Bishop's Alumna Featured Guest Speaker for the Endowed Leadership Lecture Series

Each year, the Endowed Leadership Lecture Series allows The Bishop’s School to bring to our community individuals who are role models through their leadership and their extraordinary achievements in their communities and the nation. On Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 we welcomed Bishop’s alumna, Dr. Molly McClain ’84.

Molly was a boarding student at Bishop’s when Bishop’s was still a boarding school. Today, she is a history professor at the University of San Diego. She has a B.A. in History from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in History from Yale University. She specializes in California history, British and Atlantic history, and has authored and co-authored a number of books. In fact, her most recent book has an entire chapter devoted to the founding of The Bishop’s School.

This biography, “Ellen Browning Scripps: New Money & American Philanthropy,” describes the impact and influence Miss Scripps had on San Diego in general; for this presentation, Molly focused her talk to students on the School’s founders. Referring to her involvement with the School, Miss Scripps said, “I feel more than assured that I have embarked on an undertaking that is almost limitless in its scope and power to do good.”

108 years later, the School, while changed in some ways—we’re no longer a boarding school for girls, for example—is indeed doing exactly the kind of good work that she, her sister, Virginia Scripps, and the Bishop at the time, the Right Reverend Joseph Horsfall Johnson, envisioned for the San Diego community.

The students enjoyed Molly’s stories and her mix of historic and current images of not only the school, but some of La Jolla’s other landmarks as well. View photos from the talk and the students’ Q&A with Molly. Watch the video.

Following her talk, Head of School AC Roche presented the Bishop’s Medal to Molly; the medal is awarded to speakers who join us under the auspices of the Endowed Leadership Lecture Series. Since 2003, the School has accorded this honor and the Bishop’s Medal to 18 recipients. 
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The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.