Corrente Walk Dedication Marks a New Path for the Crescent

“With Corrente Walk . . . the Crescent has come into its own, with a beautiful and distinctive landscape that gives it a unique presence on the Lawrenceville campus, just as the girls have carved out a singular presence for themselves in the life of our School.” With these words, on May 4 before an audience of trustees, Crescent House presidents and housemasters, and other special guests, Tom Carter ’70 P’01 ’05 led the dedication of Corrente Walk, a striking pedestrian path that has transformed the look and feel of the Crescent.
 
Corrente Walk, which meanders from the roadway behind Cleve House to the parking area behind Irwin Dining Center, replaces the former Crescent road, thus creating a tranquil plaza that incorporates the Bath House Café and the expansive green space behind Bunn Library. As Tom pointed out, at the same time Corrente Walk elevated the status of the Crescent, it “has moved Lawrenceville a step closer to the goal of a carless core, and provides an example of how this vision might one day be achieved.”
 
A gift from Lawrenceville trustee Judith-Ann Corrente H’01 P’98 ’01 and her daughter, Corrie Schankler ’98, Corrente Walk is only the most recent expression of their commitment to the young women of Lawrenceville. Judith, with Corrie at her side, has been instrumental in establishing or supporting a series of actions to empower women at Lawrenceville, from WILL, Women in Leadership at Lawrenceville, to the Quarter Century Society; from the Crescent House Initiative to the more recent campaign that transformed the Bath House and made the Crescent a popular destination on campus. Judith’s commitment earned her a place on the Board of Trustees in 1998; in 2011, at their 10th Reunion, the Class of 2001 named Judith an honorary member; and in 2013 she received the Arthur G. Hailand, Jr. H’34 P’69 ’70 GP’91 Admirable Achievement Award for dedicated service to the School by a non-alumnus.
 
A ribbon-cutting by Tom, Judith, Corrie, and Head Master Steve Murray H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21 made the dedication official. Judith thanked Director of Advancement Mary Kate Barnes H’59 ’77 P’11 ’13 ’19 and Head Master Murray for the opportunity to make such a “transformational” gift, “a term not usually applied to landscaping,” but appropriate to a project that “brings a new equilibrium to campus.” She also thanked her husband, Wim Kooyker P’98 ’01, Corrie, and sons Terence Kooyker ’01 and Noah Schankler, for their support.
 
Corrie acknowledged the role Lawrenceville has played in her life, saying, “My decision to come to Lawrenceville was the most important one I ever made.” Praising her mother’s work on behalf of women and education, she added, “Corrente Walk is a perfect tribute to someone who has always been determined to blaze a new trail.”
 
Head Master Murray paid his own tribute to Judith and Corrie. “Looking back on the history of their involvement with the School, I see a degree of dedication that extends far beyond financial support and volunteer work for coeducation initiatives . . . They feel this cause deeply, and I believe it’s because of that, because they understand on such an essential level the often sharp divide between “that’s just the way things are” and the way they should be, that they have been so influential in helping us reach this point of full equality, if you will, for the Crescent.” He presented each of them with a large-scale framed photograph of Corrente Walk in recognition of their vision and generosity, and thanked them “on behalf of The Lawrenceville School, the Board of Trustees, and the many, many girls who will benefit from your gift.”
 
Acting Lawrenceville Chaplain Phil Jordan ’85 delivered a Buddhist blessing to close the ceremony.
 
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Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.