What do an interior designer who graduated from Stanford University, a journalist who graduated from Harvard University and an emergency room physician who graduated from Bowdoin College have in common? All three are alumni from the Waldorf School of Garden City and spoke as part of a 13-member panel at the Waldorf School’s Alumni Symposium on Friday, May 10th. The panelists shared with current students as well as current and prospective parents how the Waldorf School of Garden City helped to make them into the people they are today as well as how they excelled in their chosen professions.
The event was kicked off by a keynote address by Waldorf alumnus and the Executive Vice President at Viacom, Inc., Scott Mills ’86 and graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Mills shared his thoughts on innovation and leadership – skills that are nurtured early on at Waldorf as well as required to succeed in today’s workforce.
Classes were canceled for the morning so that students could meet with the alumni during the panel discussion in addition to three separate breakout sessions for in-depth conversations with the alumni – one on Business and Law, another on Science and Technology, and a third on Arts and Media. The day culminated with a catered lunch for the alumni and Waldorf’s junior and senior classes where students had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with specific alums about their chosen fields.
By the end of the day, it was clear to all in attendance that the alumni’s common experiences at Waldorf, where they were part of the School that fosters independent thinking and experiential learning, were integral to their success in life. In addition to their classes and rich curricular experiences, alumni talked fondly about their class trips to Camp Glen Brook – the School’s extension campus in New Hampshire, after-school athletics, creative and practical art projects and the incredible breadth of experiences their Waldorf education provided. Irin Carmon ’01, a graduate of Harvard University who currently works as a commentator on MSNBC and as a journalist at Salon.Com, talked about how the class plays students perform during their lower school years prepared her to speak concisely and eloquently as a journalist and as an on-air commentator on television.
High School Chair Roland Rothenbucher was pleased to see so many former students who clearly benefited from their days at Waldorf. “We definitely will do this again!” Mr. Rothenbucher said.
Likewise, today’s Waldorf students someday might return to share their post-graduate stories.