The North Carolina Governor’s School Alumni Association is a service organization comprised of people who once attended the NC Governor’s School. It is not a non-profit organization, and it is not a registered political action committee, though it does have as its core goal to support the Governor’s School through contributions and raising public awareness.
What Does the GSAA Do?
The purpose of the GSAA is threefold:
1. To promote and raise public awareness of the Governor’s School.
North Carolina’s Governor’s School is the oldest Governor’s School in the nation. It is a part of our statewide heritage. Today, there are over 50 governor’s schools in over 35 states, many of which were modeled on the North Carolina concept. Despite that heritage, many people in our own state have never heard of the Governor’s School, and many who have heard of it do not know what it is. Particularly, many members of the Legislature have never heard of it. So part of our goal is to make our state aware of the Governor’s School and to focus attention on this excellent program among the legislators who provide the funding for the School. We do this through letter-writing campaigns and by promoting GS among high-school guidance counselors. Several attempts at wider-ranging media coverage have gone nowhere, as GS is simply not controversial enough to attract the attention of the papers and television.
2. To provide funding for the Governor’s School’s student activities.
Due to the shrinking budget for GS, many programs related to student activities were cut from the budget in the mid-1980’s. These programs, while not essential to the mission of the School, were considered essential to the sanity of the students and faculty. Simple things, like music for parties, social events, ice cream and lemonade, and gas for the bus would not be available if the GSAA did not make a donation each year. Even with our support, the funding for these events has been scant for the past few years. So a large portion of our proceeds goes to this. In a way, the students from each class are given the opportunity to provide support for the class that will follow after. Without this support, the social interaction of GS would dwindle, and along with it the opportunities for students to make new friends and interact with their peers. The GSAA believes that this social growth is equally as important as the intellectual growth that GS fosters.
3. To provide a forum through which alumni can stay connected.
This is primarily accomplished via our web site, and secondarily via our annual Alumni gathering. Our goal with the web site is to keep track of all GS alumni and make contact with those who have been lost over the years. We want to provide a place where all alumni can come and make contact with one another, find long-lost friends, connect with their classmates, and stay informed on the news about Governor’s School. Since we get very little media attention, the web site is probably the only place to get news about GS. On Alumni Day, we try to provide the alumni with an annual return to Governor’s School, so that they can re-experience the atmosphere that changed their perceptions of themselves and their environment. For many, GS was a life-changing experience. Through alumni gatherings, we attempt to let alumni experience that again.
Along with these primary goals, the GSAA also works with the GS Foundation Board and the Department of Public Instruction’s GS Board of Governors.