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Remembering Mary Fern ('92 HON)

The warm and indomitable spirit of Mary Graham Fern reigned once again in Cowell Chapel during Reunion, as her life was celebrated by her devoted students, dear friends and colleagues, and family members. Representing her beloved Scottish heritage, guests were led by a bagpiper into the Main Building, where they assembled in the Chapel, the scene of many special memories of Mrs. Fern. Props and playbills adorned the stage, representing just some of the myriad productions that she helmed.

The celebration opened with a gracious welcome and special memories from faculty members Marcy and Bill Wenning, who became a second family to Mary by mutual adoption. Co-Head of School Peggy Lee then read "Ode to a Poet on Her 90th Birthday" a poem she composed for Maryi n 2014. Reflections followed by Dr. Dana Curry Lorway '78, former faculty member and academic dean Dr. Joyce Ferris, Tom Jaffa '70, Jayne Holly Berry-Steel '75, and retired Silver Penguin Bob Hall. Their poignant, funny, and deeply meaningful remembrances beautifully captured this remarkable teacher, director, mentor, and friend.

The celebration then continued with "Martinis for Mary," a nod to Mary's legendary hospitality, which was renowned for being elegant and joyful. Many more stories were shared amid music, theatre memorabilia, and a slide show of tributes by students.  Guests left with copies of her famous recipes for carrot casserole and spinach lasagna.

Joining the celebration were Mary's nephew Timothy Jacquet of New Orleans, who brought Mardi Gras beads for all, and Dr. Paul Greenfield of Boston, the nephew of Mary's late husband, Burton Fern.

As all who were privileged to know Mary can attest, the affection and admiration she shared with her students was palpable, and it was present again last week.  Our deepest thanks to the speakers and to all who gathered to remember and celebrate our extraordinary Mary Fern.

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.