AlumnaeMay 20, 2024

updated Jun 18, 2024

Reunion 2024

Alums across 7 decades gathered for a weekend of conversation and connection

Alums from classes ending in 4 and 9 returned to Holmes Road May 17-19 to catch up with friends and classmates, to reminisce, to learn from each other, and to connect with students.

They also had opportunities to talk with school leaders and trauma-informed professionals as we all work to process the news about reports of past sexual misconduct and abuse at Miss Hall’s.

Our partners at Learning Courage, a national nonprofit that works with schools to support sexual misconduct prevention, trauma-informed response, and healing, were on campus throughout the weekend to participate in a community conversation with a panel of experts on the topic of responding to sexual misconduct. Survivors themselves, Learning Courage’s co-Founders Jaime Forbes and Amy Wheeler facilitated small-group discussions and engaged in informal conversations throughout the weekend. These sessions were, in the words of one participant, “step 1 towards repair.”

Weekend Highlights

It was a beautiful weekend to be together.

 

Schedule

Reunion 2024 was reconfigured in many ways to make room for joy and for processing. Attendees chose the offerings that spoke to them:

17

May

4:30: Spotlight on the Arts at MHS

5:00: Welcome Home Reception with Faculty

6:30: Welcome Home Dinner

18

May

8:30: Pickleball and tennis, by reservation

9:00: Learning Courage Session #1

9:30: Navigating Cross-Cultural Friendships, with Phuong Huynh ’25 and Ivy Kay ’25

10:00: Learning Courage Session #2

10:30: Horizons at 30 Student Panel

11:00: Shop MHS! — Hatch Sale (student makers’ marketplace), 9th Grade Plant Sale Preview, Pop-Up School Store

12:00: Awards Luncheon

1:30: Class Photos

1:45: James K. Ervin Tennis Complex Dedications

2:00: Varsity Tennis v. Monument Mountain

2:00: Varsity Softball v. Stoneleigh-Burnham

2:00: Varsity Lacrosse v. Marianapolis Preparatory

2:00: Learning Courage Session #3

2:30: The History and Art of Chinese Snuff Bottles, by Courtenay McGowen ’64

3:30: Community-Centered Approach to Responding to Sexual Misconduct, Panel and Q&A

5:00: Reception hosted by the Heritage Society

6:30: Class Dinners off campus

19

May

9:00: Coffee and Pastries

10:00: Service of Remembrance

11:00: Farewell Brunch in the Dining Room

Community Conversation

Introduced by Head of School Julia Heaton, Saturday’s panel, A Community-Centered Approach to Responding to Sexual Misconduct, featured Jamie Forbes and Amy Wheeler of Learning Courage, Miss Hall’s Dean of Wellness Kristen Milano, and trauma-informed counselor Katie Chagnon LMHC, who has been working with students, faculty, and staff to process the news about claims of past sexual misconduct and assault at MHS.

Jamie and Amy, survivors with deep experience working with independent schools on sexual misconduct prevention and response, shared their personal stories, previewed the typical timeline and logistics behind external investigations, and explained what their roles will be in auditing and updating school policies going forward, as part of the multi-year partnership with Miss Hall’s. They also discussed their role as a neutral third party survivors can speak with as they determine whether to reach out to the investigators.

Amy Wheeler, Executive Director, 508.241.3429, AWheeler@learningcourage.org

Jamie Forbes, CEO, 603.315.0576, JForbes@LearningCourage.org

Dean Milano shared information about current practices — some in place for years now and others that have been added to bolster support at this critical time — underpinning student safety and well-being at MHS, including the School’s 4-year Social and Emotional Learning curriculum, healthy relationships and consent-based sex education, boundaries training, and resources available to all students during their time at MHS. Katie Chagnon focused on individual and community stages of trauma, healing, and compassion, and the power of coming together.

The open Q&A was moderated by Miss Hall’s Trustee Elizabeth Zeigler, former Executive Director of and now Senior Advisor to I Have The Right To, a nonprofit that works to create an ecosystem of respect and support for students and survivors of sexual assault.

Following the discussion, members of the Class of 2014 delivered in person a letter signed by more than 180 alums expressing concerns, sadness, disappointment, and anger at Miss Hall’s School, questioning how reports of misconduct were handled, and making specific requests related to the investigation, reporting protocols, staff training, and counseling for students.

