Students take a photo at Grrrl PowHER Hour.

Annual Grrrl PowHer Hour empowers Women’s College students

Oct. 29, 2019
Kathryne Davis

President Anne Skleder claps during Grrrl PowHer Hour.

Brenau University students were treated to music and dancing, along with a speech from President Anne Skleder during Grrrl PowHer Hour, an annual convocation by The Women’s College held during lunchtime on Thursday, Oct. 24, in Pearce Auditorium.

In July, Skleder became the 10th — and first female — president in the 141-year history of Brenau. She gave the attendees several suggestions on how to have a successful future, including taking risks, loving what you do and hold yourself with grace. She encouraged students to embrace the “imperfect moments” in their lives.

Focusing on this year’s theme of “Celebrating sisterhood and empowering women to take on the world,” Skleder’s advice emphasized empowerment, which is “cultivated most deeply during times of challenge,” she said. “Without failure you would have nothing to improve upon. Choose to evolve, not dissolve under pressure.

“As a Brenau woman or man, if you want a better outcome, you have to create it. Your opportunities for new hope and change are limitless. And it all starts with you.”

Grrrl PowHer Hour also included speeches from seniors Cierra Franklin, president of Student Government Association, and Kendy Manzano, the 2019-2020 Baxter-Bryan Scholar, one of the highest academic honors given to a rising senior to cover tuition, room and board.

Franklin also spoke on the theme of sisterhood and empowerment, drawing parallels between Wonder Woman and Brenau women.

“Leigh Bardugo, author of Wonder Woman: Warbringer says it best,” Franklin said. ‘Sisters in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.’ This is the attitude of our very own sisterhood at Brenau. We aren’t women who sit around idly waiting for change to happen.”

Students laugh during Grrrl PowHER Hour.

Manzano reminisced on her first Grrrl PowHer Hour and gave helpful advice to the freshman experiencing college for the first time.

“Brenau does a wonderful job of providing you with a strong sisterhood,” Manzano said. “Women who will stand by your side and remind you how amazing you are. Even on your bad days, they’re going to stand right next to you and make sure that you’re OK and have a shoulder to cry on should you need to.”

During the convocation, members of Tau Sigma dance fraternity and students in the Brenau Department of Dance performed to a room full of cheering and clapping. Senior Arabia Jones also sang, and some members of the Vocal Chamber Ensemble performed the alma mater.

“I ask you all to carry the thoughts from today with you,” said Debra Dobkins, dean of The Women’s College. “I hope that you will find them inspiring and energizing. I want you to be thinking about the company of people around you, the relationships that you are building. I ask you to be kind and love one another and to help each other be your very best selves.”

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