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GFS Kicks Off its Centennial Year

Posted: January 22, 2010

The Garrison Forest School Centennial got off to a rousing start on January 19, 2010—aptly named “1910 Day”—with a memorable visit by founding headmistress, Mary Moncrieffe Livingston, who established the School in 1910. Students, faculty, and staff across all divisions enjoyed a spirited performance by Susie Stinson Xanders, Class of 1953, as Miss Livingston.

Susie first performed her one-woman show in 1985 during the GFS 75th anniversary. Resplendent in a period dress, hat, and lace gloves, “Miss Livingston” offered a historic and humorous look into the first 50 years of Garrison Forest School with some decidedly 21st-century assistance: archival photographs shown via laptop computer and digital projector.

The Middle and Upper School program in Garland Theater included a DVD capturing 1960 to the present, created by School Archivist and Middle School Latin teacher Dante Beretta. The Chamber Choir and the Ragged Robins performed, and Middle School students modeled in a lively fashion show of GFS uniforms through the decades. Students presented items for the GFS time capsule—a weathered trunk and former GFS Theater department prop—to be opened in 2035, the School's 125th anniversary and the seniors' 25th reunion. The Centennial Class, the Class of 2010, will present their time capsule items at Commencement in June, at which point the time capsule will be sealed.

Later that morning, in Livingston—known as Study Hall to generations of GFS alumnae—Moncrieffe and Livingston students (preschool-aged through Fifth Grade) gasped at the “reincarnation” of Miss Livingston and thrilled to stories of early school days. In addition to a Ragged Robins performance and a time capsule presentation, the Lower Division program included the first-ever glimpse of the Centennial quilt in progress. The quilt, which will include upwards of 800 total squares, was begun last fall during Community Connections Day.

Each presentation ended with ten “Reasons Why We Love Garrison Forest.” (Five of the student entries are included below.) Students, faculty, staff, parents, alumnae, and friends are encouraged to submit their reasons why they love GFS. A list of 100 reasons will be compiled from all entries and published during Reunion Weekend, April 30-May 2.

Garrison Forest is special to me because…

  • It's a great place for girls to grow; they can become themselves here.
  • It made me who I am today.
  • I feel accepted and celebrated for who I am.
  • It's a welcoming environment, and tradition is everywhere.
  • Everybody gets the chance to be a leader.