Better late than never: Alum returns St. Michael’s College property 40 years later

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:35 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - A piece of St. Michael’s College property finally found its way back to the school after more than four decades. It happened when an alum found an ID in a moving box.

“I’m one of these people that reads everything and follows directions and it said send back, so that’s what I did,” Winnie McCormick said.

McCormick graduated with her advanced degree in special education from St. Michael’s College back in the 1980s. She then went on to be a special ed teacher at Twinfield Union School for 28 years.

When Winnie was going through old boxes at Williston Place, where she now lives, she found her old ID card.

“There was my St. Michael’s card from the 1980s and it said on the bottom ‘please return,’ and I said, ‘Whoops!’ So, I wrote a letter and I enclosed the card and I sent it back to St. Michael’s,” McCormick said.

Over at St. Mike’s, Dean of Students Dawn Ellinwood says she regularly gets letters during the summer with things students forgot to return, but she never expected this.

“It was just a burst of light that this woman, Winnie, lovely Winnie, would take the time and write this little nice note to me and return her ID after 40-plus years,” Ellinwood said.

Ellinwood says it’s indicative of the kind of person Winnie McCormick is, a teacher who spent so many years serving her students.

“We don’t understand the true nature of people taking time to do something kind,” Ellinwood said.

Ellinwood says the story has made so many people happy around campus.

“Winnie closed the loop, granted 40-plus years later, but she closed the loop and that’s really lovely,” Ellinwood said.

McCormick is just happy to do the right thing and hopes this gives people a little happiness.

“I think maybe that life is good, it can be fun,” she said. “You can do things to help other people.”

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