Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2006

Technology aids reunion planners

July 13, 2006

The Lansing High School Class of 2001 is one example of how far technology - especially technology related to the Internet - has come in the 21st century.

When the 150 students graduated as the second class of the new millennium, online communities were growing, and on the eve of the class' five-year reunion, new online communities such as facebook.com and myspace.com had become the preferred means of communication for young people.

This year instead of searching the White Pages, the reunion's organizers, Lindsay Lones and Scott Nelson, used the new online communities to find contact information for alumni and send out invitations for the event.

Lones said organizing the reunion involved "e-mails after e-mails trying to get in contact with everyone," and despite the effort, she was still unable to get in contact with at least 50 graduates.

With the additional help of the Lansing Alumni Association, Lones and Nelson were able to get in touch with the majority of the class. They expected "50-60 people optimistically" to attend the reunion held Friday, July 7, at the High Noon Saloon in Leavenworth.

While the Alumni Association holds an annual reunion for all classes in late July, Lones said the Class of '01 decided to hold its reunion separately because many of the people they talked to were going to be unavailable for the annual reunion.

Lones, a representative in the Leadership Council, and Nelson, senior class president, said July 7 was the date the largest number of people could attend.

The reunion offered alumni a time to catch up on what everyone in the class had been doing and reflect on the last several years.

"It's amazing how we grew up," said the class president their freshman and sophomore years, Katelin Meyers. "I didn't think it would happen, but it did."

Meyers said that while the class was known for cliques in high school, it seemed at the reunion that more people from the different groups were mingling and talking than normally would have five years ago.

"Its nice to know everyone is doing good," Meyers added because the class has not lost anyone since graduation, and now some alumni are even married or have children.

For Sean Healy, who found out about the reunion through an e-mail from Nelson, the reunion was more of an opportunity to hang out with friends than catch up with people he has lost touch with.

"For the most part in our high school people stay in touch, because it smaller," he said. "My group of guy friends in high school are still my friends now."

While the most common reunion milestone might be every 10 years, Lones saw an advantage to getting the class together sooner rather than later.

"It's easier to get contact information at five years instead of waiting for 10 years," she said.

When they entered the room, alumni filled in their contact information and paid $5, which went to cover the cost of renting the room. Any excess money will be saved for the future reunions.

"We could have more money for a better 10-year reunion," Lones said.

The reunion activities continued with a barbeque at alumnus Travis Mance's house Sunday evening.

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