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Lessons Learned

This past weekend, St. Clement’s School welcomed back Alumnae from 1948 to 2017 as we celebrated our annual Alumnae Reunion Weekend. Over the course of three days we welcomed and caught up with our intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate alumnae at assembly on Friday, at a cocktail reception that evening, at a luncheon on Saturday, and at the Sunday service at St. Clement’s Church.

I felt very fortunate to have been invited to enjoy dinner on Saturday night with members of the Class of 1968 who were celebrating their fiftieth reunion. The conversations that evening reminded me of the learning, deep ties, and life lessons that our small, spirited school leaves with each of us.

Over dinner, each attendee spoke of her journey after leaving St. Clement’s and the impact the School has made on her.

The importance of giving back to others was a prominent theme, and many of the alumnae attributed this shared value to the work they did at the School through various clubs. Some spoke of their curiosity- fostered at the School- and the need to explore opportunities that lay before them. One alumna, after practicing medicine for many years, is now raising alpacas on a farm and has published research about a previously unknown viral strain in these animals. Others have been trailblazers—helping to establish our Province’s full day kindergarten program, supporting oncology patients young and old, and focusing on geriatric medicine at a time when the field did not recognize its importance. All had experienced ups and downs and saw these as important lessons along the way. One was even celebrating her tenth anniversary after receiving a heart transplant.

What stood out for me was that these women’s paths continue regardless of age and stage. While many of the women have retired, their interests, curiosity and love for learning is ever-present. These alumnae appear to know no bounds. That is what we want for every Clementine.

As I said to our Alumnae in my speech at our luncheon, “You are our School’s legacy, and, on behalf of the St. Clement’s of today, thank you for reminding us of the past and its impact, and for assisting us as we prepare the St. Clement’s of tomorrow.”

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