Who's ready to bump elbows with their alma mater?
Johns Hopkins University alumni are once again networking and socializing face to face, thanks to some creative event planning by the Alumni Association.
After more than a year of online only programming because of COVID- 19 restrictions, the Alumni Association returned to hosting a limited number of in-person events in July 2021, with strict adherence to university and local public health guidelines, including vaccination requirements, masking, and distancing.
"It's been a challenge," says Jennifer Fisher, associate director of Regional, Student, and Young Alumni Programs. "It's also been a good opportunity to think outside the box in order to engage alumni and students in this new, more cautious environment."
"With health and safety a primary concern, we encourage alumni to do what makes them feel comfortable," says Jamie Seward, associate director of Lifelong Learning. At most events, especially those held outdoors, attendance across class years has been very good. "After so long, there's an excitement in the air," Seward says. "It's a joy to see our alumni reconnecting."
One of the first in-person events was an evening of indoor mini-golf at Swingers Dupont Circle in Washington, with cocktails and gourmet street food rounding out the fun. In October, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends enjoyed a Halloween-themed double feature at Bengies Drive-In Theatre in Middle River, Maryland. With the entire venue rented out, the Hopkins community gathered under the stars—or in their cars, depending on their preference. As with many local events, the Alumni Association offered young alumni and students discounted admission. In all, 250 people attended the family-friendly event.
After two successful virtual walking tours with the Bowery Boys of New York, the local alumni community enjoyed a very merry in-person excursion with the Big Apple–based guides this winter. The two-hour tour joined a small group of alumni to explore together the city's seasonal highlights—from Macy's Herald Square, the inspiration for the classic holiday movie Miracle on 34th Street, to Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.
In January, Denver-area alumni gathered to take in the musical sounds of Marin Alsop Conducts presented by the Colorado Symphony. Following the performance, alumni were treated to an exclusive meet-and-greet with Alsop, famed conductor and director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute.
"Our goal is for alumni to feel connected to the university even when they don't live anywhere near one of our campuses," says Leah Murphy, associate director for Regional, Student, and Young Alumni Programs. "Our alumni love to bridge the connection between Hopkins and their city, and we love to help."
For a complete listing of regional alumni events, visit the events calendar at events.jhu.edu.