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2020–21 Report of the Alumnae/i Association

Each year, alumnae/i contribute to the life of the school, both on campus and within the greater CA community. We are proud to share the achievements of our alumnae/i networks in the 2020–21 Report of the Alumnae/i Association.

Mission Statement

The Alumnae/i Association fosters lifelong connections between Concord Academy and its alumnae/i community. The Association facilitates meaningful opportunities to preserve and promote a love of learning, service to others, and a commitment to diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Through involvement in the life of the school, within the community, and through service to the greater world, the Association strives to renew and affirm the core values instilled while at CA.

Alumnae/i Volunteer Leadership

The 2020–21 Alumnae/i Steering Committee

Karen McAlmon ’75

Karen McAlmon ’75

President

Jennifer Beal ’79,  P’12

Jennifer Beal ’79, P’12

Co-Chair, New England Regional Committee

Trelane Clark ’92, P’22

Trelane Clark ’92, P’22

Co-Chair, Alumnae/i Community & Equity Committee

Noah Fisk ’93

Noah Fisk ’93

Co-Chair, New York Area Regional Committee

Gabe Greenberg ’98

Gabe Greenberg ’98

Co-Chair, New York Area Regional Committee

Eliza Grossman ’17

Eliza Grossman ’17

Co-Chair, CAYAC (Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Community) Committee

Dat Le ’06

Dat Le ’06

Co-Chair, CAYAC (Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Community) Committee

Michael Lichtenstein ’94

Michael Lichtenstein ’94

Chair, Class Secretary Program

Matt McCahill ’95

Matt McCahill ’95

Co-Chair, Alumnae/i Annual Fund Committee

Laura McConaghy ’01

Laura McConaghy ’01

Ex-officio committee member (Past President)

Becca Miller ’14

Becca Miller ’14

Co-Chair, CAYAC (Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Community) Committee

Eric Nguyen ’00

Eric Nguyen ’00

Chair, Alumnae/i Admissions Network

Miriam Perez-Putnam ’12

Miriam Perez-Putnam ’12

Co-Chair, CAYAC (Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Community) Committee

Nella Rasic ’09

Nella Rasic ’09

Co-Chair, New England Regional Committee

Paolo Sanchez ’14

Paolo Sanchez ’14

Co-Chair, Alumnae/i Community & Equity Committee

Claire Moriarty Schaeffer ’05

Claire Moriarty Schaeffer ’05

Co-Chair, Alumnae/i Annual Fund Committee

Kate Rea Schmitt ’62, P’88

Kate Rea Schmitt ’62, P’88

Chair, Joan Shaw Herman Award Selection Committee

Ollie Longo '21

Ollie Longo ’21

Senior Rep

Shreya Patel '21

Shreya Patel ’21

Senior Rep

Emily Shih '21

Emily Shih ’21

Senior Rep

With Gratitude

The following alumnae/i are completing their terms on the Alumnae/i Steering Committee. We are deeply grateful for their contributions as ambassadors, thought partners, and galvanizers.

 

Jennifer Beal ’79, P’12 has served on the Alumnae/i Steering Committee for over a decade. She led local and regional committees during this time, working to keep alumnae/i across New England and right down the road on Main Street, connected to CA and each other. We will miss Jennifer’s positivity, energy, and creativity. Jennifer, thank you for all you’ve done for CA! 

Dat Le ’06 has served as co-chair of the CAYAC Committee for two years and has been an invaluable member of this group, leading by example and with kind encouragement. He has been a steadfast presence within the young alumnae/i community and never shies away from an opportunity to encourage his classmates and fellow alumnae/i to come together in support of the school. We are grateful for his energy, humor, and commitment to his role and CA. Thank you, Dat! 

Claire Moriarty Schaeffer ’05, is completing her term as co-chair of the Alumnae/i Annual Fund committee and has served as a member of the Steering Committee in a variety of leadership roles for almost a decade—first as co-chair of CAYAC to her efforts on behalf of alumnae/i giving. Claire has been a steadfast voice for the alumnae/i community and we have benefited from her involvement on the Board of Trustees. Thank you, Claire, for your steadfast dedication to CA!

