Festivities kicked off on Friday afternoon, October 24, with a well-attended reception for all MS&E alumni, faculty and current students. While enjoying hors d’oeuvres, those in attendance reconnected and reminisced. Faculty in attendance saw many familiar faces and enjoyed hearing what their former students are up to.
On Saturday morning, over 200 master’s program alumni gathered for the first event of its kind in our department. It kicked off with a lecture by Professor Bob Sutton based on his latest book, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less. Sutton discussed how an organization can take “pockets of excellence” and make them bigger. Part of the problem with increasing the size of something, said Sutton, is that “you get so caught up in increasing numbers that you don’t spread behaviors and beliefs,” which is central to successful change. Sutton used several examples of organizations that have successfully scaled desirable behaviors (and some that failed, so we can learn from their mistakes). Click here to watch a similar lecture he delivered to MS&E students.
After Professor Sutton’s lecture, alumni and current students gathered for a brunch reception and book signing. Conversation was so robust that the event lasted an hour past the designated time.
In a post-event survey, the vast majority of attendees were very happy with the reunion events and asked that these continue to be open to all department alumni (versus just the alumni on campus for Reunion Weekend). They also asked that the master’s program alumni reunion become a new annual tradition. We received some excellent suggestions and ideas, which we will incorporate into future reunions. Respondents also expressed an interest in additional alumni networking events and other opportunities to engage both with each other and the department throughout the year, so we will be working to provide those.
Stay tuned for information about the next MS&E Reunion later this year and more events! Please mark your calendars for Friday & Saturday, October 23-24, 2015.