Lindsay Kolowich ’09 and Jorge Solares-Parkhurst ’94 giving a welcome toast.
From June 7 through June 9, CA welcomed more than 200 alumnae/i and former faculty back to campus. Idyllic spring weather set the tone for a Concord Academy reunion weekend with strong turnout and great energy. With attendees returning from 14 different classes — from the class of 1949 celebrating its 70th reunion to the class of 2014, its fifth — the weekend gave former classmates many opportunities to catch up, reminisce, and explore today’s campus and the town of Concord. Alumnae/i from across the generations had a chance to mingle and learn how others remain involved in the life of the school, and to make new connections with fellow alumnae/i who have carried CA’s values out into the world.
Left: Alumnae/i at the Old North Bridge with Bill Bailey P’87 ’88 ’91, GP’21 ’22, former CA History Department chair. Right: Members of the class of 1994 celebrating their 25th reunion.
The weekend opened with a special reception for alumnae/i of color, followed by a new event, the Annual Alumnae/i Association Assembly, where the school and alumnae/i leadership shared highlights and successes from the 2018–19 academic year, invited alumnae/i to connect with volunteer leaders, and previewed Concord Academy’s newly revised mission statement. The nearly 60 alumnae/i present voted unanimously to elect new Alumnae/i Association officers. And they applauded the awarding to Kate Morse Erwin ’69 of the 2019 Joan Shaw Herman Distinguished Service Award, the only honor the CA community bestows, and that once a year to a CA graduate in recognition of service to others.
We invite you to read more about the assembly, to which all CA alumnae/i are invited, and which will be held during reunion every spring. Learn more about this community-wide conversation about CA’s present and future.
Left: The class of 2014 celebrating its fifth reunion. Right: A hands-on demo in a back-to-school class taught by CA science teacher Will Tucker.
Over the course of Reunion Weekend, attendees enjoyed music by none other than the Ross Adams and Jonathan Fagan ’11 duo and by John Funkhouser ’84. On Saturday, a few rose early for a 5K run around Concord with CA cross-country coach Jon Waldron. A group of around 40 accompanied Bill Bailey P’87 ’88 ’91, GP’21 ’22, former CA History Department chair, to the Old North Bridge for a tour of the site of “the shot heard round the world.” Others explored nearby Walden Pond or checked out paddles and life jackets to canoe on the Sudbury River.
Current faculty and staff provided some of the weekend’s activities. CA chemistry teacher Will Tucker led a back-to-school class, a “peek inside the atom,” examining, with some hands-on activities, how we arrived at our modern understanding of atomic structure. Don Kingman, director of campus planning, design, and construction, gave campus tours that highlighted the new common rooms and improvements to residential houses for students and house faculty alike, thanks to the CA community’s generous philanthropy to fund the CA Houses initiative.
Left: Former faculty Deanna Douglas with Sophie Carlhian ’79. Right: 2019 Joan Shaw Herman Award recipient Kate Morse Erwin ’69 speaking about her passion for improving mental health for the incarcerated and at-risk youth.
Alumnae/i took the lead in a memorial service in the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel, which gave attendees an opportunity to speak about the lives and legacies of the CA community members who had passed away in the previous year. And Joan Shaw Herman honoree Dr. Erwin later spoke in the Chapel about America’s crisis of mass incarceration, the repercussions of a criminal justice system grounded in retribution rather than an aim to reform, and about her own career working to improve the mental health of the incarcerated and at-risk youth.
Speakers from the Woman and Power panel speaking with CA community members following the program.
On Saturday afternoon, reunion attendees gathered at the Moriarty Athletic Campus field house for pick-up games and popsicles, followed by a panel discussion entitled “Women and Power: What Do We Want Now?” Moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Preston ’69, a panel of three alumnae — Kate Radtke Guedj ’84, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer at the Boston Foundation, Meisha Thompson Newman ’94, a business owner and senior interactive developer at Sapient Consulting, and Liz Mygatt ’99, an associate principal at McKinsey & Company — reflected on their power in the workplace, in their communities, and over their own lives. At a time when record numbers of women are running for office following what Preston called the “system shock” of the 2016 election, the conversation invited a large audience to contribute their own perspectives on how personal, societal, and gender-based definitions of power are shifting, and what kinds of power women need today.
This year’s reunion provided food for thought, chances to reminisce and relax with old friends and mentors, and invitations to reengage with the volunteer-led CA alumnae/i community and recommit to pursuing passions and making a difference in the world.
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During Family Weekend, parents attended classes, met with teachers and advisors, and cheered on their children’s teams. Families got to know one another better at social gatherings, attended informational meetings, and enjoyed open theater and dance rehearsals as well as presentations of works in progress by a variety of student groups.
In 2019, Concord Academy’s Board of Trustees voted to make Kim Williams P’08 ’14 a life trustee. The five years Williams served as president, from 2013 to 2018, will be remembered, Head of School Rick Hardy said, as “a time of extraordinary progress for the school, a time when CA challenged itself to reach higher, and never to be complacent about its progress.”
On October 4, Concord Academy celebrated the completion of the William M. Bailey Commons connecting Haines and Hobson, the final phase of the CA Houses initiative. A series of speaking programs considered the history of Concord and the neighborhood that became this campus, as well as how the new common rooms are already shaping student experiences and enhancing CA courses.