The Urban School Alumni Association BLUESNOTES
blues notes
December 10, 2016 facebook linkedIn twitter vimeo vimeo

Alumni Holiday Happy Hour
All Urban alums and their guests (aged 21+) are invited to join us for wine and nibbles at our 5th annual Holiday Happy Hour on Thursday, December 15, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. This year’s event will be held at Tofino Wines, in its cavernous wine room, a unique and welcoming glass-enclosed space. Space is limited, so please be sure to RSVP if you are planning to come.

Recent Grad Reunion for Alums in Classes 2012 - 2016
Urban's Faculty and Staff and this year's Juniors and Seniors invite alums from the Classes of 2012 - 2016 back to Urban for a casual post-holiday gathering on Tuesday, January 3, from 3 - 4:45 pm in The Alumni Blues Lounge, located on the third floor of the new Salkind Center, 1639 Oak Street. Come hang out and enjoy fruit, dessert and beverages while catching up with your Urban friends and teachers.

After the event, we encourage you to stay and cheer on as our boys basketball teams play John Swett High School in the new Salkind Center Gym.

RSVP Here 

UrbanReads at 50
Please mark your calendars for a very special event on Sunday, January 29, from 4 - 6 pm, when alumni parent, professor emerita of sociology at UC Berkeley and author Arlie Russell Hochschild (David ’89) comes back to Urban for the second UrbanReads event of our 50th Anniversary school year.

Arlie is the author of the recently published book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. The book was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and is a New York Times bestseller. Strangers was also named by the Times as one of six books to read to understand Donald Trump’s presidential win. In conversation with Alumni Ambassador LeRoy Votto, Arlie will share stories of her five years of immersive research and why the recent election was a momentous event waiting to happen.

UrbanReads is open to current parents, alumni parents, alums over 21 and guests. Space is limited so please click here to RSVP. 

50th Anniversary Festivities
Thank you for joining us for Urban’s 50th Anniversary Celebration last month. Between our All-Alumni Reunion on Saturday and the All-Community Celebration on Sunday, we hosted nearly 1,000 guests on campus. It was wonderful to see everyone come together for this milestone event and celebration of Urban’s past, present and future.

In case you missed it, please take a moment to watch this video and enjoy a historical review of Urban’s early days and what’s next in its evolution.

Thank you to our alums who helped to make the event such a success including our wonderful 2016-17 Alumni Council, Jordan Kivelsatdt (‘00) and Kivelstadt Cellars for providing wine for our reception; Peter Coopersmith (‘86) and Will Hammond (‘07) and the members of Home for the awesome live music set; Aidan Coffino (‘08), Lucci Lautze (‘04) and Julie Goldsmith (‘84) for organizing the round robin basketball tournament and tribute to LeRoy Votto; and our wonderful alumni panelists Torbin Bullock (‘89), Coco Krumme (‘01), Kathleen Lingo (‘96), David Noyola (‘00), Alex Tikhman (‘97), Malea Mouton-Fuentes (‘01) and Elizabeth Rynecki (‘87).

Here is a short video of the weekend celebration, a memento of our time spent together celebrating the history and values of Urban. We will continue to celebrate Urban’s 50th birthday throughout the school year. Watch for more faculty video interviews, new memories and information about events.

Maggie Nelson Returns - by Junior Zachary N (‘16)

Earlier this month, my Creative Nonfiction class had the honor of welcoming poet and critic Maggie Nelson (’90) back to Urban. She spoke to two English classes, answered questions during lunch, and caught up with some of her old teachers.

In preparation, my class read from her memoir The Red Parts, a wrenching examination of her aunt’s murder, a belated trial, and the cultural obsession with sexualized violence. The book, both a true-crime account and a rejection of the form, is a masterpiece of empathy and analysis. Maggie’s work has earned her a MacArthur genius grant and a National Book Critics Circle Award.

While in our class, Maggie read from The Red Parts and Bluets, a meditation on language, longing and her affinity for the color blue – an affinity shared, I hope, by all Urban alums! Afterward, she answered student questions about how she selects a form for her books, the pleasures of revision, and the challenges of writing about family. I was, truth be told, a bit star-struck. I left the room grateful for her generosity and inspired to read more of her work. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to do the same!

