|Neha Prasad ’12 was thrilled to welcome her role model Christine Lagarde ’74 as she arrived on campus for Commencement.|
Returning home from a family trip last summer, Neha Prasad ’12 found herself waiting to board her flight with none other than Christine Lalouette Lagarde ’74. She approached the IMF chief and introduced herself, explaining that she, too, went to Holton. “I was pretty star struck,” explained Neha. During the flight home, “I got to thinking about how down-to-earth and inspiring she was. She was incredibly easy to talk to and relate to. I then realized how amazing it would be to have her as a graduation speaker. If she was able to inspire me during our five minute conversation, I could only imagine her delivering the graduation address!”
On the ground in the U.S., Neha hurried to catch up to Lagarde, determined to ask the big question: Would Lagarde speak to her graduating class at this year’s Commencement? “I was preparing for a rejection, but she completely lit up with my request. She told me if there was any school she would do this for, it would be Holton. She explained how even though she only spent a year at Holton, it was still a great place for her.”
Neha wrote to Lagarde with a formal request and in return received a handwritten letter of thanks from Lagarde and confirmation from her office that the distinguished alumna would indeed speak at the 110th Commencement Exercises.