Pauli Wauters Muir '53

"So the small Episcopal girls’ school moved north. Mrs. McLane was going to use that beautiful mountain site to good advantage. Not only would St. Mary’s have wonderful academics, not only would the school provide a religious foundation for the girls, but Mrs. McLane, known fondly as Aunt Dot, was going to USE the outdoors."
In the fall of 1950, Pauli Wauters Muir ’53, together with her friend, Ann Kennedy Irish '53, traveled from Michigan and arrived at St. Mary’s–in-the-Mountains to begin their tenth-grade year. Below is an excerpt from Pauli’s memoir, Madam’s Daughter..
* * *
St. Mary’s was a small, Episcopal girls’ school. It was founded by Bishop Niles, who had previously founded the Holderness School for boys and was also the sister school to St. Paul’s School for boys, in Concord, New Hampshire. In the 1930s, the headmistress was Mrs. McLane, who was part of a wonderful New Hampshire family. The school thrived for many years in Concord.
St. Mary’s in Concord was offered a gorgeous parcel of land, just outside the town of Littleton, New Hampshire, approximately 85 miles north of Concord. It was the estate of Eman L. Beck, and it included a very, very large summer home, two separate large houses, a riding stable, a tennis court, and a pond, all located, smack dab in the middle of the White Mountains. Mrs. McLane thought it was a fabulous location for a girls’ school. She jumped at the chance of moving her girls out of Concord and to this rural, mountain location. St. Mary’s name changed to become St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains.
* * *
Eman L. Beck had been the President of the Mexico City Banking Corporation. His other interests were real estate and sugar plantations. He was a friend of Dwight Morrow, who was the Ambassador to Mexico. His daughter, Susanna Beck, and Ann Morrow Lindbergh became friends as young girls in Mexico.
Thanks to the generous gift of the Becks, St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains moved from Concord to the Becks’ summer estate in Littleton, New Hampshire. Sue Beck married George C. Vaillant, a Harvard professor and a celebrated archeologist. He died at a young age, leaving an attractive and young widow.
My first year Ann and I shared a room in a dorm called Vaillant House. Sue Vaillant lived just down the road, and on slow Sunday afternoons several of us from Vaillant House would wander over for a visit. When Mrs. Vaillant opened the door, she always did so with delight, and she would exclaim that she had hoped that some of us would stop by. She was an intelligent and sophisticated lady. She wasn’t shy about telling us of her many adventures, both of living in Mexico as a young girl and of travels to exotic places with her archeologist husband. I felt a connection with her because we both knew the Lindberghs.
Once, when a few of us St. Mary’s girls were visiting Mrs. Vaillant, she noted that one of us was looking a bit wan. Asked if the girl was feeling all right, Mrs. Vaillant would be told that so-and-so had her period and was having horrid cramps. “Oh,” Mrs. Vaillant would say, “I have just the remedy.” She would leave the room and return with an elegant, cut glass decanter of sherry, and so-and-so would be presented with a small glass of sherry. “You must not mention this to a soul. I am not serving minors alcohol; this is purely medicinal.” We were astounded. Any consumption of alcohol was certain expulsion. We never mentioned it, but we continued to visit on Sunday afternoons, and often there was one of us who “looked pale and wan,” which resulted in the cut glass decanter and a sip of the medicinal sherry for one student that visit. It was thrilling to be so close to expulsion, but it never happened.
* * *
So the small Episcopal girls’ school moved north. Mrs. McLane was going to use that beautiful mountain site to good advantage. Not only would St. Mary’s have wonderful academics, not only would the school provide a religious foundation for the girls, but Mrs. McLane, known fondly as Aunt Dot, was going to USE the outdoors. The girls would learn to appreciate the beauty that surrounded them. Hiking and skiing would be required. The girls would come to understand how being one with nature expands the soul.
Hiking was done only on Saturdays in the fall. After cleaning our rooms, we would all gather at the Main House at about 11 AM, and there would be two yellow buses of the typical rural school bus sort parked in front of the school. Each girl would be handed a paper bag with a sandwich, an orange, a cookie, and a drink. No one had a choice. The whole school just loaded up, and off we went to one of the nearby mountains.
We unloaded from the buses and then began the endless ascent. The up part was not particularly interesting to me, but getting to the top was gratifying. Complain as we might about the up part, the view was always breathtaking. Then we would eat lunch, and race down to the buses. I loved the “down.” The hike took all of Saturday afternoon. We would return to school about 4 PM, tired in the best possible way. We were so famished that even the traditional Saturday night dinner of baked beans, which was not our favorite, was devoured! This was our routine every Saturday in the fall until the snow came.
