2013-2014 Volume 4 | May 2013
Reconnect, Reunite, Reaffirm Established in 1987, the Mary Lowther Ranney Distinguished Alumna Award recognizes an alumna who has made special contributions throughout her life. The recipient, nominated by alumnae at large, is honored at Alumnae Day each year. The citation for the award reads as follows:
To honor Mary Lowther Ranney, this award is given annually by Westridge School to an alumna whose life embodies the spirit of the Westridge motto, Surgere Tentamus, and who, by her commitment to her chosen path, her dedication to lifelong growth and learning, and her habits of heart, mind, and action, is an example and an inspiration to the Westridge community.
am greatly flattered to be named the 2013 Ranney Award winner. To be considered a distinguished alumna of a school that has meant so much to me and was crucial to my personal and professional development is truly quite an honor. And to be bestowed with an award named after Mary Lowther Ranney — a smart, independent woman whose early career in architecture reflects her passion for the arts — makes it all the more special. Some of my fondest memories of Westridge include my own involvement in the arts — perhaps a foreshadowing of the career I found in the art world — and yet mostly I feel Westridge introduced me to analytical thinking, and provided me with foreign language ability and creative writing skills that have served me well in my career as a gallery owner and art dealer. I will forever be grateful to the (continued on page 2)
1940 | More than doubling the school’s grounds, Westridge acquires the adjacent S. H. Fullerton estate on South Orange Grove. The old home on the property becomes the first Ranney House, and its lawn and camphor tree provide the venue for that year’s graduation. On Founders’ Day, Mrs. William Brackenridge presents an address on the school’s history. A memorial ceremony patterned after the Egyptian custom is performed in Miss Ranney’s honor.
1941 | Louise Wood, a Quaker and former head of the Florentine School in Italy, becomes Westridge’s third headmistress.
1942 | With the United States’ entry into the war, the school holds its first air raid drill. Miss Wood tells the board: “I have given the girls the motto ‘steady does it’,” in response to the inevitable restlessness which sweeps Westridge and the country.
1944 | Miss Wood tenders her resignation: “I must put myself in line for reconstruction work in Europe after the war.”
1945 | In May, Gladys Peterson is hired as Westridge’s fourth headmistress.
(continued from cover) teachers and administrators who made — and continue to make — this school unequaled in its greatness, and it has been a pleasure to “pay it forward” in whatever way I can by staying involved with the school.
Save the Dates!
Appropriately, during Westridge’s Centennial year, the 2014 award will honor Mary Ranney herself. As the school’s founder, she established a forward-thinking institution for educating girls before the country had even scratched the surface of women’s rights. With a strong foundation in support of young women striving for more — in education and in life — the vision of Mary Ranney’s Westridge School became a reality in 1913, remained constant decade after decade of national and cultural change, and continues in the same vein to this very day.
Founder’s Day This community picnic will launch Westridge’s Centennial year festivities! Sunday, October 6, 2013 Homecoming A new tradition begins with the induction of the first honorees into the Westridge Athletics Hall of Fame. Friday, January 10, 2014
I have experienced Westridge through many lenses, for many years. My connection to the school in the past 40 years since graduation has been diverse; first serving as a member of the Alumnae Council, then as a trustee, and I now have the great pleasure of co-chairing (with Sigrid Burton ’69) the Centennial Visual Arts Committee. Composed of current faculty; Westridge arts, administrative, and Centennial staff; as well as Westridge alumnae from the arts field, our committee is shaping what we expect to be a meaningful and beautiful display throughout the campus of artworks created by alumnae and faculty. The Visual Arts Committee’s stated mission is to showcase excellence in the visual arts and celebrate the synergy between students and arts faculty, past and present.
Centennial Weekend Festival of the Arts We celebrate a century of excellence in the arts among Westridge students and fine and performing arts faculty — past and present. Thursday, March 20, 2014 reunion Day This is not your average Alumnae Day! A special former faculty and staff reunion will reconnect generations of the Westridge family. Alumnae are invited to take part in master classes, a combined current and past Glee Club performance, and campus tours. Friday, March 21, 2014
As a part of the Centennial’s Festival of the Arts celebration, artists with an established studio practice have been invited to submit work for an exhibition to be selected and installed by respected Pasadena curator Jay Belloli. For a period of several weeks in the spring of 2014, alumnae and faculty artworks will be installed on a temporary basis. With art installed in a variety of locations throughout the campus, accented by spontaneous student performances, we expect the Festival of the Arts will provide not only a window into the importance the arts have played in the history of the school, but also a pathway — literally and figuratively — to explore the Westridge of the next 100 years.
