Drew Gilpin Faust, President Emerita of Harvard University and Powhatan School Alumna, Returning to Discuss New Book and Status of Education to Students, Faculty and the Greater Community

Published On: August 30th, 2023 | Categories: Food for Thought |


Drew Gilpin Faust, President Emerita of Harvard University and Powhatan School Alumna, Returning to Discuss New Book and Status of Education to Students, Faculty and the Greater Community

Drew Gilpin Faust will headline an education symposium entitled Leading Innovation: A Discussion On the Future of Education, hosted by Powhatan School at the George Washington Hotel on September 8, 2023. In addition to Dr. Faust, prominent community educators and administrators including Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of Shenandoah University; Evan Robb, Head of Upper School at Powhatan; and Dr. Jason Van Heukulem, Superintendent of Winchester Public Schools, will discuss a variety of educational challenges and opportunities that face our communities. The panel will be facilitated by Donald Gilpin, retired educator and Powhatan Class of 1964. Among several topics discussed will be the need for continued innovation in education, the impact of artificial intelligence on teaching and learning, and community and school engagement. Former Powhatan parent and trustee and 75th Anniversary Chair Amy Sluss commented, “The inspiration for this event was really borne out of a desire to celebrate all educators in our extended community for their tireless efforts to inspire and guide our youth. Having such an esteemed panel who represent a variety of educational backgrounds and perspectives will ensure a very robust and interesting discussion. We are grateful for the participation of all of our distinguished panelists.”

In addition to the symposium on September 8, Dr. Faust, Powhatan School class of 1960, will visit students, faculty and parents earlier that afternoon at the institution where her educational career began. During her visit, she will be meeting with students in the classroom, reconnecting with members of the community, and speaking about the importance of education and lifelong learning in celebration of the school’s 75th anniversary. Her newest book, Necessary Trouble: Growing up at Midcentury, a history/memoir of the 1950’s and 60’s, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in August 2023. A special book signing for Powhatan families will be held following her presentation.

Faust previously served as founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2001-2007). Before coming to Radcliffe, she was the Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.

She is the author of six books, including most recently This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008), which chronicles the impact of the Civil War’s enormous death toll on the lives of nineteenth-century Americans. It was awarded the 2009 Bancroft Prize, the New-York Historical Society’s 2009 American History Book Prize, and was recognized by The New York Times as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2008.” This Republic of Suffering is the basis for a 2012 Emmy-nominated episode of the PBS American Experience documentaries titled Death and the Civil War, directed by Ric Burns. She is a contributing writer at The Atlantic.

Faust’s honors include awards in 1982 and 1996 for distinguished teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, the Society of American Historians in 1993, and the American Philosophical Society in 2004. In 2018 she was awarded the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity by the Library of Congress. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr in 1968, magna cum laude with honors in history, and master’s (1971) and doctoral (1975) degrees in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Faust attended Powhatan School, a pre-Kindergarten – eight independent school, during her elementary and middle school years when it was known as the Blue Ridge Country Day School, graduating in 1960. Blue Ridge was founded in 1948 by a group of devoted community members, and the school has grown from a couple of grades to a robust enrollment of 255 students. In 1957 the Crocker family donated their large country home to offer additional space to accommodate the school’s growing enrollment, and the schoolhouse was home for hundreds of students until it tragically burned in a fire in 1988. Powhatan immediately rebuilt and today students enjoy over 90 acres of indoor and outdoor educational space. Head of School Jay Briar stated, “What an incredible opportunity for our students, faculty and community to hear personally from such an accomplished alumna. We are grateful to Dr. Faust for taking the time to return to Powhatan and reinforce our mission: we learn not for school but for LIFE.”

For additional information, please contact Sydney Cannice, Director of Development at Powhatan School.
(540) 837-1009

Learn More About The Powhatan School 75th Anniversary Activities!