* * *
We only had classes in the morning during the week at this wonderful school. After lunch, our afternoons were occupied with sports, tea, Glee Club (three times a week), study hall, and then dinner, in that order. Of those afternoon things, all were required – except tea.
When the snow came, we skied four afternoons a week on the school’s own ski hill. We had a wonderful Austrian couple, Paul and Paula Valar, who came from Franconia Notch to give us instruction. There was no tow. If you were not strong enough to climb up, you were not strong enough to ski down. The school never had a broken leg that I knew about. Most ski accidents happen when you are tired. When we were tired, we were not interested in climbing up again. I am sure that saved us from injuries.
Saturdays in the winter, we were turned loose, all of us wearing the school ski uniform of light blue ski parkas and dark blue ski pants, on the huge and beautiful Cannon Mountain. We would ride to the top of the mountain in a large tram. Once at the top, there were miles of trails to choose from to make our way to the bottom. Skiing Cannon was simply pure joy.
* * *
Aunt Dot McLane retired and was replaced by Mary Harley Jenks. Miss Jenks was headmistress when I arrived in 1950. Miss Jenks had grown up in Berkeley, California. She was the daughter of a prominent San Francisco lawyer, who had been a Regent of the University of California. She was quite frail as a child and was educated early on at home. She was gifted intellectually, and she was sent eventually to the Bentley School in Berkeley. From Bentley she went on to University of California, Berkeley.
At Cal she distinguished herself in Philosophy. Her interests were political. She joined the Political Union and was talented enough so that when the leadership positions needed to be filled, Roger J. Traynor, who later in life became the very admired Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, ran for and won the presidency of the Political Union. Mary Harley Jenks was his vice president. She most likely would have been a very fine lawyer like her father, had she chosen that path.
After Cal, she bought and went on to become the very young headmistress of the respected Bentley School in Berkeley, where she had earlier been a student. After a few years she left Bentley to run the Mary C. Wheeler School, a girls’ school in Providence, Rhode Island. From Mary C. Wheeler she was chosen to succeed Mrs. McLane at St. Mary’s.
Miss Jenks was a slightly brittle lady. She had had some neurological damage as a child and had kind of a jerky walk. She was very smart. She had a very funny, dry sense of humor. She was principled. She was not interested in being liked if it meant compromising her ideas or those of the school. She was actually a very admirable woman.
She was in some ways like my mother. They had different gifts. Mother was warmer and more literary. Miss Jenks was more of an intellectual. Neither was athletic. They were both leaders with high expectations for the young people in their charge.
Monday through Friday after sports, we had the option to have tea, which was held in the headmistress’ office. Miss Jenks poured, and there were cookies. That was the only afternoon snack that was available, and as we were all starving after sports, most of us showed up. It was a brilliant plan because Miss Jenks had us, trapped by hunger. She was naturally shy and a bit awkward socially; so the formality of the tea party gave her a chance to see her girls casually but in a structured setting. She sat on the couch in her small living room and poured tea from her silver tea set. We helped ourselves to cream and sugar and said please and thank you and sipped from our china cups balanced precariously on saucers as we scanned the room for the large cardboard container of wholesale cookies. There was nothing elegant about the cookies, but there were plenty of them, which we wolfed down!
I was a good child at home and at my mother’s summer camp. St. Mary’s gave me a chance to push the envelope a bit without having a conflict with my mother. I could do the cleverest (I thought) pranks at St. Mary’s, and Mother’s and my relationship would not be threatened. I was a mischief-maker at school, and consequently I spent a good deal of time in Miss Jenks’ office.
My first major offense happened a month after arriving at school, when Ann Kennedy and I decided to send away for some luminous paint guaranteed to glow in the dark. It came! It worked! We painted our ceiling with a galaxy of stars, painted the door jams with signs like “Exit”, and painted our toilet seat so we could find it in the dark. We thought it all a brilliant plan.
That brilliance was the reason for my very first private meeting with Miss Jenks. There were, I might add, quite a few more. Because of these visits we got to know each other quite well, and I became very fond of her.
