From Atlanta to Seattle and even London, members of the 2009 incoming freshman class were welcomed to Vanderbilt at 41 Summer Send-Off Parties sponsored by local chapters of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association.
A Vanderbilt tradition that dates back to 1968, Summer Send-Off Parties bring alumni, current students, and incoming students and their families together in a casual setting in their hometowns to celebrate the university’s newest arrivals and send them off to Vanderbilt in style. Past, current and future Vanderbilt students are given an opportunity to connect with each other and experience the “Vanderbilt community” together firsthand.
Nearly 4,000 individuals participated in this year’s receptions—including one-third of the incoming freshman class, which underscores the importance of these events.
Originally called “Summer Picnics” and then “VUcept Parties” (because student-orientation advisers called “VUceptors” helped plan them), these events have been called Summer Send-Off Parties since 1995. Generally, they are held in private homes, except in certain cities where the parties are too large. Many of the parties are hosted—and paid for—by alumni, parents of current students, and even some parents of incoming students, so the value of these individuals’ volunteer spirit and the service they render to the university cannot be overemphasized.
Some alumni have been hosting these events for years. In fact, Darryl Berger, BA’69 and a former president of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association, has been hosting a party for New Orleans-area students and alumni since 1979.
The photo above was taken at the Summer Send-Off Party sponsored by the Detroit Vanderbilt Chapter on Aug. 16, hosted by Steve Briggs, BA’81, and Sheryl Briggs.