Saturday, November 16 was a memorable, historic day for Proctor. At their morning meeting, the Board elected Steve Theroux P'95, P'98 Chair of the Board of Trustees and Liz Blodgett-Smith '81, P'13 vice-Chair, succeeding Mark Loehr P'07, P'08, P'09 and Sally Downey P '07, P'10, whose extraordinary leadership have positioned Proctor for a great future. Speaking of the future, a crowd of students, faculty, trustees and friends of the school gathered on North Street at one o'clock for the ceremonial dedication of our newest dormitory--a spacious, handsome residence for sixteen students and two faculty families.
Under clear, blue skies (and not a breath of wind!) we listened as Mike Henriques, Mark Loehr and Steve Theroux spoke of the school's many accomplishments in recent years, and of this facility's impressive attributes; (it is the most environmentally efficient building at Proctor, which is saying something...on this campus.)
Finally, the moment came when Mike announced the name of the dorm; (we're very good at keeping secrets, apparently!). I mention--above--that Sally Downey stepped down as Assistant Chair of the Board this morning. Sally first took interest in this school when her parents were visited by Proctor development folk in the mid-1980s, when her younger sister was a student here. Over the decades, she has quietly supported the school without drawing attention to her generosity. Weeks ago, when Mike and Keith Barrett visited to suggest that this dormitory be named for her, she refused. They insisted, and she considered how it might be...in a manner with which she could be comfortable. The solution was a favored nickname, the name inscribed on a pendant she wears around her neck: Sally B. This wonderful dormitory is named for Sally Bartholomay Downey, as simply Sally B.
There is something playful and humorous about the name that is perfect, given the honoree. Yet she came forward and delivered an impassioned statement conveying her love for this school, and the history--yet to be written--of this dormitory, a history to be filled with compassion, comfort and laughter.
The tour that followed revealed work in progress (!), and amazing open, sunny spaces, including a welcoming common area with a full kitchen.
The architectural lines may complement the New England village theme of neighboring structures, but this is a BIG, spacious residence, as is evident from Leonard Field. Notice the wrap-around porch, which features a delightful gazebo corner.
In the decades ahead, few--if any--students will know the name Sally Downey, but thousands will know "Sally B." and that--ladies and gentlemen--is exactly how she wishes it to be.
A great day in Proctor history!
Look around. The power of strong leadership is evident everywhere.
The Alice and David Fowler Learning Center (1994) was the first facility that was the product of a capital campaign.
Recently renovated Slocumb Hall.
West End House was purchased this past summer.
Recently renovated Health Center.
Past Board co-Chairs Bill and Betsy Peabody chat with Edna Peters.
Board Chair Steve Theroux recalls his years as a dorm parent next door in MLS when he was Business Manager long ago.
A leader who made a difference: outgoing Board Chair Mark Loehr.
Students listen attentively and learn something about the power of leadership.