Welcome, Class of 2020!

Dear members of Class of 2020,

Welcome to the Poly Alumni Association! Poly has a proud tradition of active alumni engagement, and our community encompasses more than 5,063 alumni across the country and around the world. Our mission in the Alumni Office is to help alumni connect with each other and with the school through news, events, print and online communications, and by acting as a resource for any questions that arise.

As you embark on this exciting time in your life, we are here for you and will support you every step of the way. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with our alumni website and the many resources available to you. And, please, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Alumni Office at any time. 

Enjoy this special video made just for you featuring some of our Distinguished Alumni award recipients and our Alumni Association president, Lori MacPherson '85.


Director of Alumni and Community Relations

Words of Wisdom from Alumni

List of 16 items.

  • David Wright '65: "I look at your future with awe and wonder..."

    I look at your future with awe and wonder. In an instant, everything has changed, and it will be up to you to remake the world. For starters, you will remake college. Then on to the big stuff. (No pressure or anything!)
  • Edward Pohlman '69: "As a member of the class of 1969..."

    As a member of the class of 1969, when we were involved in the Vietnam War which ended my student deferment in college, searching for the truth about the war was a life or death issue for me, now again searching for the truth in government and truth in climate change is equally important.
  • Jim Olds '74: "I had no idea how lucky I was..."

    I had no idea how lucky I was to have a Poly education for many years after I graduated. But in retrospect it was far more important than undergrad. Good luck!
  • David Revel '76: "You have earned the most important tool..."

    You have earned the most important tool you will need in your lifetime: a Poly Education! Even more important now, when things are uncertain, you have the skills you need to navigate the path ahead, through crisis, into college, opportunity, and your life's passion!
  • Anne Gillam '77: "I would echo President Obama—go forward without fear..."

    I would echo President Obama—go forward without fear and be true to yourself! You can make a difference in this world! I am so proud of each of you! Take in this accomplishment-take in the good. It is extremely important in life to be, yes, accountable but at the same time recognize the good deeds and work you have done. You know that hard work pays off but also don’t forget to replenish your soul!!!
  • Alessandra Bianchi Herman '82: "Whatever adventures await you, whatever challenges..."

    Whatever adventures await you, whatever challenges you will encounter, know that that confident happy feeling inside you associated with your years at Polly will stay with you and serve you well. It’s like an inner source of strength, happiness and skill. A special intimate community that takes you out into the broader world with an extra superpower. Go Panthers!
  • Joyce Yumi Mitamura '84: "Congratulations to my daughter and all her..."

    Congratulations to my daughter and all her 2020 classmates!! You are all so talented—I know you’ll all find a way to be the best versions of yourselves in spite of the pandemic!
  • Lori MacPherson '85: "To the Fabulous Poly Class of 2020—I met some of you..."

    To the Fabulous Poly Class of 2020—I met some of you when you were kindergarteners, some later in lower school, some when you were in your teens and some just this past year. What I can say about every single one of you is that you are a bright light, unique and exceptional. Remember that from here you can go ANYWHERE!!!
  • Carla de Cervantes '85: "Congratulations to the class of 2020! What an amazing..."

    Congratulations to the class of 2020! What an amazing time to be launching into the next stage of life. You have the chance to help us all clarify what really matters and really get that we are all in this together. Wishing you all the best as you venture onward from Poly. The whole Poly community is rooting for you! I'm sending you each a big hug!
  • Florie Aranovich (Albert-Aranovich) '86: "Congratulations! Be proud of yourselves for persevering..."

    Congratulations! Be proud of yourselves for persevering through some of the toughest times our country has weathered. Remember always to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small you may think they are. Be true to yourselves. Success is defined in many ways, the most important of which is creating a life for yourselves of which you can be proud and which makes you happy, whatever form that takes. Poly has prepared you for your future, but remember that the world is much bigger than what you saw at Poly. Be kind to yourselves, but also be kind to others. You will find that life is much richer when you share your success and yourselves with those less fortunate. Be well, reach for the stars, and celebrate!
  • Giancarlo DiMassa '92: "Wow! What hurdles you have been through this year..."

