The mission of the Associated Alumni of Central High School is to encourage and support the School’s high standards of scholarship, integrity and democratic values, to facilitate and maintain pride in Central High School and, as well, to encourage an impact upon community growth through financial and personal involvement, while broadening social and professional relationships among its alumni.
The relationship between the Alumni and the School started almost immediately after the 1st Class graduated in 1842 with the founding of our predecessor organization. By 1873, when the alumni formally reorganized, the AACHS was actively supporting the school’s activities.
It is critical for the future of the school that we, as graduates, give back to the school by: endowed gifts to support programs (including Science Fair, Robotics, Dramatics, Publications, Music, Art and Athletics); by our presence with Career Day; by support of special events such as International Day, and by promotion of Central’s activities through the media. We also participate in the student recruitment process, and help students and recent graduates with networking and interning opportunities. We administer close to $2 million of endowed scholarship and prize funds for the benefit of both underclassmen/women and seniors; the annual distribution of proceeds averages about 8%.
The Barnwell Foundation provides income of more than $100,000 annually, the Sesquicentennial Endowment Fund more than $30,000 annually. There are also special funds created by various graduating classes that support the acquisition of scientific equipment, and books for the Library.
The Arthur Tracy Endowment supports programs in music and the performing arts with more than $22,000 annually. The annual Wine and Cheese Fundraisers for the athletics programs have provided more than $55,000 since 2003.
All of the above are critical, as the School District’s financial support of these types of programs is, currently questionable and, at best, minimal.
The ultimate demonstration of our commitment was the rebuilding of the Barnwell Library into a 21st century research facility and conference center. This landmark public-private partnership with the CHS faculty, students and the School District has changed the learning culture in the school. Teachers from all disciplines use the research lab to effectively teach students how to properly perform internet research.
AACHS also provided for the construction of a new faculty lounge, and gifted laptop computers to all faculty members, allowing for more cross-pollination of ideas between members of various departments.
The Association works with the senior and junior class officers. They, as well as the president of the Student Association and the Editor-in-Chief of the Centralizer, participate in AACHS Board of Managers meetings. Our Alumni Journal and web site highlight school activities to encourage graduates to connect with the Central of today. AACHS also works with the Home and School Association and support its activities to assist parents to support their children’s life at Central.
Alumni, on an individual basis, support the work of literary publications, and robotics by working with and advising students. They volunteer to chaperone events, such as Museum Day, and pay for students to attend alumni events such as our annual lunch, annual dinner meeting, and Thanksgiving Day Victory Breakfast.