Allison Pan ’02

January 2018
Being a Brearley girl means that when people ask where I went to school, I often have to remind myself that they mean college and not high school!  And while I’m proud of having attended all of my alma maters, Brearley is the only one that’s intrinsically tied to my sense of myself.  Even now, after 11 years of active duty as an army intelligence officer and currently as a consultant with Deloitte, I find that Brearley is a larger part of my identity than just about anything else I’ve done. 

At Brearley, I was privileged to be surrounded by brilliant, talented, awe-inspiring peers and faculty.  They challenged me every day to be my best, and while that often meant late nights and lots of coffee, I’m very grateful for every moment of it.  And while some may call Brearley a “sheltered place,” I’m glad that I was able to learn and grow in a space free from so many of the systemic challenges facing women outside of 610 East 83rd. 
Brearley taught me that I have a voice and, more importantly, that it should be heard.  Brearley taught me that my gender and sex are strengths, not weaknesses or limitations.  Being a Brearley girl means that when I did graduate and go beyond those lovely doors, I knew what wrong was because I had lived the right—a world where girls are nurtured, encouraged to dream and to reach for those dreams, pushed toward civic responsibility and groomed for leadership. 
And because of Brearley, I will never accept as normal a world where all girls are not given those things.