The first Alumni Council meeting of the school year was held on September 19 in the Kurani Gym. The special guest at this meeting was Laurie Gruhn, assistant head of school and head of Lower School. In her report to the group, she spoke about the smooth transition to a new Head, the start of a new school year and plans for the future. Ms. Gruhn is in her 19th year at Browning, and the Alumni Association was thrilled to have her there to kick off the meeting. Reports from Alumni Association President Andy Sandberg ’01, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan, Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon and the alumni committee chairs were also presented. In addition, another major focus of the meeting concerned alumni giving to the 2015-16 Annual Fund; the Alumni Council reached 100% participation once again, and the Alumni Association as a whole reached 19% participation. The Council wishes to remind all alumni that these meetings are open to all members of the Alumni Association; one need not be serving on the Council in order to attend. Please reach out to Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan if you are interested in receiving Council meeting updates and reminders. Thanks to all who participated in this first meeting of the year! Please click here to view photos.
The Alumni Association hosted an Open House with Browning's sixth Head of School John Botti on September 12. This event offered the alumni community its first chance to meet Mr. Botti, who began his tenure on July 1. More than 50 guests attended. Prior to the start of the event, the Alumni Council enjoyed a private half-hour meet-and-greet with the School's new Head. President of the Alumni Association Andy Sandberg ’01 gave a thorough introduction of Mr. Botti, who spoke about his excitement in joining the Browning community and in getting to know the alumni. The Alumni Association wholeheartedly welcomes Mr. Botti and his family! Please click here to view photos.
On Thursday, June 23, a Young Alumni Mixer was held for the Classes of 2001-2012 at Hudson Terrace in New York City. Fifteen independent schools participated in this event: Browning, Brearley, Chapin, Collegiate, Dalton, Fieldston, Hewitt, Horace Mann, Marymount, Nightingale-Bamford, Riverdale, Sacred Heart, St. Bernard's, Spence and Trinity. Special thanks to Collegiate for organizing. The Alumni Association wishes everyone a great summer! Please click here to view photos.
The Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association was held on Monday, May 23, in the Lower Gym at Browning. After having served the maximum five years as president of the Alumni Association, Michael Beys '89 presided over his last meeting. The nearly 40 alumni in attendance plus Headmaster Clement, Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan saluted his excellent leadership with a champagne toast. A new slate of officers was proposed by the Nominating Committee and voted in by the majority. Congratulations to: Andy Sandberg '01, who was elected president; Stuart Orenstein '00, elected vice president; John Moran '97, elected secretary; and Richard Helgason, elected treasurer. In addition to the election, a full Alumni Council meeting took place. Kelly West, director of Lower School admission, was the special guest and provided information on the 2015-16 admission year, marketing efforts and the latest enrollment snapshot. Further, committee reports were given, an archival video about Browning in the '40s and '50s was shown, recent springtime events were re-capped and all were reminded about the upcoming close of the 2015-16 Annual Fund on June 30 (click here to support this important effort). The Alumni Association wishes the entire Browning community a wonderful summer, and looks forward to seeing everyone back at school in the fall! Please click here to view photos from the meeting.
On Wednesday, April 20, Headmaster Clement and Alumni Association President Michael Beys '89 hosted Browning's Class of 2016 at a nearby private club for the annual Form VI Alumni Association Breakfast. As is tradition at this event, the senior class was formally inducted into the Alumni Association and presented with engraved money clips to commemorate their upcoming graduation. The boys had a chance to hear from the following officers and Alumni Council members: Mr. Beys '89, Vice President of the Alumni Association Stuart Orenstein '00, Secretary of the Alumni Association John Moran '97 and Alumni Council Member John Hutzler '86. Alumni faculty members Mr. Pelz '71, Coach West '92 and Mr. Katz '04 also spoke about staying involved beyond graduation. The Alumni Association looks forward to having these 26 new members officially join its ranks in June! Please click here to view photos.
On Friday, April 8, more than 180 alumni and guests returned for Browning's annual Alumni Reunion, a full day of festivities. Alumni from the Classes of 1950 through 2013 attended along with their guests, as well as a number of faculty and staff. The Alumni Association's highest distinction, the Charles W. Cook '38 Alumnus Achievement Award, was presented to Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner, Jr. '71 during the evening reception.
