Stuyvesant Alumni Return for October 21 and 22 Reunion
The Stuyvesant Alumni Association held a reunion with tour guides from Big Sibs, ARISTA, and Red Cross reintroducing Stuyvesant alumni to their old high school.
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The Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association held a reunion on October 21 and 22 to provide Stuyvesant alumni with a chance to reconnect with the Stuyvesant community. The October 21 reunion was hosted in the current Stuyvesant building, while the October 22 event was hosted at the old Stuyvesant building (345 East 15th Street). A variety of services, including tours, food, and merch sales, were all managed by volunteers.
Almost 800 alumni from various graduating classes attended the reunions. As a whole, many perceived the event as very energetic and lively. “With my own class, it was awesome. There [were] some people that I’ve seen as recently as last week and there are some people that I haven’t seen for the last five years. I’ve been pretty active going to my reunions every five years. It’s been a great way to be in touch,” Stuyvesant alum and event organizer Diego Segalini (‘98) said.
Due to the scale of the event, ARISTA and Big Sib volunteers were in charge of greeting alumni and giving tours of both the old and new buildings. The tours of the current building happened on Saturday, while the tours of the old building were on Sunday. “[We] had like 40 volunteers and not only did they check-in, [but] they [also] did student-led tours of the building and it was a wonderful way to have the alumni connect with our students,” Segalini said.
In addition, food and drinks were offered to alumni. Student volunteers helped set up the cafeteria and refill food. While there weren’t many big complications, a few did end up causing minor disruptions to the event. “We did end up running out of plates, so people had to eat out of plastic cups,” sophomore and ARISTA volunteer Trisha Kumar said.
Overall, the reunion was considered a success among many of the alumni. Furthermore, the Alumni Association is already planning more events for later in the school year. “Next May we have a benefit for Stuyvesant, [where] we bring together alumni and friends to support Stuy,” Segalini said. “We’re honoring Arthur Blank [(‘60)]. He owns the Atlanta Falcons football team. He’s also the co-founder of Home Depot.”
At the reunion, people were able to connect with past Stuyvesant students and share stories about their high school experiences. This made some Stuyvesant students feel more connected to students who came before. “While I’ve given numerous tours at Stuyvesant for events like open houses and alumni visits, this one stood out because it focused less on Stuyvesant’s academic aspects and more on the memories of the alumni,” senior and tour guide Eugene Park said. “People were sharing fun stories dating back to 1973, and I genuinely felt like I was discovering hidden parts of Stuyvesant that I hadn’t known for the past few years. My favorite parts were when I talked to some of the Student Union Alumni or when some of the alumni and I went [memory] cube hunting [looking for their graduating class’s cube] together.”
Though many alumni have seen each other a few times since high school, they were able to reconnect with long-lost friends. “Two folks who I really am close to but I rarely get a chance to see in person because they’re actors—they came. It was really nice to see them and just hang out. It was like we saw each other yesterday even though we hadn’t actually seen each other in a little while. We’re still friends on Facebook and we chat to each other when we’re in town, but as soon as we saw each other we just hung out again as if no time had passed,” Segalini said.
The tour guides had been given scripts to use, but these did not seem to be customized for the alumni, leading guides to essentially improvise tours. “I barely used the tour script. I feel like the script made Stuyvesant feel more like a tourist attraction because a lot of the information provided was just fun facts about Stuyvesant which seemed in a way irrelevant to the alumni. The alumni were more interested in the details of teachers, about the changes in school life, and other interesting anecdotes, rather than random history facts about the school that could easily be Googled,” Park said.
Many alumni continue to support Stuyvesant to this day. Recently, brothers Alfred Lin (‘90) and Edwin Lin (‘93) donated $1 million for a new robotics lab. “[The event] was a fun experience. I think events like alumni reunions are pretty important—a lot of our facilities were funded by past alumni (like our library). And outside of the material benefits, it also fosters a sense of school spirit,” senior and ARISTA volunteer Andrew Oh said in an e-mail interview.
For many, the Stuyvesant Alumni Reunion fulfilled its goal of reintroducing Stuyvesant alumni to their old high school. Due to the event, many alumni and tourgivers were able to share stories, meet current and former students, and bond with their high school. “They definitely seemed super nostalgic and happy to be there. It was so lovely watching alumni bump into high school friends or even get to know other alumni that they hadn’t even known during their Stuyvesant years,” Park said. “I’m not sure how often the reunion takes place but I hope that [the alumni and students] were able to walk away with both renewed and new relationships.”