Remarks on the Occasion of Reunion'99

Dear Cherry Lawn Alumni and Friends:

The decision to enroll at Cherry Lawn for my four years of high school was one of the most important decisions I ever made -- and I made it for the wrong reasons. I close it over the Putney School in Vermont, and the George School in Pennsylvania, not because of its educational excellence and its outstanding faculty and student body -- but because I could get a scholarship and ride horseback, which I couldn't at the others! Horses were my passion. What did I know at fourteen?

I and my classmates were at Cherry Lawn from 1942-1946. Pearl Harbor had brought us into World War II, and before we graduated we would see peace with both Germany and Japan, and we would grieve the death of Franklin Roosevelt. Though to some extent, our Cherry Lawn life insulated us from world events, in a very significant way -- each of us was partially formed by the external environment during the time we were there. The presence of faculty and students who were recent refugees from Europe, deepened our sensitivities and enriched our young lives. And our classmates had brothers already in the war, and Cherry Lawn graduates while we were there, would enter it.

So, what was Cherry Lawn like at that time?

Most of all -- and I can only assume that this is true for all of us -- it was where we grew into ourselves as people, with a caring, intellectually excited, physically challenging, experiential and supportive community. Not only were we not the young people we were when entered, but we were forever changed and enriched by being a Cherry Lawner!.

Kiki Heitkamp Eglinton, CLS'46