Suzy Vogler P’11 generously gave Suffield the opportunity to finish this part of the master plan. Mrs. Vogler, a current trustee, was recently on campus and therefore a dedication ceremony was held for Brodie Hall. While she was on campus, I enjoyed the pleasure of hearing her unique story and how Suffield brought Mrs. Vogler back to her roots.
Mrs. Vogler, who at only a few months old had been abandoned in Gwanju, South Korea, was adopted from an orphanage in South Korea and brought to America by a loving and generous family in Woodstock, Illinois. Her parents, Don and Barb Brodie, already had three children, but saw Mrs. Vogler’s photo and immediately loved her and brought her into their family. Mrs. Vogler consistently remarks on how blessed and lucky she is to have had such incredible and caring parents. After high school, she went to the California College of Arts and Crafts and has lived in the Bay area since.
When it came time for her son, Brodie, to look at high schools, Mr. and Mrs. Volger travelled with Brodie to the East Coast, and, through a secondary school placement director, found Suffield. Though for parents it is extremely difficult to send a child to a high school so far away, the challenging academic environment, strong community, and life skills Brodie could learn from living away made Suffield a perfect fit. From her first moment on campus to her most recent visit, she continues to be impressed by the “friendliness of the community and the confidence in the students within it.” Mrs. Vogler has always been extremely involved at Suffield, orchestrating the parent annual drive for many years before becoming a trustee.
About three years ago, the Suffield community was able to further impact Mrs. Vogler’s life. She had always thought that she’d eventually go back to South Korea and try to find the orphanage. Yet, the years slipped by and she had yet to trace her roots. As Mrs. Vogler reflected, “Timing has a lot to do with our lives, and what is meant to happen, will happen when it happens.” Sure enough, the timing was right because as soon as Mrs. Volger reached out to Mr. Cahn about attending a reception in Seoul and discovering her history, Mr. Cahn was able to connect her with a Suffield parent, Tae Sok Park P’12. Mrs. Vogler was able to use Tae Sok Park’s connections in Korea to find her history, and in December 2014, she was in Korea, visiting the orphanage in Gwanju, South Korea through Tae Sok Park’s arrangement. Mrs. Volger was able to use the Suffield community to trace and discover her roots, to finally find “a piece of the puzzle of [her] life.” This representation of the depth and commitment of the Suffield community is paralleled in Mrs. Vogler’s generous commitment to our school, and Brodie Hall is just one representation of Suzy Vogler’s commitment to Suffield. She named the building after her parents because it was her parents who showed her the importance of giving back, and in this way Brodie Hall carries on their legacy.
After seeing Brodie Hall for the first time, Mrs. Vogler remarked that Brodie is fantastic and is simply “one more thing that makes Suffield Academy, Suffield Academy.” Yet, it is not just the building itself that enhances Suffield; it is the generosity and example of our community’s commitment, found within the story of the name Brodie, that truly makes Suffield, Suffield. With committed and caring trustees like Mrs. Vogler, Suffield’s future looks bright.