Close Contacts: Alumni Homeroom Visits

Alumni of St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) have always been a tight-knit community.

Case and point, an annual spring tradition which, this year, takes place on April 11.

It involves a group of former graduates of the school volunteering a morning of their time to visit with soon-to-be graduates --- in their homerooms.

The initiative was founded by Joe Younder ’56, a former student and teacher at SMCS, who saw a need to foster these important connections.

Joe Younder ‘56, founder of the Alumni Homeroom Visits.


“Over the years the alumni history of the school has been told by its pictures on the walls and conversation,” says Younder.  “There must be more ‘flesh’ presence,” he says.

And so the annual alumni homeroom visits were born. Now more than 10 years old.

Younder fondly recalled his time as a student and teacher here and the importance of forging those relationships.

“I always took advantage of such visits to have the grads drop into my classes and say a few words. I enjoyed it,” Younder says.

A group of 2018 SMCS graduates visit the school in early 2019.


“The purpose is for those graduating students to informally meet, listen to and dialogue with members of St. Michael’s College School,” he adds.

This year, 11 SMCS graduates will visit to speak to Grade 12 students. Among the key topics: the importance of being a St. Michael’s alumnus, the benefits of staying connected to the alumni network – including various mentorship and networking opportunities, and understanding how the St. Michael’s community continues to remain accessible and supportive beyond graduation.

Alumni visiting our Grade 12 homerooms on April


Alex Alberelli ’12, has been a part of these alumni homeroom visits for several years.

“It’s important for me to give back to St. Michael’s, especially the students, and have them realize how much of a network they have within this school,” says Alberelli. “Answering life questions, talking about university, life outside these yellow brick walls, and making them understand that the alumni are always here for them at any point,” he says.

Enduring relationships with staff also brings many alumni back to visit the school.


Alberelli adds, “My current network is so strongly tied to St. Michael’s. I would say 80% of my current work and friend network contains St. Michael’s graduates not just from my year, but from previous years as well.

I have Grade 12 students who constantly ask for a coffee chat about school, my professional life, or just life in general, and that’s what makes it so special.”

Below is footage of Frank Di Nino '80 speaking to the Class of 2016 on their Alumni visit day.

Alumni Homeroom Visits will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at St. Michael’s College School, with 11 graduates visiting Grade 12 students.