On Saturday, September 30th, multiple generations of our family gathered in sunny Pully to celebrate a major milestone: 120 years of Collège Champittet. With inspirational speakers, heart-warming stories and moving performances, we shared an unforgettable day to honour a very special occasion.
Alumni, current students, parents, teachers, staff and public figures joined us for this unique moment. Together, we took a walk down memory lane with Head of School and Champittet alumnus Philippe de Korodi, who shared highlights from the school’s history.
The audience also enjoyed musical performances featuring soprano Barbara Hendricks (herself the mother and grandmother of Champittet alumni) and violinist Marc Tairraz, as well as student participants.
In parallel to her career as an opera singer, Barbara Hendricks is a Lifetime UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. She shared the moving account of her journey from growing up as a Black girl of modest means in the segregated US south to becoming a world-class Juilliard-trained artist and dedicated human rights activist.In her words, “I was born like a refugee, or a stateless person, in my own country. I didn’t benefit from the same protections in the eyes of the law, or the same rights, as any other white child born on the same day in the same place.”
Educators, starting with her own mother, a teacher, played a vital role in her life. In the so-called “separate but equal” schools of her childhood, she credits her teachers with having “the vocation and passion to transmit not only their knowledge, but also a vision of a better future”. Barbara Hendricks has since devoted her life to building a better future, working in particular to support the rights of refugees.
Talented public figures such as Board Chairman Jérôme de Meyer, explorer and Champittet alumnus Bertrand Piccard, and State Councillor Frederic Borloz also shared their experiences and paid tribute to the school.
Over the course of a magical evening, our celebration of Champittet was a joyous reunion between colleagues, friends and other members of the community.
A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this historic and exceptional occasion. Your presence made this a day to remember!