MBA Class of 1988 - 25 year reunion - July 2013
Location: School of Management, Emm Lane, Bradford
Date and Time:
Fri 12 Jul 2013, 17:00 - Sat 13 Jul 2013, 22:00
There were two comments which were heard frequently throughout the night of the 1988 MBA Reunion: (1) "those 25 years have passed-by much too quickly", and (2) "why did we wait so long to meet-up again"? It was really interesting to note how little people had really changed (beyond many of the men having gained a couple of pounds and lost some hair) and observe the way in which people who had interacted closely in College did so again a quarter of a century later without any practice
The afternoon began with a tour of the school and a viewing of the fantastic new facilities that have been added since 1988. While the new lecture theatre and library were being admired, it was suggested that such facilities would have made little difference to some of the group given the limited time that they spent in either location during their student days! These same students were also the ones who were immediately more comfortable when the tour moved to the gardens and Pimms was offered as refreshment.
The consumption of a little alcohol opened the mind to memories of nights in The Fountain pub and in Pickwicks nightclub, two institutions which the group was saddened to learn were no longer in existence (having achieved record profits in 1988!!). Then a member of the group produced photos from our MBA days and the memories came flooding back to everyone as stories of days of old became the conversational norm.
After a short interval to allow people change for dinner, everyone was now in fun mode. The seating was set in a Board Room styled seating arrangement (pretty appropriate for an MBA class!) which allowed everyone to see each other and interact across the room at any time. Instead of a single person giving a speech, each person was asked to stand up in turn and recall a favourite memory or story from their days on the course. Needless to say some of these stories caused much smart comment to be added and ever more laughter was generated.
After dinner, we 'retired' to the garden for after-dinner drinks which continued until the early hours of Sunday morning. During this time various conversations could be heard ranging from from debates on a variety of topics to the usual question of "so where are you now"? However, it was very interesting to note how few conversations centred about the success of individuals which can often be a feature of reunions and instead people stayed focused on memories and having a laugh. After all, it might be 25 years before we will all meet again!
As a footnote to the evening, I would offer a number of suggestions to those who might wish to organise such an event. The Alumni Office were fantastic in making this event happen, the dinner in Heaton Mount was excellent and accommodation there suited everyone perfectly. No speeches or music gave people much more time to talk and have fun so keep it simple. Many of the group arrived on Friday and had a 'good night' then also which was informally arranged (simply pick a restaurant and a pub where people can meet). This actually added significantly to the success of the event as it gave people more time to hang-out together and also made a weekend of the whole Reunion. It was wonderful to see everyone again and we are now talking about having an informal gathering in London within the next few years. What more could one want from a Reunion?
Would you like to organise your own reunion? The School of Management Alumni Office would be happy to assist you with planning your reunion and could provide the help and support you need. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about organising reunions.