October 26 – Bethabara to Salem Square

Day 29. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Bethabara to Salem Square. About 7 glorious miles. Stunning blue skies. Temperature about 70. Perfect. Our last morning meeting – clearly like none other. Though we met, as always, as a group, this time we were surrounded by hundreds of additional walkers – Salem professionals and students, Salem friends, our friends, our classmates, our families. Overwhelming. We knew this day was coming. We had an idea of what it might feel like. But, speaking only for myself, my idea was a gross misunderstanding. I had no real Idea how much this would mean to me or the emotions it would stir. Walking with my teammates today meant more than I dreamed- 500 miles does that. The SALEM community support today embraced my soul – profoundly. But nothing touched me today like my pride for Salem – for all of us touched by her and all who will be. That is what this has always been about – from the time we first started dreaming about this journey years ago – celebrating Salem – Salem pride. So when we left Bethabara, with the Moravian Band playing as only they do, and hundreds of the Salem Community moving as one, I wept with pride. When we reached Corpening Plaza, with the WSSU drum line playing, and experienced the JOY and PRIDE of our Salem community, I wept again. Our Salem Academy students danced, people embraced, we all soaked it all in…As we walked towards Salem, we experienced the best of WS – church bells rang for us, Reynolda Village and St Paul’s Church provided water stops, people blew their horns and shouted support, and Steve and Scott at Capture cheered and rang cow bells. Glorious. And, as we walked around Salem Square, we were greeted by more supporters, school mascots, President McGee(who walked with us), WSSU Chancellor Robinson, and Mayor Joines. We so very much thank them all for joining us!! MOST IMPORTANTLY, though, we were all home – Salem Academy and College. 250 years of developing girls and women into tomorrow’s leaders – and ready to do so for 250 more. Salem is ready and eager to do that – to continue producing game -changing leaders that make our world a better place. There are no words to adequately thank those original women trailblazers. Their courage created a ripple effect that has lasted 250 years and will do so at least that many more. Talking about a legacy… Profound thanks, one last time, to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen. To Salem professionals, to volunteers, to Holt and Lisa, to my walking teammates, and everyone who joined us along the way- deepest gratitude. Cheers – To a job well done. Cheers – To the NEXT 250 years! SALEM PRIDE!! #mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

– Lucy Rose C’76

Home @salemcollege @salemacademy
Yesterday, Day 29, was the final leg of our journey. We walked from Bethabara the (temporary) 1766 destination for the Single Sisters to their permanent 1772 home, the Single Sisters house in Salem, facing the Salem Square. The Single Sisters house was the first building and dorm for THE OLDEST continuously operating school for GIRLS and Women in the country! Also the 13th oldest school for higher education in the country and the OLDEST in North Carolina ! But we don’t rest on our laurels, we matched our history by recreating our founders 500 mile journey and recommitted to another 250 years. Looking forward to 2046 when we recreate history again for our 275th anniversary! #250thanniversary #mysalemjourney #journey2salem #crownoflaurels

Highlights of the day

  • Winston Salem State drum line as our back up as we paraded from downtown to Salem Square
  • Seeing my class of 98 peeps on the final leg!
  • finally, finally earning a crown of laurels for a race of distance (As a runner, I’ll never win for speed)
  • standing on stage in front of the 300+ parade of Salem students, supporters, friends.
  • being surprised that my parents were there with flowers to congratulate me!
  • a beer garden, food trucks in the square!
  • our hiking shoes were put on display for all to see!
  • I felt like a celebrity! So many people introduced themselves to me who I already knew by name and was happy that THEY wanted to meet ME!
  • THE Wake Forest Demon Deacon and Winston-Salem State Ram there to cheer for us! Wow!
  • the mayor of Winston-Salem was there to proclaim it “Journey to Salem” Day

Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 29 Journey to Salem
Wow. No words can adequately describe today. We walked a short 6.5 miles walk from Bethabara to Salem Square to celebrate our accomplishment. The weather was cool and breezy with sunny skies. Church bells rang for us as we passed and the Winston Salem State Drum Line played for us (right in front of us) for probably 20 mins, then followed us from Corpening Plaza into Salem Square. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I was so happy to be representing Salem Academy and so happy to have finished our amazing 500+ mile journey, and at the same time so sad that it was soon coming to an end. Needless to say, the moment was filled with a bunch of different emotions. The Mayor of Winston-Salem issued a Proclamation in Salem’s honor, and we received sweet accolades and gifts and so much recognition. 4 friends from Salem Academy came to support me and it was wonderful to visit with them and catch up a bit. I will share more pics later as I collect them from those who were able to record some of it. Really impossible to describe today. I hope you enjoy the few pictures that I have. I’ll be working to burn these memories into my grey matter so I don’t lose them. Thank you everyone for reading my words, following along for the past 29 days, and encouraging me along the way! I’m forever grateful! Good night!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🏃‍♀️🌞💛💜💙✅ #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

– Debbie Faires A’82