2021–22 New Officers and Leadership

 

Alexis Goltra ’87 will step into the role of co-chair of the Alumnae/i Annual Fund, in which he will also sit on the Board of Trustees as an ex-officio member. After graduating from CA, Alexis attended Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He started as a litigator at Palmer & Dodge in Boston, then joined Oracle as an in-house counsel in 2001. He served as its chief privacy officer from 2013 to 2018 until joining Citrix in 2019, where he is also the CPO. Alexis lives in Concord, Mass., with his wife, Lynne, and two daughters, Charlotte and Josephine, who attend the Nashoba Brooks School. His mother, Catherine Petersen Mack, graduated from CA in 1964 and his step-sisters Aeron and Megan Mack graduated in 1983 and 1984. Alexis previously served on the CA Board between 2003 and 2007, and he is looking forward to reprising his role as co-chair of the Alumnae/i Annual Fund.

Maris Hubbard ’12 will serve as co-chair of the Alumnae/i Admissions Network after having contributed as an alumnae/i interview for the past two years. Maris graduated from law school in May 2021. She now lives and works in Portland, Maine, representing low-income survivors of domestic violence in their family law and restraining order cases.

Alumnae/i Initiatives and Programs

The CA Alumnae/i Association and its volunteer committees serve both the alumnae/i community and the school in their missions. Led by members of the Alumnae/i Steering Committee, these committees embody the definition of giving back. This year, over 175 alumnae/i contributed to the life of the school, sharing their expertise, time, and love for CA with students, faculty and staff, and fellow alumnae/i—thank you for making the CA experience all it can be!

The CA Alumnae/i Admissions Network

Eric Nguyen ’00, Chair

Each school year, alumnae/i interviewers lend their time and talent interviewing potential CA students. This year, six alumnae/i completed 45 virtual interviews over several throughout the fall and early winter.  

“Our team of alumnae/i interviewers are an invaluable asset in the Office of Admission’s efforts to bring together a community that reflects the school’s mission: a community animated by love of learning, diverse and striving for equity, grounded in common trust. The perspective of our alumnae/i offers prospective families a glimpse into what the ‘CA experience’ is beyond what can be fully articulated via a website or informational materials. The lived CA experiences of our dedicated alumnae/i interviewers helps prospective students start to understand how the CA community could be a place they come to call home in the years to come.

This year’s interviewers generously conducted additional interviews to help our office meet an increased demand in interviews this season. Each interviewer demonstrated flexibility and compassion for families throughout the admissions process, carving out time to speak with prospective families (virtually) at their convenience, whether in the morning, afternoon, or heading into the evening hours to accommodate various time zones. We are incredibly fortunate for this year’s interviewers and their commitment to helping prospective families navigate a virtual school search process.” 

Julie H. Wadland
Associate Director of Admission

A special thank you to the 2020–21 alumnae/ admissions interviewers

Abigail Cohen ’01
Eric Nguyen ’00
Maris Hubbard ’12
Tessa Steinert-Evoy ’10
Paolo Sanchez ’14
Jon Schechner ’98

 

Alumnae/i Community and Equity Committee

Trelane Clark ’92, P’22 and Paolo Sanchez ’14, Co-Chairs

The Community and Equity Committee includes the school’s alumnae/i in conversations and initiatives around issues of diversity and equity at CA today. Our goal is to bring students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i together to examine identity, build community, challenge inequity, and support social justice activism. The Alumnae/i C&E Committee provides support and opportunities to connect underrepresented groups within the student and alumnae/i community to each other.

We were pleased to offer several virtual opportunities to engage in this work throughout the year.

Courageous Conversations

Rob Munro, dean of academic program and equity, and Laura Twichell ’01, interim dean of faculty and former director of community and equity, presented the framework of “Courageous Conversations,” a tool to navigate discussion surrounding politics, race, gender, religion, and other social factors with language that is compassionate, founded in truth, and based in inquiry. This framework was originally presented to the CA community during Orientation and we were pleased to offer it in two parts to our alumnae/i community—first in November, and a part two during Virtual Reunion, at which time alumnae/i were able to practice the skills in more depth.  

Caste Book Discussion

On January 30, 20 alumnae/i gathered to discuss Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, in a conversation led by Trelane Clark ’92, P’22. During the discussion, participants examined overt and covert caste systems in America, India, and Nazi Germany and discussed the implications of hierarchy in our culture.

