My favorite Madeira memory was hearing my name called for the red team during RAW sorting. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of sisterhood and encouragement while running through the parade of fellow red team snails.
Madeira changed my life because I found my voice with the support of an amazing sisterhood. I was launched into the working world early through the co-curriculum program, ready to tackle any challenge and continue discovering myself.
I smile thinking back to the fun times I shared with friends in the Skills Center and while we worked hard, we also had a lot of laughs and snacks! As an athlete, some of my favorite days were laughing at pasta parties or long bus rides with my cross country and swim teammates.
My favorite Madeira memory is just spending time with friends outside on nice days enjoying Madeira’s beautiful campus. I especially enjoyed a quiet afternoon sitting behind the C/A watching the sun light change the colors of the leaves and the occasional kayaker floating down the river.
Co-Curriculum gave me the opportunity to not only intern on Capitol Hill during the anthrax scare and attend Enron congressional hearings, but also helped me land an internship at NASA senior year where we worked alongside senior scientists and engineers on a project optimizing gunshot residue detection. It was at Madeira where I discovered my knack and love for biology while performing paper chromatography experiments.
I lived in Main dorm for two years and there was such magic studying in Wing Library under Ms. Madeira’s portrait, or in Main Living Room, curled up on one of the couches. It was the place we left behind girlhood and became women. Strong, compassionate, boisterous women.
While I have memories of strawberries and cream on the oval and the 13 roses, my most poignant memories are of times since Madeira – meeting at each other’s homes, weddings, reunions – these friendships still shape my life!
How to choose? Sitting in Main living room talking with dear friend Nerissa Nields? Backstage excitement with my music and theater pals? Or my mom, Beth Vanderstar, ’52 and then-Board Chair, proudly handing me my diploma at graduation?
Madeira became my home away from home. The friends I made here are still my closest and dearest. They are my family. Almost every job I’ve held, has been through a Madeira connection. I can say without a doubt, that Madeira Made All the Difference for me.
Junior year I was working for Senator Scoop Jackson from my home state of Washington. I’ll never forget listening to conversations about shaping policy, usually having to do with defense, and the thrill of walking the halls of the Russell Senate building and crossing paths with senators and their aides.
On a lovely spring evening, someone stuck their hi-fi speakers out a window (that’s hi-fi, not wifi), and a bunch of us had a burst of energy, line-dancing to Zorba the Greek all the way along the Oval.