Nearly 52 years after she graduated from The Country School, Tandy Beal ’60 returned to campus on Tuesday to receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. Immediately following the award ceremony, members of the Class of 2012 were officially inducted into The Country School Alumni Association.
Below, Tandy receives her award from Alumni Association Co-Chair
Jeff Burt '61, a previous recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
An internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, director, and self-described dreamer, Tandy shared memories of the school in its earliest years. She also shared with the next class of graduates what she feels were the greatest lessons TCS taught her. “The country school laid the foundation for me for a lifelong learning project,” she said. “That’s the coolest thing that I learned here - to learn how to learn.”
That may have been the coolest, but Tandy said the most important lesson was about the importance of building community. She described how each day, during her first year at TCS – the school’s first year on this campus - the entire school would head out to the athletic field. For an hour each day, students of all ages would head out to the field and pick up stones and rocks “so that the next year we could have a real playing field,” she said.
“There’s something amazing about that memory, that all of us - 1st Graders to 8th Graders - were out there just picking up rocks,” she said. “And the next part of that memory is that you’re out there the next year playing soccer or baseball and you’re looking around and you have a sense of pride, thinking, ‘Hey, this playing field wouldn’t be here except for our efforts.’ That was an amazing memory.”
Tandy spoke about the other aspects of TCS that have remained with her, including the influence of nature and the importance of imagination and empathy, both of which have guided her work on stages across the globe. (Tandy arrived at TCS after a show in Tel Aviv, where she worked Bobby McFerrin and both Arab and Isareli performers.)
After showing videos of her work on the new TCS screen, a gift from the Class of 2012, Tandy offered some advice for the soon-to-be graduates: Live a life of adventure. I still don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow up, and so as you make your way down your paths, you have no idea where things are going to lead you to, but by all means enjoy it.
To learn more about Tandy and her work, visit www.tandybeal.com. Scroll down for more photos of the Alumni Celebration.
Tandy is greeted by her TCS classmate,
former TCS trustee Terry Jones Eddy' 60.
Alumni volunteers: Tyer and Kendall Woods '06, just home from college
(George Washington University and Bucknell, respectively),
help out at their alma mater.
Kendall Woods '06, Jeff Burt '61, Tandy Beal '60, Katherine Connolly '77 P '21,
and Director of Alumni Relations Jeanne Boyer Roy P '01,'06 near the Farmhouse.
Tandy Beal catches up with Priscilla Waters, the mother of
one of her classmates and a former TCS trustee.
Joining them is Jeff Burt.
Tandy reminisces with Duncan MacLane '64, the son of
Tandy's headmaster, David MacLane.
Tandy and Head of School Laurie Bottiger speak about
the TCS DNA and what, today, remains the way it was
when Tandy was a student in the late '50s and early '60s.
Patricia Trapasso P '09, '12 addresses the Class of 2012.
Members of the Class of 2012 are inducted into the Alumni
Association as alumni look on.
Students unfurl the Class Banner.
Its motto: On the Brink of Greatness.