Alumni chapel brings Christian Life grads together
Visits from alumni used to be a lot more chaotic this time of year at Christian Life Academy. Students back on break after their first semester of college would trickle in at lunch, or during a favorite teacher’s class. There was no real order to it.
About four years ago, Heather Meyen decided to do something about that.
Meyen, Christian Life’s dean of students, organized a special chapel for visiting alumni. The school gathered its current students and invited all of the graduates in at once. Returning students got a chance to see old friends, and to tell their college stories.
“It’s a fun day for them to come back and share with each other what’s going on,” Meyen said.
The chapel is open to all Christian Life alumni. A few older alumni showed up with children in tow early on. But in more recent years most of those who come back are recent graduates who are still in college.
The visits can be a good resource for current students, Meyen said. Teachers sometimes invite the alumni into their classrooms to talk about their experiences in college, both their successes and their struggles.
“It’s kind of validating for the teachers as well, because (alumni) are saying, ‘I wish I had taken this specific class more seriously.’” Meyen said. “Those kinds of conversations are good for our students as well as our teachers.”
The alumni chapels have become a welcome part of the Christmas season at Christian Life, but Meyen believe there is more they can accomplish.
“It’s still in its infancy stages right now,” she said. “It’s fun to see who’s showing up.”