Can any public high school alumni association in the country match one of its private counterparts? It’s like comparing apples and oranges since the dynamics behind the organizations couldn’t be more different.
Private school alumni associations are tasked with raising millions of dollars for their respective alma mater and many are asked for generous in-kind donations of goods and services, too. The private organizations are also needed to help with recruitment of new students and even faculty members.
The reality is that without a productive alumni association, few private high schools could continue functioning. The organizations typically host high end social events that frequently raise enormous sums on money and they aggressively seek to keep graduates in the proverbial fold.
Public high schools are largely funded by property taxes and state aid. Students come from the community where the high schools are situated. There is little imperative behind a public high school alumni association to extensively organize graduates and raise funds.
That said, Huntington High School’s alumni association is looking to develop itself into one of the best such organizations in the country. With a tradition dating back to 1862 and with potential members achieving success in every conceivable walk of life, it seems entirely possible that the small group of graduates working behind the scenes now could very well be laying the groundwork for something quite special.
Huntington Alumni Assn. President Tom DiGiacomo.
(Darin Reed photo.)
If the pride they feel for their alma mater is any guide, the core group of Huntington Alumni Association members working to develop the organization will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. But just what is their goal? Simple; to get as many graduates of the high school involved as they can.
While every graduate has naturally moved on with their life, many would welcome an opportunity to reestablish a connection with their alma mater. Many graduates have moved far away from their hometown. Does that make it impossible to get back involved with their old high school? The answer in one word is “No.”
Led by its President Thomas DiGiacomo, a member of the Class of 1979, the Huntington Alumni Association has been holding monthly meetings at the high school, developing ideas to move the organization forward and build it into something that will make a difference in the lives of current and former students.
The group presents alumni cups and scholarships each June to a small number of graduating seniors, but raising enough money to cover expenses related to its awards program, is just one of its ongoing concerns. The organization would like to have a much greater presence in the life of students and the community at large than just a few minutes on the auditorium stage each spring.
Considering it has had well over 50,000 graduates since that first class of six was handed diplomas in 1862, Huntington High School should have an alumni association that is the envy of its peers across the country.
Class of 1983 member Emily Rogan is working with the core group of alumni members on plans to dramatically move the organization forward. Current senior Sarah James is interning with the group and collaborating with Mrs. Rogan on some projects, including an initiative that is expected to result in an updated online presence.
Huntington alums have shined in every walk of life. They have gone into outer space with NASA, worked in the White House, served on state and federal benches, been inventors, scientists, educators, Fortune 500 CEO’s, university chancellors, professors, professional athletes, technology executives, furniture makers, clergy members, songwriters and musicians, photographers and pursued every other possible career path.
Fully developed, there are few organizations that could possibly match Huntington High School’s network of alumni. Imagine a situation where current students could be mentored by alums who are among the leaders in their respective fields. Where alums could provide seniors with college and career counseling.
No matter how far they’ve traveled from home or where they’ve set down new roots, Huntington graduates still feel remarkable pride for their alma mater. In this age of technology, where a click puts you in contact with someone on the other side of the world, Huntington alums have never been able to stay closer to their high school or to each other.
The Huntington Alumni Association hopes to bring together under its umbrella as many high school graduates as it can. Grads can be involved as much or as little in the organization as they so desire.
Visit to learn more about the organization or to become a member. Not interested in membership just yet? You can still submit an e-mail address online to join the Huntington Alumni Association’s electronic mailing list.
The organization’s website also includes information about upcoming class reunions and there’s even digital copies of several yearbooks with more years planned.
Send a message to [email protected] for more information.