* * *
Amazingly, when I moved to Berkeley, California in 1968, Miss Jenks had preceded me. She had retired from St. Mary’s and returned to her hometown, Berkeley, where she founded a coeducational, highly academic day school, The College Preparatory School. She ran it with the same firm sense of propriety with which she had governed St. Mary’s. Here is a letter written by her in 1961 to her College Prep parents; it captures her “no-nonsense” spirit and her firm principles. No wonder I spent endless time in her office.
TO PARENTS
One of our few rules, made for a variety of reasons which parents will understand, forbids students to chew gum within a block of the school.
Recently there has been widespread disobedience of this rule, with some students repeatedly violating it, even after reproof. Since it cannot be violated without deliberate planning, such disobedience shows an attitude of lawlessness and lack of cooperation which, for the students’ sake, we have no right to encourage by accepting.
The members of the school have been warned that a further violation will result in the student being sent home with all possessions. Reinstatement will depend on the student’s being able to convince us of a firm and honest intention to support the school rules.
Sincerely yours,
Mary Harley Jenks
* * *
St. Mary’s was a school that didn’t believe in choices. In the Main House, everyone woke up to classical music. Each morning a girl chose the wake-up music. She would go down to the music room, where all the records were housed. She would make her selection and then put it on the record player. We had loudspeakers for the music all through the Main building. It was a wonderful way to begin the day, and without making a big deal of it, we were constantly exposed to wonderful classical music. We had no choice.
As I mentioned earlier, hiking was required, and skiing was required. We all did mostly the same everything. We all took the usual classes; English, Latin, Geometry, Algebra I and II, Biology, and Chemistry, and we had one choice, French or Spanish for a modern language.
Current Events was required. We had to read the News of the Week in Review from the New York Times and discuss it in class once a week. Miss Jenks taught that course herself. She loved keeping abreast of the world.
Sacred Studies was required, and we had to take that once a week. Sacred Studies was taught by Mr. Weber, who was the rector of the Episcopal Church in Littleton.
History of Music was required. History of Art was required.
EVERYONE sang in the Glee Club. It was required.
We had one wonderful girl who was completely tone deaf. Her name was Sukie Dickey. Her father was the President of Dartmouth College. She simply couldn’t hear different pitches. She was required to be in the Glee Club and learn all the words. It was her job to be in the concerts and to mouth the words, but not to emit a sound.
Sukie loved the school. She went on to become a Trustee. Asked if she minded being in the Glee Club, she said that she loved the fact that she was included. Years later, she told me that the concerts she attended after graduating were all the more enjoyable because of her musical “immersion” at St. Mary’s.
Cleaning our rooms each day was required. Work program, where we had assigned jobs, was required.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we were given assigned places at a dining room table. At the evening meal we dressed more formally; we put on nice dresses and wore nylons. Each table had a faculty member seated with us. Every two weeks the seating changed, but it was a wonderful way to get to know other students in other classes and the faculty, too.
OK! There were some electives, and here they are: choir, madrigal group, drama, studio art, newspaper, and the creative writing magazine/year book called The Pendulum. I was on the student council, was captain of the Light Blues (the school was divided into Light and Dark Blues for sports), was sports editor of the newspaper, was in the choir and madrigal group, and had my only leading role senior year in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Painted from head to toe in green Kemtone paint, I was Ariel.
* * *
St. Mary’s was an Episcopal school. We had morning prayers every weekday right after breakfast. They took about 15 minutes. Each girl had a turn running the service. The student got to choose a beginning hymn and an ending hymn. Sandwiched between the two hymns was the girl’s choice of a psalm. It was a lovely way to start the day.
After dinner every weeknight we had prayers in the Music Room, which was a large, cozy living room. We would sing a hymn standing; then we would watch Miss Jenks sit, and following her cue, we would all sit on the carpet. The faculty were scattered around the periphery of the room in chairs and sofas. Miss Jenks would almost always give the evening talk. If Bishop Hall, the Bishop of New Hampshire, was visiting, he did it. She was good. He was extraordinary. Then we would all rise for the closing hymn.
Every Sunday morning we took our little yellow buses down to the Episcopal church in Littleton. We were “dressed” for church. I sang in the choir. The choristers wore a red garment that resembled a fairly fitted, long sleeved, shirt, with a Nehru collar. It went all the way to the ground. Over that, we wore a white surplice. Choir made church pleasurable for me because the music was so beautiful. We sang all the responses during the service.
We had wonderful choral direction at this school. Senior year we had a music director named Mr. Andrews. He was exceptional. He demanded that we perform at a high standard, and we rose to the challenge. I had truly excellent choral music training. I also tried out and sang in the 12-person madrigal group. We only sang classical music. The school really cared about classical music, and I learned so much.
