At Columbus Academy’s annual Alumni Holiday Luncheon on December 22, Bill McMenamy ’58 was honored as the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus and Kay Mason received the Alumni Service Award.

“Columbus Academy was and still is an outstanding school,” stated McMenamy, whose granddaughters are current CA students. “I am proud to be an alumnus of the Academy and that my parents believed in its value. It prepared me to further my education and to be successful in my career.” Bill was introduced by his classmate Steve Brown ’58, who included a message from former Headmaster Bo Dixon in his heartfelt tribute.

According to Mason, who started as a first grade teacher at Academy in 1991 and served in many other roles before relocating to New Orleans in 2018: “My goal was to create classrooms where real conversations could be explored safely, where questions could be asked without judgment, where laughter and joy were certainly always present, and where personal connections were created and developed and maintained.” She received a warm introduction from her childhood friend and former Academy colleague Deidre Hamlar.

In all that has changed at Columbus Academy over the decades, including effects of a pandemic over the past two years, one tradition that has strongly endured is the Junior Speech. For that reason, Jacob Mowery ’23 was invited to share his recent speech pondering the question of whether robots can write poetry. “His story is certainly one I hope we see more of at Academy,” said Head of School Melissa Soderberg in her introduction of Jacob. “Students from all over different parts of the city finding their way to us and giving us what they have to offer and hoping that we get to be part of developing them.”