A Letter From Curtis Odom
Dear Fellow Alumni,
I am excited to share with you the first ever Classical High School Alumni Association Annual Report. We are launching this annual communication to coincide with the 175th year of Classical High School. The publishing of this annual report is the official kickoff of a yearlong celebration, with a focus on the themes of “History, Legacy, Diversity and Family”, culminating with our grand alumni evening event on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the Hope Club in Providence.
This first annual report comes at a time of key transition for our organization and for our alma mater, Classical High School. You will see that in this last year we have accomplished a number of key initiatives, either proposed by the board of directors, or initiated because of input from our members. Going forward, this annual report will be our means of reaching out to share with you our year in review. We invite you to take a moment to evaluate our successes over the past year, and to become familiar with the areas on which we will focus in the year ahead. The Classical High School Alumni Association supports Classical High School by building and maintaining relationships between alumni and community members and by raising funds for both school and association activities.
In many ways, this last year was a new beginning for us as an organization. During these financially difficult times, the board — with substantial input from our members — adopted a new business model that moves the association away from an over-dependence on annual fund donation revenue to focus now also on targeted philanthropy and the growth of our endowment fund. While this three-tiered focus on philanthropy is a departure from our past, it helps to assure the association’s continued existence. Your alumni time and money provide a bridge between the funding needs of the school and the funds given by the city of Providence, in order to provide the best education for the children of Classical. The association plans to offer events that appeal to more of our alumni, in order to provide numerous opportunities for alumni to give of their time, as well as hopefully to inspire our alumni to contribute financially where they can.
An event of particular Purple Pride is Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s officially declaring March 20, 2018, as “Classical Day”, to celebrate Classical High School’s turning 175 years old this year. Founded in 1843, Classical High School is one of the oldest public high schools in the United States and one of the six oldest public high schools in New England. On March 20th, students, alumni, faculty, city and state officials, members of the school board, and members of the community will gather at Classical High School for an assembly where a proclamation by Mayor Elorza will be read. This will be followed by the unveiling of a plaque from the Classical High School Alumni Association to commemorate our benefactors through the years. Later that same day, the Rhode Island General Assembly will issue a proclamation at the State House. We hope to see many familiar and many new alumni faces that day.
As you read our annual report, I hope it will remind you of our recent successes and will energize you for the future as you envision “loyalty in action” toward the mission of the Classical High School Alumni Association for 2018. For those of you who have tirelessly committed time, energy, and finances to the success of this organization, I thank you. For the many of you who are new, I welcome you to your association. I look forward to being of service to all of you as president in this exciting year of 2018 as we work together to “Keep Classical Strong”.
Dr. Curtis Odom ’90