Saint Vincent's Academy is where I learned the power of my own voice. It is where I learned how to put my faith into action. It is where I learned how both insignificant and signficant I am in the world. It is where I learned the definition of friendship. It is where I learned how to motivate myself and how to get others motivated. It is where I learned what a good leader did and did not do. It is where I learned the joy of service. It is where I started my journey to adulthood. And it is what I learned there, that I take with me, every minute of every day.
Saturday, June 6, the class of 1999 re-united to celebrate the 10 years since our graduation. The last class to graduate in the 20th century, we were a bonded class. We had walked each other through deaths of siblings, illnesses of parents, family job losses, first love breakups, and the every day hell that being a teenager can be. We united in our disdain of the periodic table of elements and of finding parking spaces in downtown Savannah. We united also in our love of free periods off campus and of getting Mrs. Antonucci off topic to discuss anything but biology. Some of us stayed close to the friends we'd been with in our respective parochial grade schools, some of us found best friends in our former rivals at St. James and St. Peters! Regardless, our class did an amazing job of bonding close and this was evident at our reunion.
After a year of ridiculously hard work, led by our illustrious class president ( who I was cool enough to be best friends with), Katrina Smith Critchley, and powered by our event planner extraordinaire, Elizabeth Cone Katz (my heart in this big city of Atlanta), we pulled off a great evening. My sweet friends LaNoral and Sarah and Linsey and Coleen and Kelly and a few others also worked on this committee year round and the fruits of our labor were obvious.
We didn't miss a beat. 10 years melted down into 10 days. We hugged and laughed and told each other how great we looked! We talked about babies and weddings and new cities. We sweetly remembered Ms. Hardin insisting that to be well-rounded women we need to know how to square dance. She was never pleased with my doe-si-doe, by the way. We laughed about pulling things over on our parents (my dad swears he knew what we were up to but I'm pretty sure he was not aware of what Katrina and I were doing/drinking at the drivin' and cryin' concert). We caught up and remembered these special years. Alumnae director, the diva that is Ms. Loretto Lominack, briefly spoke and said that we were a special class from a special place. Simple, but so true. The walls that surround our small building and convent on Liberty and Lincoln Streets hold generations of memories and bonds and exemplary education. Of all the gifts my parents gave me, out of every, single ,one of them, this gift of SVA remains the greatest.
So, enjoy the pictures, as I will forever, remembering a great evening, commemorating a great class who were all raised by not only our families, but by the love and commitment of the Sisters of Mercy and staff at Saint Vincent's Academy.