GPS senior Taylor Walden was in for a surprise on Tuesday, April 15, when it was revealed that when she was in fifth grade, her parents had secretly funded the front room of the GPS Student Center.
Called “The Ben,” after C. Ben Harnsberger, who named GPS in his estate, the main study area of the center was dedicated on Wednesday, April 16, as the Leigh “Taylor” Walden Room. At an early morning ceremony, family, friends, and faculty gathered to enjoy a breakfast and listen as Taylor’s advisors and friends paid tribute to her “strong work ethic” as well as her “diligent, delightful” nature.
“This room is the heart of student study,” said Interim Head of School Dr. Sue Groesbeck. “It’s full of energy and collaboration.” Identifying Taylor as “part of a spectacular senior class,” Dr. Groesbeck recalled the mornings and afternoons she walks by “The Ben” and sees students sharing sincere conversations or getting warm by the fire.
Weesie Cook, advisor to the Community Service Council, of which Taylor is co-chair, applauded Taylor’s “sincere desire to help others,” and Board member Lisa Shanahan thanked the Walden family for their “deep-rooted philanthropic support.”