Celebrating Alumnae Day 2024

Celebrating Alumnae Day 2024
On a beautiful spring Saturday in April, Marlborough School came to life as hundreds of alumnae returned to campus to celebrate their reunions at Alumnae Day 2024. This annual event celebrates milestone reunions, alumnae award recipients, and the immense power and connection of the alumnae community.
The day began as soon as alumnae arrived to campus. During self-guided tours, they were able to revisit nostalgic spaces like Caswell Hall and familiar classrooms, and discover new additions like the renovated health and wellness spaces beneath Combs Gymnasium. Alumnae also had the chance to visit a specially curated display from the School’s Archives. Flipping through old yearbooks and posing behind mannequins with retro graduation dresses, alumnae reminisced over their time as students.
After gathering for lunch on Booth Field, Violets were welcomed to the day’s festivities by Carolyn Marounian Kassabian ’93, President of the Alumnae Association. She gave an overview of the Alumnae Leadership Board’s programming over the course of the year and celebrated the record-breaking philanthropic success of Giving Day 2024. Head of School Jennifer Ciccarelli addressed the gathered alumnae and highlighted significant moments from Marlborough’s history that coincided with the milestone reunion years ending in 4s and 9s. From the School’s founding in 1889, to the first Pin Ceremony held in 1964 and the opening of Munger Hall in 2009, she noted, “Each of these moments represents a chapter in our collective narrative.”
In addition to milestone moments, Ms. Ciccarelli also celebrated the immense pride in being part of the Marlborough community. “Being a Violet,” she shared, “is a badge of honor representing a shared legacy of excellence and empowerment.” To honor this shared legacy, the Alumnae Association annually bestows two awards on inspiring alumnae: Woman of the Year and the 20Y Award.
Woman of the Year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, having first been awarded in 1974. The 2024 Woman of the Year recipient is Dr. Dolly Klock ’88. In accepting this honor at Alumnae Day, Dr. Klock ’88 spoke of the profound impact her Marlborough experience had on her. She reflected:
It was here that I developed time management, critical thinking, a strong work ethic, and self-advocacy. It was at Marlborough that I developed strong communication skills, and where I learned to truly listen and value differing points of view. And my time at a girls' school allowed me to recognize when things felt off, when I was being treated differently than my male colleagues, and how to speak up in those moments, because I knew to trust my instincts and that my voice mattered. Most importantly, Marlborough gave me the confidence I needed to look introspectively, over a decade into my work as an attending physician, and recognize that I was no longer happy in my career in its current form, and that I could use my skills to reach more families outside the confines of a traditional medical practice. Because Marlborough taught me to be courageous and to think outside the box.
Emphasizing the importance of her Marlborough education on her future successes, Dr. Klock ’88 also shone a spotlight on the power of the Marlborough alumnae network in action. When she pivoted her career and started a small business, it was her Marlborough friends and fellow alumnae who were eager to support and uplift her, ensuring that she thrived. With this in mind, Dr. Klock ’88 closed her speech by issuing an inspiring challenge to her fellow alumnae:
As we celebrate together today, I invite you to think about what you can do today to support other women, in and outside our Marlborough community. Can you share another woman’s business with your friends? Is there a young person you could mentor? Can you help build another woman’s network by introducing her to someone new? Can you be a strong voice for someone who hasn’t found their own yet? Let’s keep celebrating each other’s successes, holding each other’s disappointments and challenges, and let’s continue to help women to chase down their potential and make this world a better place.
The 20Y Award is given to an exceptional alumna who has graduated from Marlborough within the past 20 years. This year, the Alumnae Association recognized Nina Soriano ’04. Ms. Soriano ’04 spoke with gratitude about her time at Marlborough and the community she was able to build here. She spoke of finding a “community of the heart” in her inspiring and supportive group of friends, a “community of expression” within the Marlborough theater program, and a “community of the mind” in her English courses. She shared, “What I gained in those precious years was the confidence to pursue my passions, a clear sense of my principles and my resolve, a ‘never give up’ work ethic, and the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that is the epitome of a Marlborough girl.” She went on to say:
Now, when I think of Marlborough, I think of a place that fosters friendship, inspires you to find your voice, and compels you to stick to your gut. A place that allows you to be different and nurtures what makes you distinct. But the biggest gift from a place like this, is that it allows any young woman the ability to dream big without being hindered by the limitations of their circumstance or by others’ expectations, and that is invaluable.
As the program concluded, alumnae lingered together on Booth Field enjoying lunch and each other’s company, celebrating the incredible Marlborough community well into the early evening. The purple pride was palpable and the sense of an enduring Violet spirit was ever-present. The emotions of the day were captured beautifully by Ms. Soriano ’04: “I am wholeheartedly a Marlborough girl. And being here with the very community that has made me who I am makes me so proud of that fact.”

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