The day began with an Alumni Career Panel featuring four alumni: Benjamin D'Innocenzo '06 (Environmental Protection Agency), Max Levai '06 (Marlborough Chelsea), Alexander Sheridan '04 (Riverdale Country School) and Alexandros Theodorou '93 (Virgin America). These alumni spoke to Upper School boys about their lives after Browning, shared words of wisdom and advice, and proudly discussed how well their Browning education has served them. They also expressed gratitude to a number of faculty members who still work at Browning. Following the Career Panel, the annual True Grytte Society and Consecutive-Year Donor Luncheon was held for the 10th year in a row at a nearby private club. The highlight of the luncheon was a special performance from the Upper School Chorus, led by Music Department Chair David Prestigiacomo. Please click here to watch.
The main Reunion event, a cocktail reception held in the Lower Gym, saw a record turnout of alumni and guests. The Stephen S. Perry '76 Memorial Class Representative Awards were presented to three outstanding alumni: Sanford Pelz '71 (Most Outstanding Class Representative), Justin Kingson '98 (Most Outstanding Class Correspondent) and William Selden '65 (Most Outstanding Class Fundraiser). Following the Alumnus Achievement Award presentation to Mr. Gardner, Headmaster Clement was made an Honorary Member of the Alumni Association in recognition of his final year as head. President Michael Beys '89 led the special presentation and was joined on stage by past presidents Jeffrey Landes '83 and Richard Weaver '75.
Throughout the day, alumni visited classes and toured the newly renovated facilities. A special archival display in the lobby was also popular. Please click here to view photos from all 2016 Alumni Reunion events. The Alumni Association is grateful to the many alumni, faculty and staff who made this event possible!
On Monday, April 4, the Alumni Council hosted its April meeting in the Lower Gym. These meetings have proved so popular that the Wilson Room is no larger large enough to accommodate all attendees! The special guest for the evening was Headmaster Clement, who proudly reported on the state of the School and what he will miss when he leaves Browning at the end of June. Alumni Association President Michael Beys '89 praised Mr. Clement's leadership and led the group in a standing ovation for him. The Alumni Association is gearing up for its biggest event of the year, Alumni Reunion, on Friday, April 8. It's not too late to register, and you can do so by clicking here. To view photos from Monday's meeting, please click here.
In February, Browning hosted a regional alumni reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. The event was held in conjunction with the National Association of Independent Schools annual conference attended by Headmaster Clement and Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon. Browning’s incoming Head of School John Botti and former Browning administrator Will Moseley were also at the conference and reception. Several of our Bay Area alumni stopped by, and it was great to see our friends on the West Coast! Click here to view photos.
Browning's Alumni Council hosted the 8th Annual Alumni Note-a-thon in the Wilson Room on Monday, February 22. A record number of 40 volunteers participated in personalizing more than 850 letters to classmates. This year's correspondence focused on promoting the upcoming Alumni Reunion on April 8 and also encouraged support of the Annual Fund. An Alumni Council meeting was held during this event, too. We are grateful to all of our volunteers who participated in one of the Alumni Association's most important efforts! View photos.
On Friday, January 22, Browning and Marymount co-hosted an alumni function for the fourth year in a row. The evening began at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where guests had the opportunity to enjoy student-guided tours of "Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom." Eleven Marymount students prepared extensively to lead these tours, with guidance from their art history teacher, Ms. Kate Carcaterra. Browning's Key Society students also turned out to support the event, assisting with check in at the Met, including distribution of tour guide handouts and tickets. The Met portion of the event was followed by a lively reception across the street at Marymount School, where close to 100 guests enjoyed wine, cheese and desserts just hours before Winter Storm Jonas came to town. Browning's Alumni Association extends a very special thanks to Marymount for their partnership in this event! Please click here for photos.
The annual Alumni Basketball Game was held in Browning's Upper Gym on Thursday, December 17. Alumni from the Classes of 1991-2014 attended for an evening of spirited competition and friendly rivalry. Teams were split up based on age, and the younger alums won the game by a score of 75-63. Afterward the group enjoyed dinner in the cafeteria. Keep an eye out for an in-depth account of this game in the next Buzzer, written by Director of Athletics Andrew West '92. Special thanks to the Athletic Department for co-hosting this event with the Alumni Association! View photos.
