Casey Perley, Class of 2004
It's hard for me to believe that it's been five years since I graduated from Sem, and I now have a college degree. Since graduating, I have returned to the school for several winter Revels, sports games, school plays, and young alumnae luncheons. Even now, I exchange e-mails with faculty members regularly and have coffee with them during my visits home. This strong connection makes me feel as if I've never left.
Buffalo Seminary is a very special place, inclusive and full of opportunity. I was active on science and math academic teams and participated in the athletic program. I showcased my passion for music in a variety of ways at Sem. I performed a senior music recital. I also wrote arrangements for, and, on occasion, conducted the Ensemble. Whatever I needed, Sem was always there to help make it happen.
The value of Sem's preparation became apparent soon after I arrived at Yale. Sem gave me a quiet confidence, a belief that there were no limits to what I could accomplish and the knowledge that good leaders lead by example. That confidence allowed me to play in and manage a student orchestra, run the school's largest community service project, and pursue a science degree in a field that is not generally receptive to women. The decision to major in science has led me to be a contributing author on a research paper to be published in a national science journal, and ultimately allowed me to obtain a research position at MIT's world renowned Whitehead Institute under the direction of Susan Lindquist, a nationally known and award-winning scientist.
The most important lesson Sem imparts to its students is the determination and belief that women really can do anything. Graduates of the class of '04 are proof of the school's influence. Two are enrolled in medical school, one is completing a biostatistics Master's program, and two others are applying to Ph.D. programs. If that is not proof that Sem girls believe that they can do whatever they desire, I'm not sure what is!
All of my life I have had the privilege of affiliating myself with fantastic educational institutions - Buffalo Seminary, Yale, MIT - but I will always consider myself to be, first and foremost, a Sem girl.
So Yeon Moon, Class of 2009
So Yeon brings an international perspective to the student body at Sem. An advanced mathematician here from South Korea to be educated in the United States, So Yeon has completed all of the math courses at Buffalo Seminary. With the advice and encouragement from math teacher, Mrs. Linda Goodman, So Yeon is enrolled at a course at Canisius College to further educate and challenge herself.
So Yeon has earned a Certificate of Merit from the NY Math League and is a current medal holder in the American Math Competition. "I came here to be educated and also for the extracurricular activities. Being from Korea, I had no idea of the game or concept of lacrosse. During the day I study, and after school I am now playing on the lacrosse team. Sem has given me all of this and more. My goal now is to continue this great educational experience at a college or university here in the United States."
Betsy Bloom, Class of 2008
Betsy Bloom '08 was Buffalo Seminary's Student Government President. Below is her final address to the student body.
I would like to reflect on the many hundreds of days that have made up this wonderful senior year.
We started out the year walking up the steps to the front doors, not to be greeted by a tall, manicured woman in a fur hat but instead by the warm smile of Ms. Douglass who was starting off the new year just as nervous and excited as we were. I think I can state with confidence that she has finished her first year so deeply immersed in this school that I cannot remember what it was like without her. What she lacks in furry head apparel she has made up for abundantly in compassion, humor, and dedication.
On October 4th, we piled into buses and made the annual trip to Stratford. It was a successful trip: the weather was beautiful and the show was wonderfully performed. The month of October passed with the usual grind of papers, projects and tests, and just when it seemed as if we were beginning to resemble a normal school, October 31st rolled around. We transformed from respectable young ladies into all the components of a happy meal, every member of The Brady Bunch, including Alice, and and some of the most inspirational ribbon dancers I have ever seen.
November brought forth a dinner and a dance with our newly reconnected brothers school, Gow. This made for a lovely path to Date Dance, whereupon the chapel was transformed into a glittering Ice Palace. Caroline and Hannah, the things you managed to do with Christmas lights and tinsel will forever leave me astounded. The holidays officially commenced with the Hanging of the Greens. A long, exhausting day of merriment and joyousness was finished off with a mad dash for the sofest sugar cookie and some holiday singing.
Winter break went by too quickly, especially for seniors dreading those January college deadlines. February beckoned the Father-Daughter dance. The freshmen invaded the library for a heated Sparta/Athens debate with their tin-foiled shields, swords and body armor, the remnants of which I'm pretty sure are still circling the school.
In March, we sipped tea and enjoyed fashions from all over, modeled by our very own Sem students at the Mother/Daughter tea.
Spring brought with it warmer days, then colder days, and then warmer days again, and we parted ways for Spring Break. AP Exams drew closer, spring sports were in full gear, and another Sem/Gow dance was held, now with Sem serving as host. In return for Gow's multiple course meal, we ordered pizza and pop. Exams and AP's were suddenly upon us, and with the last AP the seniors said goodbye to Sem and were on their way to various internships. We saw each other again at Prom, where we kept it classy with Casino Royale style. Jenny and Ashley pulled off an event worthy of Mr. Bond himself.
This year has been filled with everything and more: Tears. Laughs. Nervous Breakdowns. Wonderful Surprises. We've had times when all we wanted to do was get up and leave, but even more when we wished we could stay forever. More than the events that I have just listed, more than the days that are set aside on the school calendar, it is the in-between days that have shaped this year at Sem. All that we learn, all the ways we grow, and all the contributions we make, those are made every day in different ways. It is simply being in this extraordinary place together that creates such wonderful memories. So, it is with this in mind that I address those of you who still have many days left here at Sem.
Freshmen, you may not know it now, but your high-school experience will truly fly by. You are growing to grow up more in these next four years than you can ever imagine. Take advantages of all the experiences that come your way. Take each day as a new one, and cherish it from morning till night because the days are limited and they are a gift. Also, learn from your own mistakes and from those who came before you. Here's my own mistake that you should never repeat: Denim jumpers and bright blond highlights are never a good combination. Ever!
Sophomores, you have already begun to grow up. You're all different people from who you were just a year ago, let alone from your start at Sem. Keep changing, keep growing but never forget who you are. Be true to yourselves and use the knowledge you've gained to guide the underclassmen next year.
Juniors, congratulations! You've made it to the end, and all your hard work is about to pay off. Enjoy being the head honchos, enjoy Senior Sign Out, treasure your final days at Sem. You are the ones with the least so make the most of them. I know you are going to make an amazing senior class, one to rival our own. I know you will lead the school to new heights and new opportunities. Save Mrs. Goodman a heart attack and don't leave food in the Senior Lounge. Or, at the very least, just not dairy products.
Seniors, I was lying to the juniors. There's no way anyone can ever replace us. I was just saying that so they wouldn't be as nervous about the incredibly large shoes they have to fill. In fact, I know from a reputable source that Mrs. Young likes us the best. We came into Sem small, nervous and not knowing what to expect, and we leave it big, confident and certain of each other and ourselves. I look down (from this podium) at you today as fellow classmates, but also as sisters. I don't know how to ever describe all of you or what you have meant to me in words, so I will leave you with the image that most accurately describes us as a class. Fifty-two girls, wearing prom dresses and sparkly tiaras in a cemetery at 7 o' clock in the morning.
I would like to take the time to thank all of the members of the Sem community who make it all that it is, which is more than anything I could ask for. Every person who for this place is so important to why it is as special as it is. You are doing all of us as students a great service, and I know we will all work to make you proud of us.
So, it is with great sadness and gratitude and honor that I step off the podium for the last time. Have a great day!