News from the May Dell - September, 2021

From the Head of School

Kris Sorrells campus brick building background

Dear Friends,

Salem runs deep through my soul. I believe in Salem Academy. I believe in our mission to educate compassionate and creative leaders. I know that the students who attend Salem are prepared not just for college but for opportunities and challenges that they may encounter later in life. I know that our students chart unique paths and leave with a curiosity that guides lifelong learning and the courage to try something new.

How do we do that? The faculty and staff see our students as individuals, and we push our students to go beyond the safe, comfortable norms of a high school education. Often, our faculty see our students’ strengths before they do. When that happens, we push—and sometimes push hard—because we know they can be successful.

Most importantly, Salem builds bonds that last a lifetime. This occurs because we know students learn from each other as much as they do from their teachers. So, we encourage peer-to-peer interaction. We have opportunities for upper grade students to mentor our younger students. 

That bond extends to more than just the students we currently serve, but it includes all the students who have walked through our doors. I encourage you, our alumnae, to find ways to interact with our current students, whether that be to sponsor internships, offer career advice, or write notes of encouragement and support. We also hope you will assist with introducing Salem Academy to more students by sharing your experience at Salem with others and volunteering to help with our admissions programming.

Kris Porazzi Sorrells
Head of School

Journey from Bethlehem to Salem

Journey from Bethlehem to Salem.jpg
Journey woman walking focus on shoes

The Journey to Salem Begins Monday, September 27!

The 500-mile Journey from Bethlehem to Salem will kick off next Monday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. On September 27, Salem friends, alumnae, and staff will enjoy tours of historic Bethlehem, take part in a service in the Old Chapel where the original Sisters would have worshipped before they set off for their journey to North Carolina, and enjoy dinner at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.

On Tuesday, September 28, 38 walkers will start the first leg of the journey with a celebratory send-off by the Mayor of Bethlehem, the President of Moravian University, the Head of Moravian Academy, and Craig Atwood, Dean of Moravian Theological Seminary and former Salem Academy and College Chaplain.

You can still participate in the once-in-a-lifetime Journey virtually! Visit for more details. You can also join the us for the last leg of the Journey when we will walk from Bethabara to Salem. You can walk with us all 6.8 miles on October 26, join us at downtown’s Corpening Plaza at 3:30 p.m. to walk the last four blocks, or be at Salem Square by 4 p.m. to greet us for our Homecoming celebration!

Team 250
From left: Sarah Ravenel A’22, Mira Fitch A’22, Markl Ryals C’22)

Meet Team 250

Team 250, a student group of volunteers, serve as the face of the 250th celebration of Salem Academy and College. Comprised of three Academy (Mira Fitch A’22, Sarah Ravenel A’22, and Ann Riley Harman A’24) and seven College students (Azly Santos-Benitez C’24, Markl Ryals C’22, Cassie Jo Cunningham C’22, Haley McDonough C’22, Emily McManus C’22, Alexus Little C’22, and Mariana Rubio C’22), Team 250 can be found assisting with events, interacting with alumnae, and sharing the history of Salem Academy and College. We hope you will say hello to this distinguished group if you see them!

Updates from the Salem Academy Alumnae Board

As a young alumna, Barbra Treston A’05, is a valuable new member of the Salem Academy Alumnae Board who is bringing new ideas and an energetic spirit. Her professional background as a mental health counselor and accomplishments at Salem Academy make her an ideal Member at Large to serve in many capacities on the Alumnae Board. She has served as the Class Correspondent for the Class of 2005 and has participated in several reunions. As she stated during the nomination process, “I'm eager to utilize my talents for project management, networking, and creative problem-solving to strengthen the Salem Alumnae community and to help ensure that Salem continues to nurture future generations of leaders.”

Katharine Jennings A’87 has had an impressive career in the field of education and will bring to Salem Academy and to the Alumnae Board a valuable perspective for future students, parents, faculty, and administration. As a former teacher and administrator in K–College and now, as an educational consultant, Katharine understands the needs and challenges of our potential students and families in terms of programming, financial, and institutional strength for high-impact educational experiences. Since graduating, she has consistently supported the Academy Fund and has attended many reunions. Katharine and her family recently moved to Greensboro from Washington, D.C. As a Member at Large living close to Salem, Katharine is committed to providing hands-on assistance with campus events as well as helping articulate the exciting changes that are occurring at the Academy.

Julia Cardwell Archer A’84, will be continuing her service to the Alumnae Board in a different capacity as a Member at Large. Julia previously served as one of two Alumna Trustees who were simultaneously on the Academy Alumnae Board and the Academy and College Board of Trustees. When the Board of Trustees streamlined and reformed its structure, it eliminated the trustee positions for both the Academy and College alumnae boards. However, Julia will remain on the Board of Trustees and serve as Chair of the Academy Committee. The Alumnae Board would like to retain her depth of experience and knowledge of institutional governance on the Academy Alumnae Board, so they are delighted that she is willing to continue serving as a Member at Large for another three-year term.

