That which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will,
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”
–Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson
How very appropriate that thirty-three St. Clement’s Alumnae met for a UK reunion at The Alfred Tennyson restaurant last evening. For, as Tennyson’s words reflect in his poem Ulysses, intellectual curiosity is ideally lifelong, and is a trait we nurture in all of our Clementines. Never was curiosity more evident than within our graduates from the classes of 1944 through to 2015 last evening.
What struck me most was not the careers and studies in which these outstanding women find themselves but, rather, their paths, their questions, and their purpose. Our St. Clement’s alumnae all appear to be questioning process and problems, advising, creating, and exploring; the energy, confidence and passion amongst these women was tangible.
The most poignant example of curiosity last evening had to be that of twin sisters, Lady Jean Macpherson of Bialid and Anne Mallinson, 1944, who attended St. Clement’s as war guests. Upon arriving- having climbed up four flights of steep stairs- Lady Jean and Anne enthusiastically sought out each guest to ask her about her path, and to invite her to share her insights. Both women, while exceptionally interesting themselves, were completely focused on hearing from and learning about our other alumnae. They modeled the desire ‘to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield!’
Last evening was a wonderful time to reconnect with our many, many St. Clement’s Alumnae in the UK. More importantly, however, it was a great reminder of the importance for our School to continue nurturing passion, courage and curiosity.