The fear of imperfection – not achieving the right weight or failing to climb to the top of a career ladder - can sometimes deter individuals from returning to their alma maters for reunions. Celebrant Sarah Hiner '82 chose to focus on some of the more meaningful, quite extraordinary, yet non-traditional accomplishments of her fellow alumni. In her BottomLineInc blog post, When Ordinary People Turn Extraordinary, she wrote:
“Sure, we all look a little puffier, “wrinklier” and grayer, but with every reunion, I feel more connected to my classmates and co-alumni and more inspired by them. It’s not about their many accomplishments or high-powered jobs.
“What inspires me are the stories of who they are as people, beyond the executive suites—the ways that they have proactively given back to their communities in all sorts of small and large ways…from being on the board of a local theater organization to opening schools in impoverished nations.”
Hiner continued by highlighting a few of the altruistic endeavors in which her fellow alumni, “mere mortals who followed their hearts to places where they could help,” are engaged. Among the programs she detailed were career mentoring, school construction in Africa, surgical care in underserved areas, and mentoring for veterans returning to civilian life.