Stephanie Chu, Champion of Alumni Engagement, Departs Latin

Stephanie Chu says goodbye to the Romans after 13 years on Latins staff.

Stephanie Chu says goodbye to the Romans after 13 years on Latin’s staff.

Stephanie Chu, Latin’s beloved Director of Alumni Engagement, is retiring after having overseen alumni relations for the past 13 years. Among her greatest contributions are building a tremendous alumni network across the nation and connecting Latin alumni with current students. She started the Life After Latin career panel and has organized extensive alumni collaboration with a range of student activities including clubs, affinities, classes, assemblies, The Forum, and the recent Amazing Race Project Week.

Adding her time at Latin as a parent prior to joining the staff, Ms. Chu has brightened Latin School for 22 years.

“Stephanie radiates positive energy, and she is a joy to work with,” said Charlie Gofen ‘83. “She is also so bright and creative, and so devoted to the school. What she has accomplished here in building alumni engagement has been extraordinary.”

While her decision to leave Latin was far from easy, the plan has been underway since last summer. “I talked with the former head of the Development Office for years [about how] we would leave at the same time,” Ms. Chu said. “She left last year after 30 years, and I decided at that point that I wasn’t quite ready, and I was going to stay for another year to help transition the new person in and help get everything all set up and ready for next steps.”

“It’s been a wonderful and perfect time,” Ms. Chu continued. “What makes Latin special and has kept me here all these years has been the people and the alumni community—it is just the best—and the great faculty members and staff members I have the opportunity to work with here.”

Director of Alumni Programming and Archivist Teresa Sutter said, “Most of our seminal programming has been the brainchild of Stephanie, and she has left an indelible impact on alumni relations at Latin.” She added, “She is seemingly indefatigable, and always willing to jump in and help out, continually going the extra mile for her colleagues, both staff and faculty alike. I’ve never met someone more willing to lend a helping hand. No job is too big or too small for her.”

“One of my favorite things about working here is partnering with faculty to help them find [alumni]—whether it’s for the Amazing Race, or they need a speaker for their class, or there’s an alum that’s looking for a speaker on a particular topic, or even if someone comes to me and says, ‘I’m interested in learning about X, Y, or Z for an ISP or particular class,’” Ms. Chu said. “I love to think about who we know in the alumni community who would be helpful, and then those folks are so wonderful about saying yes.”

Ms. Chu said her favorite project she’s worked on is the Life After Latin panel, which welcomes over 40 alumni each year to speak on their both conventional and unconventional career paths and trajectories. Inspired by her extensive background in career counseling and law, she founded the project early in her tenure running alumni relations.

Senior Natalie Frankel attended a Life After Latin panel about medicine, where she heard about the careers of two female doctor alums. “I loved how realistic they were when talking about the difficulties of their jobs while also sharing how rewarding it is to help people while doing something you love, which really inspired me,” she said. “Thank you, Ms. Chu, for making that empowering panel possible.”

Ms. Chu has nothing but big things ahead. “I serve on the alumni board of my law school, and I’ll be president in two years, so I have all of that to look forward to, with doing a lot of similar things that I do here as well,” she said. “There are also probably organizations out there that I’m going to find, [and] I’m going to be excited to jump in.”

As for what she’ll do with her extra free time, Ms. Chu said, “There are so many adventures out there, and so many opportunities to do really interesting international travel with my husband to places like Jakarta and Singapore, and it’s all happening next year.” Additionally, she’s planning to visit her three children, who live on the East Coast, spending time in New York and Virginia.

But while Ms. Chu travels around the globe, she’ll be deeply missed at Latin. “Her bright smile, her warmth, her energy when I need a boost, her listening ear and institutional wisdom and knowledge will be missed,” Ms. Sutter said. “Everyone just feels better when Stephanie is around.”

“I’m not very good at having hobbies,” Ms. Chu joked, “so I’m looking forward to developing some this year.” But she assures the Latin community that she’s not gone just yet: “It’s very bittersweet, and it’s hard to go, but I’ve made everyone promise they’ll invite me to everything, so I’ll still keep popping up!”