Courageous Conversations: Celebrating 50 Years of Coeducation

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The Board of Regents of Mercersburg Academy cordially invites you to an evening with fellow Mercersburg philanthropic and volunteer leaders as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of coeducation.

Friday, January 24, 2020
New York Barclay
111 East 48th Street
New York, NY 10017


5 p.m. - Registration
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Classes with faculty, students, and alumni.

First Females of Mercersburg: Mercersburg women have consistently been on the leading edge of challenging traditional gender expectations. Eyram Awittor-Awuma ’20 and Jesse Zhang ’20 will serve as moderators, leading our panel in a discussion of their own unique experiences and their hopes for students as they continue to seek gender equality. 

- Debbie Simon ’74, President of the Mercersburg Board of Regents and noted philanthropist; 
- Diane Wynter ’74, Mercersburg’s first African-American female graduate at a time when the school had just become coeducational; 
- Amy Jones Satrom ’98, vice president of operations at 23andMe, who also spent six years as a nuclear engineer in the United States Navy; 
- Magdalena Kala ’09, vice president of Consumer, Retail, and Dining at Bain Capital Private Equity, who was recently named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30;
- Katie Titus P ’20, ’23, Mercersburg’s first female head of school.

Parallel Histories Springboard Class and We Speak 2020:  In Mercersburg’s Parallel Histories Springboard course, students take the skeleton of a story from Mercersburg’s 127-year history and fill in the flesh of the tale. They dig into the Academy archives, interview graduates and former faculty, then tell the whole story in an end-of-year event we call Springtalks. Four of our students began the year researching black-student integration at Mercersburg in the fall of 1964, and they’ll tell us what they found. We’ll also hear from students about an upcoming event called We Speak 2020 that will celebrate the history of women at the Academy. 

“Parallel Histories” (Integration of 1964)
John David Bennett, Dean of Curricular Innovation and Director of Springboard
- Julia Borger ’20
- Caroline Kranich ’20
- Audrey McGrory ’20
- Aba Sankah ’20

We Speak 2020
Alexandra Patterson, Director of Library Services and WeSpeak 2020 coordinator
​​​​​​​- Eliza DuBose ’20
​​​​​​​- Jack Mitchell ’20

6 to 7 p.m. - Reception with hors d'oeuvres and beverages
7:15 p.m. - Program and Performances
7:40 to 9 p.m. - Dinner and dessert stations



“Courageous Conversations”: What Are They?

At Mercersburg Academy, we believe it is our obligation to seize opportunities to challenge our students, to seek to understand the complexities of our world, and to empower our students to think about solutions.

In that spirit, we have set aside days on campus for what we call Courageous Conversations, where we move away from our normal daily schedule and gather in small groups for open and honest discussions on important and frank topics. Along those same lines, we are marking the 50th year of coeducation at Mercersburg by shining a spotlight on gender issues and spotlighting female leaders the school has produced. We encourage members of our alumni and parent community to share their stories; read the section above to learn how to contribute your voice to the conversation.

Space for this event is limited. If you are able to attend, please click the button above to register or call 717-328-6100 by Friday, January 17.