A High School Reunion Mad Lib!

Reunion Committee DIY Decoration Ideas

How fortunate is it that we get to partner with the best reunion committees, and see the creative touches they bring to their reunion celebration?  Here are a few of our favorites:

Stacy, the Hazelwood West 1990 reunion committee chair, put together these adorable centerpieces for each table at her reunion.   The red and black school colors filled the room, and classmates got to take the centerpieces home at the end of the evening.








We’ve never seen a sweets table put together with as much thought and finesse as by reunion chair Julie!  The Granite City 1989 Warriors were treated to cupcakes and candy, all heavily influenced by the color red.






Remember that panoramic photo you took your senior year?  Thankfully Julie, from the Parkway North Class of 2000, saved her photo, enlarged it a bit, and had it mounted on foam core as part of a display.  Classmates couldn’t get enough of the photo and went back many times during their reunion celebration to recall a face or to remember a name.








The Willowbrook 1990 reunion committee proves memories don’t have to come in a fancy package to be memories.  Classmates loved looking at these photo displays throughout their reunion evening.

As these smiling Lafayette 1990 Lancers know, the best decoration at a high school reunion is still the yearbook. 

5 Ways to Honor Deceased Classmates

The harshest reality of a high school reunion is learning of the death of a fellow classmate. You’re young, or maybe you feel young, so it is hard to believe a classmate just as young is no longer with you. At your reunion, you want to remember these classmates, but want to do so in a respectful and appropriate way. Here are a few ideas:

1)  Create a Memorial Table Photo Display   On a linen covered table, set a framed photo of each classmate.  In front of each picture, place a lit white votive or candle.  You may also frame a list of names along with a single white candle.  Adding an appropriate poem or quote is also a nice touch.

2)  Include a Directory Page  
Include a page for each deceased classmate in your directory or memory book, add their high school photo, and ask a fellow classmate to write a memory or thought.  Or, have a single page listing the names of each classmate in the front of the book.

3) Remember Parents or Family Members  
Let parents or families know you haven’t forgotten your classmates.  The Kirkwood Class of 1991 set out cards for reunion attendees to write a note to the parents of their deceased classmates.  Each card was filled with messages about how the classmate was missed.  You may also want to send flowers to the parents or families, letting them know their loss is felt by everyone in the class.  

You may be concerned this would be upsetting to family members.  Parents and families deal with their loss every day.  This isn’t a reminder.  It is a way to let them know you also share in their grief.  But, use your best judgment as to what you and the committee feel is most appropriate.

4) Make a Donation to Your School  
Make a donation to your school or alumni association in memory of your classmates.  Include the donation as part of the ticket price, or allow classmate to donate to the fund when they register for the reunion.  The donation may be used as a scholarship or to buy something the school needs, such as equipment for the football team or books for the library.  Click here for a story about the Lafayette Class of 2002 and the scholarships they created in memory of their classmates.

5) Create a Permanent Memorial   
Collect donations to purchase a tree or bench.  Have the dedication during the reunion weekend, and include pictures in your directory or on your memorial table.  The tree or bench may be placed on the school grounds with a plaque or sign, such as “In Fond Memory of Our Classmates, the Benton Class of 1991”.

What Not to Do

  • It is not necessary to include the when, why or how of a deceased classmate.  This gossip isn’t anyone’s business, and you don’t want to offer information which may not be 100% correct.
  • Don’t read names or have a moment of silence during the reunion program.  Classmates are usually too busy talking and visiting and drinking to listen to what you have to say, making it hard to maintain a tone of respect.  If you are able to hold the attention of your classmates during this time, transitioning back into the spirit of the reunion celebration can be difficult. 
  • Don’t leave empty chairs at a table in memory of each deceased classmate unable to attend.  

Most of all, know it is not wrong to celebrate your reunion while at the same time remembering those classmates who are no longer with you. 

Here are a few quotes you may want to include as part of your memorial:

No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever. 
Francois Mocuriac

So many things have happened
Since they were called away.
So many things to share with them
Had they been left to stay.
And now on this reunion day,
Memories do come our way.
Though absent, they are ever near,
Still missed, remembered, always dear.
Author Unknown

Hold a true friend with both your hands.
Nigerian Proverb

We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.
Tim McGraw