The Lab School Cultivates a Garden of Growth at the 39th Annual Gala

The Lab School celebrated Outstanding Achievers with Learning Differences while raising crucial funds for financial aid and increased teacher salaries.

For nearly 40 years, the Annual Gala has highlighted the achievements of people with learning differences who have found great success in their various fields. This year's Gala recognized and celebrated Dr. Toby Cosgrove, MD, former CEO of the Cleveland Clinic; Quinn Murphy, celebrity make-up artist, podcaster, and entrepreneur; and Lindsay Wright '02, a school counselor and business owner who is also this year's Distinguished Alum. 

Gala 2024 1
Left to Right: Head of School Kim Wargo, Auction Chair Miranda Vesey, Outstanding Alum Lindsay Wright, Outstanding Achievers Quinn Murphy and Dr. Toby Cosgrove, and Auction Co-Chairs Rebecca Weiner and Kerri Johnson.
Toby Cosgrove

Reflecting on their own journeys with learning differences, all of the honorees all spoke of learning to appreciate the way that their brains work. They focused on the advantages of their creative ways of thinking and the empowerment that comes from forging their own path in the world. Dr. Cosgrove reflected that he was turned down to thirteen of the fourteen medical schools to which he applied, but rather than being discouraged, this fueled his success at the school he was accepted to and went on to find great success as a heart surgeon and the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. Now the father to a successful daughter with dyslexia, he spoke about the importance of empowering and supporting young students with learning differences so they know that they are able to thrive.

Gala Day 2024

Asked by a student to reflect on whether his dyslexia had impacted him negatively, Quinn Murphy replied that it was only in school that he felt a negative impact, because the narrow way his school defined success didn't match up with how his brain worked. As he toured the Lab campus and met students, Quinn remarked that he wishes he had the opportunity to go to a school like Lab that was catered to the was that he and other dyslexic students learn. Alum Lindsay Wright only attended Lab for High School, so it was her first opportunity to see Lab's young students at the Foxhall campus. Her time at Lab she looks at as being crucial for becoming the person she is today: "At Lab I learned to be proud of who I am and to never accept someone trying to define me as anything other than myself."

Gala 2024 Fiddler

The Gala itself on Saturday night was a magnificent celebration of the Lab community. In addition to hearing from the Outstanding Achievers and Alum, guests were treated to a special performance of "Far From the Home I Love" from the recent LabDrama production of Fiddler on the Roof. It was an amazing night of food, dancing, and celebrating Lab's power to cultivate our students' futures! Take a look below for more photos of the night's festivities.