Virginia (Ginny) Chambers Keim ’61

June 2018
Brearley has been an enriching force in my life since I first entered Miss Howard’s loving kindergarten room. I am so grateful to my mother, from Boise, Idaho, and my father, from Far Rockaway, New York, for finding Brearley for their five year old. Their vision and foresight truly shaped not only the person I became but the lives of my future family: my husband, a product of an excellent midwest public school education, embraces my love for Brearley; both our daughters also spent 13 years at the School; and our granddaughter started kindergarten this past fall. My mother was even a Lower School assistant teacher for a few years.

The Lower School’s warm and supportive environment was my soft landing into the joys of learning. I found a bounty of friends, many who remain my closest confidants today. Now, a zillion decades later, I still treasure rich memories of making Viking shields, learning to spell Reykjavik, and, with Mme. Muscanto’s help, my stage performance as a somewhat plausible Lafayette. Remarkably, I escaped Middle School with only a single (albeit well-earned) visit to Miss Basinger’s office.

I found my leadership niche in Upper School as AA Rep and then as President. I felt empowered by my school community. Did cookie sales and uniform “crackdowns” seed my career in development? What I learned at Brearley has impacted my life in so many ways. Understanding the critical importance of THE OUTLINE, and the lead sentence, are organizational skills that served me well throughout my life and career. I’ve so often woefully wished that every staffer I hired had the benefit of Brearley-taught writing skills.

My close-knit class proudly includes world leaders in social justice, the arts and academia. I found my second family at Brearley, and its importance in my life is beyond measure.