News from the May Dell - July, 2021

From the Head of School

Kris Sorrells campus brick building background

Dear Friends,

We are busy preparing for the fall semester at the Academy, which is just around the corner! We are excited about our new spaces and look forward to sharing them with all of you next time you visit campus.

Throughout our move we have uncovered many wonderful treasures, important items that speak to the history of our school. Old yearbooks, notes from students, Academy rings, diplomas from the 1940s, photographs, student artwork, event programs, and more have been found. Many items have been moved to our new spaces and many others have joined the Salem Academy and College Archives collection. 

As we near Salem’s 250th anniversary, you may wish to see these historical treasures and glimpses into our institution’s past. You can find stories about some of these items on the Salem Academy and College Archives Facebook page.

Kris Porazzi Sorrells
Head of School

President’s Corner

President Summer McGee in gray crosshatch suit

Dear Salem Friends,

It has been a remarkable first month at Salem Academy and College serving as its 22nd president. Besides learning to navigate Winston-Salem and eating more pimento cheese than I have in my lifetime, this month I also have learned about the incredible dedication that our faculty and staff have for this institution, the caliber and diversity of our student body, and the engagement and commitment our alumnae have to our institution.

As we enter this 250th year, we remember our extraordinarily rich history, celebrate our institutional success, and look excitedly toward an exceptionally vibrant future. I hope that you plan to join me in these celebrations this year and that we will have many opportunities to get to know each other better as we commemorate this anniversary and support Salem’s next 250 years.

We look forward to the Academy continuing to innovate and grow this academic year. This summer, the faculty and staff at the Academy have worked steadfastly to elevate the academic and student experiences at the Academy to even greater heights.

We are extremely excited to welcome our students back to campus in just a few short weeks. We continue to nimbly respond to the changes and challenges required by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we keep our entire campus community healthy and safe this academic year.

Thank you for your warm welcome to Salem and to the broader community. I am so happy and proud to call Salem Academy and College my new home.


Summer McGee
Make a difference bench on campus

You Make Salem Strong!

Thanks to the support of our alumnae and friends, the Salem Academy Fund ended the fiscal year strong by raising $768,789 and exceeding our $550,000 goal. We could not have done this without the 446 donors who made a difference by investing in the future of Salem’s remarkable students. We would also like to give a special shout out to our alumnae who made gifts in honor of their Reunions. Please see the final Reunion giving results below:

Salem Academy Reunion Giving July 2021 click for details

We are grateful for your support!

250th Celebration

Journey from Bethlehem to Salem teaser

Journey from Bethlehem to Salem

Registration for the Journey from Bethlehem to Salem closes August 20. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join your fellow Salem alumnae and friends on this special walk from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Winston-Salem. Walk one day or all 29 or join us virtually! Learn more and register to be part of the journey.

Save the Date for Honor the Past. Ignite the Future. An Evening for Salem

The kick-off to our 250 Celebration on Saturday, September 25, 2021, includes a concert with the Winston-Salem Symphony featuring the world premiere of Gaudeamus, a commissioned piece composed by Margaret Vardell Sandresky A’38 C’42. If you can’t make it to the Salem campus, don’t worry, the concert will be live streamed. Host a dinner party and enjoy the concert in the comfort of your own home! Tickets will be on sale soon! Visit our website for more information about "An Evening for Salem".

Alumnae in the News!

Kris Sorrells and Jessamyn Stanley at a book signingJessamyn Stanley, A’05, published her newest book YOKE: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance in June. Through humorous and honest autobiographical essays, YOKE aims to help readers find self-acceptance both on and off the mat. Learn more about this new title on Jessamyn’s website.

Bookmarks in Winston-Salem hosted a book launch event for YOKE on June 22. Head of School Kris Sorrells, along with several other Salem supporters, attended the event that night. Ms. Sorrells and Jessamyn are pictured at the event in the photo above.

To learn more about Jessamyn’s impressive career as a yoga teacher and author visit Jessamyn’s website.

