Audsley Dunavant Carr ’08 Encourages Students to Embrace Lifelong Learning in Cum Laude Address

Audsley Dunavant Carr ’08 delivered a special Cum Laude address to this year’s Cum Laude Society inductees. She spoke about how Hutchison taught her to become a lifelong learner and how it laid the foundation for her career.
As Hutchison’s Emily Smith Britton Chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted 15 new members, Audsley Dunavant Carr ’08 delivered the Cum Laude address to the girls. You can see a list of the March 2024 inductees here. Founded in 1906 on the model of Phi Beta Kappa, the Cum Laude Society honors the exemplary academic achievement of high school scholars around the world.

Carr was a member of the Cum Laude Society when she attended Hutchison. She was a diligent student, athlete, and leader who got into her top choice for college – the University of Virginia. She graduated from UVA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. “Little did I know back then, but Hutchison would teach me one of the most critical life lessons. Life is about more than getting the best grades or going to your first-choice school. It’s about having a passion for knowledge, and it’s that passion that has been the driving force behind my life and career ever since,” Carr said in her speech.

Carr is a director and a founding member of Assembly, a premier executive search firm that focuses on private equity-backed software companies. “It’s no coincidence that I spent over 12 years at an all-girls school, and I’m now at an all-women-led search firm,” she said. She began her career in corporate advertising and marketing, and in 2019, she took a risk by leaving her job and helping to start Assembly. Carr told our girls that her time at Hutchison set her up for success in ways she could have never imagined. 

“The rigorous academic environment instilled in me the discipline and work ethic needed to excel in any endeavor. The supportive community fostered my confidence and encouraged me to take risks. Perhaps most importantly, the culture of lifelong learning changed me and charged me with the curiosity and drive to continually push boundaries and strive for excellence,” she said.

The willingness to learn is what sets individuals apart in today’s competitive landscape, Carr said. To grow in her career, she sought out opportunities to expand her understanding of the private equity software industry. “The insights I gained in the classroom at Hutchison laid the foundation for my career, but it was the commitment to constant curiosity that propelled me forward,” she said. 

In her speech, Carr expressed that she hopes each student will realize that every experience, whether inside or outside the classroom, is an opportunity for growth. She encouraged our girls to embrace the mindset of being lifelong learners as they forge their own paths in the world. Congratulations to all the Cum Laude Society inductees and thank you to Carr for sharing her wisdom with our girls!

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