MORE PERSPECTIVES ON MINI-REUNIONS
From Nancy Huttemeyer Davis
When I opened the evite from Susan Clark Iverson and Rebecca Cardozo to join classmates in the D.C. area for a mini-reunion, I knew that was a gathering I didn't want to miss. Susan has hosted previous mini-reunions at her lovely home, and so conversation came easily as the fourteen of us shared updates of our families, recent travels, our professional lives, retirement activities, concerns and thoughts about the next 25 years. Although we have taken different paths since we left Mount Holyoke in 1968, it was fun to listen to each others' stories and appreciate all that we have in common.
Speaking of stories, we have several published writers in our group. Sandra Cass Burt was unable to join us that afternoon, but I brought along two of the parenting books she has written. As a recently retired librarian, I've become active in my local Friends of the Library, and I was tasked with finding an author to invite to our branch library as part of the annual literary festival in Northern Virginia. A Google search led me to a 2010 publication, Fodor's Washington, D.C. with Kids, 5th edition. Further investigation revealed that one of the authors was not only a fellow MHC grad, but a member of our class! Sandy and I reconnected via a few excited email exchanges, and she and her co-author gave a fabulous presentation at my local library. I enjoyed sharing her books at our mini-reunion, and Sandy and I are planning to get together in the near future with more time to catch-up.
It's always enjoyable to get together with those friends with whom we shared dorms (and milk and cookies!). Before we left the mini-reunion on September 26th, Laurie Trees Rodgers and I promised we'd get together soon. We have a date this week for lunch at Laurie's new home along with my MHC roommate Linda Graham McElroy who'll be in the area to visit her daughter and grandchildren.
Now that many of us are retired and have more flexibility in our days, it's a great time to re-connect with our college classmates. Thanks, Susan and Rebecca, for planning our mini-reunion this fall.
From Carol Wenk Bellisio
Carol and Chris Marshall held a mini-reunion of two at Thanksgiving. No mini-reunion is too small! They were together with their families for the holiday.
Here are (from left) Susan Graham Simpson, Suzanne Lenz Janney, Paula Braga Leidich, and Jill Wannemacher, classmates who joined the Floridian mini-reunion. They gathered at the Orlando Museum of Art to see the seasonal Festival of Trees. Some traveled a 3-hour drive each way. The conversation and camaraderie flowed as we marked Founder's Day, remembering Mary Lyon. We thank Jill's husband Jon Ebacher for taking this picture! As Jill Wannemacher said, "What a fabulous way to get re-acquainted with people you once knew but haven't seen or talked with since graduation. The years fell away quickly, and I was reminded of why I always liked these women who were my classmates so much."
PERSPECTIVES ON MINI-REUNIONS
From Ginny McNally Tang
Here are some of my thoughts regarding the recent mini reunion at Betsy Beth's house in Princeton, MA. What a great gathering!
It was Betsy who suggested that I carpool with Susan Nettleton. I didn't know Sue, but after a quick Google search, I was surprised to find that she lived in Bedford too. (Betsy probably knew this, even if we didn't!) I asked a walking-buddy who lived in the same area, "Do you know Sue Nettleton?" It turned out their husbands were related and they had done some traveling together. She also said that Sue enjoyed aquarobics as do I.
Because Sue had been on vacation all week, it was only a phone call an hour before we left for Beth's that arranged our carpooling. As I pulled into her driveway, we both laughed and laughed, jolted by the recognition that we'd been splashing in the pool together at aquarobics for the last few years! Small world stories are the best -- and the older we get, the more small world stories we have!
Highlights of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area's Class of 1968 Mini-Reunion
If you did not see the Third Quarter Class Eblast, here is news about the first in our series of mini-reunions for the class.
As Chris Anderson Salmon and Susan Clark Iverson write,
Fourteen members of the class of '68 enjoyed getting together on Sunday afternoon, September 26th, hosted by Susan Iverson and Rebecca Cardozo in Susan's backyard in northwest Washington, D.C. Attending were:
- Barbara Jager Bass
- Rebecca Cardozo
- Gail Coleman
- Martha Cowen Cutts
- Nancy Huttemeyer Davis
- Susan Clark Iverson
- Wendy Adler Jordan
- Meg Boyd Meyer
- Margaret Neuse
- Laurie Trees Rodgers
- Leslie Luxemburg Rosenthal
- Chris Anderson Salmon
- Olivia Mellan Shapiro
- Susan Berkowitz Vroman
The invitation had asked us to think about who we were now and how we feel about the next 25 years of our lives. There were both unique experiences and a lot of common ground in our discussions. Although the majority of attendees have retired, a few were still working full time (or more than full time) at highly challenging jobs. Others were working a reduced schedule or volunteering at their former workplaces. Some people had gone back to school, either for enjoyment or to prepare for a second career. Some were looking to take their careers in a new direction or to re-start them in a new location.
The pressures of being the "sandwich generation" were something many of us either had experienced in the past or were currently going through, from caring for aging parents, coping with family illness, or helping with grandchildren.
