Back in June, when the Tuck community was in the early days of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a physical, in-person alumni reunion in October were quickly taken off the table due to safety concerns. Renee Hirschberg, director of Alumni Engagement, faced a bit of a dilemma.
“I asked myself, ‘Do we throw a virtual reunion—something we’ve never done before—or do we postpone until we can safely gather together?’” says Hirschberg. “We surveyed alumni and the response was 50/50 on whether a virtual event would be something of interest. Ultimately we decided there was value in bringing alumni together during this challenging time for us all, and to postpone an in-person gathering.”
Fast forward to October, and Hirschberg was pleasantly surprised when nearly 600 alumni tuned in from all over the world for a series of virtual programming and individual class celebrations for Reunion Reimagined, Tuck’s first-ever virtual reunion.
Reunion Reimagined kicked off with a town hall led by Dean Matthew J. Slaughter, who delivered remarks on the year ahead at Tuck and how the school has risen to the occasion during these historic times. A highlight included a virtual walkthrough of the Tuck campus.
To conclude the year-long 50 Years of Women at Tuck celebration, three alumnae delivered a panel discussion, “Tuck: Then & Now,” on their career journeys and what it takes to succeed in today’s evolving business climate. Moderated by New York Times’ DealBook reporter Lauren Hirsch T’12, the discussion featured remarks from Pamela Scott T’75, the first Black woman to graduate from Tuck, and current Tuck student and military intelligence officer Sarah Blatt T’21.
The final program, “Creating a Powerful LinkedIn Profile” led by Heather Law, associate director of alumni career services, featured practical, hands-on advice on building and refining your LinkedIn presence to get the attention of recruiters. Law has been instrumental in leading career-focused virtual dispatches that help guide alumni through various career challenges.
Beyond virtual programming, a number of reunion classes engaged with fellow classmates in individual breakout sessions. The Class of 1970 celebrated their 50th reunion on the “virtual steps of Tuck Hall” with nearly 40 alumni in attendance—the highest percentage of participation for the T’70 class in reunion history. Dean Slaughter joined as a surprise guest to deliver a few remarks.
“The high attendance for Reunion Reimagined is evidence that this community is still highly engaged and eager to connect—even if virtually,” says Hirschberg. “We saw alumni join the event who don’t typically attend reunion in Hanover. The virtual nature of these programs really eliminates a lot of barriers for people and brings together alumni from all ages and backgrounds who wouldn’t normally engage with one another.”
The decision to host an in-person reunion in 2021 will be guided by state and local health guidelines, as well as Dartmouth College policies. An update will be shared with the community in January as plans develop and solidify.
Visit myTuck for more on Reunion Reimagined, including Reunion 2020 class photos.