Since the Reunion, school leaders have continued to be in conversation with many alums, gathering feedback and following-up with members of the Class of 2014. In the coming weeks, we look forward to updating the community, addressing each aspect of the letter, and laying out the work ahead — much of which is already underway.

The update will be shared on our Safety + Well-being webpage.

Alum Awards

Presented during Reunion, alumnae awards recognize MHS graduates who exemplify the Miss Hall’s mission and inspire us all to leave our own marks on the world.

Distinguished Alumna: Carolyn Green ’74

President of MHS in her senior year, Carolyn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She joined DuPont after college as a process engineer — one of the few African Americans — and one of even fewer African American women — in her division. She went on to become Chief Administrative Officer of BITHGROUP, a cybersecurity and IT services provider. Carolyn served on the Miss Hall’s Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2020, has been a member of the Board of the Baltimore County Historical Society, and continues to support causes that benefit autistic children, a lifelong purpose she found in community service work at MHS. Carolyn’s granddaughter, Ayla ’20, was also School President.

At the Awards Luncheon, Head of School Julia Heaton announced that Carolyn is one of TWO recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumna Award! This highest expression of respect and esteem was awarded to Carolyn in recognition of the sincerity, compassion, and warmth of personality that she brings to her personal and professional roles; for demonstrating that pathways to success are lined with perseverance and the desire to learn; for applying and modeling the lessons she learned at MHS in her daily life, and for blazing that path so that other young women may follow.

Distinguished Alumna: Martha Wheelock ’59

Martha Wheelock brought intellectual curiosity and power of expression with her when she arrived at Mis Hall’s School in 1958. After graduation, she earned her B.A. from Earlham College and embarked on what became a 47-year career teaching English, ethics, and women’s studies for high schools and colleges. Frustrated that there were so few films about women, she created her own production company in 1976 and launched a second career foregrounding women’s stories. She retired in 2014 from the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, and, along the way, earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from New York University and graduated from the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. Her film company, now known as Wild West Women, was born from Martha’s desire to educate women and men about women’s achievements in history and the arts. To date, Martha has produced 16 films, most about notable literary and political women, feminists, and activists whose stories had been seldom told.

Among her many endeavors, Martha serves as Board President of the National Women’s History Alliance and on the Board of the Justice Bell Foundation. She is a mentor at Girls Today, Women Tomorrow, and is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors. Martha continues as an advisor to those working in Women’s History, and as a presenter of her films and study of Women’s History. In 2004, she spoke at Miss Hall’s School’s 106th Commencement.

Martha Wheelock Video

Barbara Humes Euston ’29 Distinguished Service Award: Suzanne Wilson ’64

The Distinguished Service Award is given out only for special recognition — to an alumna who has consistently provided exemplary service to Miss Hall’s School, and in so doing, has enhanced the success and well-being of the institution.

This is definitely one such year, as Suzanne Wilson and the Class of 1964 returned to campus on the occasion of their 60th Reunion. Suzanne arrived at MHS in the fall of 1960 from West Chester, Pennsylvania. The granddaughter of Linn Merck Perkins ’14, she enjoyed reading and art, riding, skating, tennis, and basketball. “A very lovely child… sensible and mature in many ways,” she was imaginative and creative, particularly in art, and active as a Library Aide, Spanish Club President, and in the Theater and Arts Workshops. In the words of one MHS adult, Suzanne was “a very direct, honest, and a thoroughly reliable member of the resident group here. She is a very sincere, capable, and dependable youngster…well-liked by her peer group…and has been intensely loyal to Miss Hall’s.”

After MHS, Suzanne went on to Bradford College and the University of Colorado, majoring in art and design, and owned an inn in Colorado, before moving to Montana in the early 1970s. There, in Big Timber, she renovated and ran The Grand Hotel for a decade, while also ranching and raising four children, including Kris Krieg Vallandingham ’94. For 50 years, Suzanne has owned and operated SK Ranch, raising grass-fed red angus beef, and she is an active conservationist, working to preserve the way of life in Montana. Having been brought up on family farms in New York and Pennsylvania, agriculture and conservation are in Suzanne’s blood. Her land is under conservation easement, assuring that open space remains, and, as a member of the Northern Plains Resource Council, the Montana Cattlemen's Association, the Montana Land Reliance, and the Western Sustainability Exchange, Suzanne is committed to maintaining the agricultural way of life in a natural and sustainable way. She is also actively involved with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.

