The journey from student to alumna or alumnus is quick. While it takes one or more years to graduate, it takes only seconds to experience the moment from when you are a student to when you are not. After a whirlwind of ceremonies, dedications, awards, recognitions, final exams, and last moments together, students depart campus as alumni. Their two familiar physical signifiers of this achievement are the hard-earned diploma and an alumni pin. If the diploma represents their effort and passion, the pin itself represents their lasting connection to our community.
Honoring a class
Traditionally, the pin is shared by the Alumni Office during Senior Brunch. Each year, the Head of School along with the alumni relations and advancement team host this special event to honor the class’s achievement and their bond.
Compared to our school’s two-hundred-year history, the alumni pin is relatively new. To help share the history, we checked in with the former Director of Alumni & Parent Relations and current Bicentennial Coordinator Cindy Buck P’01, ’05. She explains that the suggestion to add the pin came in the mid-90s from an alumna interning in the English department. Buck shares, “she felt having something symbolic like the pin would help instill school pride and spirit, as well as offering a meaningful keepsake for each graduating class.” Simple and packed with meaning, soon, the pin emblazoned with the school seal came to life. Buck notes it became an annual tradition to distribute the pin during Senior Brunch, held the day before Commencement.
After receiving the pins, the graduates wear them proudly as part of their graduation attire. It represents a common bond for their class as they begin their lives as alumni, whether worn discreetly on their clothes or boldly on their gowns and sashes.
This year, with our campus open to not only families but all visitors for Commencement, the pin will serve among the crowd with alumnae and alumni present as a common connection. During senior brunch, Alumni Relations Coordinator Alison Kirk ’90 shared with the graduates, “Stay connected to your friends and to us, it is one of the most important things I have done in my life. Know that you have a tie that binds you all together—Husky pride runs deep! This is your home, and we will always be here.” As the seniors listened on, Kirk continued, “Today, we give you this alumni pin as a symbol of your connection with New Hampton School. You are officially part of an alumni family with over 7,000+ people from 72 countries and all 50 states. Stay in touch so we can help you connect with this amazing group of individuals for internships, summer jobs, conversations about career paths, and much more. Wear this pin proudly on your graduation gown on Saturday for Commencement with your classmates. This is a moment to commemorate.”
Passing on a tradition
As the pin started many years after the founding of our school, the pin itself is something not yet common to all alumni. To help bridge the difference, the 50th Reunion Class members receive the alumni pin during their milestone celebration. For them, the pin may symbolize reconnecting to their alma mater, their classmates, and to generations of alumni since their own graduation. We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2022, celebrating all of their achievements, and following their steps forward into their new lives as graduates of New Hampton School.