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Connection Throughout the Decades

Connection Throughout the Decades
Rudy Brandl

As we return to school from Winter Break in the first week of January, young alumni often visit to attend events or just say hello to their former teachers. The pandemic made those little reunions a bit more difficult the past two years and our traditional events became either virtual or canceled. It was wonderful to return to the usual in-person format for the young alumni college panel discussions for parents and students and also to host the annual young alumni pizza party and basketball game and reception again after a two-year hiatus.

As I listened to the young alumni panelists talk about their W+H experiences and transition to their respective colleges and universities, I found myself reflecting on my own journey from W+H graduate to college student nearly four decades ago. It’s also interesting that I have something in common beyond just a W+H diploma with all five of this year’s young alumni panelists. 

Ariana Di Landro ’21 and Rose Kassam ’22, who attend Princeton and Boston University, respectively, both wrote and edited for the Beacon student newspaper during their Upper School years. I was a Beacon writer and later served as sports editor for two years in the early 1980s. Rose even gave me a shoutout as her Beacon advisor during the panel discussion with parents in the Oakwood Room. Izabel Korycki ’22, now a freshman at Rutgers, played varsity soccer with Ariana during their high school years. I played for longtime coach and W+H Hall of Famer Howard Freeman back in the day. Ramon Gonzalez ’22, a current freshman at Columbia, was a catcher on the baseball team last year. I once wore the tools of ignorance for the Rams in both Middle and Upper School. Calum Huang ’22, a Villanova freshman, continues to be active in video production and backstage work after honing his skills in the Berry Performing Arts Center. The equipment wasn’t nearly as impressive when I recorded events as a member of the school’s Audio Visual Club in the 1980s.

Why are these coincidental facts important or relevant? They prove once again that Wardlaw+Hartridge continues to provide countless opportunities for connection and leadership, even across the decades. I know I felt prepared for college when I headed to the University of Notre Dame in 1983, much like last week’s young alumni shared with our parents and students. Although last week’s young alumni panelists attended W+H many years later, we have similar experiences that will keep us connected.