“Of course, anything for Dana!”
When I texted Mia Hayes ’96 and asked her if she would help create a video for Family Weekend, her enthusiasm could be felt through the phone. As we walked across campus, she got teary over how good it felt to be back at Dana Hall after so many years. Mia did not mention all that she had to rearrange to teach a cycling class on Sisters Field in the middle of her work day. She just jumped on a bike and began connecting with the brave students who volunteered to be part of our event. She thanked me so many times for inviting her that I felt like I was doing her the favor.
It is a joy to have Taylor Houston ’12 poke her masked face in my office throughout the day to check-in. For event planners like her, this year is extra-challenging since everything needs to be reimagined for a virtual audience.
‘Do you need my help with the video?” Taylor offers. I am hesitant to agree, but I also could really use her assistance. Director of Athletics, Health and Wellness Becky Kimball agrees to my crazy suggestion of pulling the School’s stationary bikes out onto the turf field, and we set up an outdoor, distanced class. Pom-poms flying in the wind, Taylor arrives dressed as the Dana Dragon with her signature smile. She and Mia shared Dana stories and the four current students listen intently. As the Dragon dances around us, she does not complain about how stifling the costume is, or the fact that the mask adds a whole new element to her discomfort. Our videographer Peter Frechette P16, 22 and the girls laugh out loud throughout the class, adding to the fun of teaching them.
The same weekend, I saw a friend had opened a shop, Two Webster, in Wellesley Center. I reached out to Melissa McCray ’90 asking if she could help us create an event for local alumnae. “I would love that,” was her warm reply. The concern for students and families at this time is on everyone’s mind, but these women do not complain, they simply ask “what can we do to help?” Followed by, “I will do anything for Dana Hall.” Melissa inspired us to search for other local alumnae, and Kelsey Munger-Elofson ’10 and Meredith Tipping Hudzik ’04 happily agreed to help with a holiday video series.
The incredible attitude that Dana Hall alumnae share is unique and inspiring. These women were clearly taught about the power of connection, community and a can-do attitude. It makes my job that much sweeter.