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Fall 2020 Alumni Event Recap: A Journey with Ken Rush, Fall Back to Packer, and Different Ships, Same Storm

A Journey Through Time with Former Packer Art Teacher Ken Rush

Members of the Packer alumni community gathered virtually on November 7 (the actual date of Founder's Day) to learn more about the home of their alma mater. As part of the celebration of Harriet L. Packer and the school she founded, former Packer Art Teacher Ken Rush gave a presentation about the design of the school's buildings.

Architect Minard Lafever was tasked with creating a building that would inculcate “a kind of token and pledge of the refined and elevating influence to be found within its walls.” Ken illustrated Minard's use of Victorian Gothic style, which is still evident at Packer today. The story of our school came alive through Ken's walk through the space. We hope to offer this presentation again in the future.

Left to right: Founder's Hall Entrance Hall in 1896, Entrance Hall with new stairway in 1945, Entrance Hall today. 

Fall Back to Packer

Last year, we launched Fall Back to Packer, an event offering our college-aged alumni a chance to visit campus during their break and catch up with their favorite faculty members. This year, in response to the pandemic, we moved the event online, which enabled us to invite not only current faculty, but former faculty as well. As faculty members and alumni entered the Zoom room on November 27, faces lit up with excitement about seeing each other again. This event offered us another reason to be thankful for the Packer community.

Different Ships, Same Storm

In early 2020, as the world was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, students were struck by the fact that, despite the global nature of event, each person was having a unique and isolated experience. In response, some of Packer’s Upper Schoolers, with the guidance of visual art teachers Elizabeth Eagle and Liz Titone, developed a project titled Different Ships, Same Storm that would allow them to connect with students across the globe through prose and portraits about their lives in 2020.

On December 9, Packer seniors Luca Biro, Lula Boyd, Georgia Groome, Sam Levine, and Jake Srebnick led a presentation of work by those from the classes of 1956 to 2032. After the presentation, there was a wonderful conversation among Packer parents, alumni, faculty, and staff about the work that was shared and how they are all processing the events of this year.

View the Different Ships, Same Storm presentation. 

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