Bryn Mawr Alumnae Club Handbook


Chapter 5: Programming


Program Ideas

The types of programs that BMC clubs sponsor vary according to the interests of the members. In deciding what type of program to undertake, keep in mind what your club level requires, consider what you'd like to accomplish and make sure there is variety in the programs you offer over the course of a year. For instance, move your programs around your geographic area to draw different groups; vary the fee (if any) so that you can include alumnae/i of different economic means; and think about what types of programs will appeal to different age groups.

The Alumnae Association provides impetus and reminders for such events as May Day gatherings, "Welcome to the City," "Lizards," and send-off parties for first-year students.

Here are some programs Clubs have succeeded with in the past:

Connector Events

  • Invite a current BMC student/Alumnae Regional Scholar to speak to your club when she is home for Winter Break or summer vacation. Contact the Assistant Director of Clubs for a list of students in your area.
  • Ask a member who attended Reunion to report/reminisce.
  • Host a "Welcome to the City" party for new alumnae up to 5 years out
  • Host a May Day party.
  • Organize a panel on traditions /memories featuring alumnae/i from many decades
  • Have a chili party for area students and alumnae/i in early January.
  • Invite a professor or administrator to speak through the Faculty Speakers Program (page 6)
  • Invite alumnae/i to speak in their area of expertise (the Alumnae Association can help you find alumnae/i in your area knowledgeable on specific topics).
  • Attend a local cultural event as a club.
  • Establish a book club.
  • Host an author's luncheon.
  • Conduct a one-time (or ongoing) seminar on the care of aging parents, financial planning, women's issues, or other hot topics.
  • Volunteer as a club at a local food pantry, shelter or literacy program.
  • Organize a tour for your group of local parks, museums, or historic neighborhoods.
  • Host a Lizard Party
  • Create and deliver May basket to alumnae 80 years or olderM

Admissions Events

  • Invite prospective or current students to club events.
  • Have a send-off party for new students from your area in June, July or August.
  • Give a rose, a card or a token present to all accepted applicants.
  • Invite prospective students to a holiday party with undergraduates during December break. Career Development Events
  • Organize brown bag lunches to meet working women's schedules.
  • Organize career panels.
  • Create ways for Mawrters in the same field to connect (a dinner for medical professionals, lawyers, educators, comptrollers, etc.).


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Event Planning Calendar

4–6 months before the event

  • Decide on a speaker or other entertainment and confirm availability
  • Choose the event date and time; make sure there are no obvious schedule conflicts.
  • Choose an event site and make sure it is available on the preferred date.

12–14 weeks before the event

  • Appoint chair(s) and committee to handle site, caterer, invitation design/printing/ mailing, speaker(s), staffing at the event.
  • Get all the information for the invitation (address, parking, directions)
  • Line up caterer, etc.
  • Decide on whom to invite.

Event Budget Sheet (pdf)

  • Use the budget sheet to calculate cost per person. Set event price.
  • Design invitations. Talk to designer and printer about deadlines.
  • Make travel and program arrangements with speaker, if applicable.

9–10 weeks before the event

  • Print invitations.
  • Order labels or disk from BMC AA (see guidelines in Chapter 2)
  • Confirm alumnae/i volunteers for the event itself (welcomers, check-in, Club reps to recruit new members).

6–7 weeks before the event

  • Mail or e-mail invitations. A committee may meet to write personal notes and send.
  • Make sure there are enough nametags for the event and give to person taking reservations.

2–3 weeks before the event

  • Check on RSVPs and attendance.
  • Phone or email invitees who have not responded and encourage them to attend.
  • Confirm all plans with speaker(s), caterer, site, etc.
  • Visit site, if necessary, to check audio visual and other set-up.

1 week before the event

  • Confirm event plans with all volunteers.
  • Give final count for food and drinks to the caterer.
  • Make sure the treasurer knows what checks are owed and when.

1 week after the event

Program Event Evaluation Form (pdf)

  • Send Program Event Evaluation form and list of attendees to the club president and assistant director of clubs in the Alumnae Association office.
  • Write thank you notes to speaker(s), host and committee members if necessary.
  • Notify Alumnae Association of any changes in alumnae/i contact information.


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