Founders Day 2021
Founders Day on Oct. 1, 2021 marked Bryn Mawr’s 137th school year and the community gathered to celebrate the school, its history and the founders’ bold vision for educating girls. It is also when the school gathers to honor the truly exceptional faculty and staff who live and carry out this mission every day.
Head of School Sue Sadler said, “Our founders’ beliefs formed the basis of our mission today, to give girls extraordinary preparation for considered and consequential lives. We also recognize, and acknowledge, that our Founders’ vision was limited by views and beliefs that we reject today - they sought to establish a school for girls of a certain social standing very similar to their own. Today, we honor their vision for girls’ education and independence and include all women in that vision.” (Watch Sue Sadler’s Founders Day video message here
Founders Day brought Phoebe Kilby ‘70 back to campus with her cousin Dr. Betty Kilby Fisher Baldwin to share their powerful story as they work together towards peace and justice. The cousins built a relationship and co-authored their book Cousins to share their journey towards reconciliation as cousins related through slavery.
Each Founders Day, Bryn Mawr also honors faculty and staff for their contributions to the school. Read more about this year’s award winners:
- Frank Ecker was awarded the Alumnae STEM Chair for his outstanding dedication to the Upper School math department. He offers classes at every level of math, from freshman to seniors, while also coaching the golf and robotics teams.
- The Apgar Award for Teaching Excellence was given to Lower School science teacher Noah Robinson for his work in ensuring that students are excited and happy to learn every day through hands-on learning and experimentation.
- The Blair D Stambaugh Award is given to the faculty or staff member who contributes the most to the overall wellbeing of the community. Dean of Students Emily Fetting ‘02 was honored for her “extraordinary combination of unparalleled organizational skill and deep personal empathy”as she manages Upper School retreats, dances, clubs, the advisory program, all student activities, sponsorship of the Student Government Association and more.
- The Blanche and A.V. Williams Master Teaching Chair was awarded to Kendra Jordan for her exceptional work in the Little School, where she creates a warm, safe, and affirming learning environment that encourages exploration, risk-taking, and communication, all while honoring each child’s individual personality and needs.
- Moneshia Davis was honored by the Ella Speer Colhoun and Elizabeth Atkinson Reynolds Fund for her work teaching and coaching in the Lower and Middle Schools, while also leading Middle Grades Partnership and chairing her divisional DEI liaison committee.
- The Millicent Carey McIntosh Chair in the Humanities was awarded to Elizabeth Duzant for her work in expanding the Lower School world languages curriculum to allow students to choose whether to learn French or Spanish.
- Julia Bielefeld ‘02 was celebrated as a superwoman with boundless love for and knowledge of Bryn Mawr as the recipient of the Patricia A. Dieter Staff Award. Julia takes responsibility for the experience of each parent, student, and staff member in our school.
- The Robert G. Merrick Sr. Chair in History was awarded to Karen Cullen for her tireless willingness to meet with her students outside of class to ensure their understanding and success, while also bringing the community together through chili cookoffs and pie baking contests. Trained as a lawyer, Karen supports student clubs that develop debate skills and respectful intellectual jousting.
- And Jiho Kim was the recipient of The 37-45 Award for her steadfast dedication to the Little School’s students, families and faculty. Her talents, natural people skills, and knowledge of everything Bryn Mawr related make her the pulse and lifeblood of the Little School.
Sue Sadler also recognized faculty and staff for significant milestones of service, including Mary Daily Lacy (pictured above) who is celebrating her 40th year at Bryn Mawr.
Following the ceremony, the faculty and staff band “Edith Jamilton” performed on Gordon Field for students to sing, dance and enjoy the Friday afternoon sunshine.
Watch the full Founders Day ceremony here