On Tuesday evening, November 13, St. Mark's celebrated 40 years of coeducation with a service in Belmont Chapel. The featured speaker was Alys Reynders Scott '85, the first woman to serve as president of the St. Mark's board of trustees.
After opening prayers from head chaplain Barbara Talcott and a hymn, the program was introduced by school historian Nick Noble '76, who spoke of the path to coeducation at St. Mark's and the early years of girls at the school. Quotes from various alumnae from that era were read by current students—members of the Southborough Society, St. Mark's affinity group for women's issues, named after the Southborough School for Girls.
Ms. Scott then spoke of her time during that first decade of St. Mark's coeducation, sharing stories from those years, including descriptions of the less-than-stellar locker room facilities and academic challenges faced and overcome. She focused, however, on how much St. Mark's shaped her, both personally and as a successful woman in business today, and ultimately the positive impact of her St. Mark's experience because of those challenges. She encouraged her listeners to embrace the School's diversity and to always do and be their best. She expressed her pride both in being the first woman to preside over the St. Mark's board and in the School itself, for what it was and for what it has become over the past four decades. Her message was well-received by the more than 400 present, both students and adults.
The choir, under the direction of Mr. James Wallace, sang John Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth," associate Chaplain Katrina Solter led prayers for women and for veterans as well as a litany for Thanksgiving, Head of School John C. Warren '74 led the School Prayer, and the School hymn—"Sun of My Soul"—was sung. Rev. Talcott gave the closing blessing.