For Taylor Taliaferro ’06, this statement encompasses much: a degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), a career in sales and marketing, years spent in medical school culminating in May 2021 with a dual MD/MBA degree from Dell Medical School and McCombs School of Business at UT Austin, not to mention marriage and the birth of her son, Walker. Underlying all of these achievements and milestones is the firm foundation of Chatham Hall.
“I married my husband, Tim, in 2014 with seven of my closest Chatham Hall girls next to me,” said Taliaferro. “Chatham gave me lifelong friendships that I cherish every day. It taught me to not be afraid to speak up against injustice and to seek higher purpose in my life. I learned how to be confident and pursue my dreams.”
One faculty member who helped teach Taliaferro these life lessons was Ms. Cathy “La” LaDuke.
“La was my Advisor and boy did we have the best advisee group lunches and dinners! She always made our time together memorable and special, even helping me celebrate my birthday in the summer with a Funfetti birthday cake in the mail,” she said. “La ensured that I always felt supported and loved and, of course, reminded me to call home every once in a while. She embodies what I love so much about Chatham: acceptance and unconditional love.”
Taliaferro’s time on campus was so positive that with graduation came a wave of grief.
“I remember feeling so overwhelmed that my life would never be as happy as I was at Chatham Hall,” she said. “That I would miss my friends and our time together too much. What I didn't know then, and what has brought me immense joy since then, is that my life has only gotten more meaningful and special. The memories my friends and I have made since then including weddings, beach trips, visiting each other in foreign countries, and meeting their newborn babies, have given my life so much meaning. We've grown even closer in the years since leaving Chatham Hall … and it makes returning for reunions that much more special when you get to drive up the hill and know that you'll pick up right where you left off!”
The School’s Lantern Ceremony remains one of Taliaferro’s favorite Chatham Hall traditions.
“Lantern Ceremony makes me feel so connected to Chatham Hall and all the amazing women who were there before me and will come after me. I get chills just thinking about it now!”
An all girls boarding and day school in Southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers Advanced Placement courses, global study and travel, as well as project based learning. Our athletic teams regularly compete at the State level and our exceptional riding program is nationally recognized. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.