AlumnaeMay 3, 2023
— updated Nov 20, 2023
ALL alums were part of the magic as we celebrated 125 years of Miss Hall’s School, May 19-21, 2023!
Alums across 8 decades joined students, former and current faculty and staff, and Trustees in celebration of the 125th birthday — the quasquicentennial (yes, that's a word) — of Miss Hall’s School!
It was a weekend to remember, with extra-special emphasis on classes ending in 3 and 8, and friends from contiguous classes honoring our past, celebrating our present, and visioning together for the next 125 years.
James K. Ervin Tennis Complex Ribbon Cutting
A joyful moment for all was inaugurating new tennis courts honoring beloved teacher, coach, and Assistant Head of School Jim Ervin. Thanks to nearly 80 generous donors, we have raised $900K, 82% of the $1.1M needed for the project, which, once complete, will include landscaping and additional parking. MHS Tennis Coach Rich Butler P’24 thanked contributors on behalf of the team, and everyone cheered that the courts are in play!
Former longtime Athletic Director Diane Cleary spoke, and former Dean of Students, Art Teacher, and Lacrosse Coach Nancy Coleman read a touching letter from Mr. Ervin’s family. Board President and tennis player Nancy Gustafson Ault ’73 emceed the event, paying tribute to Eva Seed Auchincloss ’51, the first executive director of the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by tennis great Billie Jean King, and a driving force behind the passing of Title IX legislation. Remarks from Director of Athletics Telia Marks-McCall centered on the importance of sports in providing girls opportunities to build resilience and develop leadership skills that are as useful in the boardroom as they are on the courts.
125th Gala Dinner
Miss Hall’s gala birthday celebration was a red carpet affair, with mixed tables of alums, students, and faculty as we honored the past 125 years, celebrated our present, and visioned together the future of Miss Hall’s School. Set beneath floating clouds by artist and MHS fan Vanessa Till Hooper, we enjoyed an exquisite 1898-inspired meal prepared by Chef Russ and were regaled by the beautiful voices of Grace Notes past and present.
Our keynote, silence-breaker Lucia Stoller Evans ’01, who helped shape the formation of the #MeToo movement that has empowered millions of women to speak out against sexual violence, spoke boldly to students and adults about using our voices and owning our authentic truths, emphasizing that every one of us can make change.
Head of School Julia Heaton shared a message from former Head of School Jeannie Norris exuding pride and gratitude: “MHS has flourished over the past 25 years with record-breaking support from alumnae for two main reasons. We believe that the School’s purpose and approach to educating new generations of young women is powerfully relevant in our lives. Further — and perhaps most compelling — every day we see that our world is awash in divisiveness, injustice, inequality, violence, war, and hostility, particularly toward girls and women. Each of us is doing our part in our little corner of the world to heal the brokenness, but we desperately depend on this school to send forth new generations of women who will join with us to fight the good fight. I love this school. I know you do as well.”
Distinguished Alumna Award recipient Dean of Academics and Faculty Lisa Alberti ’73 spoke powerfully about her difference-making career in education and the importance of mentorship. Board President Nancy Gustafson Ault ’73 was “a deer in the headlights” when she received the Barbara Humes Euston ’29 Distinguished Service Award! Mary Adamczyk, a culinary producer and food stylist from the Class of 2003, received the 2023 Young Alum Leadership Award.
Miss Hall’s Network in Action
Set aside the incredible food, fun swag, and beauty of the campus, authentic connections across generations were the highlight of the weekend. Alums engaged in Hallmark classes, mentored students at industry roundtables, and learned about student life today. Students loved learning from alums, hearing their MHS stories, and showing them around! Together, they tackled essential questions about the future of empowering girls and women.
Science Department Chair Donna Daigle and Director of Horizons Emerald Power brought back the popular career talk over a picnic brunch. Later, Shirley Dong ’23 gathered an impressive panel of alums suceeding in male-dominated fields: biomedical engineer Rachel Baumgarten ’13; public interest attorney Allison Marculitis ’13, actor-turned-marketer Lucia Stoller Evans ’01; and international business leader Barbara Cooperman ’73.
Industry roundtables later in the afternoon brought together alums and students interested in specific career tracks.
The Way We Debate
Casey Lai ’25 led a civics session for alums and students!
“Disagreeing with someone isn’t fun, and neither is the gut-wrenching rush of adrenaline and emotions that inevitably follow. If you have ever ‘lost your cool’ in the heat of an argument — Congratulations! You’re a person. This naturally begs the question; how do we productively navigate conflict and differing opinions? In this workshop; we will discuss the psychology behind disagreement, ways to handle moments of contention, and how to effectively present your views.”
We Were All Students Again
We hear it all the time, “I wish I were a student today!” Reunion 125 kicked off Friday afternoon with visits to dynamic Hallmark courses to experience our most advanced, inquiry-based learning in action: Hallmark Chemistry with Alison Quiñones Johnson ’03; Artificial Intelligence with Dr. Chris Himes; Hallmark Latin with Dr. Sarah Nix; Environmental Science with Kennedy Raimer; and Biotechnology with Donna Daigle.
At Friday evening’s Welcome Home Reception, members of the MHS Theater Ensemble reprised highlights from the fabulous recent musical, Once Upon A Mattress.
For their part, Grace Notes performed “Harmony” and other fan favorites at Saturday’s gala dinner!
9th Grade Plant Sale
First-year Horizons students worked hard all year, cultivating seeds in the Ara West Grinnell 1901 Greenhouse and throwing pots for the plants in the Ruth Milliken Murphy ’30 Ceramics Studio. On Sunday of Reunion 125, alums learned about the 9th graders’ labor of love and shopped the best plant sale around!
Book of the School
On the eve of Commencement, every MHS senior places a stamp by their name in the Book of the School, signifying that they have lived by our shared values, completed the work that they set out to do, and made themselves and Miss Hall’s stronger in the process.
This 💙💛 tradition began two decades ago, when Language Department Chair Pamela Breslin inscribed the names of every student from 1898 to 2001. The first incoming students wrote their own names into the Book in 2002, and everyone has done so since.
For those who graduated in 2001 or before, Reunion 125 provided the ideal, historic moment to stamp their name and make their mark!
Proceeds from Reunion honored 125 years of excellence in teaching.
Thank you to all who returned home to celebrate Miss Hall’s historic milestone! We hope you will take a few minutes to take this short survey to help us improve the Reunion experience for all.