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Reunion 2021: The 139th Packer Reunion Chapel

Reunion Chapel

Each year our alumni join together for Reunion to reconnect with Packer and one another. This has marked the second year that we have hosted this event online. 

During the annual Reunion Chapel, we offer our annual alumni awards to deserving members of the Packer community, elect new members of the Alumni Board, and reconnect with Packer. Although we couldn't be together physically this year, we streamed parts of the Chapel presentation from inside Packer's Chapel, featuring MIDI Music created by Instrumental Music Coordinator — and long time faculty member —Paul Riggio. 

You can watch a recording of our Reunion Chapel on YouTube. 

Dr. Jennifer Weyburn, Head of School: An Extraordinary Year

Jen updated everyone on the extraordinary year, including how Packer has adjusted and overcome challenges during the pandemic, and how the Packer community came together to get through it. You can read more about this in The Packer Magazine.

The Joan Buehler Eisenstein ’51 Award for Service to Packer: Dona Laughlin

Each year, Packer recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding generosity, leadership, and service to Packer.

Dona Laughlin became a Packer Parent in 1989 when her son Colin Laughlin joined the Pre-K Threes. As a Packer parent, she devoted her time and energy to the school as a vital volunteer. She served as a class parent, volunteered for phon-a-thons and events, and eventually joined Packer’s Board of Trustees in 1998. During her tenure as a Trustee, the school began the notable transition to becoming a “laptop school”  which was a challenging and courageous decision, and Dona was at the center of it.

When her son graduated from Packer in 2004, Dona’s service to the school was not close to over. In 2006 she accepted the position as Director of Alumni. She spent the next 12 years supporting and engaging the alumni community. There’s hardly anyone in our alumni community who hasn’t been impacted by Dona’s warmth, generosity, and her love of Packer. She worked tirelessly to establish the Alumni program that our alumni love and appreciate today. She helped develop a volunteer program for alumni, and helped define the old traditions of Reunion and Founder’s Day to be what they are today. 

Cynthia Gardstein ’66 IVAc and Ellin Rosenzweig ’52  proudly presented Dona with this award. 

Dona spoke about how, while she didn’t go to Packer, she spent 29 years at the school, and learned so much from its students, faculty, staff, and administrators and their commitment to education. She reflected on how it meant so much to receive this honor after helping give out this award to so many deserving people at Reunion. 

The Alumni Award of Honor: Dorothy Gurreri

The Alumni Award of Honor was first granted in 1980 to Elisabeth Pratt Livingston, Class of 1925. Each year, the award is presented to a person, or persons, who exemplify the values inherent in a Packer education. The recipients bring honor to Packer through their professional or volunteer endeavors.

Dorothy Gurreri joined Packer in the early 1980s, spending 40 years at Packer. She began as a physical education and health teacher, with experience as a gymnastics coach. In her time at Packer, she also served as the curriculum coordinator and the chair of the Health Advisory Committee. 

Dorothy has a passion for athletics, guiding students not only through physical education, but through learning more about themselves, fitness and health. She has guided generations of students through this school, seeing them start as 3 year olds and eventually graduate. 

As the Alumni Award of Honor is presented to someone who exemplifies the values inherent in a Packer education, we are pleased to award this to Dorothy, whose love of education and dedication to our students as whole people, has deeply impacted our students. We are proud to have awarded Dorothy the Alumni Award of Honor. 

Her award was presented by Sasha Baurmind ’00, who spoke to how Dorothy impacted her and her sister (Lucy Baumrind’s ’02) young life by being a caring and mentoring coach and teacher. Dorothy spoke to how Packer was her life, and how it helped her become a better parent, professional, and person. 

Read more Reunion coverage

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