Jarrett enjoyed dinner and conversation with students last spring.
The Public Servant Valerie Jarrett ’74 returns to one of the places where she began. Valerie Jarrett ’74, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, returned to NMH for the first time in 20 years to deliver the 2016 Commencement address. She also sat down to dinner with students, toured the Northfield campus, and took a peek into her old dorms (Wilson and Hubbard). “I had been looking forward to my visit, but I didn’t appreciate how sentimental I would feel,” Jarrett reported during a phone interview after Commencement.
What were you like as an NMH student? I was very shy. I’m an only child, so I was not used to having roommates, and other than summer camp, it was my first time living away from home. In retrospect, I appreciate how NMH prepared me. I was able to walk
8 I NMH Magazine
onto the Stanford University campus with justifiable confidence that came from the skills, both intellectual and social, that I developed at NMH. What NMH experiences stand out for you? What I remember most is
sitting around the table at meals and having spirited conversations about a wide range of topics. If anyone had told me before I was a student at NMH that I would look forward to getting up early in the morning and having breakfast with a group of people, I would’ve been very surprised. Those long meals were also responsible for the 10 pounds I gained! As I get older, I appreciate more and more what a unique opportunity NMH gave me, how those shared experiences formed extraordinary bonds. Part of my message to NMH
PH O TO : R A C H A E L WA RI NG
The magazine of Northfield Mount Hermon