2.19.2006

Why No Newton North Alumni Association, or Alumni Fund?

I've been thinking about this even before people started talking about rebuilding Newton North. Why is it that private high schools and public colleges, and even a few public high schools, have alumni foundations and alumni associations, but Newton North has neither?

An alumni association seems like such a natural thing to have, like Brookline High. Alumni giving is also possible -- as this Boston Latin School Association webpage demonstrates.

Newton North has a huge alumni population. My class had over 600 people, and I've heard in the early 80s it was over 800. The school opened in the late 1960s, so that's a lot of alumni who have come through its doors. And whether we had a good North experience or not, I think everyone has to admit that the school had a huge impact on our social development, and for many of us, our academic, trade, or career success. I still keep in touch with some friends from North across several classes, and one thing we like to do when we run into each other is talk about sightings of other friends from North. But outside of this informal network, class-based reunions, and maybe classmates.com, there is no way to reconnect with lots of people that I knew at North. So why not an alumni association, to organize events, maintain an email list, etc.?

Talk about rebuilding or renovating Newton North makes the issue of starting an alumni fund relevant too. $1 million dollars would help a lot, would give back to the next generation of North students, would keep us involved in the school's future, and take a little bit off the tax burden that will otherwise be shouldered entirely by Newton taxpayers. A fund could help other academic programs and facilities improvements going forward, and perpetuate itself as the alumni population grows.

I'd be willing to pony up $100. Get 1,000 more alums like me, and there's $1 million.

Thoughts, anyone?

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