Alumnae/i and Students of Color Virtual Conference

This spring, 23 alumnae/i and 26 students participated in the Alumnae/i and Students of Color Virtual Conference. This year’s event was themed around “working towards equity” and offered students connections and mentorship through the alumnae/i network. The morning started off with a conversation with school leadership, featuring discussion on the Community and Equity Office’s efforts to create a working definition of equity at CA, and equity as a guiding tenet of the head of school search. Students and alumnae/i then had the opportunity to dialogue in a variety of sessions on topics including activism, community building, and mentorship. 

Alumnae/i Newsletter

Two issues of the alumnae/i newsletter, one in the fall semester and one in the spring, featured a C&E focus. Both issues shared updates on community and equity work from campus, tools and resources, and featured alumnae/i of color in the news. Read the October and February editions.

We are thrilled about the hiring of Grant Hightower, director of community and equity, as part of CA’s commitment to realizing a central tenet of the school’s mission, “striving for equity.” We look forward to partnering with Grant and offering more affinity-based programming that engages CA alumnae/i in the work of equity and belonging. Read more about Grant.

Would you like to be involved with community and equity initiatives? Make sure to update your profile information.

 

Regional Alumnae/i Committees

Jennifer Beal ’79, P’12 and Nella Rasic ’09, New England Regional Co-Chairs
Noah Fisk ’93 and Gabe Greenberg ’98, New York Area Regional Co-Chairs

Due to the pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings, we were not able to have robust offerings for regional programming this year. We look forward to seeing our alumnae/i for in-person events in the coming year. Stay tuned for more information, and keep an eye out for details on Concord Academy’s Founders Day celebrations in April 2022!

We are looking to expand our regional presence across the country and the globe. Are you interested in hosting a CA event in your area? Contact Merrill Genoa at merrill_genoa@concordacademy.org.

 

Joan Shaw Herman Award Selection Committee

Kate Rea Schmitt ’62, P’88, Chair

Joan Shaw Herman

Established in 1976, the Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service is presented annually to a member of the CA community.  The school’s only award recognizes the work of CA graduates who have demonstrated dedication to service in either a professional or volunteer capacity. This year marked the first time the award was presented to two living alumnae/i. Doctors Leslie Davidson ’66 and Ingrid Walker-Descartes ’91 were honored with the 2021 award for their contributions to child protection, health, and advocacy. Their work addressing pediatric trauma and children’s mental health, disability, and welfare is difficult, emotional, and often inconspicuous. Leslie and Ingrid are children’s champions. 

Ingrid and Leslie gave a presentation on June 2 as part of Virtual Reunion 2021. Whether she has been spearheading the building of playgrounds or educating teens about dating violence, Leslie’s career has integrated clinical pediatrics and public health, both with local communities in the U.S. and internationally, guided by her research interests in maternal and child health, child and adolescent development, and the prevention of injury and violence. Ingrid is dedicated to serving children as a pediatrician with a specialty in child abuse and neglect. Her advocacy extends from the clinic to the courtroom, where she speaks on behalf of children unable to do so for themselves. 

Both alumnae honored with this year’s award shared the difficulty of their work and the urgency of societal change. “We need to change how children are valued,” Leslie said. Ingrid had a similar message: “Through my work, I believe a more just and sustainable future can only occur if we prioritize the needs of children, of all of our children.” Read more and watch their presentation.

We look forward to welcoming Ingrid and Leslie back to campus during the 2021–22 academic year to share their stories and experiences with students, faculty, and staff.

A special thanks to the 2020–21 Joan Shaw Herman Award selection committee

Alex Fernandez ’11
Alexis Goltra ’87
Betsy Green ’91
Ollie Longo ’21
Shreya Patel ’21
Emily Shih ’21
Kate Rea Schmitt ’62, P’88, Chair
Stuart Warner ’77

Nominate a fellow alumna/us for the 2022 Joan Shaw Herman Award or learn more about past recipients. 

