When alumna Margaret Hoover ’93 was in town last week to receive the Nancy Nye Priest Award from the Alumni Association, she graciously made time to visit campus and speak with seventh graders about her career as a political commentator.
The host of PBS’ Firing Line, Margaret sits down each week to discuss current events with those influencing public policy and public affairs. Her forte is facilitating civil and respectful dialogue, especially when she and her guests disagree.
“To prepare,” she says, “I read everything. I read Supreme Court decisions and the writings of prominent thinkers on both sides of the issue. It comes back to my Graland education when I learned to love learning. It’s the gift that continues to play out in my life.”
Describing her career journey as a staffer in the DC office of a Florida congressman to work in the White House, Department of Homeland Security and on the Guiliani presidential campaign, Margaret gained the experience and savvy to become a respected political commentator, a job she says she “fell into.” She is also an author who wrote American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party, a work that draws on the beliefs of her great-grandfather, President Herbert Hoover.
In addition to her full-time job, Margaret is an advocate for women’s and LGBTQ rights. She helped found the American Unity Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of freedom for gay and lesbian Americans.
Her parting advice to students was, “Don’t plan your life. Go where your passions are.”
Later that evening, 126 alumni, current faculty and former faculty joined Margaret at the festive Fall Cocktail Party hosted by the Alumni Association. Mrs. Priest was in attendance to see Margaret accept the award for her exemplary contributions to the global community.
In her acceptance speech, Margaret said, “This is honestly the most extraordinary honor I’ve ever received. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Priest and the entire Graland community for making a huge impact on me that transcends my years at Graland and continues to define me today.”
Josh Cobb, Head of School, participated in a Firing Line-like interview with Margaret during which he shared his vision for the school. “We are dedicated to valuing teachers more and using our resources to make sure they can focus on teaching and on being the best teachers they can be.”
Mr. Cobb also referenced the recent hate crime targeting Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, saying, “We need to honor our students as individuals and model respect so they carry that forward. There is immense value in appreciating our shared humanity.”
Thank you to Alumni President Christina Freyer ’97 Walker and Kristin Eklund ’88 Weber, director of alumni relations for their work in bringing Margaret back to campus. CLICK HERE FOR EVENT PHOTOS.