* * *
Most of our social events were with a boys’ school named Holderness in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
St. Mary’s hosted only one social event a year. It was the Winter House Party. Every girl in the school participated. No choice. It was arranged with Holderness. Unless you invited a specific Holderness student, you were matched up with a boy who was close to your age and your height. He was your guest for the weekend.
The boys came up by bus from their school on Friday night. They all had rooms at Lovetts Inn in Franconia. After dropping their things at the Inn, they would come to St. Mary’s, where we were introduced. At least, that was how it worked my first year. In my junior year I had a friend at Holderness, and he would come as my invitee. His name was Jay Harris.
After a casual supper, we would all go out on the ski hill for night skiing. Imagine – all of us – on that small hill, lit by floodlights and NO TOW. We happily clambered up and skied down until we were exhausted. Boys returned to the Inn for the night. Girls returned to our rooms at school.
Saturday morning we did the usual, cleaned our rooms, and then got ready to go off to Cannon Mountain. We met our weekend dates at the bottom of the mountain. We were dressed in our light blue parkas and our dark blue ski pants. We skied all day. It was such wholesome fun.
At four, when the lifts closed, we went back to our school to dress for the dinner and dance. The boys were all decked out in jackets and ties, and we were in our “party” dresses. We didn’t have time to spend hours on our hair or nails. We all sat down to our special, elegant, dinner in our very fine clothes, and if our hair was a bit astray, no one cared a single bit. Our cheeks were apple red from being outside all afternoon, and we were relaxed with the boys because we had had such fun on the mountain together.
After dinner we danced. The faculty were present. There was a band and something that I loved…a dance card. Each dance was numbered. The first dance you danced with “your date.” Then you would arrange with your friends to swap partners. The girls were in charge of getting other partners for the next 12 dances, and then the last dance you danced with your partner. It was wonderful because no one was stuck with one person all evening, and it was fun to meet other people. Sunday morning the boys would return to Holderness.
I thought it was the perfect event. It was just right for me. It certainly beat the weekend parties that were going on back home, with the dark basements and the social pressure to have a boyfriend. I loved not having to worry about all of THAT.
* * *
St. Mary’s made an effort to provide culture for its girls. Culture was defined as a night at the symphony and an elegant dinner.
Miss Jenks arranged three such evenings for us during the coldest months of winter. She hired the ever-present yellow buses and had them lined up outside the Main Building for our special trips to Hanover, New Hampshire.
We would dress in our best. We clambered eagerly aboard the buses. There were no freeways; so we would bounce and jounce along on the icy New Hampshire roads with huge banks of snow to either side of us. It was a two-hour drive. We would pull into Hanover about 5:30 in the afternoon, and we were unloaded in front of the Hanover Inn.
Everything about the Hanover Inn seemed just right. It was not a pretentious place, but it was really lovely. We savored each bite of our nice dinner and then could hardly wait to walk across the square to the Concert Hall. Miss Jenks had lectured to us at evening prayers the night before the concert that we were expected to be on our best behavior. She wanted us to be quiet as mice during the concert. She wanted no talking, and not so much as a sneeze. She would firmly say “I EXPECT STRANGULATION BEFORE A COUGH.”
After years of listening to classical music on records, it was in Hanover that I attended my first live symphony performance. It was sometimes the Boston Symphony and sometimes a completely different musical program, but for me, live classical music at this level of performance was a real pleasure.
After the concert we would climb into our waiting buses and head back to our mountain school. Perhaps we would all be singing a glee club tune together or a hymn in harmony. Then a satisfied calm would descend on us, and we would doze off. It would be close to midnight when we arrived back at school. It might be snowing giant white flakes, or it might be a clear night with stars and a giant full moon. It was so special for me to have shared the elegant dinner, the wonderful music, and the black, wintry night with my wonderful group of friends.
* * *
Ann Kennedy weaves in and out of my life like a bright thread in a tapestry. She was my roommate at SMS our first year – our sophomore year. We knew each other so well, and we had shared so many summers that we were almost like cousins.
At fourteen she was tall. She was smart. She was not interested so much in studying. One of the things that I admired most about her was that she was so honest. Was she tactless? No. She was considerate of others, and her honesty cleared the air. She didn’t hurt people’s feelings. She let you know what she liked and what she didn’t and why. She was direct. Her integrity is something I have tried to emulate all my life. She was an extraordinary wit and so very funny. She kept our class in stitches.
