We are delighted that LeRoy Votto is joining our Alumni Relations team in his new role as Urban's Alumni Ambassador! In addition to continuing to teach history at Urban, starting this spring, LeRoy will be connecting with our alumni community in an official capacity.
We hope you can congratulate LeRoy in person at our I
the East Bay alum event on Sunday, May 20!
Urban alum Katie Innes ('02) caught up with LeRoy to talk about his new role: What are you most excited about in joining the alumni team?
I'm excited about having an opportunity personally to connect with and meet and renew acquaintances with former students. For me, it's like a perfect job personally, in that I'll get to keep in touch with people I taught and loved teaching and loved being around in my 30+ years of teaching at Urban. With Civil War and the Recent America sequence, I've taught many, many alums. I can look at each senior class and I'd say I've probably taught 90-95 percent of most classes.
The other thing that's obviously exciting and linked to this is to get all the alums connected back to the school in a more sustained way. I see all sorts of possibilities here. I would love for alums to come back to Urban and meet current students, do a guest talk, lecture or film, or be available for student internships, for instance. I'd love for alums to support Urban, too, and help make the Urban experience possible for future students.
The economy is so fluid right now that it would also be nice for Urban alums to be job resources for other Urban alums or help each other with other opportunities. I'd be excited to put alums in touch with each other and help make beneficial connections. Is there a particular event that you wish more people came back to, maybe something in the school year like the One Acts, or something alum-related?
We love seeing alums at the All-Alumni Reunion Weekend in October [editor's note: LeRoy teaches a great Classes without Quizzes in history during reunion weekends].
It would be great to see alums who did theater, or who went to plays, to come back and see what Urban is doing now with drama and circus. Or for musicians to attend our concerts in Herbst Theater. And to see athletes, or people who followed the games, to come to soccer or basketball or baseball games. It’s always nice for students to look up and see alums in the audiences or stands supporting them and cheering them on.
We're going to have this gathering at Charlotte Worsley's in the East Bay on Sunday, May 20. I hope that alums in the East Bay, or even the city, might want to drive over—I'd love to catch up and hear personally what our alums are up to. We are doing so much more with alumni relations at Urban, that I hope more and more alums will find an opportunity or reason to engage and connect. If you were to make a time capsule from your years at Urban, that wouldn’t be opened for 50 years, what would you put inside?
Well, I guess there'd be theater production playbills, sports rosters, photos, videos of productions, of players, of the art show. Some Urban readers, maybe titles of books that we're reading right now for our classes or a book that was really influential, like Moby Dick
. Some music and lyrics that the kids listen to. Pictures of students, what they're wearing. An interview with Mark, maybe Charlotte and Jonathan, something from Richard about environmentalism. A quick snippet, like Wendy and Frances talking about theatre. Something with Greg Angilly about how Urban sports are turning a corner—and believe me they are. Some audio and video interviews of how the students would like the world to be in 50 years. Something that would give us a deeper understanding of who these kids are and what they believe in, their aspirations, hopes and fears. Urban is an amazing school—it's hard to distill our strong culture, values and school spirit into a time capsule. I would hope that when it’s opened in 50 years, we would see that while some changes will have certainly taken place, as no successful school would remain unchanged over half a century, that the heart and soul of Urban would still be intact and indeed stronger than ever.Return to top