Address to Reunion

June 17, 2019 by Guest Graduate Bloggers

given by Kate Strousse '13, the President of the Alumnae Board

Founded in 2012, the Stoneleigh-Burnham School Athletic Hall of Fame was created to honor those players, teams, coaches, administrators, or others who have made outstanding contributions to sports and Stoneleigh-Burnham Athletics during their time at Stoneleigh-Burnham or in life thereafter. Inductees are selected and celebrated every other year.

Our first inductee into the Athletics Hall of Fame is Ramses Nimpa Lonlack.

Ramses came to the US from Belabo, Cameroon, graduating from SBS in 2008. During her time at Stoneleigh-Burnham School, she played Varsity Basketball, Varsity Soccer, and was a Residential Assistant. Ramses played at the collegiate level with the Memphis Tigers, and has played internationally with Cameroon’s National Women’s Basketball team. She has over 500 rebounds, 250 steals, over 1000 points, and is only the sixth player in the history of the University of Memphis, a division 1 school, to achieve such numbers. Ramses, this induction to the Stoneleigh-Burnham School Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes your significant achievements in basketball at Stoneleigh-Burnham, your considerable accomplishments with the Memphis Tigers, as well as the Cameroon Women’s National Basketball Team.

We have two inductees this year, and our second is Anne Quantrell Dennen.

Anne has been an athlete most, if not all of her life. Thus her very competitive nature.

As a freshman at Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill School Anne immediately involved herself in softball, soccer, winter skiing, and lacrosse. She remained actively involved in athletics during her four years, graduating from Stoneleigh-Burnham School in 1970.

Anne grew up in Camden, Maine, living with her family on the coast of Penobscot Bay, the ideal venue for sailboat competition. Anne carried out her father’s passion for sailing in her early years, mastering her sailing skills taking the helm of tiny turnabout boats, working her way up to crew in the clubs' summer regattas aboard large (80 ft) sloops. Anne also immersed herself in her own adult softball league, spending many summers at the community softball field playing ball and enjoying the camaraderie of other avid athletes. Anne’s love of softball and her school resulted in the creation of Quantrell Field on Stoneleigh-Burnham's campus. We are proud to honor you, Anne, for your passion for athletics, sportsmanship, and especially softball, with this induction into the Stoneleigh-Burnham Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Our next award is the Elinor Johnstone Ferdon Mary A. Burnham Class of 1954 Alumnae Leadership Award

The Ferdon Award is presented to an alumna who, like Ellie, has demonstrated outstanding leadership within our community. For anyone who has met Ellie, or gazed upon her portrait in the Blue Room, her grace, poise, and determination are apparent. Those qualities serve one well in when active in leadership roles that benefit alumnae and the School as a volunteer for and representative of Stoneleigh-Burnham. Our recipient this year, with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work closely on the Alumnae Board, exudes the same grace and poise, while her fierce loyalty to SBS fuels a drive and purpose for which others strive. It gives me great pleasure to present The Elinor Johnstone Ferdon, Mary A. Burnham Class of 1954 Alumnae Leadership Award to Charlotte Lewis-Hankus, Class of 1972.

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A new award this year is the Distinguished Young Alumnae Award. It is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions in one or more of the following ways and are under the age of 35: Exceptional accomplishment in her chosen field; exceptional contributions to Stoneleigh-Burnham; or exceptional service in local, state or national affairs.

As a four-year senior, Jessica Meese graduated from SBS in 2004 having already filled a trophy shelf. The Head of School Special Award for Contributions to School Life, Senior Math Award; Senior Music Award; National Honors Society, MVP Captain’s Award, and Coaches Award in Dance are just some of the many.

From Greenfield, Jessica continued her education in Pennsylvania, attending Carnegie Mellon University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree, Civil Engineering, a Minor in Vocal Music, and a Master’s Degree, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her years there added to her awards with, to name a few; a Senior Leadership Recognition Award, Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, and University and College Honors including being named a Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) Honor recipient.

While accomplishing all of this, Jessica also found time to continue performing, all the more so after relocating and working in New York. In 2011, Jessica auditioned and was invited to join The Blue Hill Troupe. Jessica wrote and performed a one woman cabaret 2013: Don’t Tell Mama, in New York, and in 2015 was invited to join Uncommon Chord: New York. This year, Jessica was invited to play the part of Marta in Sondheim’s Company.

One would think these are accomplishments enough, but Jessica applied those skills and qualities with the same confident manner to her professional life. Entering a male dominated field, Jessica’s attention to detail, steadfastness, and dedication has served her well. Early in her career, she served as a Field engineer on contracts renovating elevated train stations for New York City Transit, continuing as Project Engineer at Longi Engineering working on the East Side Access project on systems, civil, and architectural contracts from bid to close-out. She was part of the Construction Management team on the East Side Access project for Long Island Railroad, building new tunnels and a new concourse in Grand Central Terminal, NYC. For the past five years, Jessica has been Deputy Construction Manager at Jacobs Engineering as part of the team on the East Side Access project for Long Island Railroad, building new tunnels and a new concourse in Grand Central Terminal, NYC. Again, recognition of her talents and successes continue, most recently with the 2018 Jacobs Engineering Systems Managers of the Year Award presented earlier this year.

As a strong voice, be it in the classroom, across the athletic field, on stage, as an advocate for our school, in a boardroom or at the job site, Jessica embodies leadership, service, and the mission of Stoneleigh-Burnham. We are proud to bestow our first Distinguished Young Alumnae Award on Jessica K. Meese, Class of 2004.

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What’s a gathering of friends and classmates without a bit of whimsy?

The Alumnae Board would like to present two more awards.

The first, to the alumna who has attended the most Reunions since her own commencement. Who here has attended 5 Reunions? 10? Show of hands. 15? 20? Addie Minott ’50 SPH - You obviously enjoy a party with your sisters!

The second, to the alumna who has traveled the farthest to join us for this Reunion celebration! Portia Ra, class of 2011, who has traveled 6,756 miles from Seoul, South Korea. Portia, you certainly have gone the extra mile, and we appreciate it!

Filed Under: Reunion, Awards