Message from the Senior Class President

Renée Taylor '24, Senior Class President Renée Taylor '24, Senior Class President Dear Class of 2024,

We are officially less than two weeks away from graduation so a big congratulations is in order. CONGRATULATIONS! Many of us have walked into Sweet Briar together and I am so excited to walk out with you. These last four years have been filled with laughter, tears, hugs, and endless hours worth of hard work. In hopes of inspiring you to continue reaching for your dreams, our commencement speaker is Tori Murden McClure.

Tori is an outstanding example and reminder that women are truly capable of anything. She was the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was also the first woman and American to ski to the Geographic South Pole and the first woman to climb Lewis Nunatak in Antarctica. Tori’s ability to continue on through constant challenge and risk has been recognized on multiple levels, as she was presented with the Peter Bird Trophy for tenacity and perseverance, as well as the Victor Award given to outstanding athletes.

Tori’s work as chaplain at Boston City Hospital, her duty as Executive Director of a women’s homeless shelter, and her dedication to public policy as the analyst to the Mayor of Louisville were done without the expectation of awards, but because it was what should be done. She was presented with the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Silver Horseshoe Award for her courage, determination, and service to her community. These recognitions stand to show the years’ worth of hard work Tori has done in her life. She now continues her commitment to leadership development and outdoor activities as President of Spalding University and Chair of the Board of NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Tori was selected as our speaker not only because of what she has accomplished, but because of her attitude towards it all. She has done this work because it was a chance to gain new knowledge and learn valuable lessons. She has been quoted as saying, “Opportunities will come your way. Have courage and just chase them down.”

So, Class of 2024, have courage and continue forward. I hope you all are excited for the possibilities of the future and I know that each of you are capable of something great.

Holla Holla,
Renée Taylor