(Latin pronunciation: [aˈlʊmnʊs]
; masculine) or an alumna
; feminine) of a college, university, or other school is a former student who has either attended or graduated in some fashion from the institution. The word is Latin and simply means student
. The plural is alumni [aˈlʊmniː]
for men and mixed groups and alumnae [aˈlʊmnae̯]
for women. The term is not synonymous with "graduate"; one can be an alumnus without graduating (Burt Reynolds
, alumnus but not graduate of Florida State
, is an example). The term is sometimes used to refer to a former employee or member of an organization, contributor, or inmate.
The Latin noun alumnus
means "foster son" or "pupil". It is derived from PIE *h₂el-
(grow, nourish), and is closely related to the Latin verbalo
Separate, but from the same root, is the adjective almus
"nourishing", found in the phrase Alma Mater
, a title for a person's home university.
In Latin, alumnus
is a legal term (Roman law
) to describe a child placed in fosterage
According to John Boswell
, the word "is nowhere defined in relation to status, privilege, or obligation."
Citing the research of Henri Leclercq
, Teresa Nani
, and Beryl Rawson
, who studied the many inscriptions about alumni,
Boswell concluded that it referred to exposed children
who were taken into a household where they were "regarded as somewhere between an heir and a slave, partaking in different ways of both categories." Despite the warmth of feelings between the parent and child, "an alumnus
might be treated both as a beloved child and as a household servant."
An alumnus or alumna is a former student and most often a graduate of an educational institution (school, college, university).
According to the United States Department of Education
, the term alumnae
is used in conjunction with either women's colleges
or a female group of students. The term alumni
is used in conjunction with either men's colleges
, a male group of students, or a mixed group of students:
In accordance with the rules of grammar governing the inflexion of nouns in the Romance languages
, the masculine plural alumni is correctly used for groups composed of both sexes: the alumni of Princeton University
The term is sometimes informally shortened to "alum" (optional plural "alums").
- ^ "The State Of Corporate Alumni : 2017 Survey Results". EnterpriseAlumni - Large Organization Alumni & Retiree Management. 2017-10-02. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
- ^ "Alumni – Definition from the Free Merriam Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 1: A person who has attended or has graduated from a particular school, college, or university. 2: a person who is a former member, employee, contributor, or inmate
- ^ "Alumnus – definition of alumnus by Macmillan dictionary". Macmillandictionary.com. Retrieved 2011-02-15. Someone who was a student at a particular school, college, or university
- ^ Merriam-Webster: alumnus...
- ^ For example, Digest 40, 2, 14
- ^ Boswell 1988, pp. 117–119.
- ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
- ^ "Archived: Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges". Ed.gov. Archived from the original on 2006-08-15. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- ^ "alumni – Definitions from Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- ^ "alum." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. 1 December 2006. Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alum
(1988). The Kindness of Strangers:The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 9780226067124
The dictionary definition of alumnus
Last edited on 18 February 2021, at 19:33
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