For Alumnae

Reunion

Ellis Reunion Weekend: October 7–9, 2021

Join us as we celebrate classes ending in 1s and 6s during Reunion Weekend from October 7 to 9, 2021. This year, we are excited to offer events both in person and virtually! Thursday and Friday events will be offered via Zoom and we invite all of our alumnae to join us on campus on Saturday for a fun-filled day of events and reconnecting with your classmates.

Attend a virtual discussion with History Teacher Rick Malmstrom, hear from current Ellis students at our Student Panel, and watch the Alumnae Career Panel to see what your fellow alumnae have been up to since graduation. On Saturday, all alumnae are invited to campus for a book club discussion, a soccer game, a campus tour, and to celebrate at our Saturday Evening Reception. All alumnae, from all class years, are invited to participate in the festivities and get caught up with Ellis in 2021.

ALL ALUMNAE ARE WELCOME
This past year and a half has taught us all many lessons. It has shown us the importance of our relationships and the power of community. We have so missed seeing you in person on campus and at events but have cherished the opportunity to connect virtually with a wide variety of alumnae from around the world. Our hope moving forward is to be able to gather again and enjoy those in-person interactions, while maintaining online connections as well. 

We are looking forward to celebrating Reunion 2021 with you all virtually and in person this October 7–9, 2021. Reunion 2021 will include a number of events via Zoom on Thursday and Friday, allowing you to interact with faculty, students, and alumnae no matter where you’re located. We plan to enjoy on-campus events on Saturday, including a book club discussion, soccer game, tailgate lunch, and an evening cocktail reception. We hope you will find time to participate in all that we have to offer, be it from afar or from right here in Pittsburgh. 

We look forward to seeing you—in person or virtually—this October to celebrate all members of the Ellis alumnae community and in particular those graduating with 1s and 6s. It is an exciting time to be at Ellis and we’d love to show you what we are up to! 

Warmly,

Giving

Milestone reunion years are a great time to celebrate the friendships and experiences you forged at The Ellis School. Gifts in honor of your class power The Ellis School and allow us to continue to educate and graduate future female changemakers. While you were a student, alumnae supported you by donating to the Ellis Fund and now we ask you to do the same! Together, your class can make a difference in the lives of today’s students while honoring the legacy of your time at Ellis.

At Reunion 2021, we will honor and celebrate the classes with the highest participation rate and largest combined gift. These classes will be thanked at Reunion, acknowledged in the Ellis Magazine, and receive limited edition Ellis swag. Your Gift + Your Choice = Your Impact!

Thursday, October 7, 2021 (Virtual)

Kick off Reunion Weekend with an update from Head of School Macon Finley about what Ellis is up to these days. Then, tune in to hear Upper School students talk about what life is like for them— they’ll cover topics like clubs, sports, arts, STEM, and more!

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  • Thursday, October 7, 2021 | Schedule | Virtual

    Time | Location
    Invitees
    Event | Description
    3:30–4:00 p.m.
    Live via Zoom
    Open to all classes
    State of the School
    The Ellis School has evolved in dynamic ways over the past 105 years, but we have maintained our fierce focus on being an outstanding place for girls. Join Head of School Macon Finley as she gives an update on the current state of the School.
    6:00–7:00 p.m.
    Live via Zoom
    Open to all classes
    Student Panel
    Hear from current Upper School students to learn about what life at Ellis looks like in 2021. Learn about classes, STEM programs, arts, sports, and more!

Friday, October 8, 2021 (Virtual)

Join us online throughout the day for the chance to hear about diversity, equity, and inclusion programming at Ellis, watch alumnae talk about their careers, and join in an engaging and informative discussion with History Teacher Rick Malmstrom!

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  • Friday, October 8, 2021 | Schedule | Virtual

    Time | Location
    Invitees
    Event | Description
    9:30–10:30 a.m.
    Live via Zoom
    Open to all classes
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work at Ellis
    Join our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Denise LaRosa and Head of School Macon Finley to hear about the work we are doing at Ellis to enhance our ability to be an ever-more diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community.
    11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    Live via Zoom
    Open to all classes
    Career Panel Featuring Ellis Alumnae
    Watch as alumnae share their professional experiences, answer questions from current Upper School students, and reflect on how Ellis influenced their career paths.
    2:00–2:45 p.m.
    Live via Zoom
    Class of 1971 only
    Grade 4 Pen Pals
    What’s it like to be an Ellis girl today vs. an Ellis girl five decades ago? The Class of 1971 will find out when they meet their rambunctious, spirited, and smart pen pals from the Class of 2030!
    3:15–4:00 p.m.
    Live via Zoom
    Open to all classes
    Faculty Discussion
    Come relive your academic days at Ellis by attending an engaging discussion with Upper School History Teacher Rick Malmstrom.
    Evening
    Open to all classes
    Individual Class Activities
    Contact your Class Reunion Representative for more information. The list of Representatives can be found on the Reunion webpage. Please note, these class events will vary by class. If your class would like to virtually gather on a different day, please feel free to do so.

