Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders: Sally Morris Perks
"I think they'd be shocked to see me plowing, working on irrigation and sleeping on straw mats," Sally Morris Perks (Hathaway Brown class of 1961) says when asked what her classmates might be surprised to know about her now.
Sally recently returned from Guatemala, where she worked with Feed the Dream, a foundation that teaches sustainable farming techniques to 18 malnourished communities. She says it was amazing working with soil experts and villagers to dig plots, irrigate gardens and deliver prenatal vitamins to expectant mothers and multivitamins to children. Sally even donated a pregnant goat to provide milk and cheese to indigenous families.
This former teacher and interior designer attended HB as a boarder for most of high school, but graduated from New Trier High School near Chicago after her parents moved there before her senior year. Sally wanted to have friends she could visit during college breaks, but: "Hathaway Brown made a much bigger, more lasting impression on me."
The reason Sally's friends might be surprised at her agricultural endeavors (and wardrobe) is that she was a "fashionista" during her Hathaway Brown years. Sally worked in fashion shows on weekends at Halle's department store and later at Marshall Field's in Chicago.
With an eye for design, Sally double-majored in history and art at Wittenberg University. She believes HB made her a better teacher and more insightful designer.
"It really helps form who you're going to be," she says.
Currently, Sally divides her time between Illinois and Arizona. Wherever she is, she lives her maxim: Give back to school, community and world. For her, that means contributing to Hathaway Brown's Annual Fund and providing for the school in her estate plans. Her desire is to "give young women enhanced personal and educational growth—especially for those who might not otherwise be able to afford it."
If Sally were head of school for a day, she'd bring in movers and shakers such as Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Meg Whitman to inspire students to action and achievement by brainstorming about solutions to national and global challenges.
Sally's advice to current HB students seems to be fertile soil for living a happy life: "Travel widely, feel deeply, speak freely and make many friends."
To learn more about how you can become a member of the Mary E. Raymond Legacy Society or other ways to support Hathaway Brown, please contact Terry Kurtz at 216-320-8799 or firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com.
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