Letters to the Editor

Impact of Mercer Island High School

How much did Stanley Ann Dunham’s education at Mercer Island High School make a difference in the direction of her life? How much did it make a difference in the life of her children, most particularly in the life of her son, now President Barack Obama?

For those of us who raised children here or attended school here, we ask the same question for ourselves. How much did attending MIHS make a difference in our lives or the lives of our children?

As Mercer Island residents learn more about Stanley Ann Dunham’s life on Mercer Island in this, the 50th year following her graduation from MIHS, we are seeing an effort by the current graduating class to bring President Obama to be the commencement speaker in June.

We are seeing the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund created to award the first annual scholarship to a young female student with similar values to those that Stanley Ann exhibited in her life — respectful intercultural communication, a focus on eradicating poverty and oppression, and improving the status of women worldwide.

There are several new books on President Obama and the influences on his life coming out shortly. One, “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,” by respected author David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine, explores the impact of his mother’s schooling on Mercer Island on her life and his, among many other influences.

The book is being released this week. Remnick will also be speaking at Town Hall in Seattle on April 19 for those who would like to hear him talk about our new president and, hopefully, about his mother and the impact of her education here on the Island.

Lynn Allen

Allen is a 1966 graduate of Mercer Island High School and on the Board of the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund.

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