Head’s Blog: Keeping Connected to Our Alumni
April 29, 2020
Wheeler alumni are often on my mind these days.
I frequently think about our young alumni who have returned home from college — some on the cusp of an interrupted graduation. I’m grateful to our alumni doctors and nurses who are courageously meeting this challenge on the front lines. I am proud of the educators in our alumni ranks who are doing their own rapid adaptation to distance learning. I’m concerned for the artists and entrepreneurs and small business owners who are anxious to preserve what they’ve built. I’m holding in my heart those among us whose health is the most vulnerable.
I am also filled with hope and pride when I see that Wheeler’s commitment to caring for our students and families has not skipped a beat. The dedication and heart that you remember from your teachers at Wheeler have never shone more brightly. It says something wonderful about us as a community that we are not only maintaining the excellence of the Wheeler education during this time of upheaval, but we are identifying and prioritizing those among us who need extra support, and creating those support structures right away.
For example, our Health Center team is working day and night with families and students in need of mental health support through this trying time. We have a faculty member who is working to create PPE with a 3D printer at home, students sending uplifting messages to medical professionals, initiating arts programs, nonprofits even start-up websites to help small businesses. Institutionally, we are working with donors, Trustees, and community members to provide emergency assistance to families, faculty, and staff so that we can remain together as a community. Of course, we are also working tirelessly to lift up our graduating seniors, who will not have the conventional Senior Spring, or prom, or even the graduation you all remember. As we work to support our community, backed by the full strength of their extended Wheeler family, we invite you to join our efforts. Whether it’s leading a senior seminar or sending a video message of support, please contact our Director of Alumni Engagement, Kelly Clifton ’02, and she’ll work with you to build on your idea.
We’d also like to hear your stories. Wheeler alumni are known for being problem solvers and doers. It’s inspiring to see the ways we are all adapting and trying new things, and getting through such a complex time. To call back to our school’s Mission Statement, we want to hear how you are using your powers right now.
When Mary C. Wheeler started this school, she wove resilience, tenacity, creativity, and strength into our school’s DNA. Those attributes have kept us going throughout many dark times before and will do so again. We will include you in our updates to the community on institutional health and planning throughout the coming months.
I also know that we will gather again in the future, and when that time comes, it will be the best kind of homecoming. In the meantime, we at Wheeler are glad to know our alumni are out there, keeping the Wheeler Spirit strong wherever they are.
Allison Gaines Pell
Head of School