 

Class Secretary Program

Michael Lichtenstein ’94, Chair

CA’s class secretaries make up the school’s largest group of alumnae/i volunteers, spanning eight decades, and are charged with collecting class notes for the spring edition of CA Magazine. They work diligently each year to maintain one of CA’s oldest alumnae/i traditions and keep their classmates connected to one another and the school. In a year filled with so much uncertainty and isolation, their work was more important than ever and provided classmates with an opportunity for community and togetherness. They are an important pillar in keeping CA alumnae/i connections strong. This year, class secretaries from 69 classes collected hundreds of class notes to share with the alumnae/i community, and we thank them for their continued commitment and support.

 

Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Community (CAYAC)

Eliza Grossman ’17, Dat Le ’06, Becca Miller ’14, and Miriam Perez-Putnam ’12, Co-Chairs

Throughout this past year, the CAYAC Committee worked to provide opportunities for CA’s young alumnae/i to come together in support of one another and the school. They hosted three events throughout the year starting with the Virtual Holiday Happy Hour in December, when young alumnae/i enjoyed connecting with classmates and faculty members before the start of the holiday season. This was followed by their second event in February, Coping With COVID-19: WTF! Jeff Desjarlais, M.Ed., LICSW, director of health and student support services, led a town hall discussion on mental health and wellness during the pandemic. Their third event, Navigating Resume Gaps and Career Changes, took place in April and featured panelists Dot Wang ’96, Liz Prives ’99, and Rach SebellShavit ’00, who led a discussion on how to navigate career challenges, stand out to employers, and continue to grow and adapt professionally during the pandemic and beyond. The committee also worked steadily throughout the year to thank young alumnae/i donors and garner support for the 2020–21 Annual Fund through personal outreach. They modeled and encouraged young alumnae/i participation in both the All Community Campaign in April, joining with students, faculty, and staff in celebration of CA’s 99th birthday, and the Countdown to Commencement Campaign in June, in honor of this year’s graduating class. They also took multiple opportunities to offer a warm welcome to the 97 newest alumnae/i from the class of 2021 and remind them that their relationship with CA unfolds over a lifetime. They compiled a welcome video for the seniors’ 50 Days ’til Graduation celebration in April and worked alongside other alumnae/i volunteers to personally welcome them into CAYAC in July. We are grateful to the entire committee for all of its hard work and look forward to finding more ways to connect with our young alumnae/i next year!

 

Alumnae/i Annual Fund Committee

Matt McCahill ’95 and Claire Moriarty Schaeffer ’05, Co-Chairs

In this extraordinary year we asked the alumnae/i community to step up and your response was an outpouring of generosity from around the world. As a result, CA exceeded its $3 million 2020–21 Annual Fund goal. CA’s alumnae/i were essential to making this possible. Nine hundred sixty-two alumnae/i contributed and, when combined with gifts from parents, grandparents, parents of alumnae/i, grandparents of alumnae/i, and friends, the Annual Fund totaled $3.1 million from more than 1,600 individuals. Every dollar raised through this community-driven fund is spent immediately to fuel CA’s programs, people, and learning environment—providing essential funds for academics, the arts, athletics, faculty, financial aid, and student activities. 

Absolutely instrumental in sharing CA’s urgent message of support, the Alumnae/i Annual Fund Committee (AAF) worked tirelessly this year to personally connect and engage with alumnae/i across the globe. We are very grateful to our dedicated team of volunteers: 

2020–21 Alumnae/i Annual Fund Committee

Alexis Goltra ’87
Becky Seamans Egea ’93
Tess Munro Bauta ’94
Nick Deane ’01
Alex Nichols ’02 

Because of this team, and the great passion of CA graduates everywhere, alumnae/i support this year set a new giving record!

A snapshot of overall alumnae/i giving results for the last three years

FY21 Annual Fund Total as of June 30, 2021 = $1,269,237 (962 donors)
FY20 Annual Fund Total as of June 30, 2020 = $1,062,296 (864 donors)
FY19 Annual Fund Total as of June 30, 2019 = $971,356 (1,014 donors) 

Consistent, yearly alumnae/i support makes a huge difference at CA. In fact, nearly 500 alumnae/i who have a tradition of giving to the Annual Fund for five or more consecutive years accounted for 76 percent of the total alumnae/i dollars this year. This group of loyal donors—members of CA’s Storytellers Society—provides a strong foundation of support that the school can count on year after year!

