February 2019

Alumna Feature: Olive Tree Foundation for Girls, Kimberly Lowe Hall  '91


Kimberly Lowe Hall '91 is the Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the President of the Olive Tree Foundation for Girls.


Mentoring, scholarship and enrichment are at the cornerstone of what fuels the Olive Tree mission for talented young women at CSG. I was raised by my grandmother, and she was employed as a domestic, often working in the homes of CSG students with whom I attended school. I attended CSG for six years on full scholarship. The rigorous educational experience enabled me to attend Columbia University and impacted the trajectory of my life. While at CSG, I experienced first-hand the challenges that socio-economic status levies on a student in a privileged environment. It was these challenges that motivated me to establish Olive Tree Foundation for Girls (OTFG) to help young women like me thrive in private school settings.  

Founded in July 2014, OTGF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, and our mission is to provide mentoring, scholarships and enrichment programs that help talented young women realize their unique potential for success. The OTFG Scholars Mentoring Program sponsors group activities that develop positive self-image, character, and resiliency. Students participate in monthly group sessions that address self-esteem, career exploration, financial literacy, drug and alcohol abuse, healthy relationships, bullying and peer pressure, time management and social etiquette. In addition, the girls participate in experiential activities and outings that encourage cultural exploration, community outreach/service and team building.


OTFG Incidental Scholarships provide critical funding to offset the cost of private school expenses that are not covered by traditional financial aid. At CSG, annual costs for incidental items such as uniforms, books, class trips, athletics and technology can exceed $2,500 per student.  For young women with limited means, the pressure of meeting these financial expectations can impact self-esteem and academic success.  I'm thrilled that since 2014, 27 students have participated in our Scholars program; 10 have graduated and are thriving and doing well in college; and nearly $60,000 in scholarships have been awarded.  


Olive Tree recently celebrated 5 years of service to young women. During our 5th Annual Scholarship Celebration, our girls raised their voices – TedX style – and shared inspirational talks around the theme #WhatWeNeed.  As we look toward the next five years, my hope is to extend this model beyond CSG to help other girls and young women. I am often reminded through my professional work and personal experiences that there are talented girls in Columbus, and in every corner of this nation, who are not thriving because they lack support, nurturing and guidance in essential areas of their lives. I consider myself fortunate and blessed to have such a wonderful platform, outstanding partners, and some truly amazing girls committed to a single purpose -- Cultivating the Women of Tomorrow!

Alumnae Board Update

Fellow Unies:


This is the month that most of us celebrate love and support. Our alumnae community is no different! This month we had several events that honored the lasting friendships made at CSG.


First, on February 8th we celebrated our third annual Galentine's Day celebration in Columbus at Blue Spot Bexley. Every year women from all class years come together, have a few drinks, and walk down memory lane. Galentine's Day has been one of our best-attended events, and we were pleased to have over fifty Unicorns join us this year.


The Alumnae Board also recently organized a school-wide clothing drive for Dress for Success in Columbus. Together, we collected gently-used clothing, providing hundreds of central Ohio women with professional attire to support their career advancement.  We are so proud of how our community came together to empower women in yet another way. 


Still to come this month, we are celebrating fellow Unicorn, Elizabeth Emens '90, on the release of her new book, Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More. On February 15th, we will gather at Gramercy Books in Bexley at 7:00pm for her book talk and signing. Our goal is to pack Gramercy with CSG alumnae. Liz also has upcoming events planned in NYC and Chicago. 

Being a CSG alumna is magical. We take that power with us wherever we go and it is most certainly magnified when we gather together. I hope to see that magic on full display at this month's events and at Alumnae Weekend in April.

Strength and Grace,


JoVonna Moxley-Knapp '96, Alumnae Board President 


Alumnae at Galentine's Day 2019


Alumnae volunteers collecting Dress for Success donations

Unicorns in Philadelphia

On January 28, CSG alumnae from the Greater Philadelphia area gathered in Center City Philadelphia for an evening filled with lively conversation, delicious food, and an engaging update from Head of School, Jennifer Ciccarelli. They were even joined by a beloved past CSG faculty member, Carol Peery Ayers! The group was graciously hosted by Anne Jeffrey Wright '70 at the Acorn Club. It was a joyful evening fueled by CSG memories of scholarship, traditions, and friends.


The CSG National Alumnae Council is thrilled by the success of this event and is eager to come to your city! Please reach out to if you are interested in organizing or hosting an alumnae event in your city!


Calendar of Alumnae Events

Class News Deadline for the next edition of Forte et Gratum: Friday, February 15, 2019


Author Night at Gramercy Books featuring alumna Elizabeth Emens '90: Friday, February 15, 2019 at 7:00pm

For more information, visit:


Alumnae Book Club: Monthly at 1:30pm in CSG's Kibler House

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019: Book, November Road by Lou Berney. Discussion led by Margie Barton Williams '57
  • Thursday, March 21, 2019: Book, Educated by Tara Westover. Discussion led by Susie Cutler Meiling, '61
  • Thursday, April 18, 2019: Book, Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. Discussion led by Amy Bodiker Baskes '90

Alumnae Weekend: April 26-27, 2019 

(Location: Columbus School for Girls - Full Schedule Coming This Week!)

Upcoming CSG Events

Parent Education Series, Developmentally Appropriate Digital Citizenship: February 19, 2019 from 6:30 - 8:00pm
(Location: Columbus School for Girls, Unicorn Theater)

To learn more visit, https://www. school-life/parent-education


Beauty of African American Culture Club Soul Food Feast: February 21, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00pm
(Location: Columbus School for Girls, Ruch Dining Room)

Learn more and RSVP here:

Parent Education Series, The Introvert in the 21st Century: February 28, 2019 from 8:15 - 9:15am
Presented by alumna and Quiet Ambassador, Charlotte Stiverson '76

Learn more here: https://www. school-life/parent-education


Upper School Theater Presents Jane Eyre: The Musical: March 7 - 9, 2019
(Location: Columbus School for Girls)

Spring Break: March 18 - 29, 2019
School closed, but offices open

Grace Notes, Concert at Carnegie Hall: April 7, 2019
(Location: Carnegie Hall, New York City)

Alumnae News

We want to hear from you! Please submit important personal or class news to! By sharing updates, we can ensure that our alumnae community celebrates and supports you and your classmates. The deadline for your news to be included in the Spring edition of Forte et Gratum is this week on February 15, 2019. Photos are encouraged!

Support the CSG Annual Fund

Celebrate your CSG experience by giving to the school that gave you so much! Alumnae participation is vital to the CSG Annual Fund. The Annual Fund plays a crucial role in ensuring that CSG can provide an exceptional experience to its current students - the leaders of tomorrow. Questions about your annual gift? Send us an email: or give us a call: 614.252.0781 ext. 130

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