richard-tapioFrom the President...

Dear Brother and Sister Alumni,                                                                                                                            July 25, 2021

Welcome to your Boys Town National Alumni Association (BTNAA) website.  This website and our official Facebook page are your gateway to finding out everything you want to know about our Association. 

It has been my privilege to serve as your BTNAA Treasurer for the past two years and I am very much appreciative of the alumni members who voted for me to fill the new four-year position in the 46+ year group. At the completion of the new board’s business meeting, I was nominated and elected to become the next President of the BTNAA. I would like to thank all the past board members and alumni who have supported this organization. In addition, a special thanks to our BTNAA office staff and Alumni Director Mr. Tony Jones, '88. It is through their hard work and commitment to the mission and goals of our organization that have kept this ship afloat. I look forward to working with our new board of directors on growing our Association for the next two years of my term as President and beyond.

The BTNAA has turned 70 years old. You must take a moment to think about that. At one time, Father Flanagan, Msgr. Wegner and a group of alumni had an idea. What sprang forth those many years ago, under Msgr. Wegner’s urging, has grown to become the organization that we celebrate today.  Like many organizations we’ve had our ups and downs, but nevertheless we continue.  The foundation was laid. Boys Town's motto “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother” also took on newer meaning with the advent of young women alumnae as part of our Association. “There is strength in numbers”.  This quote is true in many settings, but ever more so for the BTNAA. We achieve this strength in numbers by membership and participation through all generations. So, to borrow from an old military term, The Word of the Day is “Growth”.

I have found that “when it comes to alumni outreach, one size does not fit all,” We need to keep adapting to be all encompassing of all generations. In other words, we need to adjust to alumni in all demographics and in all stages of life. I hope that I have sparked an idea. In future posts I will lay out ideas received from alumni about “Growth”.  Just click on this link to send me your thoughts.

I have informed the board that our challenge this year will be to hit the ground running with our Reunion Committee. Our intention is to make whole the postponed 35th Biennial Alumni Family Reunion that was to take place this July. Our goal is July 2022. We will then go into planning for the 36th Biennial Reunion for the following year in July of 2023. With the dedication of the board, advisors, and alumni we will bring our alumni back home to Boys Town and honor our 25 and 50 year reunion classes while sharing in our common heritage and legacy.

Several years ago the Board of Directors embarked on a special fund-raising project proposed by former President, Phil Dauterive and approved by the board and supported by former Alumni Director John Mollison, '64  and now Tony Jones, '88. The goal was to raise funds that could be used to replace the concession stand located at the football field on campus. What started out as a conservative funding drive developed into a genuine show of support from all corners of our Boys Town Alumni Universe.  After a bit of a slowdown because of the pandemic we have come back strong and raised more than $22,500. Additionally, Father Boes and his staff notified us that Boys Town will match our donation and build a first-class Alumni Sports Pavilion at the football field that will include a new concession stand .  This pledge guarantees the building, recognition of donors and maintenance of the concession stand. Again, a well done to all those involved with this project.

As a result of the restrictions brought about by the pandemic your board has met via “Go To Meeting” video format, through phone calls and via email reaching out to alumni and getting feedback for the past year and a half. At first it wasn’t easy, but we did acclimate and found that with new technology things can go on. I encourage you to check out the Boys Town Alumni website and encourage you to join the BTNAA as a Lifetime Member or Annual Member. Your active participation and input is always needed and appreciated.

To the Alumni Chapters around the country, to the Auxiliary; thanks for what you do. Your support and assistance throughout the years has been tremendous. You may never hear that enough, but you perform a valuable service to the BTNAA. Keep up the good work.  Finally, I want to commend the previous board of directors for their hard work and commitment, bid farewell to board members Bob Matthews, D'71, Steve Vogt, '94, Jennie Schacht, '94, John Ellebb, '81, Larry Mulligan, '61, and Nick Boes, '13 for their contributions.  Let us welcome our new board members Jennifer Hill-Coba, '96, Darren Gray, '87, Jeff James, D'83, Michael Saine, '79, James Brewer, '66 in addition to those remaining on the board.  Click here to learn more about your new BTNAA Board of Directors.

In closing, your Alumni Board will continue to improve on past goals and objectives. We will continue to support alumni across our alumni world. We will meet again and in person with the chance to swap stories, renew friendships, break bread, and remember those that have passed.  This I pledge!

Please reach out to us. Let’s keep an eye on the future. Let’s never forget, it started with one idea.

“In his simplicity, Father Flanagan was harmless as a dove, but in the service of his Master he was also wise as a serpent. Over the years he won many a conflict with official and unofficial foes, being as astute as he was gentle and forgiving in victory or defeat. No one who crossed swords with him ever went away without a deep respect for his qualities, and a full realization that he battled with consuming emotion for the Lord”.

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Rich Tapio, D’67

President