While celebrating their month-long virtual reunion, our reunion classes (class years ending in 1 and 6) demonstrated extraordinary flexibility and true CA adaptability. In addition, these classes stepped up their reunion giving in a big way too—the 1’s and 6’s collectively gave 15 percent more than at their last reunion in 2016! Particularly impressive is the class of 1971, which rallied 73 percent of their class to give nearly $65,000 through gifts and pledges in honor of their 50th reunion! Wow!

We were pleased to see our overall alumnae/i participation in the Annual Fund slightly increase this year to 19 percent of total donors. This is a strong foundation, and we are so grateful to our fellow alumnae/i who affirmed their confidence in the school’s mission and invested in CA’s strength and success. Though we are an alumnae/i community nearly 5,000 strong, every one of us has a role to play for CA in order for our school to continue to thrive. Our committee, together with CAYAC, invites you to support the people and programs at the heart of this school through the important work of the Annual Fund. Together, we can keep CA going strong!

 

Class of 2021 Representatives

Ollie Longo ’21, Shreya Patel ’21, and Emily Shih ’21, Student Representatives

A Zoom call screenshot of Concord Academy Student Representatives

Our Alumnae/i Association Student Representatives from the class of 2021 were instrumental in keeping our alumnae/i volunteers informed and connected to CA by sharing the student perspective at a wide variety of volunteer meetings throughout the year. They provided updates on campus happenings, shared their insight into the student body, and thoughtfully answered alumnae/i questions. In addition, they served on the Joan Shaw Herman Award Selection Committee, helped to lead the All Community Campaign for the Annual Fund in celebration of CA’s 99th birthday, participated in a reunion student panel program, and introduced a number of alumnae/i guest speakers at special events. In a year filled with so much uncertainty, our student reps were steadfast partners to the Advancement and Engagement Office, willing to tackle any project with enthusiasm and poise. We are so proud of them and sincerely thank them for all of their great work. We look forward to welcoming our newest student representatives in the fall!

Revised Concord Academy Alumnae/i Association Bylaws

As part of our strategic plan for 2020–21, the Alumnae/i Steering Committee undertook a review of the Alumnae/i Association Bylaws, which were created in 1930 and have not been updated since 2011. While the spirit and purpose of the bylaws remain largely unchanged, we felt that significant revisions were necessary to reflect how the Alumnae/i Association operates today, to reaffirm the association’s commitment to serving the interests of all members of the CA community, in particular the alumnae/i community, and to reassert alumnae/i as a visible and vibrant part of the structure of the school. 

Per our current bylaws, a draft of the revised bylaws was shared with the alumnae/i community one month prior to the annual Alumnae/i Assembly on June 9. We are grateful to the alumnae/i who shared their thoughts and feedback on this important component of the association! 

Notable changes include: 

  • An update to reflect the current structure of the Concord Academy Alumnae/i Association.
  • Moving to a confirmation process for the selection of the president and new Steering Committee members.
  • A change to required annual meetings from two to one, which will be the Alumnae/i Association Assembly to be held in the spring.

Read the revised bylaws

CA’s Virtual Reunion 2021

Concord Academy reimagined reunion as a monthlong series of virtual events and celebrations. All alumnae/i were invited to take part to reaffirm their connection to each other and CA. The virtual month was capped off with class gatherings for this year’s reunion classes (class years ending in 1 and 6). More than 185 alumnae/i joined via for reunion events. Read the full story.

And don’t forget to check out all the great content from the virtual care package!

Celebrating 100 Years

For nearly a century, Concord Academy has nurtured and encouraged students to live up to their potential and make a positive mark on the world. Our success is rooted in our values, guided by common trust as we help our students honor their truest selves. Our strength is in our people, where students, alumni, staff, and parents recognize that CA’s love of learning and community is at the heart of our culture.

On April 22, 2022, Concord Academy will observe its centennial anniversary recognizing its incorporation as a school. This day will kick off a yearlong series of celebratory events, concluding with Reunion Weekend festivities in June 2023. Throughout the 2022–23 academic year, we will highlight CA’s history and traditions, showcase life at CA then and now, and underscore how CA’s mission truly matters for students today and for the future. We look forward to sharing more information about this exciting year as we celebrate a century of Concord Academy, and position ourselves for our next 100 years!