Dear Settlement Family,
I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy as we head into winter. Looking back on this past year, and looking ahead to the next, reminds me that we have so much to be thankful for.
I would like to start off by thanking all of you: our beloved students and families, our esteemed faculty and staff, and our treasured board members. As we continue to adjust to the realities of a world forever changed, I have been thrilled to feel from all of you such a palpable sense of deep commitment to the School, and such incredible interest in everything that’s happening here.
Over the past 12 months, I have personally witnessed standing-room-only crowds for dance recitals, the opening of new community gathering spaces like Germantown Playformance Park and the newly-renovated Presser Hall, and record-setting enrollment in our Music Education Pathways public schools program. I am so thankful for all of it, and to have been able to share those moments with many of you in person.
Years ago, one of our former staff members told me that being a Branch Director was like winning the Stanley Cup: you have it for a time, and then you pass it along to the next person. Every day I think about how to honor the legacy of those who came before, and how to leave a lasting legacy for those who will come after.
Settlement isn’t just a place. It’s a family, a fabric, a whole network of people who feel so connected to this institution. It goes beyond “I’m a board member” or “I’m an alumnus.” Settlement is truly a part of people’s lives. It always warms my heart when I hear about a former student sending their children or grandchildren to lessons here; or when an alumnus remembers us in their will; or when someone simply calls to share an important life update.
Right now, we are lucky to be the ones holding Settlement in our hands. Before we pass it along to the next generation, it’s up to us to bring our best selves to this institution that’s so deserving of our love and care. Settlement has been changing lives for over 100 years. Every gift you give goes towards making sure that the legacy of Settlement lives on, and continues to change lives for at least 100 more.
With my sincerest thanks and warmest wishes,
Helen S. Eaton
Chief Executive Officer
P.S. — In the spirit of thankfulness, I want to remind you that GivingTuesday is just around the corner on November 29. This day of generosity is the perfect time to give back and help put an instrument in the hands of the students in our public school ensembles program, Music Education Pathways. Stay tuned to our social media channels and emails in the coming days to learn more about the program, and how your generosity can leave a legacy for years to come.