In May, Bank Street hosted its second annual Alumni Weekend, welcoming back alumni from Bank Street Graduate School of Education and Bank Street School for Children for two days of special events. Organized by the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO), the event offered an opportunity for graduates to reconnect with old classmates, learn about new initiatives at the College, and participate in a variety of learning opportunities.
To kick off the weekend, the Bank Street College Alumni Association (BSCAA) hosted a ceremony for its annual Alumni Awards, a tradition that recognizes outstanding alumni for their contributions and dedication to the field of education. Five awardees were honored at the ceremony, which brought together the winners, their families and friends, and Bank Street alumni, faculty, and staff to celebrate their accomplishments.
This year’s honorees included Ann-Marie Mott, GSE ’79, ’72 (Distinguished Service Award), Lesley Koplow, GSE ’79 (Distinguished Service Award), Dinah Volk, GSE ’73 (Recognition Award), and Hilary Woodward, GSE ’11 (Recognition Award). The Ida Karp Award, which recognizes a graduate or non-graduate for their consistent and outstanding dedication to Bank Street College, was presented to Graduate School Dean Cecelia Traugh, who is retiring after eight years of exemplary service to the Bank Street community.
Following the ceremony, guests gathered for the Tar Beach Reunion, where they mingled over refreshments on Bank Street’s outdoor play deck.
“Alumni Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to bring together Bank Street graduates from across the country, allowing them to reconnect with each other and re-invigorate their connection to the College,” said Eric Gutierrez, Director of Alumni Relations, DARO. “We’re incredibly proud of the work our alumni do every day, and we look forward to seeing our community come together again next spring for this exciting new annual tradition.”
Graduate School alumni participated in a range of other activities throughout the weekend, such as meet-and-greet sessions hosted by the Alumni Tutoring Network and Museum Education Program and a reception for alumni of color, which provided a space for alumni, faculty, and students of color to connect and share their perspectives around Bank Street’s ongoing commitment to create a diverse and supportive learning community. Many guests also attended a learning forum by Alvin Irby, GSE ’09, Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer of Barbershop Books, who shared more about his work cultivating the reading identity of Black boys and leveraging technology to design strengths-based programming and assessments.
Additionally, the Graduate School held a ceremony to celebrate the retirement of two distinguished faculty members: Stan Chu, GSE ’72, and Peggy McNamara, GSE ’78. The event served as a tribute to their exceptional careers, highlighting their longstanding dedication to the field of education, their invaluable support for students, and the positive impact they have had on Bank Street.
School for Children alumni participated in several activities as well during the weekend, including a celebratory basketball game and reunion events. Graduates from 1980 through 2013 enjoyed networking and reconnecting with classmates at the 21+ Reunion. The Young Alumni Reunion welcomed graduates from between 2015 through 2022 celebrating milestone years. It was a particularly memorable year for the Class of 2019 as they concluded their high school careers and for the Class of 2018 as they celebrated their five-year reunion and reconnected with their favorite teachers.
Additional programming was open to both Graduate School and School for Children graduates alike, including a tour of Bank Street as well as interactive professional development workshops on topics like art; climate justice; and science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), which were facilitated by Bank Street faculty and staff.
Next year, Alumni Weekend will take place on May 16-18, 2024.