Professional development AND reconnecting with a former student- sign me up!
Soon after rejoining the Darlington Community, I learned that I would be attending a conference in Philadelphia. I was thrilled for the opportunity to sharpen my skills and network with fellow advancement professionals (the conference was, without question, a valuable and insightful experience).
Aside from attending the conference, I also had the privilege of connecting with an impressive former student, Mr. Austin Spooner (’12). My meeting with Austin was not a first encounter. As a member of the residential duty team in Moser House (Austin’s dorm) from 2010-2012, we’d chat on a weekly basis. Furthermore, Austin held the role of Head Prefect for Moser during his senior year - so, we collaborated frequently to ensure Moser residents were excelling.
Our meeting in Philadelphia included stories of how he landed at Darlington his junior year (having transferred from his high school in Bainbridge, Georgia), tales of his pursuits in college (specifically, finishing undergrad and law school at Tulane in just six years), and tidbits of his post graduate path to a major metropolitan area (Philadelphia). I, too, shared insights into my professional journey and personal highlights since 2012.
Altogether, it was a particularly special hour. It was special because I was witnessing first-hand, eight years after fact, the significant impression that Darlington made on this former student. While I know that Austin would have excelled in any setting, he shared how Darlington enhanced his foundation of charisma, honor, and diligence.
I’m certain that Austin will be a shining star and leader in his professional and personal pursuits at every juncture moving forward. He is a glaring example of a servant leader who embodies wisdom more than knowledge, service beyond self, and honor above everything. From campus, we're sending our congratulations on a job well done - we’ll eagerly await the news of the next “dorm” that you lead!