Thomas Beaton ’73 will replace Susan Donahue ’73 as President of the Alumni Council on July 1.
The Trustees announced Beaton’s appointment during their winter meeting two weeks ago.
An election process decides most other Alumni Council positions, but to select the President of the Alumni Council, members of the Office of Alumni Affairs, the current President and several other Trustees convened to make the decision, according to Deborah Murphy, Director of Alumni Affairs.
Oscar Tang ’56, President of the Board of Trustees, called Beaton to offer him a formal invitation to be the next President of the Alumni Council.
“I was shocked! I am honored to follow an incredibly effective and committed President, Susan Urie Donahue,” wrote Beaton in an e-mail to The Phillipian.
Beaton’s responsibilities will include heading the Alumni Council and serving as an Alumni Trustee.
Murphy said, “I think that the Alumni Council President has the most challenging role of all, because the person not only serves in the Board of Trustees but also runs and oversees our whole Alumni Council, which has about 170 members on it. So the person has this dual role.”
Beaton shadow Donahue over the next several months to prepare for the transition, according to Murphy.
Beaton already has several ideas for his term as President of the Alumni Council.
“[I hope to connect] more with alumni, students and faculty. I was a full financial aid student when I attended Phillips Academy, so I have a strong commitment to Andover’s need-blind admissions and its Non Sibi culture,” said Beaton.
“There is so much that is great about Andover–starting with the best students and faculty in the world. I plan to start by listening a lot to all members of community: students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents. Inevitably, with a new Head of School, there are bound to be some exciting developments. I hope to bring the alumni and campus communities together more to advance significant learning and Non Sibi service objectives,” continued Beaton.
Previously, Beaton has been involved in numerous alumni events including Andover and the Military, Mentoring Young Alumni and Non Sibi Day.
Andover and the Military is a program that recognizes Andover alumni who have served in the U.S. military and promotes discussion in the Andover community about the military’s connection to Andover, according to Andover’s website.
In 2006, Beaton helped start Non Sibi Day and was also the first chairman of the Non Sibi Day Steering Committee. This past Non Sibi Day, Beaton organized an initiative at the Pine Tree Inn, a homeless shelter that houses 500 men and 200 women every night.
Murphy said, “[Beaton] is an incredibly energetic, enthusiastic, loyal alum who will bring a lot of great ideas and compassion to the position. He is very hardworking, but he also bleeds blue and loves this place dearly and will do whatever it takes to be successful at this role.”
After Donahue steps down, she will continue her work in the Alumni Council and will hold the position of Past President of the Alumni Council. The Past President is kept on the Alumni Council as a resource for the current President.
Donahue said, “What I liked best [about my role as President] was the ability to work with and get to know so many alumni across the decades. In addition, it was a pleasure and an honor to be able to work with the staff in alumni affairs and throughout the school. As I assumed the presidency, we had just completed and were beginning to implement a strategic plan. My goal was to guarantee that the many initiatives we started got traction and became ingrained within the alumni council and the school.”
“Of course, my primary hope is that the Council will continue to thrive and provide a opportunity for alumni to reengage with the school, learn about the school and be of service to the school,” continued Donahue.
Murphy said, “[Donahue] has been extraordinary. She is incredibly hard-working, she is incredibly conscientious, she is incredibly fair-minded, and I think she has been a wonderful leader on the Council because she is very inclusive. She allows everyone to feel like they are part of something important and that their opinions matter. She is just a really good person.”