And speaking of stitches, I think Ann, now a prodigious knitter, started to knit at SMS. Ann credits Jessie Cookson for introducing her to yarn and needles. Jebba Mortellito, a classmate, taught all the rest of us to knit socks. We would sit in the music room, which was the living room that housed the wonderful collection of classical music records. We would sit in comfy chairs listening to music (learning to identify music that we were going to be tested on in music appreciation class) and knit cable stitch socks (for a lucky male recipient), while Jebba moved from one of us to the next, helping us turn cables and heels.
Aside from the luminous paint, Ann and I had one more mischievous moment that was even more spectacular. It happened on a miserable, gray, drizzly afternoon and we were told that we had to go skiing. There were girls who had pending colds or cramps who got excused on medical grounds, but you had to ask for that permission by a certain time in the morning. We had missed that option, and we HAD to go skiing on a very unpleasant afternoon.
“Well,” said Ann, “I am not going out in that drizzle in my good ski pants. They will get wet and lose their nice crease.” So she put on her red long underwear and then put shorts on over the top. She looked so funny. Well, we had a good laugh, and I followed, putting on my red long underwear and then my shorts over the top.
This took us longer than usual because we were laughing so hard. When we arrived at the ski hill, Mr. Steele, our PE teacher, said that we were late and dressed inappropriately. He sent us back to our dorm and said that our free day was cancelled. We had one free day a week. On our free day we were allowed to walk down the mountain to the town of Littleton to buy whatever we thought we needed. Usually we would buy a cream puff or a chocolate éclair at the bakery, browse in the windows of Carroll Reed’s upscale sporty women’s clothing store, and then return to school.
Well, this reprimand was not received well by Ann. “Miss my free day! That is the worst thing that could happen to me. It is my little brother Jimmy’s birthday, and I was counting on using my free day to find him a present. Now, he will have nothing on time for his birthday. Whatever I send will be late.” I completely agreed. It was outrageously unfair. No one should have had to ski on such a horrid day.
Back in our room we fumed around for a few minutes, and then we came up with a fabulous way to protest having our free day stolen from us! A SPIDER WEB MADE OF YARN! The perfect act of revenge!
We strung yarn from the doorknob of a room on one side of the hall to the knob on the door across from it, so the doors couldn’t open when they were pulled on from the inside. We attached the yarn high and low and back and forth until we had made a giant spider’s web. Our dorm, Vaillant House, had only one phone for all of us to use. It was upstairs, quite near our bedroom but in the hall. We called the operator and said that our friends were having trouble reaching this number. The girls who had been excused from skiing for “medical” reasons tried to get out of their rooms to answer the phone, but the giant web made it impossible for them to get out.
The web was perfect. The phone rang and rang and rang. There was no way anyone could get out of their rooms to answer the phone, and the girls trapped in their rooms were all shouting that their doors were stuck. Well, Miss Oakley, our housemother, who was downstairs and not on our corridor, came flying out of her room. We had stretched the stair carpet taut; so Miss Oakley, making no headway on her hands and knees, had to awkwardly straddle the carpet on each step to get to the top.
Finally, she got to the phone and answered it. The operator said that she had been asked to try this number because people were not getting through. Of course, Ann and I were doubled up with laughter in our room, the only room that was untouched by the web. Miss Oakley was in our room in about two seconds. She was not happy. We were told that we had to dismantle the web immediately.
Well, that night at supper Miss Jenks let us know that she wanted to see each of us, one at a time, in her room the next day. As a pair, we must have been a nightmare for Miss Jenks. In retrospect, I do think that our rebellion should get points for creativity and humor.
St. Mary’s wasn’t a perfect fit for Ann, and she left to go off to Abbott Academy the next year. I missed her so much, but I do think that on some level she was touched by SMS: the classical music, the choral singing, the outdoors, the religion, the knitting…. Though at the time she rebelled, she has come around to making all of those things very much a part of her current life. I think that she needed a change. Abbott was a good fit for her at that time and… I think it gave her… some choices.
* * *
I really loved each of my classmates at St. Mary’s. I thought they were a wonderful collection of individuals. We really had the chance to get to know each other. The class was small, and we did absolutely everything together. I want to mention a few.
Jesse Cookson lived on my Vaillant corridor, was so smart, so funny, her deep voice breaking into a chuckle as she recounted a “Confucius” joke.
