On Sept. 21, Chatham Hall marked its 33rd Lee-Yardley Day celebrating those whose lives have impacted the School. The day’s very name recognizes Drs. Lee and Yardley, both former rectors who served Chatham Hall for a total of 43 years.
“These two distinguished rectors, with back-to-back tenures in office, built our School to a position of national prominence in independent education,” Rector Rachel Connell said as she introduced the day to the Chatham Hall and local community members in St. Mary’s Chapel. “Dr. Edmund J. Lee served as chaplain and headmaster from 1928 to 1949. The Lee Library is named for Dr. Lee and his wife, Lucy. Dr. William Yardley was the chaplain and headmaster for whom the building containing the dining hall is named. He served the School from 1949 to 1971.”
During the Lee-Yardley Day Chapel service, Dr. Alexis Ehrhardt was honored with the Alice Overbey Award. Named for a beloved neighbor, past parent, and more than 20-year employee of Chatham Hall, the Alice Overbey Award recognizes demonstrated, outstanding commitment and service to Chatham Hall by an individual from the greater Chatham community.
Ehrhardt is the executive director of state government relations and special assistant to the president of the University of Virginia. Previously, she served as the president & CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce where her work focused on serving the business community to make a stronger Dan River Region. Prior to that, she was the founding executive director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness at Averett University. Erhardt is also a past director of admission of Chatham Hall.
A 2016 graduate of Lead Virginia, Erhardt is a gubernatorial appointee to the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission - a commission that was created and funded with the proceeds from the national tobacco settlement to promote the economic growth and development in formerly tobacco-dependent communities. Ehrhardt also serves on the City of Danville’s Transportation Advisory Committee and the boards of Danville Regional Foundation, Lead Virginia, the Sorenson Institute, and the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
“Alexis Ehrhardt was selected for the Overbey Award because of her tireless work on behalf of the people of Pittsylvania County, including Chatham,” noted Connell. “Her love for Chatham Hall and her love for this area started right here. It is a pleasure to give this award to a person who loves and understands this community that is Chatham Hall and who loves and supports the people who support us every day.”
In her speech following the award, Erhardt offered perspective to today's students.
“This place matters," she said of the School. "It matters because it’s preparing us to do all these things. It matters because of its timeless and powerful values. It matters because of the relationships. It matters because of the stress it sometimes causes and the resilience it builds. It matters because of the skills developed and knowledge gained. This place matters because of the peace it brings.”