Reflecting on the Shared Wisdom of Alumni Weekend
Alumni Weekend at Gould is a remarkable event every year. We recharge and get re-inspired by witnessing firsthand the lifelong relationships that are nurtured here, and by observing countless examples of alumni who are living out the mission of the school.
They are independent thinkers who are living lives of purpose and action. They are artists and athletes, teachers and coaches, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. They are compassionate, global citizens, and they are making the world a better place by being engaged with it.
Alumni Weekend is an opportunity to catch up with old friends and a chance to make new connections, but the ultimate benefit is seeing the extraordinary results our exceptional faculty and caring community has produced. This is why we do what we do.
Here are a few powerful examples we saw this weekend of graduates who are living the Gould life.
Angus Graham ’01
Angus is a potter and ski instructor living in Carbondale, Colorado. Angus was back on campus to celebrate his 15th reunion and as a featured artist in the Owen Art Gallery. On Saturday morning, he addressed the community at assembly and passed on some wisdom to current students.
“It’s the willingness to risk. Explore, and risk, and try everything so you can find your passion. That quote on the wall that says, ‘To Thine Own Self Be True’ is not about the ego. It’s about the real ability to say ‘This makes my heart sing, and this is what I need to do.’ That’s where passion comes from. That’s where joy comes from. That’s where life comes from.”
Luba Lowery ’06
From Ken Remsen’s ’67 introduction at the Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony:
Luba Lowery spent the first four years of her life in a Russian orphanage outside Moscow before being adopted by an American family and joining them in Cumberland, Maine. At age 8 she lost a leg to her congenital bone defect but continued skiing as a sit skier. She was an Alpine Skiing Junior National Disabled Champion in both her tenth and eleventh grade years at Gould, and later went on to represent Team USA skiing both slalom and giant slalom at the Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada in 2010.
“From my very first day as a Sophomore, this was a place that helped me grow. As an athlete I learned that if you surround yourself with people who push you, you will become a better person, and the best version of yourself. I’m incredibly grateful that during my time here at Gould, I was surrounded by great staff members and coaches, including my advisors Ms. Wilkerson, and the Whittingtons who helped me to balance my academic and athletic goals.”
Sarah Ovenden ’81
Sarah travelled from Brattleboro, Vermont to celebrate her 35th high school reunion this weekend. While admitting that Algebra might not have been her strong suit, she challenged Gould students to drop the identities that may have already been assigned to them, and not be afraid to reinvent themselves while they are here.
“One of the first and greatest gifts that Gould gives us is the opportunity to reinvent ourselves under our own terms. To do that, I’d suggest that you leave yourself open to exploring other passions and identities by going WAY outside your comfort zone. If offered an opportunity to try something that truly terrifies you – always say yes. At the very least, you are guaranteed an excellent adventure, and I’m pretty sure you’ll discover something that awakens a piece of your heart and soul you never knew existed.”
If you’re a Gould graduate following your passion, don’t wait until the next Alumni Weekend reunion year to visit. You strengthen and enrich our community. Come back and share with current students and faculty how you are embodying the spirit of Gould’s mission, and what makes your heart sing.
There were many more wonderful moments over the weekend, some of which we captured. Photos from Alumni Weekend 2016 can be found here.