The Stage is Set to Launch New TPS Alumni Council
A Conversation with TPS Board of Trustees President, Jonathan Whitney
Q: The TPS Alumni network has really begun to take root and is growing strong, gaining more participants every year. How has this been possible?
Whitney: It’s been a wonderful thing to witness this growth. We’ve tried for many years to gain traction in the alumni community, but it was not until some key factors came together in recent years that we’ve truly been able to reconnect with this important segment in meaningful ways. Two driving forces have enabled this growth: First, the appointment of Fiona Duffy as our official Alumni Coordinator. She’s been outstanding in her leadership and communication with this otherwise fragmented group. And next, the onset of online social networking, which includes interactive tools like the new TPS website, email blasts and Facebook. Utilizing new technology has made reconnecting with alumni much more efficient and productive.
Q: What does this growing TPS alumni community mean to the school’s Board of Trustees?
Whitney: It means a great deal to the Board, and not just in the obvious areas -- like marketing and philanthropy, which are certainly important. But, it is also important in ways that can truly influence the educational experience that we produce for our students and families. The more connected we are with our alumni, the more opportunity we have to learn about the choices, successes and stumbling blocks they’ve faced beyond the walls of TPS. By better understanding this as a Board, we’re able to enhance our programs in ways that are truly relevant.
Q: What does the Board envision as the next step for TPS alumni?
Whitney: We’re proud to say that the Board has just established a new group that gives this growing alumni network some legs. It’s called the TPS Alumni Council. No such group has formally existed before at TPS, and we know that there’s no better time to do it than now. The Alumni Council will meet 2-3 times annually, and its mission is to help TPS remain connected to its alumni community, and to explore new ways to renew alumni relationships through spirit, activity and philanthropy. We’re very excited to bring this idea forward now, particularly as the interest among our alumni is so high.
Q: How will the new Alumni Council achieve its goals?
Whitney: Much of that remains in the hands of the Alumni Council itself. However, recognizing that it’s a newly-formed group, we’ve set a rough framework within which these goals might be facilitated. Initially, alumni coordinator Fiona Duffy will organize meetings and the agenda for the year. Generally, we hope to update our alumni database, coordinate 2-3 events throughout the year (both on and off-site), and organize a formal alumni connection to the new Head of School, who will arrive in 2011. There’s even talk of re-launching an annual “Green vs. Gold” competition among our alumni, and establishing an annual “Alumni Fund” that supports gifted or special achievement programs within the school. No doubt, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but it’s a talented and motivated group and I know they will accomplish a great deal.
Q: When will the Alumni Council begin its work?
Whitney: The framework is already in place; the Board has approved it, and we’ve targeted individuals whom we believe will bring energy, enthusiasm and talent to the table. We plan to hold the first meeting of the Alumni Council in the fall 2010, and activities will begin immediately from that point forward.
Q: How do interested alumni get involved?
Whitney: I suspect there will be a lot of activity that results from the TPS Alumni Council, and many ways that our alumni can become involved in this work. The first step for anyone interested is to get in touch with Fiona Duffy.