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Mercersburg Hosts Women’s Symposium in Philadelphia

Mercersburg Academy was proud to host Women in Focus: Unlocking Opportunities Together, the school’s first women’s symposium, April 5-7, at The Rittenhouse, in Philadelphia’s Center City.

The symposium featured three days of personal and professional enrichment, and celebrated the doers, the dreamers, the changemakers, and the world-shakers. Women in Focus provided opportunities to build a network, seek and provide mentorship, experience thoughtful workshops with experts, and have insightful conversations on issues that matter to women. Mercersburg offered the symposium so women could connect and feel empowered to share their stories and unlock their potential. The opportunity allowed Mercersburg-connected women to grow with, learn from, and become inspired by each other.

View highlights from the weekend.

Women in Focus presented an inclusive and energetic environment so attendees could make strong, diverse connections while gaining tools for personal and professional success. The symposium was co-chaired by Deborah Simon ’74, Denise Dupré ’76, and Stacie Rice Lissette ’85, P ’14, ’14, ’17, ’23. More than 30 alumnae, faculty, and staff served on the steering committee to help bring the symposium to fruition.

Attendees were given the opportunity to have professional portraits taken, network with other women, and attend informative and motivational sessions. Topics ranged from career strategies to women’s health to financial security.

Mercersburg’s Chief Development Officer Carolyn Griffin Yeager P '20, '21 envisioned the school hosting a women’s symposium after she attended a conference in 2022. One of the conference sessions focused on the benefits, both for the school and for the women, of nurturing relationships with alumnae.

“Women’s networks typically are smaller by one-third of their male counterparts. There are many reasons for this, but suffice it to say that women network differently, and properly deploying a network is learned behavior,” Griffin Yeager said. “Our base of women need us to zone in on their particular needs.”

What better way to do that, she thought, than actively invite them to use their Mercersburg connection as a networking opportunity? 

“Our connection through Mercersburg is such a singular one–it exists no place else on earth,” Griffin Yeager said. “It can make a significant difference in women’s access, ability to grow in their careers, leverage business capital, seek mentorship and guidance, etc. We can spotlight women–their businesses and talents–and leverage them. There’s power for our women in Mercersburg being able to do that.”

See photos from the event.

Women in Focus sponsors included 1953 Tequila, Advocord, Champagne Hospitality, the Class of 1972, The Davenport Family Foundation, Bonnie Devlin, EXCELEVATE Academy, the Lissette Family, Management Strategies, Julie Haller Prentiss P '20, '21, Kimball Prentiss ’92, Simon Youth Foundation, Tred Avon Family Wealth, Unity Printing, Washburn & McGoldrick, and the Yeager Family.

To learn more, please visit the Women in Focus web page.