Notes from the alumni office, Spring 08

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Alumni director Lily Thayer Derrick

Happy summer! Another school year has passed, and what a year it was: at events large and small throughout the year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Catlin-Hillside and Gabel schools’ merger, culminating in the most successful Gambol ever, in April, and the 50th Anniversary Fête in May. Look out for anniversary photos—and class reunion shots—in the fall 2008 issue of the Caller. Can’t wait? See a sneak preview online at

Planning the 50th anniversary bash was a group effort in the true Catlin Gabel tradition. A diverse group of alumni and parents from across many eras, and both Catlin and Gabel schools, came together to share their ideas of what it means to be Catlin Gabel, and how best to celebrate the spirit of this institution. I want to thank everyone on the 50th anniversary committee, many of whom are also members of the alumni board.

According to its charter, the Catlin Gabel alumni board oversees the alumni association and supports the mission, goals, objectives, and operations of Catlin Gabel School. The alumni board has the following responsibilities:

* To serve as a communication link between alumni and the school.

* To provide and encourage a variety of volunteer and involvement opportunities in the school for alumni.

* To provide opportunities for alumni to have contact and meet with one another.

* To preserve and promote the heritage, traditions, and values of the school and to encourage loyalty toward the school among alumni.

As we conclude this special anniversary year and look toward the year to come, these responsibilities are as important as ever, if not more so. Much at Catlin Gabel hasn’t changed in 50 years (we still love our Gilbert and Sullivan, and we can’t resist frolicking in the Paddock on a beautiful afternoon). Yet much has, no doubt, changed. For starters, the way we communicate with one another, as members of an increasingly global school community, has changed fundamentally with the rise of the internet and with the increasing volume of messages we receive from all quarters of our lives.

With that in mind, Brian Jones ’88, the current alumni board president, recently sent all alumni a survey, the purpose of which was two-fold: first, to enable the alumni board to fulfill its responsibilities in a way that’s as meaningful, relevant, and useful for Catlin Gabel alumni as possible. And second, to create the first comprehensive alumni directory in eight years, and build it into a document, both virtual and tangible, that serves the way alumni communicate with one another now, and how they might want to communicate in the future.

Your feedback is invaluable. I hope you will take the time to respond to the survey and share your thoughts about it—and the alumni program as a whole—with the alumni office and members of the alumni board. If you’d like to know more about the alumni board, and how you can become more involved with alumni activities, please call me or drop by anytime.

Lily Thayer Derrick, director of alumni

P.S. It’s already time to start thinking about next fall’s alumni events. Be sure to save these dates: Thursday, October 23, for the Distinguished Alumni Awards reception, and Friday, October 24, for Homecoming