Welcome 2021 and welcome back to the We Love Our School newsletter!
Check out the new look for the We Love Our School (WLOS) newsletter! Distributed on a bimonthly basis, WLOS will keep the Miss Porter’s School Ancient community informed and connected. This platform will also be a space to share updates on the ongoing anti-racist work that school is firmly committed to as well as messaging from the school’s leadership team.
The power of connection, friendship and transparency has never been as important as it is today, and we are grateful to you, the Ancient community, for staying in touch with school and for supporting one another during this challenging time in which we are living.
Alumnae Board to lead equity and inclusion initiative
As part of Miss Porter’s School’s efforts to become an anti-racist institution, the Alumnae Board has established a Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) that will host a series of training sessions this year for Ancients interested in learning about and fostering an inclusive community.
This Reckoning Series will allow Ancients “to spend time in authentic conversation with other Ancients about our experiences of Farmington,” said Saba Brelvi ’91, co-chair of the committee with Deana Jones-Jean ’99. “If we are willing to really listen, I think we will all be surprised about what these stories can teach us about our school, ourselves and each other.”
Saba and Deana have ambitious goals for this committee, including:
- Addressing the historical and ongoing harms of racism at MPS.
- Amplifying the voices of Ancients from marginalized communities.
- Ensuring that the school’s alumnae programming represents and responds to the diverse needs of the Ancient Community.
The Alumnae and Development Office has retained The Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP) to work with the Alumnae Board and the DEI committee over the next three years as they develop a strategic plan, create alumnae programming that responds to the diverse needs of Ancients and provides opportunities for all Ancients to learn how they can become advocates for equity and inclusion in their own communities and workplaces.
“My hope is that by [us] supporting this work, we are opening the doors for many more voices to be heard so that we can effect impactful change that will make the entire Miss Porter’s School community stronger,” said Deana.
If you would like more information about the Alumnae Board’s DEI initiative, please email Sarah Blanchard, director of alumnae relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in connecting with Ancients who work in your industry or who share a similar passion? Are you looking to build your network, share ideas and explore new possibilities on a personal or professional level? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then Farmington Chats are for you!
Farmington Chats are Ancient-led conversations meant to inspire and engage, and close the distance gap among Ancients. Mercedese “Ellie” Roane Large ’81 has moderated several of the chats and shares “I’m so lucky to have the chance to participate in the Farmington Chats. I have appreciated the topics. And while they touch on key aspects of our lives, [like in] career, home, self, the chats ultimately circle back to discovering ways we can help each other. If COVID-19 has given us anything good, it’s finding ways to bring together Ancients from far and wide and from the comfort of their own homes.” Upcoming Farmington Chats scheduled on February 8 and 25 will feature in-depth discussions on The Path To Corporate Board Service: Reaching Up and Down the Daisy Chain to Increase Representation in Business Governance and Building a Career in Financial Services. Both conversations will take a deeper dive into how and when you can use your MPS network for career and personal growth. An additional Men of Porter’s Farmington Chat, Stories We Want to Tell Our Daughters will be hosted on February 11th by Porter’s dads Michael Smith P’24 and Michael Bergin P’19; all are welcome.
To learn more about these and future conversations and to register, please visit the Ancient Events page.
Our sincere thanks to past Farmington Chats hosts: Posie Carpenter ’80, Darien Hsu Gee ’87, Deana Jones-Jean ’99, Ellie Large ’81, Crystal McCreary ’94, Ana Ortiz ’03 and Shola Powell ’13.
College Counseling Advice for Ancients with Children Applying
On Tuesday, January 26, Porter’s College Advising hosted a webinar for Ancients titled, Applying to College During Twin Pandemics: How Covid and a National Reckoning with Racial and Social Justice are Changing the Face of College Admissions. Dean of College Counseling Amy Rogers and Associate Director of College Counseling Tricia Jorden offered insight on how the disruptions of 2020 are accelerating change in the college admissions process, and what it means to students who are applying today. They were joined by a group of Ancients with children on the cusp of the college admissions process for an interactive and engaging dialogue about what drives college admissions, what to expect in the process, and how to stay sane while navigating it during such a tumultuous time.
Porter’s College Advising (PCA) is a college counseling service offered to Ancients and other friends of the school seeking consulting and guidance. Since its launch 2019, PCA has worked with the daughters and sons of MPS Ancients who are looking for college search and application support to supplement what they have available to them at their home school. For more information, please visit: https://www.porters.org/porters-college-advising/.
Survey of the Ancient Community!
For the first time in more than 20 years, we are conducting a digital survey of the entire Ancient community. Last week, we distributed a 10-minute survey on
January 25. Thank you to the many Ancients who have already submitted a survey response.
We hope that everyone will take time to complete it. Your input is important to us as we shape our efforts to more meaningfully engage and support the entire community of Miss Porter’s School Ancients. We are eager to hear your thoughtful responses to help us navigate the coming year and beyond. If you have not yet done so, please submit your responses by February 12, 2021.
All survey participants will be entered into a raffle to receive a $50 gift certificate to The Ivy! We will randomly choose 20 Ancients who complete and submit the survey by February 12, 2021, to receive the gift certificate.
Boarders knew they were in for a sweet surprise last fall when a little red wagon full of treats arrived at their dorm each Sunday evening.
The cookies, caramel apples and other delicious treats from nearby Sweet Equations bakery were a gift from Mimi Kirk ’57, who cooked up the surprise with Chief Development Officer Christine Pina. The pair thought some goodies might be just the thing to bring a little cheer to girls who were adapting to coronavirus-induced quarantine and maintaining social distance far from home. Pina, Michael Bergin, Kate Windsor and other school leaders tugged the wagon from dorm to dorm on 10 Sundays from September through November, handing out “Mimi’s Munchies” to delighted students.
New life for old “Main”
A spacious, light-filled dining room that can seat the entire Miss Porter’s School community will be the centerpiece of the new and expanded “Main” when it reopens in March. Thanks to a $22 million renovation almost entirely financed by philanthropy, the red-brick hotel Sarah Porter bought in 1866 is being renovated, updated and enlarged for new generations of students. “We have taken the jewel of the school and made it better,” said Michael Bergin, chief financial and operating officer.
“Someone who hasn’t been to campus in 50 years will feel at home in this space.”
The new Main is scheduled to open in March 2021 to include new community, study, and dining for all students, and residential living for our senior girls. We look forward to your return to campus to see and experience this beautiful new addition to the historical heart of our campus.
We look forward to gathering in person on campus when it is safe to do so. Until then, we hope you will continue to engage by participating in our virtual programming.
- To stay informed with school and Ancients’ accomplishments, please frequently visit the new Porter’s Voices blog.
- To connect and offer or seek mentor relationships, please register on the school’s networking platform.
To learn about the many ways to become involved with school, please complete the volunteer form.