We remember...

Selwyn Alvey

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03/29/14 10:23 AM #1    

Kenneth Bertin (1964)

Great Counselor. My history with Mr. Alvey was pretty extensive. His son-in-law, Bill Van Buren, was the general manager of Castleton Farms, a Standard-Bred Horse breeding farm in Kentucky where my father bought many of his horses which he raced in the Detroit area and around the country. My dad built a great relationship with the entire family and Mr. Alvey, as a result, watched over me and advised me through my studies with apparently personal interest. It made my time at Mumford particularly rewarding. The incident I remember best is after scoring pretty well on my SATs, I was depressed because when comparing my scores with many of my classmates, I felt like I had failed miserably on the exam. There were lots of 1600s and high 1500s amongst my friends. So I went to Mr. Alvey kinda in a funk, and when he asked why, I told him I thought I was a terrible underachiever or words to that effect. He proceeded to show me a chart showing percentiles from the SAT records of overall performance throughout the country. My result was in the 96th percentile. I said to Mr. Alvey that it appeared that the rest of my class where in the 97th, 98th, 99th and 100th percentile. He laughed and told that story to my folks and his son-in-law and nearly everyone else as well. 

What I learned from that incident was 1) percentiles, 2) Mr. Alvey really cared,  3) that the education we received at Mumford was more than just superb, it was extraordinary, 4) and that my friends were smarter than me (or grammatically correct : smarter than I was.)

06/11/14 12:15 PM #2    

Gayle Barak (Ranen) (1964)

Mr. Alvey, I will never forget your trip to Ann Arbor, which was unknown to me, to speak to the admissions committee on my behalf. You later called my father. You were responsible for my admission to Michigan and to this day my entire family still speaks of you with respect and honor.  I had SO much trouble with algebra and you convinced admissions that one course should not determine a student's fate!  Thank you a thousand times!  I believe I made you proud!  And thank you for letting me "work" in your office during study hall and allowing me to use the teacher's bathroom!  There were some scary days back then but I always knew you were there for all of us - you always had our back! Words fail me, but I'll never forget you!  Gayle Barak Ranen

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