“Whatever I Can Do to Help the School”: Alan D. Rose Jr. ’87 Named Board President

In his long history with Rivers, Alan D. Rose Jr. ’87 has worn many hats, as student, alumnus, volunteer, Alumni Council president, and, for more than 15 years, board member. Now he’ll be trying on a new one for size: Rose was recently selected to serve as president of the Rivers Board of Trustees; his term started January 1, 2023. He succeeds Harley Lank P’21, who has been board president since 2018.
Rose first joined the Rivers board in 2007, but his engagement with Rivers goes back much further, and his institutional knowledge runs deep. Now in his second term as a trustee (he reached his term limit in 2021 after 15 years in the role and re-joined the board this past year), he has served as second vice president of the Board, as clerk of the Rivers School Corporation, and as a member of numerous committees, including Development, Faculty Enrichment, Diversity, Executive, and Governance, which he chaired for many years. Additionally, in 2013, he served on the Head of School Search Committee that brought Ned Parsons to Rivers, and he was chair of the most recent Head of School Search Committee, whose work culminated in the hiring of Ryan Dahlem to be the school’s next head, starting in July 2023. In 2008, Rose received the Rivers Cup, in recognition of his service to the school.
 
If someone had told Rose, back when he was a student at Rivers, that one day he would be president of the board, he would have been skeptical. “I probably would have said that a whole bunch of other kids are more likely to play that role,” he says with a smile. But he’s never lost sight of what drew him to Rivers in the first place, as a seventh grader coming out of a public school, and he says it’s not so different from what distinguishes the institution today. 

“What appealed to me was that it was about relationships—teaching and relationships,” says Rose. “My teachers had an interest in what I did in the classroom and on the playing fields. If you look at Rivers in the ’80s and beyond, through today, that’s the throughline: teaching and relationships. That’s been the consistent factor, and that’s what has motivated me to stay involved for so long.”

After Rivers, Rose attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating cum laude before going on to Vermont Law School to earn master’s and juris doctor degrees. He is a co-founder of Rose Law Partners; his practice focuses on civil and criminal trial and appellate litigation in federal and state courts and in arbitration, with an emphasis on commercial litigation, employment litigation, defense of state and federal government and regulatory investigations, and college and university law. 
 
Throughout it all, Rose remained connected to Rivers. “I got involved as a member of the alumni association, which led to becoming president of the association,” he says. “I did that for four years; it was a great way to reconnect with the institution and led to a position on the board.”  When he was approached about taking on the role of board president—the first alumnus in more than 30 years to hold the position—the decision to say yes was an easy one. “I’m happy to do whatever I can to help the school.”
 
Outgoing board president Lank said the timing couldn’t be better. “Rivers has never been in a stronger position,” said Lank. “It’s a perfect time to transition board leadership to Alan Rose, who I am confident will successfully lead the Rivers board into the future.” Of his own time on the board, Lank said, “It was an honor to serve in this capacity on behalf of the Rivers community. It is a school my family and I care about deeply.”
 
Rose is looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and diving into the work that lies ahead with his colleagues on the Rivers board. “This is a great time to look toward the future, with Ryan starting in July and the accreditation process launching next year, which will lead us to a new strategic plan.” 
 
He’s not unaware of the challenges that face independent schools, but he’s also a Rivers believer: “The school has always been nimble and innovative. We will be able to meet whatever the future calls for if we retain that spirit.”
 
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