Held on the first day of winter break, our annual Holiday Luncheon (click here for more photos) is a terrific representation of Columbus Academy because it includes several generations of alumni all in one room and it ties graduates from eight different decades together, including many members of the senior class who are invited and recognized throughout the event.
A highlight was certainly Bob Fox ’67 becoming the 2015 Distinguished Alum. His children, Win ’08 and Elizabeth ’06, provided a wonderful introduction of their father, the 40th recipient of the school’s highest honor designed to recognize alumni who have brought positive recognition to the school, as well as to themselves, through service to and involvement with Columbus Academy and the community.
“What we really know about our dad is our life with him and how we know he was always trying to make our lives the best they could be,” said Elizabeth, her voice cracking with emotion just a bit. “That started with sending us to the Academy because he loved it and knew we would love it.”
“I can’t believe it’s been 48 years since I graduated from Columbus Academy,” said Bob as he began his acceptance speech. “Dwight Eisenhower was the president when I started in first grade. How about that?”
“I spent 12 of my first 17 years attending The Columbus Academy,” he added later. “I lived in Lancaster and drove back and forth. It was a long commute so I spent a lot of time at the Academy and on the road.”
Visibly moved by the recognition and his memories, Bob concluded with: “I made some great friends, and I continue to meet great people who have this common thread of the Academy experience. I encourage graduates to stay in touch with the school and with each other, and be proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
The Alumni Service Award honors those who have made lasting contributions to the school through their service and leadership, explained Alumni Board President Brian Shepard ’96 during his introduction of Vicki Ross, who retired from Academy’s faculty in 2010 after 34 years of service.
“There is one way that the Academy never really changes and that’s the core and the heart of the school… the people,” said Vicki after listing some of the ways Academy has evolved since she began her career there in 1976. “Wonderful, wonderful students who strive to become lifelong learners and the excellent group of adults who dedicate their lives to helping these students achieve their goals – I feel very fortunate in my life to have been a part of that. And because of that, I and my family have changed for the better.”
In addition to the two award presentations, Head of School Melissa Soderberg provided the following update on Columbus Academy to the 200-plus alumni in attendance.
In case you missed last night’s post on social media, we invite you to ring in the new year with a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” by our Lower School.
This past calendar year was a good one for the school in many regards. And 2016 promises to be a very special one as our campus is transformed with new facilities and renovations that will greatly enhance our learning (and dining) spaces. Happy New Year from all of us at Columbus Academy.