146 years later an indefatigable spirit still inspires.
This is the first of what I hope will be many postings on the Scudder 2.0 website.
The fact that you are reading this is due largely to two people Ida S. Scudder, an “American Saint”and Richard Scudder, the proverbial “Man behind the curtain”. Two people whose capacity to help has been inspirational.
It is fitting that we are celebrating Aunt Ida’s birthday here today.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
The path to this posting began when I attended my first Scudder Association Annual Dinner, at the Yale Club, in New York, several years ago.
My sister had heard about it and thought it would be fun. I was a bit less enthusiastic about going than she as I had always thought the Association was mostly about sifting through arcane genealogical records of Scudders long gone. Yet, I had a vain curiosity to see what a room full of Scudder’s might look like, my wife Barbara was equally curious, so we accepted.
We were pleasantly surprised to walk into a room of 150 strangers and find ourselves instantly at home. It was like attending a family reunion filled with cousins, we’d never met.
An unexpected surprise came when Cy Sherman, a long standing officer of the Association, gave a presentation on her Aunt Ida.
During the course of her talk, I found myself falling in love with the woman “holding on to her hat” with one hand and a donkey cart with the other. Her pluck and compassion filled me with admiration and admittedly a little guilt.
Her example inspired me on so many levels, as a Scudder, an American and finally as a person. She was simply the best. A “Scudder”, outside my immediate family, I could truly be proud of.
So it was imbued with Aunt Ida’s spirit, that I accepted the Association’s President, Rob Fish’s invitation to help get the word out.
Working with Katie Gross, my brother George and several “Friends of the Association” we endeavored to create a system that would take the Association into the 21st Century. A daunting task on limited resources.
However, in our darkest hour, Aunt Ida, sent an angel, Cousin Richard Scudder, of Scudder Technologies, Phoenix, Arizona, to ride in with his white hat and save the day.
For the last year he and his consultants, have worked diligently to assemble a digital member resource management system, and social media system that is state of the art. We all owe a true debt of gratitude to Richard.
While I am on the subject of thanksgiving, both Richard and I would like to express our appreciation for the patience, forbearance and confidence that Katie, George, Rob and the Board have demonstrated during the course of this project. We pray you find it worth the wait.
In the months ahead I look forward to using this venue, as well as FaceBook, LinkedIn and other social media to update members on the great work that continues to be done both here and abroad on behalf of the Scudder Association. I would encourage other members to contribute their thoughts and news here as well. It is my sincere hope that as you witness the continuing results of the good work begun by the Scudders nearly 200 years ago, you will share my sense of pride.
Let us celebrate Aunt Ida’s birthday and spirit and her endeavor as “cousins” to perpetuate them both.
William S. Scudder
Watch how much difference one woman can make.