Wisdom, Duty, Friendship, Beauty: Edna Strnad '42

Wisdom, Duty, Friendship, Beauty: Edna Strnad '42

Edna Dawley Strnad ’42 says that entering Hathaway Brown as a new student was like entering the story of The Secret Garden. “It was all about girls and only girls. They were springing up like flowers everywhere. It was just beautiful and I loved every minute of it!” 

Edna's HB years were full of special memories. She happily recalls attending weekly chapel when the girls would sing together and listen to Miss Coburn share words of wisdom. At her graduation in 1942, Edna was valedictorian. 

Today, Hathaway Brown is thrilled to display her beautiful dress from graduation day and to celebrate Edna’s commitment and faithfulness to Hathaway Brown. In 1981, she and her husband, James J. “Budd” Strnad, established the Edna Dawley Strnad Fellowships in Creativity. Buoyed by the couple’s generosity, generations of students have developed new talents, cracked codes, explored their artistic sides, studied a variety of disciplines, and found innovative ways of looking at, and allowing others to see, the world. Even at age 100, Strnad Fellows see Edna at the presentations year after years she curiously listens, takes notes, and demonstrates how she cares deeply about the projects. She also continues to serve on the HB board, having been named a life trustee in 1986. “Hathaway Brown was so very foundational in my life,” Edna shares. “And I truly value the motto: learn not for school, but for life!” 

Edna Dawley Strnad '42 in Her Graduation Dress
Nina Strnad '74 in Wearing Her Mother's Dress for Her Own Graduation
Edna Dawley Strnad's '42 Graduation Dress

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