Wonder where they are now? We've got you covered! Check out our Alumni Snapshots, Mugshots Coffee and Conversation Series, and the Admiral's Club Podcast for stories that follow Admirals around the world. Do you have a good alumni story to share? We’d love to hear from you!
Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 checked in recently with Gusty Taler '74, to seek her mentorship of a Severn junior on a school project, and to congratulate her on her recent recognition as one of The Daily Record's 2020 Influential Marylanders. Gusty, the Chief Operating Officer of Maryland Legal Aid, was recognized in the category of Civic Leadership. Described as a “true influencer,” Taler is lauded for her ability to understand what the Maryland’s residents need to thrive, including programs and services that can create life-changing outcomes for individuals and communities.
The Severn School Alumni Association would like to recognize and thank the brave alumni stepping up in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Every day Admirals risk their health and safety to save the lives of others, research ways to halt the spread of this disease and ensure people continue to have access to essential necessities. We recently had the chance to catch up with two of our alumni hero's: Sarah Goodrich Grangien '99 and Claire Rosen '10.
This moment in our history is unique--virtually no one who is alive today has ever experienced a pandemic like this. When a person is faced with discordant circumstances, our human tendency is to use defense mechanisms such as denial, intellectualization, rationalization, and suppression to make sense of things. When we actually do come to grips with what is happening, it is important to face the facts as best we can, and realize that we can't change the past, but we can choose to live in the present in a healthy manner by taking the necessary precautions that will help lessen the anxiety and fear many of us may be experiencing. Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale University who teaches one of the most popular courses at Yale entitled, "The Key to Happiness, the Science of Well-Being" offers these research-based tools to help us all deal with the stressors associated with today.
Jessica Wilson Jones ’07 and Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 recently caught up over coffee in St. Michael’s, Maryland, where she manages her own floral business, Les Fleurs by Jes Wilson, and works in sales and marketing for Perry Cabin Resorts. Jessica is married to Severn alumnus Darnell Jones ’03.
Dr. Charlie Pellerin ‘62 and Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 were in touch this fall when the Class of ’62 was researching a Severn Archives mystery. He shared some highlights of his amazing career working with NASA, and the story of his founding of a team-building and leadership development company, 4-D Systems.
Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 enjoyed catching up recently with Katharine Coldiron '99, who is enjoying life in Southern California with her husband Matt Mason '99. Keep an eye out for Katharine's upcoming book, Ceremonials, which will be released in February.
Whether french press, pour-over or espresso is your style, there's a lot you can dish over a warm cup of joe! Care to share your Severn nostalgia? Email Carrie to meet up for some Severn-style coffee and conversation!
List of 14 items.
Alex Adams '10
"Academically you experience a strong mix of studying, self-improvement, growth and competition at Severn which pushed us all to be better. I took a lot of history classes that fueled my passion for political science. Be open to opportunities, whether they knock on your door or not. Grow with your process, always be open to learning, always be open to new experiences. Ms. Sot (Renie Sotiropoulos) set me on the path that I am on now. She always wanted her students to get better and always gave us options about how to push our knowledge of things further."
Melissa Allen '91
"Severn in three words: Positive, influence, opportunity. Words of wisdom for the class of 2019: Travel, travel, travel. Don't be afraid to do the work. Don't judge."
Carson Collier '16
“There was a moment…the last semester of my senior year. I knew everyone really well. We did classes and extracurriculars together. In the last week of school it struck me I wasn't going to see my classmates as much anymore. They felt like family. Severn is such a close knit community. My advice for the Class of 2020 is, when you go to college get involved in as much as you an — anything that interests you, go for it! Join clubs and make friends because your paths might intersect later. Put yourself out there to meet people.”
Ben Elstner '18
“I always admired Mr. Lenham for his down-to-earth personality and appreciation for the outdoors. The quote in the signature of his email will always remind me of his example: 'A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.' Severn in three words: Strong. Community. Mentorship.
Dan Ericson '98
"I participated in musical theater and drama. We learned to do more with less. To us it didn't matter that "The Great Room" was a carpeted room in a basement. Tom Heslin was my mentor. He was a kind, brilliant, empathetic man. He did so much more than teach Latin. You could talk to him in confidence, and he dispensed advice and tough love. Because of him, one of my majors in college was classical humanities. Words of wisdom of the class of 2019: Obtain as many different kinds of experiences as possible."
