News Detail

RE alumni celebrate three special alumni from afar

More than 250 alumni gathered remotely on April 24 for Ransom Everglades’ 2021 Virtual Alumni Day, a first-time event that offered a slate of alumni activities. The livestreamed opening program emceed by Alumni Board Co-Presidents Enrique Conde ’97 and James G. Weaver, Jr. ’90 recognized the 2020 and 2021 Head of School’s Award winners.

The special event – which also included several virtual class reunions and RE’s inagural poetry competition – brought a special announcement. Head of School Penny Townsend revealed that she had selected two Head of School’s Award recipients – Vanessa Chartouni-de la Serna ’90 and Andrew L. Ansin ’81 – for 2020, as well as Susan Matson Lampen ’71 for 2021. Alumni weekend was not held in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Chartouni-de la Serna helped Ransom Everglades raise more than $3 million as alumni chair for The Fund for RE in 2019-20, and she also served as co-chair of the Class of 1990 30-year Reunion. Ansin, a former board chair, promised a $5 million donation if the RE community reached the $70 million threshold by June in its REinventing Excellence campaign, a pledge that helped the school reach more than $82 million. And Lampen, a current trustee, and her family named the Lampen Family Wellness Center, honoring their commitment to student health and wellness. “The Head of School’s Award recognizes alumni whose commitment and service to the school serve as an inspiration to all alumni,” Townsend said. Vanessa “has kept her positivity and energy at an all-time high during this challenging year, energizing her fellow alumni.”
                Added Townsend: “I couldn’t be more grateful to Andy for his generosity and leadership … [and] we are very grateful to Susan for her vision, concern for our students’ wellbeing and deep support of our school during this challenging time.”
2020 Head of School’s Award
Vanessa Chartouni-de la Serna ’90
Co-chair of the Class of 1990
30-year Reunion
Past Alumni Chair for The Fund for RE 
Member of RE Athletic Hall of Fame
Co-founder of the Families for Fragile X and the Steps for Success School
“I often say that I feel closer and more connected to Ransom Everglades today, 31 years after I graduated, than I ever did as a student, and that speaks to the incredible uniqueness of our school and our outstanding faculty, and the amazing RE community. This isn’t a place that’s just about academics; it’s a place where you make connections and a community for life.”
 – Vanessa Chartouni-de la Serna ’90
2020 Head of School’s Award
Andrew L. Ansin ’81
Trustee since 2010
Past Chair of the Board of Trustees (2018-20)
Past Co-chair of Buildings and Grounds Committee
President and CEO, Sunbeam Development Corporation

“For me, Ransom Everglades is more than just a school …  it’s really an institution for the community. Our giving, and our support to Ransom Everglades, helps not just our kids and students, but really the whole community, and it’s wonderful for South Florida.”
 – Andrew L. Ansin ’81
2021 Head of School’s Award
Susan Matson Lampen ’71
Trustee since 2017
Member, Student Life Committee
Member, Diversity, Equity and
Inclusion Committee
Founder and board member, Casa Valentina, a non-profit that supports at-risk and former foster care youth

“Making our community a better place for our family and for Ransom Everglades has been a constant call.
It is an honor to continue to impart these values to the next generation of Ransom Everglades students.”
 – Susan Matson Lampen '71
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.