Monday, October 19, 2009

Forging Ties

A bronze statue of GDB alumna Cara Dunne
A life-size bronze statue in memory of Cara Dunne, GDB alumna and world-champion paralympic athlete, is set to be unveiled later this month at Snowmass ski resort in Aspen, Colo., where Cara helped establish an adaptive ski program. The statue depicts Cara with a Guide Dog by her side. Her father, Mike Dunne (pictured with the statue and his sister, Joanne), hopes the statue will "inspire many generations with her message of living." Last week, after a statue of Helen Keller was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. , Mike wrote to us with this to say:

Hello Friends,

Thought you might find this story about Helen Keller interesting and somewhat coincidental. As you will read, a bronze statue of the famed Mrs. Keller was just unveiled in Washington D.C.

Of course the coincidence is that Cara's statue is about 10 days from being installed, but there are other coincidences as well. Both Cara and Helen Keller went to Harvard University (or as it was called for the women students in Keller's day, Radcliffe College). It gets better: Ms. Keller was the first blind and deaf person to ever graduate from the college (1904), and Cara was the first blind or disabled person to be elected president of a Harvard class (1992). Ms. Keller graduated Cum Laude; Cara earned Magna Cum Laude (Cara gets one up on this one!). Both spoke and read several languages; both were on the speaking circuit; both raised money for charities.

And the final coincidence: both Cara Dunne and Helen Keller will have bronze statues erected in the same year and same month for all the world to see. Both statues will be an incredible inspiration to present and future generations with a message that will be as subtle as a Harvard diploma: you can still have an fascinating and adventuresome life even when the odds seem against it.

Helen Keller died in 1968, two years before Cara was born, but I'm betting that at this very moment, they're probably sitting together discussing who looks more like their bronze statue. And I'm sure that on the subject of all the good people who have furthered their work on earth by helping those in need, they're surely happy. On this, I'm sure they see, eye to eye.

Thanks again for your support. Love to all,

Mike Dunne


  1. Such a beautiful tribute to two amazing women.

  2. Cara was a beautiful and inspiring person. This is such a fine tribute. We are so proud to count her among our Alumni.