Eighth Grade Girls Surprise Senator Dianne Feinstein '51
Eighth Grade Girls Surprise Senator Dianne Feinstein '51

When Convent Elementary eighth graders met with distinguished alumna Senator Dianne Feinstein '51, they brought her a copy of her freshman class project — a book about classical architecture in the Flood Mansion.

Just in time for the Convent eighth grade's annual trip to Washington, DC, which caps off two years of American History classes, President Ann Marie Krejcarek discovered a book from 1948 in the school archives. What caught her eye was one of its authors, a 15-year-old Dianne Goldman.

On Thursday, May 18, during a pre-scheduled meeting in her Washington, DC office, students presented Senator Dianne Goldman Feinstein '51 with a copy of "The Palace Beautiful," a handwritten account of various architectural elements throughout the Flood Mansion. Full of renderings and photographs of familiar details including fireplace mantels, carved pillars, ceiling moldings and wood paneling, the book was the result of ninth-grade architecture assignment. Feinstein is credited as photographer and "scribe."

"Her response was remarkable," says Convent Elementary Head of School Angela Taylor. "She was visibly moved and began to read her own writing. She even poked fun at herself as a ninth grader!"

Senator Feinstein has met with Convent & Stuart Hall students over the years, both in San Francisco and in Washington, DC. This year, she spoke with the girls about her time as a student at Convent High School. She even referenced this particular architecture assignment, remembering it fondly. She then talked about the issues that are important to her, including healthcare and education, and answered questions from the girls about homelessness, women's health issues and the "new normal" in Washington.

"I was incredibly proud of the students," Angela says, adding, "This was the best meeting our girls have ever had with an elected official."

Photo credit: Ross Townsend, deputy press secretary for Senator Dianne Feinstein