INSIGHT: Reconnecting with Alumni

By Bart Gummere, Assoc. Head of School for College Counseling & Alumni Relations

People love this holiday period for many reasons. I’ve always thought Thanksgiving is the best. All the food and no gifts. In a school, I love the period from late November all the way through New Year’s Day. During the three weeks of class between the breaks, we welcome many young alumni back onto campus. Home from college, our former students are eager to reconnect. They come back to familiar spaces and wander our halls. It is telling of the experience they had while here and the memories they carry long after they leave.

Just yesterday, I ran into five alums from the class of 2020. They rejoiced in how happy they were to see Winter Wars still existing. The same areas they once controlled now decorated by this year’s classes. They were bubbling with energy, and it wasn’t until well into the conversation I realized they’d not been able to be back in this building until this day. One of them said with genuine sadness, “I haven’t been in these halls since they day we were all sent home.”

It is hard to put a value on this level of community. Talk to many grown adults and they’ve never been back to their high school. Maybe never even really thought about it. Our alums return in droves, and it isn’t just the free food! They share their experiences openly and happily. They eagerly seek out their former teachers. They simply feel good to be back in familiar, comfortable surroundings. As we celebrate the return and reestablishment of community at EPS, this is one especially meaningful to me.