The Urban School Alumni Association BLUESNOTES
blues notes
  May 4, 2016
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Inaugural Sophomore Career Shadow Days
Last month, with the help of many generous Urban alums, we launched our first-ever Sophomore Career Shadow Days. Sophomores traveled throughout the Bay Area (and as far north as Sacramento!), visiting different organizations and meeting with alums and other Urban friends to learn about careers in our community and hear stories about various career paths. Students chose from myriad options: local and state politics, business, technology, film, design, music, environment and sustainability, science, medicine and more.

It was an incredible opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of the high school journey and explore their passions more deeply, while meeting and connecting with some truly wonderful Urban alums! Here are some examples of what the students had to say about the experience:

The work on the Bigger Picture campaign struck me as so creative and compassionate, especially in how it draws attention to an often overlooked issue. It opened up a whole new world to me, in terms of turning ideals/concepts into concrete action. - Zachary N. (’18)

It is OK not to know what I want to do when I leave Urban. - Riley C. (’18)

I really loved understanding how designers worked together for many different projects and seeing what kind of things you do. I also loved your dog as it sat on me. - Nina C. ('18)

We are so grateful to all the alums who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with Urban students, give them hands-on learning experiences and share their perspectives and advice. Thank you again to Ariane Burwell (’03), Torbin Bullock (’89), Sarah Carvill (’02), Brittni Chicuata (’04), Jared Dowell (’99), Sarah Fine (’01), Jeremy Frank (99), Mike Gast (’98), Kai Haley (’90), Miles Hoffman (’98), Mollie Hudson (’08), John Irwin (’02), Kai Jaffe (’95), Jason Kibbey (’96), Maggy Krell (’97), Adriana Fracchia Leigh (’00), Willie Moses (’02), Eve Myers (’05), David Noyola (’00), Sami Perez (’13), David Ruff (’95), Ole Schell (’93), Jenny Schuman (’01), Tirien Steinbach (’88), Erica Tringale (’99) and Eva Valenti (’08).

For photos of some of these wonderful visits, please click here.

If you are interested in serving as a career resource to our students and young alums we would love to hear from you! Please click here and let us know about your work. Thank you in advance!

Southern California Reunion
Urban is headed to LA and it's not too late to RSVP! We’ll be enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at The Velvet Lounge in the historic Culver Hotel on Saturday, May 7, from 6 - 8 pm. Special guests Mark Salkind (’70), LeRoy Votto, Jonathan Howland and Charlotte Worsley are flying down for the evening and are looking forward to seeing you. This event is open to all Urban alums and their guests. For more information see the Alumni Events page of our website. RSVP or email with questions.

Second Annual Alumni Teach-In
Urban's Dean of Equity and Inclusion Clarke Weatherspoon and History Department Chair Rebecca Shapiro are developing an educational session designed specifically for members of our alumni community on Saturday, June 4, at 10 am, at Urban. Refreshments will be served. RSVP here and stay tuned for more information.

Alumni Blues Lounge Update and Hard Hat Tours!

Construction on the new Academic and Athletics Center and Alumni Blues Lounge is moving along quickly, and the front of the building now looks very much like the rendering! If you would like to join us for a hardhat tour of the active construction site, please email usWe currently have openings for tours on Thursday, June 23 and 30, at 4 pm. (Please note that you are welcome to join us for refreshments afterwards, and that tours take approximately 15 minutes.) 

From Mark Salkind ('70): Urban Has a New Logo!
It is with great pleasure that I announce Urban’s new visual identity. After more than 30 years with our previous logo, we believed it was time for a new look and feel that speaks to who we are today. As you know, next year Urban celebrates its 50th anniversary. The school has evolved significantly over a half a century, yet our core educational approach – teaching students how to think, not what to think – has remained the same, and indeed, has become even stronger over time. Our new logo reflects who we are in 2016 and more fully represents our dynamic future.

Our new logo is meant to convey confidence, trust, experience and vibrancy. We’ve heard many positive analogies already: the layering of one year upon the other in terms of the learning process; a visual representation of our new campus and its three buildings (performing arts center still to come!); the interconnectedness of the U speaks to the concept of connections that are core to the Urban experience; the several shades of blue show that there is more than one way to be an Urban Blue. We’d love to hear if you have a different idea of what the new logo means to you.

Over the remainder of the school year and throughout the summer we will be updating all our printed materials, the Urban website, stationery, social media and UrbanWear with our new logo. There will also be a modified 50th anniversary version, which you’ll see this summer through next year, as we celebrate this very important milestone in the history of our school. Please note that the Urban athletics logo will continue to be used for our growing sports teams, and the UrbanX Labs logo will be used to brand this very important program at Urban. If you would like to see Urban’s new family of logos and learn more about the process, please click here. And thank you for your support.

Watch Your Mailboxes for Urban's 50th Anniversary!
Save-the-Date postcards have gone out to our alumni community for Urban’s 50th Anniversary and Reunion Weekend, November 5 and 6. Please email us with your address if you did not receive one. Decade reunions for alums in the classes of ’06, ’96, ’86 and ’76 are planned for November 4. Let us know if you are interested in helping to plan a decade celebration for your class. For more information click here and stay tuned for more information!

