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The Archer School Celebrates Strides for Women with 2013 Graduating Class Commencement


The Archer School for Girls celebrated the power of possibility for girls and women in the annual commencement ceremonies held June 1 on the Archer Athletic Field on the historic school campus located in the Brentwood community of Los Angeles. The theme, which resonated throughout the ceremony’s diverse presentations, was the power of engagement, not only as the instrument of individual achievement, but also of social and cultural change.

The commencement address was given by the dynamic Angella Nazarian, author and advocate for women’s empowerment. In her upbeat remarks, Nazarian emphasized the need for women to creatively champion one another, citing the unlikely alliance between Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald. When Jim Crow- era nightclub owners refused to book Fitzgerald, Monroe offered to take a front row seat at each performance in order to provoke a flurry of media coverage, thus striking a blow against the color line.

Ms. Nazarian was introduced by Student Body President, Hannah Eshagian, which was preceded by a welcome address by Barbara Bruser, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees, and Elizabeth English, Head of School. Ms. English cited Ms. Bruser as a compelling role model for her success in a male-dominated field. Barbara Bruser is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at First Republic Investment Management with 36 years of wealth management experience, and was named one of the nation’s top 250 wealth advisors by Worth magazine.

The keynote student speech was given by Abrielle Josephson, who is the 2013 recipient of the Gary David Goldberg Award, and who will be attending Pratt Institute next fall. This award was created by the late television writer and producer, Gary David Goldberg, who not only brought innovative programming to network prime-time, but also championed women’s workplace standards in the entertainment industry.

The Archer Commencement program featured several other awards in key areas of the sciences, arts and humanities. Of the diverse and prestigious accomplishments of the class of 2013, Elizabeth English commented, “Although we are a school of only 430 students, Archer girls hail from 141 different feeder schools and 87 different zip codes. We have always had a passionate commitment to providing educational access to girls from across the city. Our diversity distinguishes us and stands as one of our principal strengths. The young women behind me today have learned many things at Archer, but the empathy, understanding and ability to team with those who are very different from themselves is a lesson that will underlie their every success, both personal and professional.â€

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