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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Woodlands Academy hosts annual Conge

Congé  at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

To students and alumnae of the Sacred Heart, the word Congé elicits a smile and shared understanding. Derived from the French word for “play day,” Congé is traditionally an unannounced day of play and fun in the midst of the school year. It is still a part of our Sacred Heart tradition and a day the students anticipate each school year.
In 1972, Woodlands Academy adopted the term Congé for its annual black-tie dinner and fundraiser. The adult community deserved a time of fun and camaraderie, as did the students. Over the years, Congé has become a tradition of community building and celebration that directly benefits students through Live and Silent Auctions and a dinner party. This event has become the school's largest fundraising effort. Attracting more than 200 guests from the Chicago and North Shore area, the event's proceeds are used to directly benefit the student body by enhancing educational programs and funding special projects at the School.

On the last Saturday of April, I was invited to partake in the Congé that Woodlands Academy was hosting at the Glen View Club.  

A highlight of the evening was when Mary Therese Kraft-Williams a 1992 graduate of Woodlands and current member of the WAAA board spoke about her decision to attend Woodlands Academy,  her experiences as a student and finally coming home what it means to be an alumna of the Sacred Heart. "I think back at my time at Woodlands and am amazed at the opportunities and experiences I had, from going on Exchange to Washington DC, to a week long service trip in Appalachia, to multiple leadership roles and of course a couple championship titles. One of which my Dad, aka my coach is very proud of. You'd think he was Coach K.But, what amazes me most as I reflect back on my days at Woodlands, is the environment we were all surrounded by. The various cultures, the tradition, the faculty, the ability to see no boundaries, it is truly unique. And this progressive mentality lives on today, just take a stroll through the science wing or see the flags in the chapel and you cannot help but be proud."  

It was an enjoyable evening and one in which many parents showed their pride by the generous way in which they bid on both the live and silent auction items.

Now the seniors are busy preparing for graduation day on June 7th.   I wish them well!  Perhaps amongst this class will be an alumna like Mary Therese who comes back to speak of her days at Woodlands and what her Sacred Heart education has meant to her.

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