Urban Alumni Reflect on the Importance of a College Major
Last winter, two of our current juniors and Urban Legend reporters interviewed nine alums from graduating years 1988 - 2012 and wrote this piece to offer some wisdom into how college majors really play out. Once again, current students love to hear from former Urban students about their pathsThank you, alums, for sharing your time and insights! 

from the alumni council

From the Alumni Council
Last school year I had the honor of serving as the fundraising chair of Urban’s Alumni Council and helping with Urban’s Alumni Challenge for its new Academic and Athletics Center. Recognizing the importance of the Alumni Challenge, my wife Carmen and I made the largest gift we had ever given to Urban, joining ~330 of our fellow alums to raise over $300,000 for an Alumni Blues Lounge in the new building – a historic gesture for Urban from its alumni community. Construction of the Alumni Blues Lounge is coming along rapidly, and I can’t wait to celebrate with you all this fall when it opens. Thank you again to everyone who participated!

Today, Carmen and I are pleased to make our yearly contribution to Urban’s Alumni Annual Fund. Like other independent schools, Urban’s Annual Fund accounts for nearly 10 percent of its operating budget, supporting its teachers, programs and students, including its robust financial aid program that benefits nearly one in every three of these talented and deserving Urban students. I am inspired that 100% of Urban’s faculty and staff have supported this year’s Annual Fund, demonstrating their belief in the importance of an Urban education. With that in mind, our gift this year is in honor of the teachers who pushed me to work hard, think critically and pursue my passions. 
I hope you will consider making a gift of any amount to Urban's 2015-16 Alumni Annual Fund today. Alums in the Classes of 2009 - 2015 are invited to make or renew  gifts to their Class Endowment Fund.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Go Blues!

Jared Dowell (’99)
Alumni Council Vice President

alumni spotlight

Nick Coley (’89): Nick’s first solo show at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery in Fort Mason runs May 14-July 21. Alums and their guests are welcome to attend the opening on Wednesday, May 18, from 5 – 7- pm. Learn more about Nick’s work here.

Sam Reider (’07): This month, Sam’s band, Silver City Bound (formerly the Amigos) will be traveling to Azerbaijan to do concerts and workshops on behalf of the U.S. Department of State's arts envoy program. While in Azerbaijan, the band will collaborate with local musicians and perform at America Days, a high-profile festival organized by the embassy that also includes appearances by a US chef and DJ. On their way to Azerbaijan, they will stop in Istanbul, Turkey to collaborate with Country For Syria. To read more about the tour and collaboration see this press release.

In conjunction with the tour, they are releasing a new music video for their single Take My Picture. The video will go live online on Thursday, May 5. Here’s an unlisted YouTube link to check out in advance.

Also, congratulations to Sam and Claire Turner (’07), who were married last August! We wish you all the best during your first year as newlyweds together!

Andrew St. James (’13): Andrew is playing in San Francisco Wednesday, May 4, at 8 pm, at the Rickshaw Stop with Banta and Madi Sipes and the Painted Blue. All ages are welcome, and $10 tickets can be purchased here. Check out this write-up from the Daily Californian of his February Noise Pop performance.

Future Urban Alums and Faculty Babies: Several teachers welcomed new additions to their families this school year! Congratulations to Math Teacher Laura Hawkins on the birth of her twins, Tobias and Amara, in August; Athletics Director Joe Skiffer on the birth of his daughter, Olivia, in September; and to Math Teacher Riley Maddox on the birth of his daughter, Sydney, born in March.

alumni events

Southern California Reunion
Saturday, May 7
6-8 pm
The Culver Hotel

Alumni College Panel
Friday, May 20
10:40 - noon

Alumni Teach-In
Saturday, June 4
10 am - noon
At Urban

Urban's 50th Anniversary and Reunion Weekend
November 4 - 6

Friday, November 4
Decade Reunions Planned for Classes Ending in "6"
Time and Places TBD

Saturday, November 5
Alumni Round Robin Basketball Tournament
3 - 5 pm
Reception and Ribbon Cutting for the Alumni Blues Lounge
5 - 7 pm

Sunday, November 6
1 - 4 pm
Open House with Activities and Festivities for all Ages!
At Urban

student news
Affinity Show
May 12 and 13
7 pm
Urban Student Center
One Acts - Program 1
May 18-19, 4:30 pm
May 20-21, 7:30 pm
Gumption Theater

Spring Music Concert
Sunday, May 22
5 pm
Herbst Theater

One Acts - Program 2
May 25-26, 4:30 pm
May 27-28, 7:30 pm

Circus Class Performance
Tuesday, June 7
11:15 am and 7:15 pm
Gumption Theater
Class of 2016 Graduation
Friday, June 10
11 am
Stern Grove
photos and fun stuff
click here for pictures of recent events
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