Jamal Jones '05
“I remember spending time in the old gym — it was so small and had a special environment. Also, the old Woods Hall. When they built the new gym they put all of the old equipment in the basement of Woods Hall. We'd go to the basement to work out. If I could have a cup of coffee with any Severn person today it would be Mr. Creeden. He was very supportive of me. He was impactful in my life. I'd love for him to see how far I've come since I was first admitted to Severn. My advice for the Class of 2020 is to remember that the relationships you have are the most important thing in life. I don't remember every game and class, but I remember and appreciate the relationships I have with classmates, friends and teachers from the community of Severn. “
Coco Junghans '55
“My first year at Severn I was a townie — I lived in Annapolis because my dad was a Naval officer overseas. In my next two years I was a boarder and I just loved it! Somehow it was the first time in my life I was a dependent who was not under the control of a parent. I really liked my classmates. I'm still good friends with several classmates. Of all the schools I attended, Severn was the winner. I remember Mr. and Mrs. Teel. Mr. Teel would talk to us at mealtimes and was very inspiring. He was such a good man.”
Doug Mayer '00
"Severn felt like home from the moment I set foot on campus. I had a lot of memories of going to Severn with my dad, Doug Mayer '73, when I was a young child — going to lacrosse games, walking past the old gym, under the old bleachers, hanging out in front of the gym after school, and playing soccer and lacrosse. Words of wisdom for the class of 2019: You have a lot more time than you think. It's important to be aggressive and ambitious. Go after what you want. At the same time, know that you are only competing with yourself. Don't let others determine where you feel your place in this world."
Kate Myers '04
"I remember we were meeting for the Fed Challenge team, and Mr. Bodley was our advisor. We met every day for months, including weekends. One time, when he forgot to show up we drove over to Round Bay and knocked on his front door. He answered the door in his pajamas ... eating breakfast! Highley Thompson and Mr. Connelly were the moral compasses of the school. They always did the right thing, and they made school feel safe and clear. They embodied the values they talked about. Three words to describe Severn School: Character, tradition, family."
Howard Petty '82
"You have been given a gift. You're now prepared to go into the world and perform at whatever level you choose, doing whatever you choose. There are no limits. Within your class, there will be leaders of your time. Look around at the qualities of the people you are graduating with. Consider what it takes to be successful. Keep your class camaraderie and spirit alive. Severn in three words: Enduring, quality, relationships."
Robin Pirie '50
"I commuted from Annapolis on the train every day with my friends Eddie Turner '50 and Tom Hamilton '50. We'd come up on the train, go to classes and have lunch; our locker room was in the basement of old Teel Hall. There were single family homes that were converted into classrooms on campus, the A, B, and C “Shacks”. B Shack had the science labs, math classes, and it was where Mr. Hill taught physics and chemistry. I spent a lot of time there. Mr Halstead gave his math classes in Teel Hall. C Shack was dormitories. The basement of B Shack was Paul Kesmodel's “shop” where he kept sports equipment and athletics jerseys. The Korean War broke out in 1950, just about the time we were getting set to graduate."
Greg Price '02
“I spent my childhood moving a lot. The longest my family lived anywhere prior to Severna Park was three years. By good fortune, my parents moved into their Severna Park house a couple of weeks before sixth grade. Within a short amount of time, Severn consumed my life because I was new to the area. When I think of going home now, I think about Severn a lot. Severn is one of the few things my four siblings and I share, given our age gap of 15 years. It's a bond for our family — it felt like home for the better part of the years I was there. Home away from home. Dr. Baugh has been such an influence in my life. She is a superb educator, such a smart person, she cares so much about her students. She is a force. Relationships matter. I've learned that over and over again in the real world. The network of relationships you have will help you navigate through many parts of life.”
Cheryl Ritchie '74
"If you cared for someone from Severn at that time, you carry a piece of them in your heart forever. One of my favorite songs is James Taylor “You've Got a Friend.” That will be the music of their lives when it comes to Severn. My 1974 time capsule would have the insignia from my cheerleading uniform, some stories I've written about Severn, a dog-eared copy of the 1974 Navigator, a little green vase I cherish from a Severn friend of mine, and a ring a classmate gave me on my sweet 16."
Grace Rudder '12
“When the first of our friends got married — only Severn folks were in the bridal party ... we had been together since the sixth grade. I looked up to Ms. Lise Charlier. She was my advisor for part of my Upper School experience. She took care of us — emotionally and academically. My advice for the Class of 2020 is, milk your college experience for all it has to offer. Build a foundation for your adult life — know your priorities.”