Reunion Planning Guide

Alumni CenterThe Office of Alumni Relations is your connection to the campus community. Alumni are vital to keeping Murray State traditions and pride alive. Please contact the office of alumni relations at any time to assist in reunion planning from beginning to end! A printable version of the reunion planning guide is available here.

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12-24 months

  • Contact Murray State Office of Alumni Relations
  • Develop reunion committee
  • Select dates
  • Inquire about hotels, banquet and meeting spaces
  • Request mailing list(s) of potential guests from Murray State Alumni Association
  • Establish Budget

9-12 months

  • Create communications plan (i.e. e-mails, social media, press releases, letters, etc.)
  • Gather updated contact information of classmates
  • Reserve facilities, caterers, photographers, etc.

6-9 months

  • Gather ideas for activities and entertainment
  • Update group contact list(s)
  • Contact special guests
  • Begin preparing any special mementos or memorabilia
  • Determine participant cost and open registration
  • Finalize budget


4 months

  • Continue meeting as a committee and checking RSVP’s
  • Committee members should contact potential guests
  • Implement communication plan components
  • Purchase gifts and gather door prizes

3 months

  • Develop name tags
  • Create or order decorations
  • Check reservations and send any reservation reminders
  • Arrange campus tours

3-6 weeks

  • Monitor reservations
  • Follow-up on details with caterers, photographers, etc
  • Confirm any other details specific to your set of events

2 weeks

  • Assemble registration packets and other details for the reunion day or weekend
  • Confirm final numbers with catering
  • Verify any special equipment needed for reserved spaces

Start of the Reunion

  • Share the reunion day task list
  • Provide volunteers with all necessary materials to have a fun and memorable experience!

After the reunion

  • Send thank you notes to committee members and volunteers
  • Share pictures of the events on social media and with the Office of Alumni Relations

Here are some commonly requested campus and local resources:
Campus Facilities
Curris Center 270.809.6985
CFSB Center 270.809.5577
Lovett Auditorium 270.809.6937
Wrather Museum 270.809.4771
Miller Memorial Golf Course 270.809.2238

There are many wonderful spaces across campus. Many may fit your reunion. Please contact the Office of Alumni
Relations for assistance in reserving the best location at 270.809.5600.

University Departments
Admissions 270.809.3741
Alumni Association 270.809.5600
Athletic Ticket Office 270.809.3000
Susan E. Bauernfeind Wellness Center 270.809.6000
Racer Catering (Sodexo) 270.809.4600 or

A full listing of upcoming campus events is available at or contact the Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Katie Payne at 270.809.3279 or at


In light of COVID-19 many organizations may choose to host their events via an online platform. Work with the office of Alumni Relations to leverage the best tools and resources available.  
A complete list of regional hotels and regional venues if needed for your group are available on the Murray Convention and Visitor Bureau’s website at or by calling 270.759.2199 . Information about local businesses can be found on the Murray Calloway County Chamber website at or by calling 270.753.5171.

The Murray State University Office of Alumni Relations will assist reunion groups in gathering alumni contact information. A mailing list may be generated by completing the data request form available here. Please allow up to three weeks to receive the list.  All e-mail communications are sent directly through the Office of Alumni Relations. Please allow two weeks for generation of the content. Under no circumstances may alumni lists be used for solicitations or political purposes. Please contact Katie Payne, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, for the paperwork required and to answer questions.

The most integral part of bringing back former classmates, teammates and friends is outreach! Many alumni mention how a personal contact influences their decision to return to campus! A well-organized committee with a mix of talents will ensure you have an exciting event with something for everyone.

Start with your former classmates or group members that would be dedicated to serving as a leader. Plan to have 8-10 volunteers lead efforts to plan an exciting event. Schedule meetings in consideration of each person’s routine. As needed host conference calls, share email updates and more. It is best to assign committee roles to each person’s strength. Some committees choose to assign roles for marketing, budgeting, catering, etc. While other groups are more informal and focus on an overarching plan for the reunion. Do what works best to make your reunion a success!

No two reunions are alike. After you have time to consider the size and scope of the reunion it is important to begin setting a budget. This is possibly the most difficult thing to do and ensure all costs are covered. Reunions are designed to work on a break-even basis. It is most important to include a list of bartending fees, A/V, photographers and catering, etc. Consider how these costs will spread out among each guest. You may choose to itemize or develop a package. Packages provide a simple approach and guarantee everyone assists in covering the expense of the reunion. Itemized event registrations are wonderfully flexible but really only work best if you have the volunteer resources and time to support guest needs.

When possible include room in your registration prices to cover unanticipated fees. When working with the Murray State Alumni Association there is an additional 10 percent fee to cover sales tax and credit card fees for processing. If the reunion is cancelled for any reason and refunds need to be issued, the credit card fees incurred will be retained by the Alumni Association.

The most important part of the reunion is bringing everyone together to reminisce about campus! The best way to do this is outline a concise and effective communication plan. Make sure to include a variety of options to reach people and include this in your budget. Some strategies the Office of Alumni Relations can provide:

Save the Date e-mails
Registration E-mails
Registration Websites
Social Media Reminders
Alumni Newsletter Announcements
Calling lists for your committee

Each reunion group hosts a unique event and develops a tailored communication plan. Make sure to utilize the talents of your committee to reach everyone!

Were fashions different for your class or did your group have the best costumes at All Campus Sing? Can you name the best burgers and ice cream in Murray, Ky!?! Some of the special touches to remember these things will add to the fun throughout the reunion for any group.

Memories Book-Ask members of your organization to submit old pictures and biographies during registration. Ask one committee member to lead the charge of editing and compiling all of these details into a book for each attendee to enjoy during the reunion!
Video/Slide Show-Another way to share memories and photos is a great slide show! Ask members of your organization to submit old pictures during registration. Ask one committee member to lead the charge of editing and compiling all of these details for a sideshow.
Photo Displays-Another way to enjoy pictures from your organization or class is to display photos throughout the event. As with the sideshow and memory books, request pictures from members of the group and ensure someone remains in charge of the details to display the photos at any particular events. The best resource for historic pictures is to contact Murray State Libraries for student newspapers, yearbooks and photographs at
Door Prizes-Develop drawings or contests for those attending the reunion. Trivia and great icebreakers can be a fun way to share a few items and help everyone meet new people! Prizes can range from gift cards to campus memorabilia!
Special Name Tags-Take the opportunity to spruce up name tags with SHIELD pictures or nicknames. Some advanced planning may allow the committee to create name tags special to the reunion! Name tags are a key to helping everyone meet and reconnect. Plus, you never know how many family members did not attend Murray State and it is important to welcome, them as well.
Rituals and Traditions-Every group shares in special rituals and traditions. Make sure to incorporate these into your reunion in a special way. Just like the traditions that are a rich part of Murray State’s history, it will be great to share the history of the tradition and why it is unique to your organization.

While planning events it is important to take into consideration campus policies and procedures.  Details to request a venue, book a photographer or setup a tailgate are all very important to ensure rules are followed. The Murray State Alumni Association has provided several samples and forms on the reunion planning website.  Take note of the tailgate procedure when planning reunions around football season and find an example of the alcohol exemption request and requirements.   For questions please call 270.809.5600.
Rainey T Wells Statue

Alumni Awards

Each year the Murray State University Alumni Association recognizes many outstanding alumni and friends for their continued commitment to the University. Such acts of recognition result in bestowing awards to faculty, staff, alumni and students. Submission details for each award are maintained at


Distinguished Alumni award nominations are accepted each year until Dec. 15.



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