On Friday, December 11, the Parents Association hosted Browning's annual Holiday Party at the School. Hundreds of alumni, parents, trustees, faculty and friends attended for a festive evening of drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The School was transformed with outstanding artwork by Browning students across all grades. This year's theme, "The Mellow Pad," was inspired by painters influenced by jazz. Featured artists ranged from the early 20th century to the contemporary time period and included Stuart Davis, Alma Thomas, Romare Bearden, Jackson Pollock, Elizabeth Murray and Stanley Whitney. A live jazz bland played throughout the evening, and another highlight was the photo station in the lobby where guests could have their picture taken with Headmaster Clement. This event is always a favorite of the Alumni Association, and this year more than 100 alumni and their guests attended. The Alumni Association thanks the Parents Association for a great evening, and wishes the entire Browning community a wonderful holiday season! Please click here to view photos.
On Tuesday, November 24, Browning hosted the annual Young Alumni Reunion, a Thanksgiving tradition. Young alumni from the Classes of 2007 through 2015 returned to attend the 28th Annual Thanksgiving Assembly held at Christ Church, where they were brought on stage and recognized by Headmaster Clement and Director of College Guidance Mr. Pelz '71. Each alumnus introduced himself and told the audience how long he attended Browning, as well as which college or university he went on to attend. Following the assembly, a reception for the more than 20 alumni attendees, as well as faculty and Form VI, was held in the Lower Gym. The Alumni Association is grateful to all who helped make this event possible, and hopes the entire Browning community had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Please click here to view photos.
On October 29, the Alumni Association welcomed back past parent Jim Grant as the featured guest of this year’s Class of 2000 Distinguished Speaker Series. Mr. Grant is the founder and editor of “Grant’s Interest Rate Observer,” a twice-monthly journal of the investment markets, founded in 1983. “Grant’s” as it is more commonly known to its subscribers, has an editorial mission “to see the present more clearly and to squint into the future more imaginatively,” while striving “to uncover good ideas and to expose bad ones.” A number of devoted readers of “Grant’s” returned to Browning for this special event.
Upon arrival at Browning, Mr. Grant first spent time with a Form V student who interviewed him for the Grytte, the student-run newspaper. He then spoke with a group of alumni donors in the Wilson Room. This intimate roundtable discussion touched on various topics ranging from the recession, inflation and the Federal Reserve to the shipping industry, the Financial Times and journalism today.
Following the roundtable, alumni, parents, trustees and friends gathered in the Lower Gym to hear Mr. Grant’s keynote address, “A Kind Word for Money.” Headmaster Clement welcomed the audience and first introduced Mr. Grant’s son, Philip Grant ’00, who is a trader for CF Global Trading and writes a daily re-cap on the U.S. markets. Phil then proudly introduced his dad, who was equally proud and also honored to be back at his son’s alma mater in this capacity. Mr. Grant’s humor, wisdom and thoughtfulness were reflected both in his keynote address and during the Q&A session with the audience, which was followed by a reception for all guests. Please click here to view photos.
The first Alumni Council meeting of the 2015-16 school year was held in the Wilson Room on Monday, September 21, with a total of 30 guests in attendance (a record turnout!). Prior to the meeting, alumni were given the chance to tour the newly renovated facilities.
The meeting began with a presentation from Parents Association President Lisa Elson, who spoke about PA initiatives and what to expect for Headmaster Clement's final year at Browning. Following Ms. Elson's remarks, Alumni Association President Michael Beys '89 appointed 25 members to the 2015-16 Alumni Council and gave an update on the Head Search Committee's work. Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan and Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon also gave reports to the group. Highlights included the record year of alumni participation in the Annual Fund, which reached an all-time high of 324 donors; the Alumni Council once again achieved 100% participation in this effort. Further, the Charles W. Cook '38 Alumnus Achievement Award Committee announced that Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner '71 will be honored in 2016.
The next Alumni Council meeting will be held on Monday, October 19, and all alumni (regardless of whether or not one serves on the Council) are invited and encouraged to participate. The Alumni Association is looking forward to another great year! View photos here.
On Thursday, June 25, a mixer was held for young alumni from the Classes of 2000-2011 at Rooftop 760 in New York City. Twelve schools participated in this event: Browning, Brearley, Chapin, Collegiate, Dalton, Fieldston, Horace Mann, Nightingale-Bamford, Riverdale, Sacred Heart, Spence and Trinity. More than 700 guests attended. Special thanks to Collegiate for organizing. The Alumni Association wishes everyone a great summer! Please click here to view the photos.
