Okay, we didn’t see Jenni Konner ’89, or Hilaria Baldwin ’02, or Lucy Dahl ’84, or Carol Burnett P’86 — just a few of many CSW Hollywood names — but we did see a wonderful group of CSW graduates in Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles this week. While it was Oscar season out on the West Coast, it was a beautiful mini-season of reconnections for me, Chief Development Officer Andrea Finnerty, and Diane Stansbury, Assistant Director of Alumni/ae and Parent Engagement.
During our travels through the golden state, we were treated with countless examples of the impact of the CSW experience, with stories from graduates from the classes of 1949 through 2012. One member of the Class of 1963 told me about the 200-strong chorus she is a part of; they’re currently preparing to sing Brahms: A German Requiem. She credits her involvement in music both to her mother, who founded the Syracuse Chorale and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and to legendary CSW music teacher, Joe Schaff. Another alum from the Class of 1978, who currently works as an international health and wellness practitioner, hosted a yoga class, which Diane was lucky enough to attend. And we had a particularly fascinating conversation with a grad from the class of 2008 about the value CSW places on equity and inclusion, and the ways the community has changed and remained the same over the course of the past ten years.
Our LA event was especially wide-ranging in its attendance. We were fortunate to speak with alumni/ae involved in theater, music, and television; an advocate of independent schools supporting the admission of more foster children; a recent retiree from a major utility company who now speaks about the future of energy; a stand-up comedian; and a professional dancer. Also in attendance were two of our trustees, Snowden Henry and his wife Paula P’16,’18 (visiting their daughter, Juliet ’16, at Scripps), and Chin Lin P’18, here attending the annual National Association of Independent Schools conference in Long Beach.
I am often asked what I will miss most about CSW, and I must admit my answers have varied. But after weeks like the one I’ve had, it’s become increasingly clear to me how much I am going to miss the gathering of friends and supporters that happens when we bring CSW on the road. There’s just nothing like the feeling I get from seeing our alums, friends, and parents past and present, thriving in the world and reconnecting on all things CSW.