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BluesNotes eNewsletter
October 2009 Edition

All-Alumni Reunion Weekend

Thanks to all the alums who participated in Urban’s inaugural All-Alumni Reunion Weekend on October 2 and 3! The positive energy and spirit from the alumni community was truly amazing and we hope everyone enjoyed reconnecting with friends and teachers, and getting a glimpse into what it’s like to be an Urban student today.

Pictures from the various events are now available online in the alumni photo gallery and Urban Alumni Association Facebook Fan Page.

Photos from 40-Year Reunion Online

We've posted photos from the inaugural 40-Year Urban Reunion that took place this past August. Special thanks to Holly Badgley ('69) and Miriam Kasin Hospodar ('69) for organizing this event! To view these photos and others from previous events, please click on the links below or visit the online alumni photo gallery.

Note from the Alumni Council

Do you feel passionately about your experience at Urban and want to get involved in the school community? Do you have time, talent and leadership to lend to your alma mater? If so, we would love for you to participate on Urban's Alumni Council. The purpose of the Alumni Council is to support and strengthen the community of Urban graduates and encourage active participation in the life of the school. Alumni volunteers are needed to assist with a wide variety of programs including communications, fundraising, events and engagement. If you're interested in learning more about the Alumni Council or would like to get involved, please contact me at or Alison Brand at or 415 593 9540.

Thanks in advance for considering how you can get involved and be an active member of the Urban community. I look forward to seeing many of you at future alumni events. Go Blues!

Aisha Lowe Toney ('95)
Alumni Council President
Board of Trustees

Alumni Events & Activities

Alumni v. Varsity Basketball Games
Saturday, November 28, 2009

 Come relive your glory days on the court or cheer on your favorite team in this year's Alumni v. Varsity Basketball Games in St. Agnes Gym. We would like to start a new tradition of having an annual woman's alumni basketball game preceding the men's game. If you're interested in playing in either game or would like more information, please contact Alison Brand at or 415 593 9540.
Women's Alumni vs. Girls' Varsity Basketball Game   4:30 pm  
Men's Alumni vs. Boys' Varsity Basketball Game   6 pm

Recent Grad Reunion for Classes of 2005 - 2009
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
3 pm
Urban's faculty, staff and this year's seniors and juniors look forward to welcoming back alums from the classes of ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08 and ‘09 for the ever-popular, annual Recent Grad Reunion. Come hang out in the Old Library and enjoy refreshments while catching up with your Urban friends and teachers. We hope to see you there!

Auction & Celebration at Bimbo's
Saturday, March 20, 2010
6 pm
All alums are invited to join the Urban community for this festive and lively celebration! If you can't make it to the event, be sure to check out the fabulous items, some of which are donated by fellow Urban grads, in the Online Auction.

Faculty Book Recommendations

Are you in need of a good read? See what books some of your favorite Urban faculty members recommend below.

LeRoy Votto, History
Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger
Friday Night Lights is a vivid piece of non-fiction that takes the reader into the all-consuming world of Texas high school football (Permian Panthers) where all that seems important in life occurs on the gridiron every Friday night in the fall. The popular television series is anchored in this book.

Dan Matz, History and 11th & 12th Grade Dean
India after Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha
I highly recommend Ramachandra Guha's India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. It's a tome (at over 900 pages) but it reads quickly. There's a lot in here about democracy, Hindu fundamentalism, India's contributions to the warming planet, globalization and a whole lot more.

Debbie Samake, History
Malcolm X
by Alex Haley
My suggestion is Malcolm X. This is a favorite of mine, as well as many other people. Most people that read the book are impressed with Malcolm X's many life transformations. This book appeals to all races, males, females, nationalities and adolescents to adults. It’s well-written and captivating!

Henri Picciotto, Math and Math Department Chair
Edwin Mullhouse by Stephen Milhauser
Edwin Mullhouse is a humorous and engaging take on the childhood of a literary nerd. Supposedly written by a 12-year-old, the "biography" pulls you in and takes you to a surprising and disturbing end.

Greg Monfils, English and 9th & 10th Grade Dean
Directed by Desire by June Jordan
June Jordan was a passionate, revolutionary poet writing in the African-American vernacular. Beauty, raw power and humor combine to in this definitive collection. Jordan died in 2002 while a teacher at Cal.

Sarah Levin, Librarian
The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History by Linda Colley
I'd like to recommend The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History by Linda Colley. An historic biography about a little known but extraordinary woman, this book will appeal to historians, genealogists, and those seeking a well-told tale. While evidence and artifacts surrounding the details of Elizabeth Marsh's life did not survive history, Linda Cooley manages to weave a story that quenches the curiosities about both Ms. Marsh and global life in the 18th century.

Larissa Parsons, English
Epitaph For A Peach by David M. Masumoto
Epitaph For A Peach is the story of one farmer's shift from conventional to organic agriculture. It's told in brief chapters, each illustrating a shift in his experience of his farm. A great read if you like food and care about where it comes from.

For more book reviews by your favorite Urban teachers, see the 2009 Summer Reading List.

 Introducing The Sporting Blue Athletics Blog

Thanks to all the alums who participated in the contest to name Urban’s Athletics Blog! After much deliberation, new Athletic Director Greg Angilly decided on The Sporting Blue as the winner. Please take a moment to check out the blog and see what’s going on in Urban’s athletic program by clicking on the following link: Also, we’d love to hear your favorite memories from playing sports at Urban, which you can share by emailing

Alums in the News

Karen Heisler (’78) Honored by 10 Woman Campaign
Congratulations to Karen Heisler (’78), of Mission Pie and Pie Ranch, for being honored by the 10 Women Campaign as one of their "Bridge Builders," women who forge the essential connections between family, community, politics, economy and culture. For more information about this significant achievement, please visit the 10 Woman Campaign website at

Change Starts with your Underwear
Urban grad Jason Kibbey (’96) is bringing environmental and social responsibility to the world of undergarments with his new company PACT. After spending two years researching sustainable fabrics, factories and dyes, Jason launched this line of underwear that utilizes organic cotton farmers, responsible labor practices and businesses that form partnerships with organizations dedicated to positive change in our world. Also, 10% of each sale funds nonprofits such as Oceana, ForestEthics and 826 Valencia. Visit their website to purchase and join the social movement!

Do you have exciting news or an upcoming event to share with the Urban community? Inform fellow grads about what you’re up to by posting items to Urban’s Alumni Association Facebook page or by logging on to your profile in the Online Alumni Community and submitting a note. You can also submit news and announcements by emailing

Urban Community Magazine Available Online
You should all receive your Fall 2009 Urban Community magazine in the mail sometime this week. If you don’t see it soon, please send us your current mailing address to The magazine is also available online at

Follow Urban on Twitter
Do you Twitter? If so, you can hear the most up-to-date news from the school through our Twitter address at urbanschool.

Join the growing network of alums on Facebook and LinkedIn as a way to communicate and interact with the alumni and school community.

Alumni Council Still Recruiting New Members
Do you feel passionately about your experience at Urban and want to get involved in the school community? Do you have time, talent and leadership to lend to your alma mater? If so, we would love for you to participate on Urban's Alumni Council. If interested in learning more about the Alumni Council or would like to get involved, contact Alumni Council President, Aisha (Lowe) Toney ('95) at or Alison Brand or 415 593 9540.

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