"Speak up. Stand up. Set an example. Inspire change."
It was a true honor to welcome Meghan Duggan ’06 back to campus as the keynote speaker for our final Diversity Forum of the academic year, which focused on the power of voices. The all-school assembly took place following an abbreviated academic schedule and the forum concluded with small group breakout sessions to further explore and exchange ideas, opinions, and opportunities to support one another though action and understanding.
Introducing the four-year Penguin to today’s student body, Dr. Carlisle reflected on Meghan’s Cushing days and the impression she made early in her academic career. “From the moment she arrived at Cushing, Meghan Duggan was intent on making the most of her time here. She was eager, determined, and driven in all aspects of her experience. She challenged herself academically; she pushed her already comfortable limits on the ice, and we all know where the latter has led her – amazing accolades at Wisconsin, her tenure on and as captain of the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team (two silvers and a gold), and perhaps most important, her fight to gain equitable pay and recognition from USA Hockey. But Meghan doesn’t stop here. She uses her voice to support the Women’s Sport Foundation, which allows young female athletes to find their way through athletics. She fights fiercely for gender equality. She’s generous. Kind. Self-assured. Self-effacing. And, in all of my years of teaching this particular concept, an amazing sense of self and place. She knows who she is. She knows how to use this sense of self to empower and support others.”
“When I think of diversity and inclusion, I think of who I am and how I got here,” said Meghan. “I think intensely about Cushing and the role it played in my journey. Cushing opened my eyes to a world of diversity and to this day I am grateful.” Stressing the importance of leadership, persistence, and standing up for what’s right, she encouraged members of the community to seek new relationships, learn about one another, challenge each other, and focus on what’s most important in life. “Taking a stand against something isn’t risky when you see it as necessary. Take time to educate yourself. Limit your own biases. Speak up. Stand up. Set an example. Inspire change.”
After a few questions from the audience, photos with fans, and student selfies with Olympic medals, Meghan met with members of our girls’ hockey program to learn more about their experiences as student-athletes and to share advice on leading teams, the importance of communication, and finding the best in every opportunity.
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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.