    Wow! What hurdles you have been through this year. I know how much you guys will miss this spring. But please know that you are very much in all of our thoughts, and you are very much part of this larger Poly community. We can’t wait for this virus to pass, so the class of 2020 can get out there and change the world for the better for all of us. Also, please make sure at some time in the future you get back to campus as a group and get one good prank in to make up for your missed prank day!!! We celebrate you and all you have done to get where you are today.
  • Ankarino Lara '93: "Now is a time when the failures of our government and world leaders..."

    Now is a time when the failures of our government and world leaders are especially obvious. A time when the future of life and business as we once knew it hangs in the balance. Today as you graduate and embark on the next, most important journey of your life, I offer you a challenge… to go forward and seek truth in all that you do, even as we swim in an ocean of misinformation and malfeasance. Don’t let these uncertain times define you! Don’t let lies and misdirection guide you! Shuffle off any idea you may have of what college is supposed to be. Don’t read or believe the hype. We all know how those brochures lie. I encourage you to approach your next chapter with the same innocence and openness that you approached Poly with way back when. Should I go into technology (a question asked by every graduate in 1993!), or should I go into medicine or public health? (a question asked by a lot of graduates today!) How about, should I go into this next chapter of my life, with literally no preconceived notion of what should happen on the other side? Yes. Yes you should. How? By riding the strength of your Poly education into this next arena! Stay poised to embrace the unexpected, to wrestle the unknown, and to ultimately define the different paths forward for you, your friends, for your family and colleagues.

    As a Poly graduate, you are already a leader… now it’s time for you to pursue true leadership. Oh, and I always save the most important bit of encouragement for the end: have so much FUN. If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right! If we read in the Oak Tree Times that you’re doing great things, but you’re not having any fun doing them, you’re gunna get an earful from me! Take care, and best of luck and skill in all you do… now fly, you fools!
  • Elisa Rodriguez '01: "Congratulations on this very special accomplishment...."

    Congratulations on this very special accomplishment. This time will pass, and before you know it you will be on to your next adventure. Enjoy every minute!
  • Hannah Withers '07: "Graduation was not the memory—the last four years were..."

    Graduation was not the memory—the last four years were, and the next four, and all the years following. You've earned your life and its memories already, and you have so much more beauty ahead—excitement, feeling, work, and amazement. It's all more than could fit into a ceremony. Your whole life is the ceremony.
  • Ranti Odujinrin '09: "Congrats!!! Graduating from Poly is an incredible accomplishment..."

    Congrats!!! Graduating from Poly is an incredible accomplishment and just the beginning of so much you have to come. While this might not be the ending you expected, life will be full of unintended surprises and having gone through this will better set you up for success. Congrats again!
  • Brooke Mulligan '10: "Congratulations to you! Not only should you be proud..."

    Congratulations to you! Not only should you be proud of your accomplishment, but you should be even more proud of your persistence to get here. I know it wasn't easy and I know there must have been times you thought it would be impossible. But, here you are. When you face challenges in the future, you will be able to look back at your resilience and find all the encouragement you need to fight on. Remember during the rough times you face that nothing lasts forever. Keep moving forward and you’ll get through whatever life throws your way.
Improvise, adapt, overcome.

—Earle Miller '77
Jot down 2-3 things-- big or small-- that you are grateful for each day in a journal. This practice has helped me through life's ups and downs.

Kelly Rakow Sutherland '95
Way to go, Class of 2020! Outstanding job!

John Keatley '91
Congratulations and best of luck for the next chapter post Poly!

Mackenzie Lee '12
Congrats on all you've accomplished; graduating from Poly is truly an achievement to be celebrated! Enjoy your next adventures and go explore!!

—Hannah Frank '05
Congratulations, Class of 2020! While times may be uncertain, your futures are bright because you are smart, creative, and hard-working. Keep up the good work.

—Ella Young '13
Congratulations on your many achievements while at Poly!

Michael Szeto '07
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