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It’s Reunion Homecoming Weekend

Thousands of alumni return to Stanford today for four days of connection, classes, and Cardinal football.

Stanford alumni return to campus for Reunion Homecoming 2022. (Image credit: Courtesy Stanford Alumni Association)

Thousands of Stanford alumni are expected to attend Reunion Homecoming 2023, taking place on campus today through Sunday, Oct. 22. Throughout the weekend, they will participate in various events and programming to help them recapture the Cardinal experience.

“This long-standing tradition carves out the time and space for alumni to reconnect with classmates, to build new friendships, and to explore the Stanford of today,” said Victor Madrigal, director of Reunion Homecoming at the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA). “Every alum is guaranteed to find a favorite and familiar spot on their beloved campus and have experiences that will remind them of why Stanford is special to them in the first place.”

Reunion Homecoming is for quinquennial reunions for undergraduate alumni. This year’s event is for class years ending with 3s and 8s; those alumni will be attending their 5th through 65th reunions. Some professional schools, including Stanford Law School, will also hold reunions this weekend.

The massive event takes months to plan, and Madrigal said that alumni volunteerism is a key element of the Reunion Homecoming experience.

“We have approximately 200 alumni reunion leaders and about 525 alumni committee members who work in partnership with staff for nearly 12 months on planning reunions and coordinating outreach efforts to their classmates,” he said.

Come one, come Cardinal

An estimated 8,200 alumni are expected to attend this year’s reunion – up from 7,654 last year, but below pre-pandemic attendance levels, which were closer to 10,000. They will return to Stanford from all 50 states and around the world, including Singapore, Turkey, Nigeria, Switzerland, India, England, Vietnam, and Antiqua.

The event kicks off Thursday with several open houses, receptions, and mini reunions. Alumni can also learn about the work of current students at the Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS) at Burnham Pavilion and view their artwork at the 9th Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition at the Stanford Art Gallery.

Dinner on the Quad – one of the signature events of Reunion Homecoming – will take place in the evening. Alumni will enjoy a three-course meal under the stars in Stanford’s historic Main Quad, as well as a dessert lounge, photo booth, and dancing.

Reunion Homecoming is also an educational experience. Throughout the weekend, alumni will attend Classes Without Quizzes Micro Lectures by Stanford faculty that showcase the breadth and depth of Stanford’s intellectual offerings. There are 34 classes offered, including Longevity and the New Map of Life with Professor Laura Carstensen and Exploring the Universe with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory with Professor Aaron Rodman.

Tours will take alumni to such campus locales as the Anderson Collection, Bowes Art & Architecture Library, and Denning House. Current students will also lead tours of Stanford’s new residential neighborhoods, including Aspen & Olive, Sequoia & Hyperion, Gingko & Wisteria, and Redwood & Magnolia.

On Friday, President Richard Saller will deliver welcome remarks at Memorial Auditorium, immediately followed by five 12-minute micro lectures by professors Carolyn Bertozzi, Geoffrey Cohen, Karl Deisseroth, Michele Elam, and Michael McFaul. Later in the day, Cardinal Society, which honors alumni celebrating their 65th reunion and beyond, will hold a happy hour. And in the evening, the Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony and Reception will recognize diverse alumni leaders for their exceptional service to the university and society.

On Saturday, alumni are encouraged to cheer on the Cardinal Football team as they face off against the University of California, Los Angeles. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. at Stanford Stadium and alumni are invited to sit with members of their class. Details and ticket information are available online.

Madrigal said that class events are core to Reunion Homecoming. This includes 12 class parties with buffets, entertainment, and time for classmates to catch up, dance, and enjoy old and new friends. There are 14 class tailgates in class headquarter tents for alumni to gather and eat before the football game. There is also a tailgate for Stanford’s most recent alumni from the classes of ’23, ’22, ’21, ’20 and ’19. Finally, 11 class panel events will convene classmates to discuss a range of topics, such as careers, family, loss, and personal growth.

Alumni volunteers have organized several events this year that will help shape the reunion weekend. For example, members of the Class of 1988 created a service project called 1,988 Letters of Gratitude to collect letters to send to U.S. troops serving the country thanking them for their service. At the Class of 1998 Sports Panel, alumni will reflect on the success that Stanford Athletics had that year and share their thoughts on how the program will continue to compete amid the changing collegiate athletics landscape. And the classes of 1993 and 1998 have organized campus art walks to explore the latest artwork across campus, while catching up with friends in a mobile pre-party.

Reunion Homecoming will wrap up Sunday with a continental breakfast, an interfaith public worship and memorial service honoring alumni who have passed away, and a farewell lunch.

A full schedule of events is available on the SAA Reunion Homecoming website.