Saturday, October 9, 2021 (In Person)

Join us at Ellis on Saturday for tours around campus, a tailgate lunch, and to cheer on the Ellis Varsity Soccer Team.

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  • Saturday, October 9, 2021 | Schedule | In-Person

    Time | Location
    Invitees
    Event | Description
    10:00 a.m. | Athletic Field
    Open to all classes and their families
    Athletic Game
    Come cheer on the fantastic Ellis Varsity Soccer Team as they battle it out on the turf against Carlynton High School!
    11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. | Athletic Field
    Open to all classes and their families
    Tailgate Lunch
    Grab a burger or hot dog and enjoy lunch after the Tigers take the field. Family-friendly activities will be available in the gym. 
    11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Campus
    Open to all classes and their families
    Campus Tours
    Find out what has changed, and what has stayed the same, since graduation as you walk through the halls of your alma mater. Led by a Touring Tiger (Ellis student ambassador), hear firsthand what it’s like to be an Ellis student circa 2021! Tours will begin in the Gallery.

Reunion Information

Frequently Asked Questions

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Award Recipients

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  • Sara Frazer Ellis Awardee

    Marcena WATERMAN Love ’56

    Marcena (Marcie) WATERMAN Love ’56 graduated from The Ellis School in 1956 and went on to study at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. She is an activist who has spent the majority of her life trying to make the world a better place, especially for women. The education she received from Ellis and support from her parents showed her that girls can do anything. Her life’s work has been dedicated to spreading that idea and empowering women and girls. 

    For over 35 years, Marcie has primarily focused on women’s reproductive rights. She has served as President, Vice President, Board Member, and Interim Executive Director of Planned Parenthood, Chicago Area. She was also a member of the National Abortion Rights Action League Board of Directors. In 1985, she founded Personal PAC, a bipartisan political action committee in Illinois that works to elect pro-choice legislators in Illinois, from her kitchen table. Marcie was also a founding member of The Chicago Foundation for Women and served as its chair, vice chair, treasurer, and chair of the alumnae council. She has been honored a number of times by: NARAL of Illinois, Chicago Women in Philanthropy, Chicago Sun-Times Ten Most Powerful Women in Politics, and The ACLU of Illinois. 

    Marcie is equally as devoted to her family as she is to her activism. Her family members are activists as well and enjoy traveling together to learn about our world. Marcie has generously supported the gift of travel within the Ellis community through the Marcie Waterman Love ’56 International Travel Grant for the Global Empowerment of Women and Girls which sends Upper School students abroad each year for an international educational experience. Marcie has hosted events for Ellis alumnae in Chicago and is a committed member of the Ellis community. Marcie is a true example of Ellis’ motto, Esse Quam Videri! 
  • Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

    Elizabeth JOHNSON Barnes ’81

    Liz JOHNSON Barnes ’81 was a varsity basketball player, track and field athlete, and cheerleader during her four years at Ellis. She was also active in both Dance Club and the Ellis Athletic Association (EAA) and served as president her senior year. While a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she competed as a member of the intramural champion softball team. 
     
    After graduating from MIT, Liz enjoyed a career as an IT management consultant and project manager. Liz left the corporate world to allow more time for family and transitioned to education. She was a teacher and administrator at The Ellis School, the CCAC Summer Faculty Institute, FAME, and the Homewood Children's Village. Now retired, she and her husband are empty-nesters. In her spare time, she keeps busy as a private tutor in mathematics, science, and SAT Prep. She travels when and wherever she can and enjoys staying active by hiking, bicycling, kayaking, and riding her Harley Davidson Softail.


    Emma GILMORE Kieran ’96

    While at Ellis, Emma GILMORE Kieran ’96 played lacrosse and field hockey from grade 7 to grade 12. In the Upper School, she was a part of both varsity teams for each sport and was named MVP. 

    In 2014, she started Pilot Peak Consulting and she has worked with over 100 nonprofits as a teacher, partner, and change agent. Prior to founding Pilot Peak Consulting, Emma was the Vice President for Fundraising and Development at Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI) and a Senior Director at Changing Our World, both nationally recognized fundraising consulting firms in Washington, D.C. During her tenure at OAI, she served as the Regional Chief Development Officer for three different regions of the American Red Cross, including the North Jersey Region where Emma helped raise over $20 million in response to Superstorm Sandy. At Changing Our World, in addition to client work, Emma was a writer for Future Leaders in Philanthropy, an online blog for young philanthropists.

