Although an annual Alumni Banquet first was held in 1863, the Polytechnic Alumni Association wasn’t organized until 1872. Only holders of degrees were eligible for membership. Five years later, a separate group, the Polytechnic Reunion, was founded to meet the needs of the college’s non-graduates and its prep-school alumni. So many alumni became members of both organizations that many of the functions became jointly sponsored. In the mid-eighteen nineties both groups merged into the Polytechnic Club.
In 1901, the prep-school alumni broke away from the Polytechnic Club to form their own organization. Shortly thereafter the college group formed the Alumni Association of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. It met intermittently until 1908 when a constitution and bylaws were adopted and regular meetings and activities were instituted. On November 26, 1926 the executive committee voted to establish a permanent alumni office at the Institute and John R Brierley ’10 (author of the Alma Mater) was engaged as the first full-time alumni secretary.
The Association was officially incorporated under the laws of the State of New York in 1932, as the Brooklyn Polytechnic Alumni Association, Inc. Membership is now open not only to all Polytechnic graduates but also to former students who have completed a year of study, left in good standing, and whose entering class has graduated.
The Association was a dues paying organization until the early 1960s when the association ceased to charge dues in return for their support of Institute fundraising efforts. There is no membership fee to belong to the association and membership is automatic for those who graduate from the Institute.
The organization changed its name with each subsequent change of the Institute’s name. In 1973, the association opened membership to all alumni from the New York University School of Engineering and Science.
In 1996, the Association went through a comprehensive reorganization and re-chartered as the School of Engineering Alumni Association, Inc. In December 2009, the Association officially changed its name to the Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association, Inc as a result of Polytechnic’s affiliation with New York University and effective January 1, 2014 became the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
The Association currently has just over 33,000 living members living in 68 countries.