Rekindling Spence Memories and Friendships at Reunion 2019
This spring over 300 Spence alumnae came together at the 2019 Reunion to celebrate Spence, rekindle old friendships and deepen their connections with the school community. The Reunion festivities saluted graduates from class years ending in “4” and “9” in particular, and welcomed current seniors into the fold with a rose ceremony during a Friday luncheon.
Alumnae spent a nostalgia-filled three days both exploring their memories of the School and building new ones as they pored through old yearbooks during breakfast in the Drawing Room, connected with classmates during lunch alongside former and current teachers and took tours of the School and classrooms to see the School in action. What remained constant throughout Reunion was an appreciation for the value of a Spence education and the bond alumnae share with each other and Spence.
In her remarks at lunch, Head of School Bodie Brizendine reiterated why “we all collectively love Spence,” emphasizing that the caretaking that happens at Spence and the strength of relationships within the Spence community “allows all--little or big, to feel big.” Brizendine further explained that Spence educators have a “salient understanding … that scholarship and humanity have got to hold hands to make it work.”
Senior class president Charlotte G.’s remarks during the luncheon reaffirmed the value Spence places on the human element of learning. “At Spence, we’ve been encouraged to learn from each other, not just our books,” Charlotte emphasized, noting that a large part of their learning has been from the examples set by the alumnae who came before them. “As we approach the end of our time at Spence, we look forward to joining the very people that have unknowingly guided us through our years here…. Spence alumnae have encouraged our passions, eased our worries, and given us countless pieces of invaluable advice.”
Other highlights of Reunion included the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnae Awards to this year’s recipients, Maxine Burkett ’94 (Professional Achievement) and Sylvia Totah Calabrese ’69 (Service to Spence) and a performance by Triple Trio, which was capped by everyone joining together to sing the School song. As with every year, Brizendine hosts an afternoon talk, “View from the Seventh Floor,” to share what is most on her mind, and give alumnae updates about key goings-on at Spence. On Saturday a record number of alumnae were back at Spence for a mimosa brunch, rock climbing for alumnae children hosted by teachers Denise Adorante and Eileen MacLellan, and other opportunities to take in more of the Spence experience along with their classmates.
Many thanks to all who made Reunion possible, particularly Reunion Co-Chairs, Kathy Frazier ’79, Andrea Ortega-Williams ’94, Jamie Beilin Joseph ’99 and Jessie Della Femina ’04. Here’s to many more Reunions ahead, and to the countless alumnae who remain connected to Spence whether they left five or 65 years ago.