Hundreds attend alumni association launch

Another milestone in the history of the school was reached this week with the launch of the King’s Academy Alumni Association (KAAA) on January 15. Around 100 alumni representing every graduating class from 2010 to 2017 attended the event, which took place in the Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium, in addition to seniors from the Class of 2018 and some 60 faculty members.

The Class of 2012 also took advantage of the occasion to hold their own class reunion earlier the same evening, which took place at Beit al Mudeer. 

KAAA is an initiative founded by alumni Hayat Abu Samra ’10, Omar Al-Majali ’10 and Ghassan Gammoh ’10 who, committed to the idea of forming an official alumni body, spent months setting up the association, preparing for its launch and building a website.

According to its mission statement, KAAA aims to cultivate lifelong relationships with alumni, foster a spirit of loyalty towards King’s, and advance the educational and career goals of alumni through reunions, networking events and fundraising.

“Those same lessons of leadership, teamwork and perseverance that King’s taught us as students, Ghassan, Hayat and myself have valued and used in the past year to establish this association,” said Al-Majali at the opening of the event. “It is these same values that the board of directors will apply in order to advance the interest of the alumni. It is our simple, yet I hope, impactful way of saying thank you to the school.”

Next to take the podium was Headmaster John Austin who said that creating a school like King’s was a team effort, and expressed his gratitude to faculty, staff, students, parents and trustees for helping the school grow in strength and purpose. Austin expressed his particular thanks to alumni, including the almost 1000 who couldn’t be there, but who, he knew, were “with them in spirit.”

“That you are here this evening is a tremendous testament to your dedication to, and stewardship of, the future of King’s, and I wanted to know how excited and proud I am that you are with us tonight and [that you] made the decision to get involved,” said Austin.

After participants watched a video celebrating the 10th anniversary of the school, a question and answer panel took place with alumni Dina Shawar ’10, Suhayb Al-Jawhari ’11, Dana Al-Jawamis ’10, Hani Murad ’11 and Barik Mhadeen ’11, who fielded questions from seniors and offered their advice about life after graduation. 

Next on the association’s agenda was the announcement of the election results of the inaugural board of directors. Voted for in the previous weeks by their fellow alumni, the board members are: Omaymah Al-Harahsheh ’14, Jinseul Jun ’13, Noor Massanat ’12, Firas Mouasher ’12, Farah Kasih ’11, Suhayb Al Jawhari ’11, Talal Abu Ghazaleh ’11, Dina Shawar ’10.

The event concluded with three lively dabkeh performances by current students, directed by dance teacher Ryuji Yamaguchi, after which the attendees moved to the Hess Family Dining Hall to continue to reconnect with old friends and teachers over a special reunion dinner. 

“What excited me most about this event was the number of alumni who attended,” said Gammoh, currently a faculty member in the Department of History and Social Studies at King’s. “This demonstrated the true loyalty that we have to King’s and the deep desire we have to stay connected and to give back. This is what the alumni association is all about!”