On Tuesday, September 12, alumnae across the United States gathered for GPS Founders Day, a school holiday designed to honor the legacy of our innovative, gutsy Founders—Tommie Payne Duffy, Eula Lea Jarnagin, and Grace McCallie—whose intrepid resolve changed history for girls in Chattanooga 118 years ago.
The nationwide meetups served as the official launch of GPS’s new alumnae chapters, located in cities with the densest graduate populations. Each chapter is led by a GPS alum (or two!) based in that community, with the intention of organizing regular events to celebrate sisterhood, reminisce, and connect. Cities whose chapters met on Tuesday included Chattanooga, Birmingham, Boston, and Knoxville; chapters in Houston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. have events scheduled this weekend and into next week.
Mary Margaret Arrowsmith ’18, Boston chapter leader, said of their event, “The Boston GPS alumnae chapter event was so much fun! It was a great way for the Boston Bruisers to connect by sharing GPS stories, giving advice on living in Boston, and generally catching up and getting to know each other better. Having GPS contacts in Boston makes the big city feel a little more like home!"
Lauren Waters Rice ’03, who headed up the Birmingham gathering said, “We connected with a lot of people and really enjoyed each other. Our young alums were so impressive, lovely, and brilliant!”
Chattanooga’s event, held at the appropriately named Founders House, welcomed 90 alumnae back to campus. Kim Leffew, Director of Alumnae Engagement, said, “It was such a joy to welcome so many alumnae back to campus. We hosted women just a few years beyond GPS all the way to those who are celebrating their 65th reunion this year! There has been a lot of interest in these new alumnae chapters since we announced them, and we can’t wait to see them continue to grow and flourish across the country!”
In addition to alumnae gatherings, Founders Day was celebrated by faculty, staff, and students during the school day with a picnic on Smith Courtyard and a special Chapel presentation featuring a GPS version of Bruiser Feud (a la Family Feud) with Team 2000s competing against Team 1990s. GPS history teacher Dr. Ralph Covino served as the “Voice of History,” and English teacher Lindsey King acted as emcee.
Photos from the Chattanooga alumnae gathering can be found on our SmugMug
page. Password GPS1906
Save the Date
Founders Club Luncheon for those 50+ years out will be celebrated April 4, 2024. Stay tuned for details!
GPS Alumnae Chapters