When I arrived at Belmont Day, one of the first neighbors I was introduced to was Gertrude ‘Trudy’ Eyges. At 94 years young, Trudy was a BDS regular, using our photocopier for the fliers that advertised the Tai Chi classes she offered in her backyard, connecting with Lino Medeiros or Anderson Santos about the maintenance of her driveway during a big snowstorm, or looking for takers to replant one of her beloved rhododendrons that dotted her front yard.
Trudy introduced herself to me in French as she went on one of her many walks around the front circle of the Schoolhouse, and I remember wondering if she was testing my validity. I softly replied, “je m’appelle Brendan” and she seemed satisfied with my response, though I don’t doubt she may have been delighted to see me squirm a bit. For all of my time at Belmont Day and certainly long before I arrived, Trudy was a true friend to our school. Trudy’s home at 37 Day School Lane, a yellow, one-story post-modern ranch (the second house on the left as you leave campus), has housed several BDS parents who rented space from her only steps from our campus, and she was a supportive voice during the Barn building process in 2018.
This past summer, Trudy Eyges passed away at 100 years of age. Her spirit of joy and perpetual youth lives on. A lifelong learner and friend and neighbor to the school for nearly sixty years, Trudy had a clear passion for education marked, particularly, by her desire to see traditionally underserved populations receive the same access to education that others could enjoy. Thus, in her name, Belmont Day has created the Eyges Award, a financial aid award that will be given annually to a Belmont family who has been granted admission to BDS and qualifies for financial assistance. Belmont Day is a community that cares deeply about its relationship with the town and our neighbors in particular. The Eyges Award will honor Trudy’s memory by annually providing a town resident with support to attend Belmont Day.
We are also fortunate to have purchased 37 Day School Lane. As a property adjacent to campus, the building provides the school with additional administrative offices and an additional conference room. We do not expect to use the building for students; instead, it will be a place for parents’ association gatherings and committee meetings. The back patio is certain to become a welcome place for one-on-one meetings this summer and fall. Once the buildings and grounds crew have completed their work to update and renovate the house we expect to move in sometime this summer.
We miss Trudy, and we hope that our occupancy of her home will keep her spirit of lifelong learning and joyfulness alive.