PerichiIn Celebration of the Life of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 30th, 2012
4:00pm, Memorial Chapel

Keynote Address by:

Nilda Perichi '79

Click here to learn more about Ms. Perichi's visit to campus.

This event is the Convocation address for the 2012 Black History Month celebration. To learn more about Ujamma's month long events please visit Most events are open to the whole Middletown Community. 

Welcoming words from Dean Melendez's Introduction to our Keynote Speaker:

Ms. Perichi is no stranger to Wesleyan. She is an alumna of the class of ‘79; with a triple major in Theater, Spanish, and Education and a certification in Spanish.  She also graduated in 1986 with a Masters in Liberal Arts from the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.  In 1994 she received her Administrative Certification from the University of Hartford and in 2004 her Superintendent Certification from the Educational Leadership Program at the University of CT.

Her professional career which spanned nearly thirty years in CT’s schools has given her invaluable and insightful understanding of the workings of public education.  In those 30 years of experience, she was a teacher/administrator at Weaver, a Hartford public school where the majority of students are African-American and Latinos from low-income families to an assistant principal at East Ridge Middle School, a Public School in Ridgefield where students are majority white and from upper middle class families.  I am certain she will share some of those experiences such as the fact that she was the first woman, first person of color to be hired in Ridgefield who was not a janitor.

For the last 28 years, while Senator Chris Dodd was in office, she volunteered on the Service Academy Selection Committee.  In that role, she has interviewed some of CT’s best and brightest students who went on to serve our country.  For the last twenty years she also has been a Corporater for Liberty Bank.   In this role, she keeps an observant eye that the bank remains responsible in serving its Middletown constituents.

However, most importantly, Nilda Perichi is my friend. I met her when I was still a student at Wesleyan. She had just graduated and was working in the Hispanic Program in Middletown.  She soon became a mentor and still is today.   What impressed me most were her leadership qualities and the passion she had to educate all children, no matter what color of the skin, or what social class or what city or town they were from.  Her commitment to an equitable and inclusive public education has never faltered.  She has single-handedly hired 100s of teachers who were farmed out throughout CT’s public school system when she was director of Hartford’s Human Resources.

She has not only mentored me but countless students in her tenure and still remains close with each and every one.

I would like to end my introduction with her FOUR AGREEMENTS that have carried her throughout her professional career:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • And do your best!

Many Thanks to Nilda for joining us this year.