Alumni Return to Campus to Network and Reflect

Alumni join forums and panels to share advice with current students
The John Cooper School welcomed back nearly two dozen alumni for the annual Alumni Panel, hosted by The Department of College Counseling and Alumni Relations. Nearly two dozen Cooper Dragon Alumni joined in The Rock Math + Science Center, Ramirez Lecture Hall, and across campus to connect with current students, answer questions, and share advice about college life after Cooper.  
“We are so proud of this long-standing tradition. It’s amazing to see what our Cooper Dragons are doing out in the world. They are accomplishing great things and blazing new trails. We are thankful for their time and dedication to Cooper and for coming back to campus to share their knowledge,” said Kalli Lovejoy, Alumni Coordinator, The John Cooper School.  

Alumni shared their experiences with students on how to make the most of their high school experience, take advantage of all the opportunities at Cooper, aspects of the college search and application process, and prepare for the transition to college. The panels were eye-opening, informative, and entertaining.  

“Our students bring a rich set of diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skillsets. It’s awe-inspiring to see our alumni come back and help the next generation. I’ve worked closely with these individuals, and I cannot express how proud I am to see them thriving in their fields and along their journeys from Curiosity to Wisdom,” said Laura Schroeder, Director of College Counseling, The John Cooper School.  

“My advice would be to leave your dorm room door open on move-in day and during the first week. You’ll be surprised how many people you meet and how many friends you’ll make,” said Brian Mekelburg, Class of 2022.  

“Be yourself. Put yourself out there. You don’t have to re-invent who you are. Just arrive and be your honest, authentic self,” said Evan Burchfiel, Class of 2019.   

“Treasure your friendships and spend time with your parents, which was nice,” said Carson Hanson.  

"Keep an open mind to new opportunities and keep trying new things,” said Grant Wilson.  

“Make sure you take care of yourself,” said Nancy Lee.  

“Go with an open mind and explore all your college has to offer. I was surprised at the possibilities to explore my areas of interest. Don’t hold back from applying to the school you want, just because you think they don’t specialize or offer an area you want to study,” said Tess Griffith, Class of 2022.  

After the forums ended, alumni stayed for lunch and participated in a focus group centered on the school’s current strategic planning project. The students answered questions from current administrators about the future direction of The John Cooper School.  

“During the focus group we heard a lot of fantastic feedback and ideas. I remember these students when I worked closely with them in Middle School,” said Charles Williams, Associate Head of School, The John Cooper School. “They will always be my students. They will always have a home here at Cooper and a special place in our school’s history. I can’t wait to see what these individuals accomplish. I hope they continue to come back and visit. We are thankful for those who joined today and for our alumni who continue to shape Cooper!” 

From Curiosity to Wisdom
The John Cooper School is an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory day school. Our mission is to provide a challenging education in a caring environment to a diverse group of select students, enabling them to become critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators, responsible citizens and leaders, and lifetime learners.

The John Cooper School seeks to attract qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds to its faculty, staff, and student body. The School does not discriminate against any individual in admissions, educational programs, personnel policies, general practices, or employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, physical disability, or age.