Alumni Award Recipients
On Friday, April 28, the Alumni Association presented alumnae sisters Kelly Walton Miller '90 and Kristen Walton Wester '93 with the 2017 Alumni Service Award in recognition of their extraordinary service to Country Day and outstanding volunteer leadership in support of the Association’s mission of engaging, connecting, and celebrating.
According to Jonsie Evans '95, director of Alumni Relations, "Selecting this year’s award recipient was a 'no brainer.' In fact, we had not one, but two equally and distinctively qualified candidates that embody what this award is all about: dedicated, selfless service, forward-thinking leadership, creative problem-solving, and community-building."
As alumnae and parents, Kelly and Kristen have contributed countless hours of volunteer service to our school. They have been invaluable and trusted consultants for Admissions, freely giving their time and talent to help create a welcoming experience for prospective families and demonstrate what makes Country Day so extraordinary. They have also held numerous leadership roles with the Parents' Association, including chairing Big Saturday in 2012-13.
Most recently, Kelly and Kristen have served as invaluable partners with the Alumni Relations and Head of School's offices to help grow our alumni program and commemorate Country Day's 75th anniversary.
When the school re-established the Alumni Council in 2014, Kelly was unanimously chosen to be President Elect. She is currently serving a two-year term as President, and will serve as Past President after that. When it’s all said and done, Kelly will have served five years! But what’s more remarkable than the length of time is her understanding of her role in this particular season of our alumni program. Kelly is committed to developing a program that reflects the broad perspectives and interests of our alumni and to growing it in a sustainable way. Under her leadership, we’ve expanded Alumni Weekend, created infrastructure for Reunion Giving, launched BucsConnect, and identified new ways to engage alumni in the life of the school.
In the summer of 2015 we asked Kristen to co-chair the 75th Anniversary Planning Committee. She took on this responsibility with great enthusiasm and was instrumental in developing a comprehensive plan that would weave throughout all aspects of the school and engage our larger community. This year, Kristen was the mastermind and driving force behind the incredible All-School Convocation and 75th celebration which officially kicked off our anniversary and seamlessly reflected the school’s past, present, and future. She’s also worked with Athletics each season to highlight exceptional teams, coaches, and athletes throughout the history of our numerous sports programs.
In her acceptance speech, Kristen shared, "For the past two years, it has been an extraordinary honor to have Mark put his trust in me as a co-chair of the 75th Anniversary Planning Committee. I have enjoyed so much my time in this post and honestly believe I will miss being part of such a joyful yearlong celebration. This school creates a bond with you that extends well beyond the classroom, beyond the walls of the buildings, beyond the playing fields. I am proud of my time at Country Day as an alumna, a current parent, and an active volunteer."
Kelly added, "I know that as alumni, we all speak of the sense of community here at Country Day. It is hard to explain the intangibles of this feeling to others, but I think it can best be described the way Cliff in the Middle School cafeteria answered a recent question we asked him about what he loves about Country Day. He paused, smiled, tossed his hands in the air and simply said, 'its home.' Since my graduation in 1990, I have continued to feel the gravitational pull of 1440 Carmel Road and am at 'home' when I am here offering my time. I love and respect this place and am happy to volunteer as a way to give back to an institution that has given so much to me and my family."
How lucky we are as a school and community that the "Walton Sisters" bleed Country Day green! Kelly and Kristen are passionate, loyal advocates of Country Day who generously give their time, resources, and expertise to ensure our school continues to live out its mission and reach its full potential. We are honored to present them with the 2017 Alumni Service Award.