It has been my honor and my great pleasure to serve as Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy for these past four years.
I would like to take a few moments to thank the many people who made this position not a job, but a joy.
I would first like to thank Meesteres Odriana vander Brugghe, my predecessor, and those who came before her for their wise stewardship of this institution, as well as my successor, Baroness Elena de la Palma, who is already planning great things for this office.
I would also like to thank the autocrats, head cooks, class coordinators, tollners, and worker-bees from the shires of Stormsport, Riversedge, Ballachlagan, Nithgaard, Angels Keep, Blackwater, and Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, as well as the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn. With your enthusiasm and hospitality, you welcomed scholars from across the Kingdom and made it possible for them to spend time learning and sharing. Many of you had never hosted a Royal Progress event before. I hope this will be the first of many!
To those would-be autocrats whose bids were not chosen, please know that your time and effort were greatly appreciated. More than one set of Royalty had a difficult time choosing from among the bids submitted. You proved how highly this Kingdom values opportunities to teach and learn.
I would be remiss if I did not thank my hard-working staff:
- The Honorable Lady Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne, my Provost, who accomplished the Herculean task of tracking every class taught in Æthelmearc for two years and made it look easy. In addition, she enabled me to communicate with more people, by posting messages for me on the Æcademy facebook page, a skill which I lack.
- His Grace Duke Timothy of Arindale, Dean of the War College, who beat the bushes to line up teachers so the martially-inclined could beat each other
- Her Grace Duchess Ilish O’Donovan, the Youth Track Coordinator, who encouraged our younger learners to not only take classes but teach them as well
- and Master Gille MacDhnouill, who, as Webminister and general IT-guy, managed the AEcademy website and answered hundreds of my questions. As my husband, he provided me with the time I needed to devote myself to this position.
Moreover, I would like to thank for their generosity Mistress Orianna and Master Fridrikr, who offered a travel stipend to a new Æcademy teacher, and the anonymous donor who provided stipends to four grateful Æcademy teachers in honor of Countess Aidan ni Leir. You are an inspiration!
Most especially, I would like to thank all those gentles who gave of their time to share their passions with others. A good teacher is like a candle: it consumes itself to light the way for others. Every one of you who took the time to research your topic, prepare your materials, and travel hours from your home, just to share what gives you joy … you are all candles. Because of you, Æthelmearc shines more brightly. Thank you for being the spark that lights others on their way.
And finally, to everyone who traveled to an Æcademy session, I hope you found classes that challenged, inspired, and enriched you. May you find even more to inspire you in the years to come!
Yours, in Service,