Over the past year and a half, Oberlin students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni have demonstrated resiliency, creativity, and determination that go beyond measure. We have together found creative and effective ways to meet the challenges of our time, to create success, and, indeed, to thrive despite challenging circumstances. Our efforts have required our mutual commitment to the health and safety of our community and mutual sacrifice – and through it all, Oberlin has emerged stronger. At the same time, we know that the global pandemic continues, and that its effects will be felt for years to come.
One response to the circumstances of the pandemic was a revision of Oberlin’s academic calendar to create a summer semester, thus enabling a de-densification of campus and an in-person residence experience to continue for students. The shift of the calendar from a two-semester model to a three-semester model, however, also resulted in a later start in the fall of 2021 and will result in a later finish in the spring of 2022. This later finish will affect reunion activities.
Most significantly, Oberlin will have a limited capacity and timeframe during which reunion activities can occur, and on-campus housing will not be available for reunion attendees, as students will be living on campus right up through commencement weekend.
A team has been working since summer began to create a plan to bring alumni back to campus for in-person reunion gatherings, both to enable alumni to reconnect with campus and with one another in ways that maintain our goals of health and safety, and that can feasibly be implemented within the parameters in which the work needs to be done. The result is a plan that enables our milestone 25th and 50th reunions to be conducted June 3-5, 2022; our 10th and 60th cluster reunions to be conducted October 7-9, 2022; and the postponement of our 30th and 45th cluster reunions.
Milestone 25th and 50th Reunions: June 3-5, 2022
We will be celebrating milestone 25th and 50th reunions on commencement weekend, working with class reunion planners on activities, schedules, and communications. We are also in conversation with area hotels to arrange overnight accommodation options for attendees, as well as transportation between the hotels and Oberlin. Over the coming months, class volunteers and Oberlin staff members will together create reunion plans for these milestone reunions and communicate those plans directly with members of the celebrating classes.
10th and 60th Cluster Reunions: October 7-9, 2022
Reunions for members of Oberlin’s 10th and 60th reunion clusters will occur in the fall of 2022, when campus will be energized with academic offerings, performances, athletic contests, and student activities. Off-site hotel accommodation options will once again be arranged, given the unavailability of on-campus housing, and class celebratory activities, schedules, and communications will be determined in coordination with class reunion planners. We will communicate directly with members of the affected classes – Classes of 1961, 1962, and 1963 and Classes of 2011, 2012, and 2013 – as plans are developed.
30th and 45th Reunions
In-person reunions for Oberlin’s 30th and 45th reunion clusters will be postponed. This will affect the Classes of 1991, 1992, and 1993 (30th cluster) and the Classes of 1976, 1977, and 1978. They will next celebrate their in-person 50th reunions individually as they reach their milestone moments in 2026, 2027, and 2028, respectively. In anticipation of these next reunions, the Office of Alumni Engagement will continue to foster communication and connectivity among class and cluster alumni.
Oberlin’s teams across campus involved in reunion planning and execution have been thoughtful and conscientious in designing this reunion solution. They have lifted the health and safety of our alumni and campus community as a priority; they have examined myriad factors that differentiate reunions at various stages in life; and they have painstakingly analyzed the availability of resources to deliver successful and meaningful reunion opportunities to our alumni.
We are grateful for the strength of the Oberlin community as we continue to navigate a world so profoundly shaped by COVID-19 – a world in which simple and easy solutions are evasive at best, if not impossible to find. Thank you for sharing in the spirit of celebration for the many ways Oberlin alumni positively influence the world, as well as for sharing in the spirit of understanding as we together face these challenging and complex times.