This is how you do it: Classes of the 90s host multi-city event

It was a single idea—and a singularly committed community of volunteers—that drew hundreds of alumni out to hit "rewind" and reunite in cities around the world.

“It’s almost time!” The clock is counting down to 6:00 p.m. at Elsie Rooftop in New York City. Lead event organizer and longtime Brown volunteer Alexandra Mandis ’95, P’23 is adjusting Brown banners, centerpieces, and name tags alongside fellow alumni Kwame Campbell ’92, Denielle Bertarelli-Webb ’95, and Stephen Gilheeney ’95. In moments, dozens of alumni will be walking through the doors of the Times Square Terrace — and Mandis couldn’t be more ecstatic. “It will be great to see some familiar faces and meet new Brunonians!” she says.

(From left to right) Chandra Metzler ’95, BAA Board member; Sara Savage ’90, BAA President; Alexandra Mandis ’95, Class Vice-President; Denielle Bertarelli-Webb ’95 Class Communications Officer
From left to right: Chandra Metzler ’95, BAA Board member; Sara Leppo Savage ’90, P'22, BAA President; Alexandra Mandis ’95, P'23, Class Vice-President; Denielle Bertarelli-Webb ’95, Class Communications Officer

The Manhattan location was just one of 23 simultaneous “Classes of the 90s” get-togethers. On the night of October 22, more than 500 Brown alumni reunited in locations ranging from Hawaii to Barcelona, Seattle to Miami — in bars, restaurants, offices, and even the homes of alumni volunteers.  

The network of multi-city mini-reunions was the Class of 1995's brainchild. “My hope is that alumni reminisce about their Brown days, meet new local friends who share the common bond of our alma mater, and leave re-energized to become engaged or increase their engagement in the Brown community — whether that be locally or on College Hill,” Mandis says. “I am so excited that we managed to pull this off and hope this is something that others can follow.”
The idea for these events originated after a successful Class of 1995 gathering in New York in May of 2017, when Mandis and 1995 class president Mark Tracy set their sights on reproducing it in multiple cities. With the help of class leaders, Advancement staff, and about 60 tireless alumni volunteers throughout the world, the concept became a reality.
“Every time I am reminded of the incredible connections I made at Brown, the memories that we forged there, and the friendships I have continued to develop, I know that I am galvanized to participate in the Brown community,” said Mandis. “I hope that all attendees will come away inspired to deepen their connection to the Brown family.”
And by all accounts — including the aforementioned high-spirited NYC event overlooking Times Square — they certainly did. See the evening unfold in photos below:

That moment when…

Here are a few “that’s so Brown” moments for your enjoyment:

  • When Rachel Pritzker ’97 figured out that Eileen Hassi ’99 is the founder of Ritual Coffee, her favorite coffee houseSan Francisco
  • Only in LA: When guests discovered a specially-made papier-mâché model of BrunoLos Angeles
  • 75 guests gathering on a beautiful terrace overlooking Times Square, and not ready to part, they continued chatting and reminiscing well past midnight. Manhattan
  • small but mighty contingent in Charleston had so much fun talking, they may have started plans for another gathering, but forgot to take photos! :)  Charleston 
  • Cookies and coffee milk, need we say more? Edward Valentini '94 brought custom-painted Brown cookies and guests celebrated Rhode Island’s state drink with their very own Autocrat coffee mix.  San Francisco
  • Guests at the Verbena rooftop bar listened as a 95-year old alumnus (who graduated in 1946) and his wife discussed the two-year “break” he took to serve in the US Navy. Barcelona
  • Boston-based grads of the 90s packed into the MET BackBay Bar to enjoy fun conversations, good laughs, and fond memories. And one night clearly wasn't enough: a winter/spring gathering on Beacon Hill is in the works! Boston
  • Great overlapping conversations with all manner of Brunonians: techies, a social worker, educators, stay-at-home parents, a theater producer, local government and nonprofit civil rights workers, an environmental activist, a plane parts builder...even a veterinary ophthalmologist.  Seattle
  • Being greeted by a 90s soundtrack at the home of Naria Halliwell ’97 and Peter Levine ’95 within shouting distance of Pembroke campus. Not to be outdone by not one but two cakes from Gregg’s Restaurants—including a Death By Chocolate—customized with the night’s official hashtag #BrownU90s. Providence

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