TO EMMA: A LOVE LETTER
I’d always known I would go to boarding school as my mother and grandmother had before me.
I was 12 years old the first time I visited *Emma Willard School for girls and it was love at first sight.
I remember turning to my mom during our tour of the campus and telling her that the place made me
feel like I was Princess Diana (it WAS 1982…)
Between mom winning the trifecta at the dog track (I kid you not...), my leadership scholarship,
and a generous financial aid package, I was able to swing the fees and pack my trunk (it WAS 1983..)
I learned so many things at Emma. As much, if not more of my education came from life in the dorm as it did in the classroom. I learned how to write an essay, do my own laundry, modern dance, battle the complexities
of calculus, master the art of taking a shower in under 2 minutes - and, possibly most importantly, the strength and comfort and power of female friendship. I found out I was crap at field hockey, but pretty good at history. I became a champion lender and borrower
of clothes. I discovered dumb fun. My friends and I spent hours singing “Papa Don’t Preach” into our hair brushes. In a very elaborately planned faux ceremony, we managed to marry off our roommate Anne to a life sized poster of Sting.
I cried, it was that beautiful (it Was 1984….)
*Emma Willard the woman was born in 1787, the 16th of 17 children to a father who believed in educating
his daughters as well as his sons. In 1814, she opened the doors to her school for girls from all over the world.
But before that, in 1809, she wrote the revolutionary “A Plan For Improving Female Education” in order to win
public support for girls’ schools. 200 years later, Emma Willard School is still holding true to the principles it
was founded upon.
Article by Anna Quick-Palmer