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Alumni Perspective: Being Our Free, Wild Selves

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

By Leigha (Wilbur) Weinberg ‘92 & Chloe (Redmond) Warner ‘91


Sussex is 50 years old. That’s 50 years of a whole lot of Danish stuff happening in a tucked away corner of Montana. Danish hearts, that Danish almond cake, and the Danish game hoho dingding. Was that Danish? Who knows, but that's what we go with when we explain all the eccentricities we carry with us from our years at Sussex. Telling people they are "abusing our rights?" Danish. The cozy feeling of contentment we feel when we think about all the wonderful people we know from our years at Sussex? OMG. That's Hygge, people.

Sussex School Sorting Hat

Over the past 50 years some of the Danish traditions have faded and new ones have taken their place. For example, a gross-looking, but clearly beloved sorting hat (we don’t judge), and a far more professional ice rink. And we imagine none of today’s 8th grade classes are singing Bob Marley with a Jamaican lilt at their graduations, which we can all agree is a good thing. Maybe there’s less of exactly what we did when we were at Sussex, but that’s the whole point. Sussex is a school that evolves and grows with the people who inhabit it. We all ski and rock climb, and eat terrible homemade lunches, and take terrific trips, and we leave a little something of ourselves at the school that shaped us into who we are. Then the next class comes in and the cycle continues.

"Sussex is a school that evolves and grows with the people who inhabit it."

Across all those years and changes, we all know we are part of something special. A community with a healthy respect for math and a healthy distrust of standardized tests. A community who knows what it feels like to have a truly customized education and to receive that education while soaked through to the underwear in ditch water.

At Sussex, we got to be our free, wild selves while receiving a (mostly) first-rate education. And though we graduated from Sussex in the early 90’s and haven’t lived in Montana for decades, we still leap at the chance to see our Sussex friends and feel deeply connected to the Sussex community.

Warner (Left) Weinberg (Right)

So, on this special anniversary, to the school that made us who we are today, we are each making a contribution. A contribution that acknowledges the vision of the one and only Bente Winston, and gives a nod across the decades to the current Sussex families who are just learning what it means to have children that think they should get to vote on everything.

We hope you'll join us in making a gift.


Leigha Weinberg, (class of '90) is an attorney with a strong interest in helping women, children, and families in need. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters.

Chloe Warner (class of '91) is an interior designer who founded Redmond Aldrich Design. She resides in Oakland with her husband and two kids.

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