In June, Andrea Passafiume A’88, who served two terms on the Alumnae Board as Member at Large, completed her term of service. She has been a wonderful ambassador for Salem, and her love of and commitment to the Academy came through in so many ways. Andrea lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. and made the drive back to Winston-Salem many times to attend meetings. She attended several local D.C. area alumnae events and organized a number of them herself, including a memorable walking tour “in the footsteps of Jackie O” in Georgetown, and co-hosted a tea for area alumnae with the visiting head of school. She also attended Salem Days, where she met with prospective students and their families and answered questions they had about the Salem experience; she hosted a senior for a Jan Term honors internship in documentary film and TV editing; and she led an American Sign Language class for Salem students to participate in remotely. The members of the Board have enjoyed working with Andrea and she will be missed.

Admissions is Busy Recruiting Students for Fall 2022

The Salem Academy Admissions Office is thrilled to welcome prospective students and families to campus for our Fall Open House on Sunday, October 24 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Nothing compares to being on our beautiful campus! Students and families will have the opportunity to tour the Academy facilities, sample student life and academic offerings, and learn about the application and scholarship processes. Please help us promote this event as part of our efforts to recruit the next generation of Salem Academy scholars!

Please contact Jessica Rogers ( in the Admissions Office with any questions.

Road to Salem 250

The Road to the 250th

During the week of September 13, Salem began the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the school’s founding with historical presentations sponsored by the Anna Maria Samuel Project: Race, Remembrance, and Reconciliation at Salem Academy and College. The week’s programs were organized by Jessi Bowman C’18 and Shayla Herndon-Edmunds, consultant for diversity, equity and inclusion at the Academy and College. 

Separate events were held for Academy and College students early in the week to unveil the new historical markers on campus. I led a special Assembly in front of the Single Sisters House to explain the history behind the new markers and to remember the names of those who were enslaved at Salem.

historic marker - Inspector's House

The public events began in Shirley Recital Hall with Wednesday night’s historic presentation by Martha Hartley, Director of Moravian Research and co-chair of the Hidden Town Project at Old Salem Museums & Gardens. She was joined by a community panel comprised of members of the Anna Maria Samuel Project. Fifty people attended in person while over 60 watched the livestream.

On Friday afternoon, the campus welcomed 75 people to tour the new historical markers that tell the story of African Americans, who were enslaved by Salem Academy and College before 1865, and those who continued to work at the school into the 20th century. The markers are located in front of the Inspector’s House, South Residence Hall, and Bahnson Residence Hall. The day ended with a ceremony at St. Philips Moravian Church where Jeannie White gave a moving rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing.

singer on stage at a mic

In addition, visitors to campus were invited to explore the Single Sisters Museum, which officially reopened this fall with new exhibits. The expansion of the museum was spearheaded by committee co-chairs, Gwynne Taylor C’72 and Paula Locklair. Carrie Leigh Dickey C’00 designed the exhibits. The new material reflects what has been learned through the research of Anna McCoy Smith C’98 and Jessi Bowman about the Cherokee Moravian students of the 19th century as well as the enslaved students and workers who were part of Salem in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum is open to the public and is free. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

For more information on the continuing historical work at Salem Academy and College, please visit The Anna Maria Samuel Project website.

Michelle Hopkins Lawrence
Co-chair of The Anna Maria Samuel Project: Race, Remembrance, and Reconciliation at Salem Academy and College
History Department Salem Academy

AMS date stone teaser

Watch the Anna Maria Samuel Project Events Online

If you missed the two powerful events presented by the Anna Maria Samuel Project: Race, Remembrance, and Reconciliation at Salem Academy and College and outlined in the Road to 250th story above, you can watch them online. Visit event page: Historical Presentation and Community Panel to see the recording of the livestream of the historic presentation by Martha Hartley, Director of Moravian Research and co-chair of the Hidden Town Project at Old Salem Museums & Gardens. She was joined by a community panel comprised of members of the Anna Maria Samuel Project.

A video of the tour of the new historical markers that tell the story of African Americans, who were enslaved by Salem Academy and College before 1865, and those who continued to work at the school into the 20th century will be posted on the same page soon.

Save the Date

Alumnae Save The Date

  • Wilmington Area Alumnae Event – Monday, October 11 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Triangle Club Alumnae Event – Tuesday, October 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Salem Academy TODAY: An Academy Update – Tuesday, October 19 (Virtual Event) 7 p.m.
  • Career Crafting with Collier – Wednesday, October 20 (Virtual Event) Noon
  • Under 40 Virtual Event – Thursday, October 21 from 7 to 8 p.m.
  • Asheville Area Alumnae Event – Sunday, October 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.


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