We kicked off our 50th Anniversary series of online regional alum gatherings on Sunday, October 16th. Alums had a great time connecting, sharing what brought them to Conway, what they’re doing now, and what challenges are facing planners and designers in the Southwest/Mountain region.
Here are some of the topics that came up in the chat during the gathering:
Community Project Fund: Bruce Stedman ’78, Executive Director, talked a bit about the school’s increasing focus on the intersection of environmental and social justice, and the ways we are working to partner with under-resourced communities to plan and design projects that support their community vision. Last year, our new Community Project Fund supported two student projects:
- A Spatial Analysis Supporting Holyoke’s Food System: Mapping Food Production, Composting, and Healthy Food Access
Client: City of Holyoke
Student Team: Kyle Finnell, Sean Hagan, and Harrison Houser
Supported by: Florence Bank and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
- Meeting in the Middle: A Comprehensive Plan for Meetinghouse Farm
Client: Meetinghouse Farm, North Scituate, RI
Student Team: Karen Tassinari, Elena Zachary
Supported by: The Blue Yak Foundation, Lisa Cyr and Joe Flueckiger, Roxanne Finn, Ellen Senghas, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Zoar Outdoor Adventure Resort, and eight anonymous donors
Land Acknowledgment: We had an interesting discussion about land acknowledgment statements, which has been a rich topic of conversation for both Conway students and employees in recent years. Conway has finalized a land acknowledgment statement, with assistance from Bill Lattrell, a retired Conway ecologist and Abenaki, and Fred Freeman, a Nipmuc advisor to the school; it is on our website at: csld.edu/about
Through-lines over Conway’s 50-year history: We were honored to have over 100 alums (representing every decade of the school’s history) and friends of the school, along with all eighteen of the current students, help us kick off our fiftieth anniversary year on September 29. Walt Cudnohufsky (Founder and Director, 1972-1992) and Don Walker ’79 (Director 1992-2005) joined Liz Vizza ’82 (Executive Director, Friends of the Public Garden) in a fascinating—and often funny—conversation about the early years of the Conway School, along with reflections about what led each of them to play the important roles they did, what they think about the continuing evolution, and what key aspects of Conway they see at the heart of the pedagogy and structure of the school. You can view a recording of the conversation online: Conway School: The Early Years.
Many thanks again to our co-moderators for the first regional alum Zoom gathering of the year, Gary Bachman ’84, David Evans ’76, and Robert Small ’93. We’re grateful to Robert and Mollie Babize ’84 for generously volunteering their time as members of the 50th Anniversary Working Group to plan and organize the gatherings.
Alums: The next online regional alum gathering, for alums in the Mid-Atlantic region (and beyond!), is Sunday, November 20, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Learn more and register at: Mid-Atlantic Regional Alum Zoom Gathering: Sunday November 20, 5:30-7 ET