It is such a joy and honor for me to serve you all as Brearley's Alumnae Board President. Before we convened for our first meeting of the academic year, members of the Alumnae Board had the opportunity to tour the new library on the tenth floor of the 610 schoolhouse. Many of us found it to be an emotional experience. We felt nostalgia for the dodgeball games past and for the cozy reading nooks that the old library had to offer. But we also felt excitement (mixed with a little envy) at seeing the modular cushioned bay windows and the spacious "float" rooms. One wise alumna reminded us all to view these varied emotions with optimism; these are all emotions that arise when true progress has been made.
As the renovation of the 610 schoolhouse proceeds, we will continue to be thoughtful about how to maintain the character and integrity of a beloved and historic building, while making updates to enrich students' learning experiences as well as strengthen the sense of community within the Middle and Upper Schools.
Parallel to those efforts, the School has undergone another kind of self-evaluation and renewal, especially in light of the global pandemic and a national reckoning around racism. Community-wide reflection revealed the need for a rearticulation of the School's foundational beliefs. In response, we distilled all the honest and thoughtful dialogue that faculty and staff, students, parents, alumnae and trustees have shared over the years into defined statements on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Antiracism, as well as a new mission statement and an updated strategic vision, Stepping Through the Open Door.
I invite you to read the School's updated Statement of Beliefs and strategic vision. Much of what you read may sound familiar as an alum. As students, we learned adventurously. We thought deeply, critically and creatively. We strived to speak and act with empathy, courage and integrity. As students, we worked together to try to create a vibrant and inclusive community as we built lifelong friendships, cultivated a strong sense of self and pursued our ambitions with confidence, in the name of the greater good. In the conversations that we had over the last few years as an Alumnae Board, we realized that these were some of the same values that already guided our interactions with each other and with the world at large. These conversations that we had as an Alumnae Board and as a community have allowed us to be more open and vulnerable with each other, brought much-needed change and strengthened our bond. In the coming year, the Alumnae Board's priority is to continue to leave room for dialogue and vulnerability through the events that we organize and the conversations that we host. We hope that alums feel reassured that, at every life stage, they can always find empathy, support, guidance and friendship within the Brearley community.
As the 610 schoolhouse transforms, as the School embarks on a new strategic vision, we can feel nostalgic for the Brearley that we once knew. At the same time, we can also feel excited (if also a little envious) for the critical transformation which it is currently undergoing. We also recognize, as Brearley alums, that the toil for the greater truth never ceases; we can always do more and do better to make our school community stronger and closer. I encourage you to connect with members of the Alumnae Board and your Class and Class Notes Agents. To stay up-to-date on this continuing transformation and to participate in these ongoing critical conversations, we encourage you to read official school emails, the Brearley Bulletin, and official social media and also attend Alumnae Board events. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more, or to get involved in alum initiatives and programs.
Megan Lui '10