A few weeks ago, I wrote about a letter I received from my high school -- where I had subsequently taught for eight years. They had offered me a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to receive a discount for attendance at the centennial reunion. I was put off -- to say the least, and I shared my reaction with you. A friend asked me a few days ago, "Whatever happened with that letter?"
Here's the response.
I am sorry that you took offense at my letter to graduates/former faculty concerning Centennial Reunion Weekend. I certainly had no intention of offending anyone or belittling your service and commitment to our school.
Centennial Reunion Weekend is a once in a lifetime event specifically for our alumni. It is meant primarily as a time for them to re-connect with their classmates and friends. Both current and former faculty are welcome and encouraged to join our alumni
during the daytime events, and so far we have received a nice response to this invitation. The event on Saturday evening is a celebration of our alumni and given the sheer number of former faculty and former faculty/graduates and the costs associated
with the event, we are unable to offer the event free of charge. All Alumni must pay a fee to attend, but as a courtesy we offered a reduced fee to former faculty/graduates. Please be assured that we have researched this issue at length with our sister
schools who have celebrated a Centennial recently and this is the common practice.
We have scheduled numerous other events throughout our Centennial Year that will be open to parents, faculty (current and former), alumni, students and friends. Some will be ticketed events, but most will be free of charge.
Again, I am sorry that you have interpreted our invitation this way. As you have requested, we will certainly remove your name from all mailing lists and will continue to notify you of your deceased classmates.
And here's my response to THAT...
I'm sorry that you seem to have misinterpreted my message as wishing for an explanation of your need to justify the request for payment or as some sort of request for you to change your fee schedule. I believed I was clear in my introduction that I had no intention of attending. Rather, I wanted you to know that in this case, perhaps no gesture whatsoever would have been better than the gesture that service and dedication to the School somehow merited a discounted meal.
Please also know that I spent many hours as an admission officer as well as a proud graduate and faculty member. Never did I ever remember being informed that an answer such as yours, that you tried to make the same policy as "sister schools", would be satisfactory in any sort of school marketing or promotion. In fact, I find that explanation rather trite.
I thought ___ prided itself on rising above the rest, as evidenced by the adherence to the Five Values. Also worth noting, I served on the committee that chose, developed and implemented those Five Values.
But if ___ wishes to present itself as consistent with "sister schools" so be it.
This has left such an incredible bad taste in my mouth. Your response certainly did not mitigate my feelings expressed this morning. I guess I thought ___ was different.
And that's all she wrote. Done and done.
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