Focus Groups

In May 2020, we held two focus groups to determine the interests, preferences, and opinions of 11 pioneer alumni.

Focus Groups Respond to Questions about the 50th Reunion for the Classes of ‘70 and ‘71

Introduction: The Reunion Committee, Su Nerton, Jim Lapsley, and Lisa Rose, conducted two one-hour video conference focus groups, one on Sunday, May 3, and the other on Monday, May 4. The May 3 group included five Crown alumni, and the May 4 group included six. Eight of the participants live in California and three live out-of-state.

Nelleke Aiello ’71
Lawrence Cohn “71
Kathleen Henry ’71
Mary Howland ’70
Judy Krow ’70
Jeff Miller ’71
Janet Parkins “72
Chris Peeples ’70
Gerry Strickland ’71
Dianne Suechika ’71
Pam Swift ’71

The agenda was sent to the participants in advance with three open-ended questions:

  1. What would motivate you to attend your 50th reunion? 
  2. What would be the most important elements of a reunion for you?
  3. If you’ve come to previous Crown College official or unofficial reunions, what worked for you? What didn’t work for you?

Responses: These are the various opinions expressed. We note if the opinions were uniform or varied.

  1. Opportunity to be with people you know. (Uniform, strong agreement across the board)
    • Opportunity to reconnect with old friends and classmates.
    • Time to hang out together.
    • Preference to be with lots of people you knew.
    • Ability to have intimate gatherings.
    • Time to wander and be together.
    • Opportunity to hear how Crown College made a difference in lives.
  2. In advance knowledge of who will be coming. (Uniform, strong agreement across the board)


  3. Both large and small gatherings (Uniform)
    • At least one gathering with lots of people
    • Other gatherings that are smaller
    • Adequate seating
    • Informality
  4. Opportunity to speak with current students (Varied, some very interested, some not at all)
  5. Opportunity to mingle with living faculty from those years (Varied, some very interested, some not at all)
  6. Desire for intimate and informal ambiance

Not Interested In…(Strong feelings in most cases)

  1. Lectures
  2. Formal sitdown dinners at large tables
  3. Talks or awards at formal dinners
  4. Requests for donations

Specific Suggestions 

  1. Online list of registrants
  2. Accommodations for disabilities
  3. Memoriam
  4. Photos, slide show of the early years
  5. Background music from our era
  6. Help in finding accommodations and providing transportation to and from campus
  7. Heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of formal sitdown dinners
  8. Small tables for no more than four (encourages visiting, avoids being trapped)

Duration of the eventThere is openness to the idea of extending the event to begin on Thursday and/or end on Monday.