Every fall, members of the senior class who have alumni parents, alumni grandparents and in some cases, even deeper family ties to our School, come together to celebrate this shared family connection. The 10th Annual Legacy Dinner took place in Brauer Hall on November 16. A total of 33 members of the Class of 2015 are alumni legacies.
Guests browsed “family tree” displays showing yearbook photos of each senior and his or her alumni relatives. Alumni in attendance represented every decade since the 1950s and alumni ties for the Class of 2015 date as far back as the Mary Institute Class of 1872.
A short program included welcome remarks by Alumni Association First Vice President Christy Kloecker Thompson ’84 and reflections by current grandparent Ken Streett ’54, current parent Mark Stallion ’81 and senior Sara Gillis ’15.
Ken Streett ’54 shared fond memories of the years he spent at Country Day on the Brown Road campus and reflected on the legacy of the School. “I began to think of the many ways we have benefitted from those who have gone before and who have, in one way or another made possible the great legacy of MICDS, whether it be in the physical plant, student body, great teacher and coaches or moral character and I say ‘all of the above’.”
Mark Stallion ’81 shared his journey to Country Day School from an inner city neighborhood with a broken public educational system. “I had two loving parents in the home, but no financial means to send me to a private school. In God’s divine providence, a connection was made between my middle school and Country Day and I was blessed with the opportunity to attend,” he said. “However, at that time, in my wildest imagination, I didn’t anticipate being blessed with the means to send my children to MICDS. I encourage the MICDS community to continue to allow the school to be a blessing to those students from under-served communities. It does make a difference.”
Sara Gillis ’15 spoke of her pride in representing the fifth generation of women in her family to attend MI and MICDS as well as the joy of sharing traditions with her relatives. “The most important things about MICDS – the quality of the education we receive, the pride we have in our school, the confidence we have in ourselves as we get ready to graduate and the friends that we will have forever – are the things that stay the same. They’ve been the same for more than 150 years and I am sure those are the qualities that will endure,” she said. “I know that my 14 years here add on to the countless years of the people who came before me and I am grateful for their dedication to and love for our school.”
In closing remarks, John Oleski, Dean of the Class of 2015, spoke of the great honor of paying tribute to those families whose lives are woven into the very fibers of the history of our predecessor schools and of MICDS. To the families in attendance, he said, “You have helped nurture a very special bond for your graduating senior. Regardless of whatever life throws his or her way, she or he will forever and always be a member of the MICDS Class of 2015, and will forever and always have this School and this Class to hold onto.”
Congratulations to the MICDS Class of 2015 Alumni Legacies!
Michael Gianino Jr.
David Jones Jr.
Brewster Knapp Jr.