View photos from Alumnae Weekend HERE.
On Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, more than 200 alumnae returned to Winsor for Alumnae Weekend 2019. From Friday evening's opening champagne reception through Saturday's family barbecue, the weekend was full of activity, engaging dialogue, and opportunities for generations of alumnae to reconnect and rediscover Winsor.
At Friday evening's traditional alumnae dinner, Head of School Sarah Pelmas welcomed everyone back, offering highlights from the year, and reflecting on what remains at the core of life on Pilgrim Road. "I think you know perfectly well that the most important moments at Winsor don't earn a trophy, and can't be broadcast in the Winsor news. It's the way you change and the way the world changes because you were here, with all the wonderful women at your table, and the way that you learned together, fought battles together, laughed, cried, and grew up together." (Click here to read Ms. Pelmas' speech)
- The Class of 1994 was celebratory, reflective and effusive in their love for their Class and for Winsor, making the largest 25th reunion class gift to date. They also paid tribute to the faculty that defined their Winsor years, hosting the most former faculty guests at dinner than any other class in the last 25 years. Members of the class also led a panel on Women in Business (see below).
- The Class of 1969 came out in force, with 28 members of the class returning, including some who have not returned to campus since graduation. They sponsored a panel discussion for all alumnae (see below) and also gathered for a more intimate lunch discussion to reflect and reconnect.
- The Class of 1964 demonstrated their deep commitment to Winsor with a class gift of $340,000 - the largest post-50th class gift.
This year marked the launch of several inaugural programs, and we will continue to build on their momentum in the coming year.
- SISTERS Luncheon. Former members of the SISTERS affinity group joined with mentors for an open discussion facilitated by Janice Fidalgo '14. It was the first time this group of alumnae has come together on campus, seizing the opportunity to forge new bonds, and starting an essential dialogue that will continue well beyond the weekend.
- The Memory Project. Winsor's Alumnae Relations team coordinated the setup of a high-tech recording station and asked Winsor alumnae to share favorite memories, as well as hopes and dreams for the future of Winsor. We are excited to continue gathering your reflections! If you would like to participate, you can use your own device to record what you'd like the share, then email the voice memo to Beth Peterson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Passion Project. A dedication to service, and a desire to make the world a better place, have always been hallmarks of a Winsor graduate. We know that countless among you left Winsor to pursue your passions, and have done so with the intent to make a difference. This weekend, five generous-minded alums set up stations, providing an opportunity for reunion attendees to stop by and talk about community engagement. Special thanks to: Averill Babson '69, Lucy Costa '90, Lynn Harris '86, Sydney Howland '06, and Keziah Robinson '96.
25th Reunion speaker Suzanne Ranere Norris '94 eloquently captured the spirit of the evening, and of the Class of 1994, famous for embracing "leadership as a core value." Grateful for a Winsor education, and looking to the future, she said, "It is now OUR turn to inspire the next generation of girls, to raise them up, to help them realize their unlimited potential. Not to just be advisors or mentors for them, but to be highly visible and vocal. To be accessible, to give them support and to put them front and center when leadership calls." (Click here to read Suzanne's speech)
Along with sharing Winsor memories, 50th Reunion speaker Claire Altschuler Marx '69 reflected what it was like to be a Winsor student during a tumultuous time of change. "We spent a lot of time together during a very formative period of life," Claire said. "In trying to figure out why I became so involved with this speech, I realize that in some way I feel you are all imprinted on me in a most primal way, beyond 'like' or even 'love'." Echoing a classmate, she added that reuniting with classmates at the reunion, she reveled in the "meaningful conversation without pretense" that is "all too rare." (Click here to read Claire's speech)
Wendy Colten Finnerty '64 was honored by Head of School Sarah Pelmas with the Julia Lyman Simonds '17 Alumnae Prize, given annually to a loyal alumna who has combined an energetic pursuit of excellence with devoted service to humanity.
A dedicated alumna, proud parent of an alumna, and proud grandparent of a student of the Class of 2025, Wendy's service to Winsor includes: 8 years on the Board of Trustees, 9 years on the Corporation, and roles as President of the Alumnae Board, Chairman of the Centennial Campaign, and Chair of the Facilities Committee that struck the agreement with Simmons College to use their new athletic center. Humble, thoughtful, and dedicated to service, Wendy continues to be a role model for future generations.
Mary Gallagher '94 and Carrie Jenks '94 received the Alumnae Service Award, an award given annually to honor sustained and significant service to Winsor. "These two spectacular alums have rallied their class around their 25th Reunion like we have never seen before, serving as true community builders and honoring Winsor's legacy in a profound and heartfelt way," said Alumnae Board President Jennifer Morgan Peterson '89 P'20, '22, '26, who announced the honors to loud cheers.
Meg Weeks '04 was honored with the Young Alumnae Award, given annually in recognition of a loyal alumnae within 15 years of her graduation who has shown great promise and accomplishment in her community or profession. Providing an overview of Meg's success, Jennifer Morgan Peterson '89 P'20, '22, '26 said, "She has shown time and time again her devotion to preserving art and making it accessible to all." In addition to her work, "the dedication she has to her teams, whether they are personal or professional, and her concern for the well-being of those around her make her exceptional."
Panels Discussions and Workshops
On Friday evening, the Class of 1969 held a panel for all alumnae to attend. Dr. Patricia Potter '69 opened the discussion with a thoughtful look back at how "the times, they were a changin'." Alumnae from a range of classes offered memories and perspectives, finding common ground in their shared Winsor experiences. (Click here to read Patty's introduction)
On Saturday morning, alumnae enjoyed several engaging panels and workshops led by Winsor alumnae and faculty:
- "Winsor Women at the Forefront of Business and Economic Growth," hosted and moderated by the Alumnae Board. Facilitated by Mary Gallagher '94, the panel members included: Lindsay Bleier '94, Courtney Walker Hendricson '94, Alison Killilea Neuwirth '94, and Courtney French MacConnell '94.
- "Project Runway," a workshop led by fine arts faculty Erin Calamari and Sara Maccaulay in which alumnae created a dress/top/skirt from recyclables, a project Winsor students undertake as part of the arts curriculum.
- "Your Health, Brain and Well-Being," led by Christina Baudis, Head of Wellness, and Madeline Warlan M.Ed., School Counselor.
In Loving Memory
At the very start of the weekend, Friday's opening memorial was an opportunity to gather and honor the memory of Winsor classmates who passed away over the past year. Following the performance of two beautiful pieces on flute by Erica Sahin '22, Kate Baker-Carr '80 delivered a moving service.
Reflecting on the passage of time, and its impact on what we call to memory, she shared, "In the immediate season following a death, often the response is to remember the person's last years, the last conversation you shared, the last time you were together," she said. But then, "Overtime, the fullness of the life and of the friendship returns and even continues as we remember them. As we place them into our memory, we see them, we see our friendship, in a new light. Death ends a life, but never a relationship." Click here to read Kate's beautiful meditation.