Until editing a story today, I never stopped to wonder whether the word "alumnus" referred only to graduates of a specific institution or whether it also applied to former students who did not graduate.
The answer is that, yes, it applies to former students who did not graduate. But that answer came with some additional info I hadn't anticipated: Some sources say that "alumnus" is exclusively for males.
I'll let American Heritage online explain:
Inflected forms: pl. a·lum·ni (-n)A male graduate or former
student of a school, college, or university.
Alumnus and alumna both come from Latin and preserve Latin
plurals. Alumnus is a masculine noun whose plural is alumni, and alumna is a
feminine noun whose plural is alumnae. Coeducational institutions usually use
alumni for graduates of both sexes. But those who object to masculine forms in
such cases may prefer the phrase alumni and alumnae or the form alumnae/i, which
is the choice of many women's colleges that have begun to admit men.
Dictionary.com's definition contains no mention of gender. Webster's New World College Dictionary takes a middle position:
a person, especially a boy or man, who has attended or is a graduate of a
particular school, college, etc.
I know you Latin language buffs probably already knew that. I just found it interesting that the Americans adapting the term can't yet decide on this.
Causes June Casagrande Supports
Planned Parenthood, ClimateCrisis.net, the Richard Dawkins Foundation, Pet Orphans of Southern California, KIVA