The creation of the IYRS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION was the topic of discussion during an evening gathering of alumni by the school in 2007. A number of alumni present at that meeting volunteered to assist in its launching, in cooperation with the school.
The primary objectives of the association were agreed upon as follows:
- To benefit people who graduate from IYRS programs by creating and maintaining a network among them
- To promote the IYRS school and its activities
- To assist in preserving the craft of wooden boat building and restoration.
Every person graduating from the restoration and systems program of IYRS is automatically considered a member of the Alumni Association. For now the IAA activities are pursued by volunteers who assist three alumni who also donate their time to coordinate and manage these. The school provides for some administrative and financial assistance. However, there are no dues required from the alumni.
As of 2009 there were a few more than 100 alumni. However, in 2009, 26 people graduated from both the restoration and system programs. At this rate, the Alumni Association will more than double in 3 years. As our numbers grow, we will progressively become more organized and select an Association President along with a group of people to help him or her with the various association activities.
Our first aim is to maintain contact with as many of our fellow alumni as we can. Then, we wish to have two events during the year which will bring us together. The first event which took place in September 2008 was a summer regatta in Newport. It turned out to be very successful and we want to make it an annual event every September. It is planned at this time to provide an opportunity for alumni to meet with newcomer students in the school. The second , a winter event is underway for 2010.
In addition, we want to use the web as a means for alumni/alumnae to stay in touch with one another from wherever we may be living and also as a way of interacting with non IYRS alumni, all over the world, who share our interest in wooden boat restoration and construction. Even though the building of this association is a slow process, for those who are involved, it is a labor of love. We will get there eventually, so any of you alumni who want to help, please contact us