(Maggie pictured above with student (and fan) Olivia D. ('17))

Sophomore Career Days
Thank you to alums Hung Dang (‘93), Adam Fenn (‘01), Jacob Hartog (‘07), Tania Ketenjian (‘93), Sarah-Maeve Hersh-Boyle (‘05), Addie McKinney Wallace (‘05), Claudia Mercado (‘02) and Andy Nguyen (‘99) for joining us on October 19 to speak to our current Sophomores about their time at Urban, their current careers and the journey between on a panel moderated by Alum Ambassador LeRoy Votto.

Our October career panel is a precursor to our Sophomore visit days on April 6 - 7 this year. These visit days are opportunities for students to broaden their understanding of the high school journey and explore their passions more deeply while meeting and connecting with Urban alums at their workplaces. Last year, thanks to the generosity of our alumni community, students were able to choose from myriad options: local and state politics, business, technology, film, design, music, environment and sustainability, science, medicine and more. If you are available to serve as a resource to our students in this capacity or want to learn more about how to be involved please email us or fill out this form.


As Urban celebrates its 50th Anniversary, we reflect on our past while looking forward to the future. Urban’s early principles – to sustain students’ curiosity and engagement while recognizing their individuality, to use city and outside resources for hands-on learning, and create supportive relationships between students and teachers – all remain as core values. Our students learn how to think, not what to think, and leave Urban prepared to become thoughtful citizens and leaders in their communities and beyond.

Support of Urban’s Annual Fund has a significant impact on our ability to deliver on our mission and supports our outstanding teachers, our rigorous and engaging curriculum, and our robust financial aid program.

We hope all you will consider making a gift to Urban's 2016-17 Annual Fund or, for the Classes of 2009 - 2016, your Class Endowment Fund today. Urban is still a small school, and each and every gift, no matter the size, makes a tangible difference.

Thank you!

Alum-Owned Businesses
Looking for holiday shopping ideas? We are delighted to share this list of alum-owned businesses and projects. Check out these fun options and support an Urban grad whenever you can! We are so happy to continue to grow this list, which we send to our current and alumni parents each year. If you would like to add your business to this list please email us

Send Us Your Class Notes!

New job? New baby? Bumped into an old friend or teacher? We love hearing from you! Email us your class notes for the February BluesNotes. Pictures welcomed and encouraged.

from the alumni council
Our hearts are aching as we share the sad news of Urban alum Cash Askew (’12), who passed away in the Oakland warehouse fire on December 2. From her Freshman year, Cash immersed herself in all parts of Urban, from the performing and visual arts, to her deep appreciation of academics and commitment to social justice. We will miss her gentle spirit, her ability to see beyond the everyday and ordinary, and her enthusiasm for deep thought and discourse.

Cash was active in the Bay Area music and art scene as part of the band Them Are Us Too, and her label shared this about Cash in a press release: Cash Askew was an absolutely loved and treasured member of the Dais Records family. We were in awe of her talent, her gentle kindness, and her creative momentum... her passing is an excruciating loss that we may never fully process or recover from.

If you would like to help support Cash’s family or the victims’ fund, please visit:

Family Fund

Fire Relief Fund

alumni events

Alumni Holiday Happy Hour

Thursday, December 15
6:30 - 8:30 pm

Tofino Wines
2696 Geary Boulevard
Space is limited so please

RSVP here.

Recent Grad Reunion for the Classes of 2012 - 2016

Tuesday, January 3
3 - 4:30 pm (followed by a
Urban basketball game)

The Alumni Blues Lounge, The Mark Salkind Center

RSVP here  
UrbanReads at 50: Arlie Russell Hochschild in conversation with LeRoy Votto

Sunday, January 29
4 - 6 pm

At Urban
Space is limited so please

RSVP here.

Urban at 50: Solid Gold Auction to Support Financial Aid

Saturday, March 25
6:30 - 11 pm
The Mark Salkind Center

Special Ticket Price for Alums
Save the date and watch your mailbox for more information

Sophomore Career Visit Days

Thursday and Friday, April 6 - 7

To be involved in our alumni/student networking initiatives please complete this form or email us

student news
Winter Music Concert

Sunday, December 11
5 - 7 pm

Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

Winter Art Show

Friday, February 17
3:30 - 6 pm

Page Campus Student Center
Email to RSVP

Winter Theater Production

Wednesday, February 22 - 4:30 pm
Thursday - Saturday, February 23 - 25, 7 pm

Page Campus Gumption Theater

photos and fun stuff
click here for pictures of recent events
fb small linkedin small
urban For questions about BluesNotes or other alumni communications please email us.
Unsubscribe from this eNotice.