On Friday, February 8, the life of GPS alumna Glynn Key ’82 was honored with a city-wide proclamation of Glynn D. Key Day.
To commemorate the proclamation, GPS hosted a special assembly for its student body, Key’s former classmates, friends, and family as well as Mayor Andy Berke and student leaders from The Bright School, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Howard School, and Signal Mountain School.
Declaring February 8, 2019, as Glynn D. Key Day—the day that would have been her 55th birthday—Mayor Berke spoke of Key as “a stellar athlete, and a natural leader … also known for her keen sense of humor and her love of life.”
To celebrate Key, GPS senior Nadia Herrera, president of the GPS Video Club, produced a documentary about the former Bruiser, who was also president of her senior class and GPS Student Council and the recipient of the Senior Scholarship. Included in the video are interviews with Key’s GPS classmates Talley Green, Beth Van Deusen, and Mary Williams Wolf, along with photos of Key culled from GPS yearbooks. To view the documentary, click here.
A major theme in the documentary was “Glynn is love,” the signature Glynn had written on the side of a textbook. Those interviewed in the documentary explained that this was Glynn’s mantra and one that she lived out.
“It really struck me when I first noticed it,” one classmate says in the documentary, referring to the phrase on one of Key’s books. “I thought, Can you even do that? but I realized later this was a message that Glynn was putting out to all of us, that this was her intention in life, and at that young age she was already beginning to leave her mark.”
After the assembly, GPS students and guests from other schools formed discussion groups to reflect on how Glynn had left her mark as well as to share how they each aspired to impact the world around them. Motivated by the message “Glynn is love,” the groups used this time to decorate bookmarks that would remind them of what “mark” they might leave on the world.
GPS alumna and attorney Melody Shekari ’06 was also present for the assembly and joined the group activity. The youngest candidate in the U.S. running for a major political party during the 2016 congressional election, Shekari was able to share with her activity group how she has left her own mark within her career field. “Sometimes you do the hard thing and you don’t win, but you’re advancing the opportunity and possibility for the next person along,” Shekari said.
Key served on boards for the Miller Center for Public Affairs, the Wharton School of Business, and the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors. She attended UVA as a Jefferson Scholar and earned her law degree there. She began her legal career as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C., and later became a partner with WilmerHale. In addition to being a founding board member of the Ridley Scholarship Fund for African American Students at UVA, she also served on the selection committee for the Jefferson Scholars Program.
Key had also served in the first Clinton Administration at the Department of the Interior and successfully negotiated a Florida Everglades restoration settlement under then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
At the time of her death, Key was General Counsel for General Electric, overseeing a global team and projects in 130 countries.
As the GPS community, we are honored to have hosted this event and thank her family for returning to campus so we could share in the celebration of her life.
View photos from Glynn Key Day here.