Hattie Burroughs was memorable for many things, but one of the best was working together on our junior year biology project of collecting maple sap and boiling it down to make maple syrup. The fire under the pot of syrup got out of control and went racing across the soccer field toward the main building, and we had to pour lots of water and the boiling sap on the fire to put it out. That was a sad end to a great project.
Franny Bailey invited me to her home in Cambridge for Thanksgiving my first year at St. Mary’s and treated me to the experience of my first Harvard-Yale game. Unforgettable! (I think that for my next two years there was a change in school policy, and we all stayed at school for Thanksgiving.)
Then there was Audie Gilmore, whose intelligence, warmth and humor warmed my heart.
Lukie Chapman sat next to me in Glee Club for three years. It was she who enlivened us all by her wonderful drawings and her stunning beauty and her kindness.
Jebba Mortelito had a bright energy. Her wonderful piano playing kept us gathered around the piano, singing show tunes. Her perfect story-telling ability kept us mesmerized with tales of her grandfather’s island Cat Key in the Bahamas and of her sophisticated life on the Upper East Side of New York City. Also, I thank Jebba for inviting me to New York, where I could meet her spirited, beautiful, and talented sculptor mother, Jane Wasey, who had a studio on the ground floor of her brownstone and whose animal sculptures enchanted me. The Little Mermaid, who welcomes boats into the harbor of Rockland, Maine, was done by Jane Wasey.
Mydie Higgins was my ski partner on Cannon Mountain. We were excellent partners because we were equally cautious. I loved following Mydie down the slopes while she executed graceful turns at a pace that I could keep up with. We fantasized that we were from Norway. She was always Frieda to my Otto.
Ellie Commo joined our class our senior year. She was simply drop dead smart. She, at our 50th reunion, shared her post-SMS life with us: Wellesley, graduate work at Harvard, teaching at Wellesley, two children, divorce, seminary, ordination as an Episcopal priest and after retiring as the chaplain at Mt. Holyoke, she took on a parish in New Hampshire. Currently she is in a fulfilling lesbian relationship. She shared the story of her life’s ups and downs and then encouraged us to talk about our lives. Fifty percent of our class returned, ten out of our class of 20. Her candor made each of us who returned open up like those little Japanese packets that you drop in a glass of water. We opened like bright flowers and shared our stories. She made the reunion a wonderful connecting experience.
Lee Haskell was my seatmate in study hall. Her father worked for Parker Brothers Games, and we used to compare notes on whose father drove the fastest. I think she won. She was our class organizer par excellence, and I admired in her that talent which God forgot to give me.
* * *
Junior year I was assigned to a new dorm, Hill House, and a new roommate, Beaty Young. If Ann was not available, I was certainly lucky to be with Beaty. We had become good friends our sophomore year because we were on the same corridor in Vaillant House.
Beaty grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire. She was a minister’s daughter. She came to St. Mary’s on scholarship. She always enjoyed a good joke, but she was not into mischief. She was, without trying, a model citizen. She was simply naturally good.
She enjoyed studying and excelled at it. She loved everything about St. Mary’s. She was kind to everyone, and everyone loved and respected her. She enjoyed singing and was good at sports; the religious parts of our school were second nature to her. She became our class scholar and leader.
We were a good fit as friends. What could I contribute to this paragon? Well, I think I could make her laugh. She was the intellectual, and I had more imagination, and in perhaps a funny way I was more experienced at being away from home. We had things in common. Her father was a minister, and my mother did the Sunday church service at the summer camp she had founded and directed in Michigan. She was a minister’s daughter; I was Madam’s daughter.
Neither of us had grown up with a lot of money. Most of the students at St. Mary’s were from moderately wealthy families, and a few came from families of great wealth. One member of our school was a member of the Rockefeller family, another from the Dupont family, etc. But both Beaty and I came from families of limited resources.
Also we shared the experience of growing up as part of a community. Beaty was raised being part of the inner circle of a church congregation, and I was raised being part of the inner circle of a camp family. We had been raised to be a contributing part of a group.
* * *
From S. Mary’s I learned lessons that I am thankful for every day: Appreciation of the natural world, a grounding in religion and real immersion in classical music. All three of those things have been a part of every day of my life since graduating from this small, simple school where the values were right on the mark.
- Pauli Wauters Muir '53
 

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THE WHITE MOUNTAIN SCHOOL

371 West Farm Road  •  Bethlehem, New Hampshire 03574  •  603.444.2928
Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire,
The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day
school for students grades 9-12/PG.