Home and Hospital School of Nursing alumnae into our alumni family; and the many networking and social activities that involve students and alumni and the distribution of alumni scholarship monies. Dean Martha Hill discussed the state of the school and its continued success. Highlights included the addition of an undergraduate class in January as a response to the nursing shortage, and an opportunity to move more brilliant men and women into the hallways of this great school; the plans for the expansion of our building; and the many exciting contributions to the global and local nursing community by our faculty, students, and alumni. Finally, on Saturday a lovely luncheon was held to celebrate our Jubilarian and alumni classes. The class of 1954 celebrated its 50th reunion, and the evening was open for class dinners and festivities. The weekend was a tremendous success and sent the message that you do not have to wait for a reunion year to enjoy the company of nursing friends and colleagues in a relaxed setting.
The success of this weekend is owed to many–the committee, the alumni and development offices, and to you for attending and providing feedback. The success of the alumni association rests on dues-paying alumni who attend and interact with others at our school and alumni activities. Send your dues in today and get back involved in the Hopkins community–it’s a great place to be. Thanks to all of you who support our success!