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Fall 2010
Features Stories
Alum Profiles

Anne C. Shepler (’74)
I donate to Urban because I believe in helping support the wonderful education Urban offers. It was a miracle for me and I hope it is as miraculous today. The best tidbit I took away was that learning can occur in many different ways. There is no substitute for a good teacher, and Urban had many of them while I was a student there.
Jonathan Kleid (’75)
I give to Urban so future generations also have the wonderful education and opportunities that were afforded me during my experience
at the school.

Urban alumni that are not currently donating to the school should ask themselves how they would be different not having the good fortune to attend Urban. I'm sure they will feel, as I do, that what we were able to take away from Urban should be perpetuated. I feel we have a responsibility to make sure that happens.

There are other ways to donate in addition to the monetary aspect. You can mentor or donate your time as needed. You can, if you own a business, donate a service to the annual fundraiser even for the silent or live auction. These are some additional ways to stay involved and support the important work being done by the dedicated faculty and staff at Urban.

I have many fabulous memories of my time at the school. I always tell people that the greatest thing I learned while at Urban is how to think for myself. This is the greatest gift one can have. It lasts a lifetime and certainly is worth far more than any donation I may make. It's up to us to pass it on.
Ian Rosen (’83)
Continuing to support educational opportunity is one of the ways of giving back to our communities, including those in which we grew up. $100 is not so much money in the greater scheme, yet when 100 alumni step up, the sum is meaningful to the school.

What was the most important attribute that you took with you from Urban?
Independence of thought and a willingness to question and to stand by my own views.

Any special memory you would like to share of your days at Urban?
There are many: substitute teaching algebra, listening to student bands, watching drama in the Gumption, water fight on a warm day, reading Latin American literature like Life in the Time of Cholera, deciding how to respond to registration for the draft…
Amy Hethcoat Pearson (’92)
Urban changed my life in many ways. Making a financial contribution, at any level, is a very real way to show support for the values of an organization. I give to Urban every year as a way of honoring my experience there and signaling to Urban that I continue to believe in the education they provide to young adults. I don't see it as a burden but a chance to say thank you for what Urban gave to me.

In addition to financial support, how else can alumni participate in the future of the school?
Alumni can serve on committees, attend events at Urban, and continue to be ambassadors for the school and the education it delivers.

What was the most important attribute that you took with you from Urban?
To challenge myself and to think critically and deeply.

Any special memory you would like to share of your days at Urban?
I have so many great memories, but the one that always makes me smile is remembering our Spanish teacher Joanna and her strong convictions. My senior year I was dating someone in the same class and I remember her quickly not letting us sit next to each other in her class because I was "flirting." Not long after being separated she warned me outside of class, in that matter-of-fact way she had about her, that we should definitely never get married. Fast-forward to today: we did just that, recently celebrated our eighth anniversary, and have two kids!
Jesse Pearson (’92)
Why did you step up and contribute $100 to Urban?
Simply put, Urban changed my life. Some of the most important relationships, the most significant learning, the most memorable experiences of my life occurred during my time there. I felt the school took a chance on me as an awkward kid from a public middle school and offered me a chance to fulfill potential I hardly knew I had.

Why do you think it’s important for Urban alumni to donate to the school?
Financial aid! Financial aid! Financial aid! When I was there, Urban did not feel like a school primarily for privileged or elite families. The barbell effect in independent schools was not as profound as it is today. Urban must guard against financing the education of a small number of severely underprivileged kids by enrolling a gross majority of wealthy families. Families of all incomes (let alone backgrounds) need to be equally represented in the schools population. If wealthy current families finance the tuition of underprivileged current families, then it falls to alumni to fill the void and support working and middle class families.

In addition to financial support, how else can alumni participate in the future of the school?
The school should expand on roles for alumni on the board and in advisory positions. Alumni offer valuable perspectives on the school’s past and how that past should contribute to shaping the school’s future.

What was the most important attribute that you took with you from Urban?
The school taught me how to think; not just how to learn. At other schools, my sense is that once a concept is learned or a skill is mastered, the education ends. At Urban, the education never ends because you’re encouraged to continue to think about what you’ve learned, create context for what you’ve learned, and defend what you’ve learned against differing opinions and oppositional voices. Learning is just the beginning. As a result, my education continues to this day. I am always thinking and wrestling with new and difficult concepts or re-evaluating what I think I know. I am most interested in what I have yet to learn. The school instilled in me respect for the opinions of others and a commitment to lifelong experiential learning.

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