Westridge 100 Birthday Part y Join the community at off-campus events around Pasadena during the day and an evening birthday celebration on campus. Saturday, March 22, 2014 Farewell Brunch An informal gathering at the home of Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor will bring Centennial weekend to a close. Sunday, March 23, 2014
Joni Moisant Weyl ’72 2013 Mary Lowther Ranney Distinguished Alumna Award Winner Co-Chair, Centennial Visual Arts Committee
1946 | The last Optima is awarded to Jeanette Hersey ’46. Upon the recommendation of Miss Peterson, it is discontinued “because the reason for this special prize is not clearly defined.”
1947 | The Spyglass, begun the year before by the 8th grade, becomes an all-school project, and the first Outlook is published under the editorship of Priscilla Dunn ’47. The Upper School supports four European children with proceeds from Westridge’s first Carnival. Three properties adjacent to the school are purchased as they become available.
1948 | The corridor leading to the gym is converted into a biology lab at a cost $4,500 including eight new microscopes.
1949 | Twenty-one scholarship students are supported by $7,000 in financial aid. Westridge schedules its first summer program which is open to boys and girls and offers a variety of classes including “Cars and How to Use Them.”
“and yet...” Centennial captures the paradoxical spirit of Westridge Excerpt of remarks made by Fran Norris Scoble Alumnae Day, April 12, 2013 Gertrude Hall (assistant to Headmistress Gladys Peterson) with the 1951 Inlook staff.
students teachers mentors
Centennial is an opportunity for alumnae to reconnect with one another as well as with the teachers and staff who helped shape their Westridge experience! Contact current teacher and chair of the the faculty/staff/administration reunion committee Betty Cole if you are, or are in contact with, a former Westridge faculty or staff member — we would like to reconnect with as many people as possible! [email@example.com or 626.799.1053, ext. 462] The following current and past faculty and staff members will be present at the reunion — we will be adding to the list as it grows! Brownie Allen Anna Pechanec Ancheta ’65 Lyssa Axeen Mandy Reynolds Boesche ’69 Tish Colburn Betty Cole* Mary Connor Robin DeKleine* Julie Ehrhardt* Gerry Fallon Baiba Graft
Willa Greenstone* Betsy Hanger Roza Kuppermann* Marian Lipschutz Art Mack Ann Penn* Jeanne Holt Register Candace Riecke* Vendula Vogel* Brian Williams*
To begin our planning for the celebration of the Westridge Centennial, we engaged in a free form conversation about the values and ideals that have been constant throughout the one hundred year history of Westridge. What was true in the beginning that still defines us? We finally came up with a phrase that we thought captured the paradoxical spirit of Westridge: the phrase is “and yet…” • Creative yet disciplined… • Traditional yet progressive… • Intellectual yet playful… • Funny yet serious…. • And yes, we wear uniforms…and yet… It is somehow that paradox that captures the essence of the Westridge spirit. It is this quality we aim to capture in the Centennial. Join us on this journey—for Westridge, for your oldest friends and for yourselves. I promise it will enrich you and inspire you. A year from now, I promise you a week of celebration you will never forget!
* faculty/staff/administration reunion committee members
Westridge purchases the Kirby property to the east and plans its use as an athletic field and tennis courts.
Westridge makes plans for civil defense. Miss Peterson works with the fire department to find the safest place for students in the event of a bombing.
1950 | Mrs. Hallett W. Thorne retires after 14 years as Westridge’s first president of the Board of Trustees. Mrs. Thorne, a leader of the parents group which purchased the school in 1937, guided its transformation from a proprietary to a non-profit institution.
1951 | The board votes to drop the 3rd and 4th grades and enlarge the 7th and 8th grades.
1952 | Dorothy Hughes ’52 wins the 7-College Scholarship, Ann Hutt ’52 the Radcliffe National Scholarship. Connie Crawford ’48 is graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford and singled out for special mention in the Saturday Review of Literature for her writing.
1953 | In celebration of the 40th anniversary, a fund drive for $100,000 is launched to build new classrooms, tennis courts, a parking lot, and an endowment fund for scholarships.
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Westridge students perform Our Town in 1953.
time&treasure Westridge will be continually recruiting volunteers and accepting archival donations throughout Cetentennial year. The work will continue through the summer months and volunteers are needed to help keep us moving forward! Planning committees include: exhibit design, event planning, communications, social media management, publicity, administrative support, ongoing research, and archiving.
Count Down with W e s t r i d g e !
Historical items sought include: uniform dresses/skirts/ jumpers in pink, blue, yellow, white, grey; uniform blouses; jackets/blazers; school sweaters; gym uniforms; hats; t-shirts; athletic patches; school pins, medals, rings, and school work and projects.
“Countdown” is Westridge School’s quarterly community newsletter detailing the goals, planning needs, and event announcements for Westridge’s Centennial in 2013-2014.
For inquiries about the Westridge Centennial, please contact Centennial Coordinator Ava Megna, 626.799.1053, ext. 297, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want you to join in the fun! Find out how, inside!
Volume 4 - May 2013 issue of Westridge School's newsletter dedicated to the approaching Centennial in 2013-2014.