Those two words sing in my head, with an echo followed by “spirit of light” — they were words that shaped my high school experience, and words that called back to me this past weekend during my visit to the campus of Chatham Hall. “Let it be perpetual,” the words speak, and that it is, the spirit of Chatham Hall.
Chatham, with its sprawling campus, challenging academics, endless opportunities, and traditions that tie alumnae together since 1894, is more than just a place I lived from 14-18, it’s where the leader within me was nurtured and given the freedom to shine. It’s where I learned how big the world was and how, in turn, I could unleash the spirit within me to pursue and change the world.
I spent this past weekend on campus for the first time in twelve years, and it was like a small rebirth of my spirit. As a guest speaker for the girls’ Wellness Weekend, I was able to experience first hand the perpetual spirit of “the Chatham Hall girl.” Much has changed about the school (new buildings, renovated space, and an educational system that has converted to iPad based learning), yet the core of Chatham is still the same. The spirit of integrity and leadership that is instilled in the girls still lives on; the innocent enthusiasm and confident authenticity of the girls was inspiring. These are girls who are going to impact the world. These are girls who abide by the same principles of honor and integrity that I do. These are girls with whom I am proud to share a heritage.
Whatever you value the most, cling tightly to it. Perhaps you carry a legacy from your high school or college that resonates with you as Chatham Hall does with me, or maybe your core values inspire the beat of your heart and the words that come out of your mouth, but whatever you hold to dearly, never let go. Let the calling of your heart — that is, that thing that makes you come alive and makes you you — never be silenced. You have a gift to share with the world, so live out your life with authenticity that rings with echoes of esto perpetua.