During graduation exercises on June 10 at Christ Church, Form VI boys, parents and the entire Browning community gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2015. Headmaster Clement, President of the Board of Trustees Jim Chanos and Upper School Head Jim Reynolds presented diplomas to each member of the graduating class. Mr. Clement remarked upon the accomplishments of every Form VI Browning boy during his years at the School. Basil Chalabi, Class of 2015 President, also offered parting remarks and best wishes to his fellow graduates. He was pleased to note that the senior class reached 100% participation in their class gift effort, raising a total of $2,274.05. These funds are allocated toward restoring the conference table in the Cook Room.
Guest speaker was 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee P’15, a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. Ms. Gbowee offered inspirational and uplifting stories to the graduating class, imbued with wisdom, humor and a zest for life. She is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, founder of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, and co-founder and former executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa.
Ms. Gbowee’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a non-violent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003, is chronicled in her memoir, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” and in the documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” produced by Abigail Disney. In addition, Ms. Gbowee is the Newsweek Daily Beast’s Africa columnist. She holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.) and a doctor of laws from Rhodes University in South Africa and University of Alberta in Canada. Ms. Gbowee was honored as a flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is the mother of six children, including Arthur Mensah ’15.
Congratulations to the entire graduating class and their families! Click here to view photos and watch a video of Ms. Gbowee's speech.
On Tuesday, May 19, the Grytte staff had the opportunity to visit the CNN offices in the Time Warner Center. Browning alumnus Lex Haris '88, executive editor of CNNMoney and 2015 Recipient of Browning's Charles W. Cook '38 Alumnus Achievement Award, arranged the tour in coordination with Grytte Advisor Jeremy Katz '04 and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan. The boys were able to watch a live filming, visit a control room and enjoy an intimate round table discussion with Mr. Haris and his colleague, Patrick Gillespie, an economy and markets reporter. Mr. Gillespie said the students "all asked very thoughtful questions and were very well-spoken." Even Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, passed by and said hello to the group. One of the youngest Grytte boys remarked, "It was a great experience to hear from people that have been in our shoes before. They had amazing advice and insight on working at a company such as CNN." Please click here to view the photos.
On Wednesday, April 22, Headmaster Clement and Alumni Association President Michael Beys '89 hosted Browning's Class of 2015 at the annual Form VI Alumni Association Breakfast. Each year at this event, the senior class is formally inducted into Browning's Alumni Association and presented with engraved money clips to commemorate their upcoming graduation. Attendees and speakers at this breakfast included: Alumni Association President Michael Beys '89, Trustee and Former Alumni Association President Jeffrey Landes '83, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz '71, Director of Athletics Andrew West '92, Director of Communications Design Jeremy Katz '04, Headmaster Clement, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan, Director of Institutional Advancement James Simon and Head of Upper School James Reynolds. The Alumni Association is looking forward to having these 25 new members join its ranks in June! Please click here to view photos.
On Friday, April 17, more than 130 alumni and guests returned to Browning for the annual Alumni Reunion. Alumni spanning seven decades, from the Classes of 1950 through 2013, attended along with a number of current and former faculty. The Alumni Association's highest distinction, the Charles W. Cook '38 Alumnus Achievement Award, was presented at the evening reception to Lex Haris '88, executive editor of CNNMoney. Prior to the reception, Xander Paumgarten '90 was inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame. Earlier in the day, the entire Upper School had the opportunity to hear from an Alumni Career Panel focused on financial services. This year's panelists included Lex Haris '88, Hal Lehr '85, Graig Springer '98 and Nicholas Versandi '01, who all spent time with Browning's Finance Club following the Panel. At noon, the annual invitation-only True Grytte Society & Consecutive-Year Donors Luncheon was held for the ninth year in a row at a nearby private club. Three new members were inducted and a select group of alumni donors was recognized for giving for more than 10 (and in some cases more than 30) consecutive years to the Annual Fund. Please click here to view photos from all of the Alumni Reunion events and a short video highlighting the entire day. To support Browning with a gift to the Annual Fund, please click here. Special thanks to all who helped make this year's Alumni Reunion a success!