When people walk on the St. Anne’s campus, they sense something different here: kids shaking hands, people holding the door for each other, students saying thank you to their teachers. As graduates of St. Anne’s, our careers led us back to this unique place. Although we are surrounded by new buildings and new faces, this place still feels the same as when we were students because this school values the notion of humans being good to one another above all else. The spirit of St. Anne’s is a commitment to learning, friendship, empathy, and balance.
Last year, Alan Smiley formed the Portrait of a Graduate Committee and tasked us with articulating the qualities of a St. Anne’s graduate. First and foremost and repeatedly, we looked to our roots to ground us in the values of the Sisters. We also looked at other schools’ portraits of a graduate; solicited feedback from faculty and staff, the Alumni Board, and the Board of Trustees; and then revised the statement to reflect those ideas. Discussions among all constituents were passionate: this community cares deeply about our heritage, our children, and the values this school instills in them. The Committee finalized the St. Anne’s Portrait of a Graduate in the spring.
This document concretely captures the qualities we hope to see in our graduates. When combined with the St. Anne's Mission, Approach, and Beliefs, the Portrait of a Graduate provides guidance for St. Anne's to encourage our community -- adults and children alike -- to be humans who treat each other with kindness and respect. This is aspirational: we don’t expect 13- and 14-year-olds to have achieved all of this by the day they receive their diploma, but we do hope that these qualities have been nurtured and will continue to grow throughout their (and our) lives.
Our students will face challenges and opportunities that our founders couldn’t have imagined, but the Sisters’ values transcend time. We look forward to hearing how you see these virtues manifested in our current students and alumni, and we are eager to partner with all members of the St. Anne's community to make sure that our work with children is aligned with our vision. In the coming days we will be sharing this portrait with our entire community. We plan to discuss ways we can put it into practice and make it a part of our everyday conversations at school, at home, and in our communities.
We are proud to share this with you, and we look forward to hearing from you about how St. Anne's continues to shape you and your children's lives.