The weekend of February 19th and 20th at Stoneleigh-Burnham School was filled with vibrant energy and warm sentiments for the School from alumnae and seniors alike.
Friday evening we celebrated 100 Nights in honor of the seniors' last 100 days before entering the ranks of the Alumnae Association. Following the special candlelight dinner, alumnae and alumnae board members relaxed at a special cocktail reception held at Coleman House. The following morning the Alumnae Board reconvened for a day-long meeting to discuss how to best reach all of our alumnae. Saturday was capped off with a wonderful reception and dinner in honor of the five alumnae being inducted into the Stoneleigh-Burnham Equestrian Wall of Fame.
Throughout the weekend I felt a resounding theme that appeared to be expressed with one voice. At the 100 Nights dinner, Head of School Sally Mixsell asked each alumna to share her favorite memory from their time at school. Even though the alumnae spanned many years and represented classes from the three schools, Mary A. Burnham, Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill and Stoneleigh-Burnham, I noticed a common thread weaving through their stories. Each alumna remarked on her own unique experience at school and shared how she was able to find her voice and to develop the confidence to express that voice while here. The appreciation for the open and accepting environment of SBS was palpable.
The seniors then took center stage so that each student could share her individual goals with the alumnae in attendance. Years after their own graduation days, the alumnae were able to closely relate to the seniors’ experiences of becoming one’s best, unique self. The same theme resonated; girls expressed their desire to take full advantage of everything that our diverse, open and accepting community offers in order to become "her best self" and continue to pursue her own unique voice.
The next evening each inductee for the Equestrian Wall of Fame shared her story. Diverse personalities took the stage one by one, yet they spoke of similar experiences of how the School and the Riding program helped them to find their passion and encouraged them to become their best in the equestrian world and beyond. The heartfelt message in each acceptance speech possessed the familiar thread that had been shared by the seniors and alumnae earlier in the weekend - how the challenging, yet nurturing community of Stoneleigh-Burnham School helped each alumna find her passion, her voice and the courage to pursue her dreams.
It was as if one person had written each speech for the seniors, the Alumnae Board members and the Wall of Fame Inductees. For forty eight hours this past weekend it became quite evident that we have one mission, one diversified voice, one shared experience, one School.
- Liz Feeley, Associate Director of Development and Alumnae Relations