Forever Emma

Reunion Reimagined: A Virtual Sampling

Suzanne Romero Dewey
Reunions are essential in today’s relationship-focused world. Whether families or schoolmates, coming back together to celebrate and re-connect after the passage of time is a traditional and enjoyable endeavor. In the upcoming spring issue of the school’s magazine, Signature, members of the classes of 1950 through 2015 (classes ending in 0s and 5s) use the Class Notes to invite, encourage, and state their plans for returning to Emma Willard School to enjoy a weekend of learning, conferring, and most importantly reexperiencing their high school days on Mt. Ida. Those notes were written in early 2020.

COVID-19 had other plans and in April, the reunion slated for June 12-14 was postponed until June 2021. Director of Alumnae Relations and Campus Events Margaret Clark, herself an alumna of the Class of 1998, was determined that the disappointed alumnae should have something to celebrate that weekend. Late in April, with no guidebook or experience to follow, Margaret worked with volunteers, faculty, and fellow employees to craft a virtual experience, now known as Reunion Reimagined.

Similar to Virtually Emma, the school’s rapidly organized online learning platform for the spring of 2020, Reunion Reimagined was built while the vision was still forming. With the centerpiece being the 2020 alumnae awards and recognition, Margaret wanted to share classroom samples, a visit to the Archives, a visit with Bill Dietel, student art, reflections from alumnae, and a live discussion with Elizabeth Gilbert  (her most recent book, City of Girls, features a fictional alumna of Emma Willard School).

The Zoom chat during the live moderated conversation with Ms. Gilbert had plenty of questions and a good deal of reminiscing about old friends, sewing machine memories, and personalities--not to mention cherished spaces on campus. The website pages for Reunion Reimagined are filled with gems that will make any alumna smile. Whether checking in on the AAC or experiencing a Spring 2020 Signature Project on the Architectural Heritage of Emma Willard School, spend a little virtual time on Mt. Ida and make sure to make plans for June 2021’s grand reunion adventure!
    • Virtual Choir Singing "The Water is Wide"

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