But it is Suzanne’s steady work on behalf of her alma mater for which she was honored. In the words of former trustee and classmate Carolie Rutter Frazer ’64, “ For nearly two decades of dedicated service to the Miss Hall’s School Board of Trustees; for your embrace of preservation and conservation on the MHS campus and in your daily work in Montana and beyond; and for your kindness, sincerity, dependability, and respect among peers, and the intense dedication to Miss Hall’s School keenly noted all those years ago and continuing today, it is with great pride and deep appreciation that Miss Hall’s School honors my friend Suzanne Wilson, with the Barbara Humes Euston ’29 Distinguished Service Award.”

Core Competency Leadership Awards

Every year at Commencement, seniors are chosen to receive Core Competency Leadership Awards. These awards recognize Miss Hall’s graduates who are outstanding examples of the School’s four core competencies — Vision, Voice, Interpersonal Efficacy, and Gumption. With strong reuniting classes in the room, we similarly honored four reunion classes.

In the MHS strategic design, Vision is defined as the willingness to dream, imagine possibilities, conceive bold and ambitious goals, and set a course to achieve them.

In honor of their 60th reunion, this amazing group of women committed to a bold goal of doubling the endowment they established at their 55th Reunion to support experiential learning at Miss Hall’s. Their forever investment in the Horizons program is powerful.

For their vision for experiential learning in changing students’ lives, this commendation went to the Class of 1964.

Voice is defined in our strategic design as the power to articulate ideas with authenticity and confidence. Graduates with voice present themselves with integrity, communicate effectively, confidently advocate and negotiate, and demonstrate and command respect.

For using their voice to advocate for their MHS sisters, for deferring their own recognition in support of bravery and voice, and for their belief in making Miss Hall’s better, the 2024 voice award went to the Class of 2014.

Interpersonal Efficacy is the intersection of empathy, self-awareness, and cultural competency. Graduates with interpersonal efficacy navigate diverse contexts with ease while maintaining consistency of character and building strong relationships and networks.

The Class celebrating their 35th reunion has lost two dear classmates this year. Inspired by their memory, they set a goal to double the endowed Fund for Student Life they started a few years ago, and they are determined to do it! In addition, these friends have designated their reunion gifts to the Class of 2024, students who started high school during Covid and have experienced it all. Thanks to these thoughtful alums, our seniors will enjoy a special day before graduation just for them — wood-fired pizzas, bowling, and togetherness.

For their many gifts, their leadership, and their strong bonds with one another, the interpersonal efficacy award went to the Class of 1989.

Gumption is the strength of mind and character to seek out challenges and grow from failure. Graduates with gumption take calculated risks to create change, practice self-reflection, and distinguish the pursuit of one’s best self from the pressure for perfection.

The last graduating class of the co-ed The Hall School, these men and women represent what’s best in us. In the 40 years since they graduated, they have come back to all of their reunions, attended each other’s joyful life events, and they have mourned together. Through it all, they have embodied authenticity and remained fiercely connected to one another. This award went to the inimitable Class of 1984.

Reunion Class Coordinators

Thank you to those who rallied their classmates!

1954
Ellen Kritzman

1959
Debbie Platt Sterling
Martha Wheelock

1964
Kip Searle Abbott
Vicky Phillips Boyd
Michele Dobbins Dodge
Carolie Rutter Frazer
Courtenay Compton McGowen
Jeannette Watson Sanger
Terry Thompson
Suzanne Wilson

1969
Tricia Casey Shepherd

1974
Marka Neary Deleo
Laura Harris
Mary Mullen
Bobbi Holmes Omelenchuk
Jane Patashnick Cabot
Joanne Quattrochi

1984
Carla Bellemare
Marjorie Chapin Carr
Stuart Zuckerman

1989
Emily Payne
Nina Cabot Whiting
Amy Church Wood

1994
Laura Kontes Ames
Rachel August Horn
Gillian Myerberg

1999
Jess Rufo
Kate Calhoun Melei
Nandani Sinha

2004
Alison Uttermann

2009
Alexa Green
Rachel Ingram
Tsega Meshesha

2014
Sophie Bellemare
Caroline Saltzman

2019
Mary Howe
Merriam Lrhazi

Class Photos

By Kenzie Fields P’24