Alumni winter lunch reconnects recent graduates

Over winter break, Westminster hosted several alumni events geared at bringing former students back to the school to see old friends and teachers. This year’s College Holiday Lunch, hosted for college-age alumni, was held on December 21st in Malone Dining Hall, and brought back over 160 recent graduates. The event is unique and Westminster is one of the few schools in the country that hosts events for recent graduates instead of waiting five to ten years.
Students that attended were met by the friendly faces of the host committee, who are all members of the last four graduating classes. The host committee consisted of alumni Mary Boyd Crosier (’15), Remi Matthews (’15), Mason Rooney (’15), Dorothy Spratlin (’15), Robert deGolian (’15), Kevin O’Gara (’16), Katharine deGolian (’17), Frances Brown (’18), and Ella Collier (’18).
While many former students spend time with their close friends over the breaks, the Holiday Lunch allows students to catch up with people they haven’t seen for several years.
“It’s always such a good opportunity to see the people you normally wouldn’t when you come home,” said Katharine deGolian (’17), “There are a lot of people I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see if it weren’t for that luncheon.” Students are able to reconnect with their classmates and even meet graduates from different classes.
The majority of students agreed that the event does a great job of bringing people together that would otherwise not see each other.
“It is fun to spend time with my friends that I do see consistently over breaks, but I think that the best part of the event is that Westminster gives us the opportunity to reconnect with those that we may not see as frequently,” said Mason Rooney (’15). “I would say that my favorite part of the event was connecting with alumni from my class and the classes below me that I had not seen in a while.”
For some students, the luncheon was one of their first times coming back to Atlanta since the start of their freshman year in college, where they were greeted by friends and teachers from high school.
“Not a lot of high schools have alumni reunions until 5, 10, 15 years,” said Frances Brown (’18). “It’s cool to be able to see people you hadn’t seen in a while, and also people that graduated a year ago, the previous year, and the year before that.”
The Luncheon also gives students the opportunity to connect with teachers they got to know in their time at Westminster.
“It’s great to hear how you teachers are doing and hear about what has been going on at Westminster since you’ve been gone,” said deGolian (’17). Without events like this, students would not have many opportunities to reconnect with their teachers, as most faculty do not attend class reunions.
Westminster is globally recognized for its strong alumni network and the foundation it builds for students to become future leaders. For as long as has been recorded, 100% of Westminster graduates have attended a university, and many of the students that have come out of Westminster in the past are experts and leaders in their fields.
“I ran in to some people I hadn’t seen in four years, and it’s cool to hear about the crazy things they are doing, the paths that they are taking,” said Robert deGolian (‘15). “I’m a senior, so everyone is starting to move across the country and getting jobs and it’s cool to hear what people are doing.”
In the class of 2018 alone, students chose to attend 67 different colleges all over the world, and about 10% of the class plays a varsity sport for their respective school. The school with the largest enrollment in the last five years is the University of Georgia (114), followed closely by Georgia Tech (58). Emory University also has 33 Westminster students in attendance. The high proportion of Westminster students enrolled in schools close to Atlanta speaks to the community that is built among Westminster students, and thus leads to many students choosing to remain in the Atlanta area.
These events are run by the Office of Alumni Engagement, which is based in Atlanta but also includes chapters of Alumni in Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco. The next big Alumni event will be held on April 4th at the Atlanta History Center, where Westminster hosts its 17th annual Golden Wildcat Reception, open to Alumni that graduated over 50 years ago (’51-’68). Later in this spring, the class of 1969 will celebrate their 50th reunion of their graduation at a dinner hosted by President Keith Evans.
The Alumni Reunions also function as a way for alumni who love and cherished their time at Westminster to support the school’s mission. In 2013, the Class of 1963 raised over 1.2 million dollars for their 50th reunion, and over 60% of the graduating class was able to attend. The constant support and giving from Alumni is what allows the school to provide great opportunities for young learners and provide a path to college. For more information about alumni events, contact [email protected] or visit the Westminster website for a calendar of upcoming dates.