My favorite alumni memory comes from Ruth Nunn Steel and Barbara Nunn Cornish. When I worked in the Development Office with Ben Duke and Marilyn Foster, among others, I had the privilege of meeting Ruth Nunn Steel. Ruth donated to the archives a key Georgia Nelson gave graduates as a reminder that Graland was their home. Ruth was a delightfully opinionated woman whose mother, Barbara Kobler Nunn, worked at Graland for many years. Her stories about her mother always delighted me. Ruth had the knack to relate Graland history and make it live -- just like the other Ruth, Mrs. Gorham.
"'To borrow an old cliche: “You can take the girls out of Graland, but you can’t take Graland out of the girls.' Graland was more than a school. It was a way of life. In reflection, certainly one of the primary strengths of that marvelous center of learning lay in the parents’ commitment to an ideal. Long before expressions such as education of the whole child, learning for living, and experiential learning became popular, Graland was involved in the actual process. Tolerance, patience, and good sportsmanship were the lessons in living incorporated into the reading, writing, rhythm, music, shop, and gym. Everyone was encouraged to participate in all activities and to do one’s best.
“Looking back we remember well the Wednesday morning assemblies which brought us all together to share interests, concerns, and accomplishments. Poetry presentations, musical recitals, films of expeditions, and lectures of interest were frequent favorites. Renowned scholars, accomplished artists, and world travelers were brought to (the school) by our parents. Mrs. Linck’s wonderful music to which we walked, danced, and sang is in our memories. . . She taught us so much about people and places with folk music. What fortunate children we were to enjoy all of these activities, in an all-purpose assembly room decorated with the charming murals of Allen True. . . Every class was a joy, and many classes reinforced each other.
“As we continue looking back, we see the figure of our mother, Barbara Nunn, late at night laboring over costumes for a play or the Christmas choir gowns. As with so many Graland parents, she willingly devoted her time and talent to the same visions and dreams which shaped the school. She loved and admired Georgia Nelson who was largely responsible for making those dreams come true.”