Claire Rodman '86:
President, Alumni Association Board

Hello! I’m Claire Rodman, Class of ’86, and as president I am here to welcome you into the Sarah Lawrence Alumni Association!

You should be proud of all you have accomplished while you were here, and despite everything happening on the planet, we are excited for whatever is next for you.

You are not the first SLC class to have had your senior year disrupted; your sister class of 1931 graduated into the Hoover Depression, others faced wars, and my own senior year of 1986 gave us Challenger, Chernobyl, and the Reagan Recession. You are joining an alumni community of people who have learned how to be agile and resilient in uncertain times.

Remember: You will be an alum for longer than you were a student, and your Sarah Lawrence alumni family is here to support you in all the endeavors you will pursue in your life.  If you’re a typical Laurentian, there will be about 20 of these. Some will be wonderful, some will be total fiascos, but you’ll learn from them all.

I encourage you to stay in touch with each other, too. Not only are you and your classmates now officially a part of each other’s network, you are the people who will best understand each other’s achievements as you continue forward in life, because you have grown and experienced challenges and triumphs together.

Since you’re on the same cycle, at a reunion sometime you might meet this 1971 alum who went on to a groundbreaking career in fashion. Her name is Vera Wang, and she has said:

"Success isn't about the end result, it's about what you learn along the way… Don't be afraid to take time to learn. It's good to work for other people. I worked for others for 20 years. They paid me to learn."

The skills of research, analysis, and critical thinking you have learned at Sarah Lawrence, along with the creativity and curiosity that you fostered here, will provide the foundation for the projects and relationships you will generate out in the world. And you will find your Sarah Lawrence family on all the paths you travel, ready with maps and compasses. Go forth and create your frameworks. Congratulations, and welcome to the Sarah Lawrence alumni community!

Remarks as prepared for delivery