Skip To Main Content
Ellen Strickler ’53

A board member, committee chair, fundraiser, leader, and recipient of the Service to Emma Willard Award, Ellen Strickler ’53 has shown a lifetime commitment to her school.

“I had to persuade my parents that going to boarding school was something I really wanted to do,” Ellen recalls. “At my previous school, I felt I had been labeled as an occasional troublemaker, with my father being called in once by the headmistress to discuss my behavior. My antics were pretty tame in today’s context, but perceptions of students are always hard to change. I somehow knew that a fresh start and the ability to remake my profile were important in aiming for a selective college.”

Ellen was editor of The Clock and remembers her time on Mount Ida fondly. “Emma Willard expanded my horizons with students from different parts of the US and a new familiarity with upstate and western New York,” she shares. “The correlated curriculum presented an educational framework that still makes sense. I enjoyed our trips to the Troy Music Hall, the RPI Saturday ice skating program, and outside speakers.”

From alumnae activities to Board participation, she has been inspired to stay connected. “Adolescence is an important period for a girl to get through successfully, and my Emma Willard experience gave me confidence that helped in the rest of my life’s journey,” she says. “My friendships made at Emma Willard have lasted; even now, my classmates are planning to reconnect in Santa Barbara in April for another mini-reunion.”

A longtime leader and partner in support of the entire Emma Willard community, Ellen has made unrestricted giving her priority. “I think if you believe in an institution, your contributions should go to the practical ways of sustaining its future,” she explains. “Therefore, unrestricted giving is usually my preferred way of supporting this belief.”

  • Alumnae
  • advancement