Zach Suchin ’02
While it’s been an extraordinarily challenging year for our communities, it’s also been an unprecedented opportunity for the Oakwood community to come together. Our alumni base has rallied with strength and passion around ways to meaningfully help address the COVID-19 pandemic and the national challenges that sparked a powerful Black Lives Matter movement. Alumni have an important and unique perspective. Big things have small beginnings, and our decades of enthusiastic alums are playing an important role in ensuring that Oakwood continues to evolve as an institution that everyone can be increasingly proud to associate with.
As Council recruitment continues, we’ve brought into our ranks an epidemiologist and a communications director, more great resources for us as we determine how the alumni community can best continue to helpfully interface with the administration, students and the Parent Organization.
We’ve also established the Alumni Taskforce on the BIPOC Experience at Oakwood, with our Vice Chair Treani Swain ’03 at the helm. This group will work closely with the administration, PODEI (our Parent Organization Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee) and student affinity and DEI groups to strengthen the connections amongst alumni of color, help current students navigate their time at Oakwood through mentorship, advocate for appropriate programming, and create resources for both alums and students.
Alums have a great opportunity to continue to help shape our community through time and philanthropy.
And alums can’t help but feel like Jaime was with us in spirit long before he was with us in person. He has made a genuine and concerted effort to get to know the community, attending several alum-specific events around LA and beyond. Jaime is a valued partner, and we’ve spoken at length about the importance of continuing to build a vibrant and robust alumni program.
One initiative that’s helping to build a successful program and bring the alumni community together across a variety of topics is the recently launched Learned podcast. The episodes include alum guests and span a wide range of issues—from creativity and entrepreneurship, to social justice and mental health, from technological developments, to equity and inclusion at private schools. If you haven’t already, have a listen.
And as I’ve waxed poetic in these letters over the years, I remain involved with Oakwood because of how fundamentally impactful it was in shaping my moral compass, career, friendships and aspirations. I know the meaningful influence the years at Oakwood have on young minds. Alums have a great opportunity to continue to help shape our community through time and philanthropy. I encourage alums of all ages to reach out and get involved. We’re the legacy of the school, and we’re stronger together.
Zach Suchin ’02
Chair, Alumni Council