Student Spotlight: Destiny Hale A’23

Destiny Hale A'23

Destiny Hale A’23 recently competed in the Coolidge Cup, a national invitational speech and debate tournament sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation held in Plymouth, Vermont. The Coolidge Cup takes place in President Coolidge’s historic hometown each year during the week of the Fourth of July.

To earn her spot in the tournament, Destiny, a first-time debater, competed virtually in the varsity category at The Coolidge Cup Qualifier at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Saturday, March 27, 2021.

Destiny performed extremely well throughout the entire Coolidge Cup weekend and enjoyed meeting fellow debaters from around the country. She was undefeated until quarter finals and won 6 of her 7 rounds. She was awarded a leather journal and $500 in scholarship money.


There’s still time for prospective students to apply for fall 2021. We would love your help as we look for great applicants. Let anyone know, who may be interested in learning more, that prospective students can schedule in-person, socially distanced tours with the Admissions office. Visit Salem Academy or call 336-721-2643.

Road to Salem 250

The Road to the 250th

250 Years of Salem Academy and College: The Governance Legacy

Throughout its 250-year history, Salem Academy and College has been nurtured and protected by governing boards composed of trustees dedicated to the mission of educating girls and women. Each era in Salem’s history has called upon trustees in times of trial and triumph, and of preservation and growth, to be resilient and focused on the relevance of the mission for present and future students. While wars and pestilences and economic downturns have challenged its very survival, the dedication of faculty, staff, administration, the Moravian Church, alumnae, and the governing board ensured that students would continue to find the best possible education at Salem Academy and College.

From the minutes books of the Board of Trustees during the 1920s and 30s, a story emerges that illustrates the resilience and tenacity of trustees who came to the Board during a time of relative economic calm but were abruptly thrust into the Great Depression and all the hardships that entailed.

The 1920s began with some major milestones at Salem: the discontinuation of grades one through five at The Preparatory School in 1921, and the official acceptance of the College as a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1922. Salem finally realized relief from the impact of World War I and the flu epidemic of 1918, and a small profit from fiscal year 1924 helped to offset a deficit acquired between 1920 and 1922. One of Salem’s investment strategies at the time included making individual loans to community members. Reports from the Finance Committee and full Board meetings indicate this practice was ongoing, profitable for the institution, and must have been a great help to the community.

Then, October 29, 1929. The stock market crash is never referenced as such in the Board minutes, but the devastating effect on Salem’s financial situation comes through poignantly in the recorded facts.

By 1931, those community member loans and student loans were not being repaid. Food costs for the dining hall went up by 20-25 percent, and enrollment was down. Austerity measures, including salary cuts and employee cuts, were implemented, and the anguish of the Board was formally expressed in the minutes and to the faculty and staff. The Board met ever more frequently, and often the minutes referred to the “lateness of the hour.” References were made to the “great financial emergency in our present condition” and to the “unprecedented financial difficulties of these times.”

By 1934, Salem was beginning to realize an improved financial situation, including “living within the year’s budget.” The following is recorded in the minutes of June 8, 1934: “A general expression of appreciation and congratulations regarding the improved financial status of the corporation was voiced by the members of the Board as a whole and it was desired that this be recorded in the minutes.”

There are many stories in Salem’s extraordinary resilient history; there will be many more to come, and those who are tapped for service will always stand ready to defend and promote Salem.

To all trustees, past and present, with my deep respect and gratitude,

Lynne Stewart C’97
Former Director of Board Relations at Salem Academy and College

Alumnae Newsletter Archives

Latest News

Cherokee Commemoration

Thursday, November 17, 2022
On October 22, more than 30 descendants of Cherokee Moravian students, who attended Salem in the 19th century, came to campus for a celebration to commemorate their ancestors.

Today We Honor Those Who Served

Friday, November 11, 2022
To our Salem community members and loved ones who have selflessly served in our armed forces, we thank you and appreciate your sacrifice.

Junéja, Peck, Juran, Moulton and Zifchak Join Salem Academy and College

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Ranked No. 7 Private High School in North Carolina...