Alumnae Career Panelists

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  • Darlynn McCLUNG Benjamin ’76

    Darlynn McCLUNG Benjamin ’76 has more than 30 years of experience working in both public and private sectors. She currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Impact Officer and SVP at the Minneapolis Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. Darlynn provides support in grantmaking and partnership development and manages operations of the award-winning podcast Conversations with Chanda. Her previous positions include Vice President of a nonprofit collaborative, District Director for a former U.S. Congressman, and principal and co-founder of the McClung Consulting Group. 

    She focuses on building solid internal and external relationships, cultivating trust, and creating a culture where teams can be effective and work to advance the organization’s mission. Darlynn has served on numerous nonprofit boards, most recently as an Executive Committee member for the YWCA Minneapolis and Governance Committee member for Appetite for Change. She holds an M.S. in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University. Darlynn loves to cook and bake, garden, watch sports, and spend time with her family.
  • Lauren DRAKE ’16

    Lauren DRAKE ’16 completed her undergraduate degree in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2020. During that time, she worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Shorter Lab, studying the biochemical mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. She contributed to several projects and co-authored three papers during her time in the Shorter Lab. She also attended a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, improving the hydrogel matrix of a bioartificial pancreas model for treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. In addition to these pursuits, Lauren completed minors in creative writing and journalism and received Honors in English for her creative thesis. 

    She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University. As a member of the Lippmann Lab, Lauren improves the complexity of brain organoids for use as a physiologically relevant neurodegenerative disease model. She was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health T32 Alzheimer’s Disease training grant. She is also a member of the executive board of the Diversity and Science Lecture Series at Vanderbilt.
  • Lauren INDOVINA ’01

    Lauren INDOVINA ’01 is an Emmy Award-winning Director and Visual Artist based in Los Angeles. She is best known for her ethereal visuals and multifaceted approach to art, design, film techniques, and branding. With a background in fine art and fifteen years in advertising, she has created original art and directed for internationally acclaimed design, animation, VFX studios, and agencies. Her work is included in MOMA’s permanent motion collection, her sculptures have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, she has directed Super Bowl ads, and her art has been on display on Rodeo Drive, at Radio City Music Hall, and in Times Square. Most recently, Indovina earned credits as the concept designer for Beyoncé's film Black Is King and the animation director for Amazon's Utopia series. If you are shopping for David Yurman jewelry this season, you will see her direction and designs on display for their holiday brand and film.
     
    Indovina is a published author on motion design and has served as a judge for AICP and The Art Directions Club. She is currently directing and designing scripts for animated feature content and developing AI and VR characters and narratives.
  • Marsha RUCKER ’86

    Marsha RUCKER ’86 is the regional attorney for the Birmingham District of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with jurisdiction over Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle. As regional attorney, Marsha manages and litigates cases to further the eradication of unlawful employment discrimination as well as the development of the law under the statutes the EEOC enforces. Marsha began her career with the EEOC as a trial attorney in the Birmingham District Office in 2008 and became the District’s regional attorney in December 2016. Prior to coming to the EEOC, Marsha was in-house counsel for two large public housing authorities. Initially, she was employed as a staff attorney for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. She later was a senior staff attorney for the Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh. Early in her career, Marsha was a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. In this capacity, she represented more than 500 clients in various courts and tribunals in matters involving federal and state housing law, contract law, and public benefits. 
     
    Marsha is a 2019 recipient of the Chair’s Organizational Performance Award, the highest honor conferred within the EEOC. Marsha received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Duke University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where she was a Patricia Roberts Harris National Fellow.
  • Amy WOLF ’96

    Amy WOLF ’96 is the Assistant Director for Digital Media and Marketing at The New York Community Trust. She finds creative and powerful ways to share the impact of New York City’s community foundation and largest funder of nonprofits. She is also on the board of Cause Effective, a great group that strengthens other nonprofits. Before The Trust, she worked as a graphic designer for the State Public Interest Research Groups and as a freelance video producer and public relations consultant. 
     
    Since she joined The New York Community Trust, she has helped redesign their website twice, create communications and marketing strategies, expand their social media presence, and create concise materials that allow people to understand how they can turn their generosity into action. In her role supporting public relations efforts, she’s landed stories in major outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Metro New York, WNYC, Crain's New York Business, Inside Philanthropy, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Forbes, and others. She graduated in 2000 from Oberlin College with a degree in Art and Environmental Studies and received an M.A. from The New School in Media Studies.

Class Representatives

If you don’t have a Reunion Representative for your year and would like to be one, please contact alumnae@theellisschool.org to become one!

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Connect & Communicate With Us

Update your contact information to connect and communicate with Ellis all year long. From our alumnae newsletter and private Alumnae Facebook group, to the Ellis Magazine and Ellis Alumnae Connect, we want you to stay in the know on all things Ellis. We’re also posting, tweeting, and Instagramming campus life seven days a week, so give us a follow, like, or retweet next time you’re browsing your feeds!

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