Online alumni reunion offers socially distant connection

The Office of Engagement invites Interlochen Arts Academy alumni to join in our first-ever virtual Reunion Weekend on Oct. 16-18.

“We were so excited to launch our first bi-annual cluster reunion this fall,” said Ian Jones, director of engagement. “However, with the uncertainty around the ongoing pandemic, we had to postpone those plans and will gather on campus in fall 2021 instead.”

The virtual reunion is a blend of both live and pre-recorded events, and a new and exciting opportunity to experience the fun of Reunion Weekend without leaving home. While most events will be hosted on Zoom, some segments can be viewed live via Interlochen’s website or Facebook page. The activities fall into three main categories: social events, informative sessions, and educational seminars.

“We’ve worked with our Interlochen Arts Academy Class Representatives to plan a dynamic and diverse lineup of activities,” Jones said. “Our hope is that this virtual format brings even more alumni together to reconnect and celebrate the strength of our extraordinary alumni community during this unusual time.”

Here are some of the events and activities you can expect.

Social events

As with previous Academy alumni reunions, reconnecting with your classmates is the core of the 2020 virtual reunion. We’ve devised several fun and innovative ways to help you mingle with old friends—from Zoom class reunions to an Academy-themed trivia night to a Coffeehouse hosted by Courtney Kaiser-Sandler (IAC/NMC 89-91, IAA 92-94), Casey Stratton (IAA 93-94), and Jonathan Perkins (IAA 93-95).

Our most creative event is the Cocktail Party Scrambler, hosted by etiquette expert Robert Dimmick (IAA 80-82). Using Zoom’s breakout room function, you’ll be assigned to a random conversation. You’ll have nine minutes to chat with your old (and new) friends before hopping back in the scrambler for a fresh set of conversation partners.

Informative events

Catch up with the latest news from Interlochen Arts Academy in our informational sessions. The informational events are headlined by an “IAA Today” keynote and question-and-answer session with President Trey Devey and Provost Camille Colatosti.

We’ll also host an alumni panel led by our new associate director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Aretina Hamilton. Hamilton will moderate a conversation with a diverse group of Academy alumni about the role we play in creating space for all people and voices in the arts and the world beyond. We'll learn from alumni working at the intersection of arts and activism in this panel discussion that will challenge us all.

Educational events

Relive your days as a student through special seminars by current and former Arts Academy faculty and staff! Join Anne Marie Oomen, Matthew Schlomer, Clyde Sheets, and Emily Umbarger for enlightening sessions on topics including writing, sustainability, and citizen artistry. You can also get insight into our new visual identity from Vice President of Strategic Communications and Engagement Katharine Laidlaw.

Round out your weekend with a variety of live and pre-recorded performances by current Arts Academy students.

“While nothing can replace the feeling of being back at Interlochen with fellow classmates, we are excited to provide this unique opportunity for our Academy alumni to reconnect online,” Jones said.

For more information or to register for the reunion, visit interlochen.org/reunionweekend.

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