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Reunion 2021

By Sandra Santana
Over the last 15 months, the world collectively awaited their reunions with loved ones, friends, classmates, and more. One year ago, we made a difficult announcement that a return to campus for Reunion 2020 would not be possible. While we hoped to welcome classes back to Mount Ida for celebrations in 2021, the health and safety of our community remained as our top priority. Ultimately, we made the determination that an in-person reunion in June 2021 would not be possible and charged forward with a robust virtual platform.

Led by Director of Alumnae Relations Margaret Clark ’98, the Alumnae Relations team worked tirelessly to ensure the milestone that is Reunion would continue to be a special opportunity to celebrate tradition and connect with classmates. To kick off the fun filled weekend, Head of School Jenny Rao took us out of this world with engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison and Dr. Molly Mulligan '01, Director of Commercialization Strategies at Space Commerce Matters. History Instructor and Albert P. Newell Chair of Humanities Bob Naeher, PhD took attendees back into the classroom with The History of Troy while Instructor of Visual Arts Lindsay Slaughter guided viewers through a Paint and Sip activity. 

To prepare for the busy weekend schedule, Nancy Buttenheim '70 led participants through a mindful morning yoga class, and world renowned baker Cynthia Barcomi '81 shared some sweet tips during a baking lesson. Attendees were invited to After COVID19: Reshaping Public Health, a conversation moderated by Chudney Sykes '96 where panelists Jennifer Kealy '81, Umbereen Nehal '94, Dr. Yen Duong Pottinger '97, and Patrice Savery '80 discussed how COVID-19 will reshape the future of public health. Dr. Jyoti Srivastava '77 shared the journey from healthcare to establishing a handcrafted jewelry line in A Lifelong Quest: From Science Nerd at Emma to Stone Master in NYC. English Department Chair Leslie Coffey '00 led viewers through a discussion with Sierra Crane Murdoch ‘05 about her new book Yellow Bird, a gripping true story of a murder on a Native American reservation and the unforgettable Arikara woman that becomes obsessed with solving it. 

State of the School & Alumnae Recognition Awards brought cheers and celebrations for this year’s honorees: Jennifer Kealy ‘81 (Distinguished Alumna), Natasha Kermani ‘06 (Distinguished Young Alumna), Dr. Estella Jones ‘76 (Career Achievement), Joshunda Sanders ‘96 (Humanitarian & Global Service Award), Carolyn Busch Foster ‘71 and Valerie Phillips Parsegian ‘61 (Service to Emma Willard). The AAC Annual Meeting allowed attendees to further their knowledge about the Alumnae Association Council and vote on the upcoming new member slate. Finally, the weekend came to an end at  The Closing Ceremony with the Alumnae Choir.

Although it has been quite some time since we have physically come together, virtual reunion allowed for a piece of Emma Willard School to be with alumnae from all over the world. We encourage you to visit the Reunion page to catch up on the exciting weekend, and we look forward to celebrating with our community safely next year.
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Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years. 

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