1. What is “ARW?”

Susan Biedinger, center, is hugged by her Alpha Chi Omega sisters Pam Kelly, left, and Cathy May McMullian, right, on the porch of the Alpha Chi house during Alumni Reuion Weekend. This is the last May Day and Alumnae Reunion Weekend that the current Alpha Chi house will be standing for. After graduation, Brenau begins construction down Prior Street in Gainesville to replace current sorority houses and other student housing.
Susan Biedinger, center, is hugged by her Alpha Chi Omega sisters Pam Kelly, left, and Cathy May McMullian, right, during Alumnae Reunion Weekend 2015.

ARW stands for Alumnae Reunion Weekend. This is the three-day event hosted by the Alumni Association which bring alumnae from the Women’s College and the Academy/Early College program back to campus for milestone class reunions, sorority open houses, and of course, May Day.

2. What is May Day?

May Day, formerly known as Spring Festival, is one of the oldest and most beautiful traditions at Brenau… The celebration takes place on Front Campus, highlighted by the presentation of the May Court, crowning of the May Queen, and wrapping of the May Pole. The Queen is joined by the Princess, Prince, and four members from each class. All are elected by the student body. (Excerpted from “Brenau University Women’s College Traditions,” pg. 15, 2009.)

3. Why is “May Day” in April?

Conventional wisdom and tradition tell us that “May Day” should fall on the 1st of May, with many celebrations observed the first weekend of May. This was true of Brenau’s May Day celebration for many years when students were on the quarter system. Now that the University has moved to a semester system with an earlier Fall start date, “May Day” must move, too. The current academic calendar places graduation on the first weekend of May.

4. How do you choose which weekend in April is ARW and May Day?

Again, the semester system dictates this date for us. Alumnae Reunion Weekend and May Day are now scheduled to fall two weekends prior to Spring semester Final Exams. This schedule allows Women’s College students to participate in all the festivities of May Day without the pressure of preparing for exams immediately following May Day. This schedule also provides the latest (and hopefully, warmest) possible weekend each Spring.

5. Who plans the events?

The Alumni Office organizes all activities of Alumnae Reunion Weekend — activities specifically designed for alumnae. Students Services organizes all activities of Class Day and May Day — activities specifically designed for students. Individual sororities organize their own Open Houses with support from both the Alumni Office and the Greek Life Office. In addition, various academic departments may choose to host receptions, exhibits, and productions in conjunction with this busy weekend.

6. How can I make sure my Class has a great reunion?

The success of reunions relies heavily on alumnae participation in the planning process. Each year, we see that the most well-attended reunions are those that have a dedicated group of 2-5 alumnae encouraging their classmates to attend through personal invitations and interaction. Our Office will assist with any reunions in 5-year increments if alumnae leadership presents itself.

Please contact Alumni Relations at (770) 534-6164 or to express interest in planning your next reunion.

7. Where can I stay in Gainesville?

Each year, our Office negotiates discounted rates at the following hotels. These rates are available for booking from January 1 through March 31. Mention Brenau Alumnae.

Fairfield Inn & Suites
1755 Browns Bridge Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30501
(678) 971-4670
$119/night King or Queen

Hampton Inn
450 Jesse Jewel Parkway SW
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 503-0300
$115/night King or Queen

Hilton Garden Inn
1735 Browns Bridge Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 532-3396
$119/night King or Queen

Ramada Inn (formerly Holiday Inn)
400 E.E. Butler Parkway
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 531-0907
$85/night King or Queen

8. What is the Class Giving Challenge and how does my Class participate?

The Class Giving Competition was created to increase alumnae participation in annual giving to Brenau and provide an opportunity for alumnae to earn some “bragging rights.” All gifts made during registration or alumnae weekend will count. To make a reunion/class gift, please contact Ashley Carter, Director of Alumni & Constituent Engagement, at or (770) 534-6164. Or give securely online here. (Be sure to designate your Class year in the “In Honor of” box and put “reunion 2018 gift”)