However, everyone seemed to feel that this stage of life offers many opportunities to do things on one's own schedule, to more fully enjoy our families and everyday pleasures, and to explore interests that may have lain dormant during our working lives. By and large, we feel confident and purposeful about the years ahead.
It was a most enjoyable afternoon, and we encourage our classmates to attend a mini-reunion if there is one in your area or to organize one yourself. Betsy Newcomb Beth and Jacquie Gaudion McClelland are holding a brunch on Sunday, October 24th in the central Massachusetts area. Paula Braga Leidich, Suzanne Lenz Janney and Susan Graham Simpson considered several Florida venues for a mini-reunion and selected the Orlando Museum of Art in Central Florida. The event will take place on Saturday, November 13th. Karen Kunkel West is considering a mini-reunion in the Syracuse/Rochester, NY area. Please contact Susan Iverson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Salmon (email@example.com) if you'd like to be put in touch with any of these people or if you're interested in holding a mini-reunion in your locale. We guarantee you'll be glad you did!
2013 Reunion Co-chairs
If you do not receive the quarterly class eblasts or know of a classmate who does not receive them but would like to, please give the email address to our Webmaster Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org (please enter subject "MHC1968 - Add me to your mailing list").
Eileen Sypher's New Book, Framing a Life, Building a House
Our classmate Eileen's book has been published by Goose River Press and is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is a fascinating story about Eileen's own experience. Join in her life-changing discovery. The book is the only full length story of a woman building two houses, a woman unaccustomed to men's tools, a story told from a woman's point of view, and from a lover of literature's point of view!
From the book cover:
"What does it mean to build a house?
How can it change a life?
What happens if the builder is a woman, a teacher and a writer, a woman unaccustomed to tools? How does such a woman come to build at all? What happens, then, if that first house, whose every nail is known, is sold? How does one leave such a house, leave and go on to build another?
This is a building story, but more it is a story of a woman builder and those without whom she could not have built. It is about how building changed not only that woman but also her sense of what a house is, how she came to know that building houses of wood builds the house of the spirit."
Classmate Stella Walsh writes:
She tells us of her commitments, including those involving song birds and aquatic birds:
"I spent 32 years with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services attempting to ameliorate the way money and work are distributed in this cockeyed society of ours. I retired at age 56 and am now doing field work in seabird colonies and at songbird migration banding stations. So I spend most of May and September mist-netting, aging and sexing songbirds and June-August living in a tent on off-shore islands in the Gulf of Maine controlling gulls and working with terns and puffins. Who knew?"
Ringmaster Eloise Killeffer
A tough (circus) act to follow!
She retires from her position as President of the New Canaan, CT, Kiwanis Club
In addition to serving as our illustrious Class Secretary and Scribe, Eloise Prescott Killeffer for the past two years has been President of the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan. This has been a difficult time, with challenges in both membership and fundraising for charitable purposes. President Eloise was able to attract more members, especially those from small businesses, and she used a creative approach to raising money. She joined forces with the circus, selling tickets and more. The New Canaan Patch newspaper featured highlights of her tenure as she handed the reins to her successor, who is also enthusiastic about the club and its future. You will truly enjoy this article from the Patch website.
Read a Classmate's Poetry
Classmate Elizabeth Reeke is a poet and also plays music on the Celtic harp for "little art receptions" and for other audiences. Over the past three years her poetry has been published on the website http://www.poetryporch.com/toc.html
Of her poems on that website, she says, "My favorite (very contemplative type) poems may be (click on previous issues) 2008 Song of Towers; 2009 Song for the Earth, and in the new 2010 issue, Resurrection.
Click on the website link above to read Elizabeth's poetry and to see her thumbnail biography.
Mary Ann Mears Class of 1968
Classmate Mary Ann Mears has won the Distinguished Service to the Arts award from the National Governors Association. She was nominated by the Governor of the State of Maryland. Read much more about her exciting award at the website of the Maryland State Arts Council http://www.msac.org/detail.cfm?nid=300
She has also been identified as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women.
Maryland's Governor O'Malley said, "Mary Ann Mears is a true champion for arts education. She has been a leader in Maryland's arts community for more than 40 years and her relentless advocacy to ensure that every child has the right to an education that includes participating, practicing and perfecting the arts has greatly improved Maryland's quality of life."
Mary Ann, we '68ers congratulate you for making life better for so many people!
Mount Holyoke president-elect Lynn Pasquerella '80 answers your questions
22 January 2010, 1:43 pm
In response to a question about Lynn's field of scholarly expertise:
Ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of correct conduct. When I received my Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University, one of my areas of specialization was ethics. I studied both ethical theory and applied ethics, which centers on how we can apply ethical principles in an attempt to resolve specific moral dilemmas. The dilemmas I focus on in my scholarship relate to medicine, law, and public administration. In particular, I address beginning- and end-of-life issues in medicine and conditions of confinement, or prisoners' rights, in the area of legal ethics. As part of my outreach, I have served on hospital ethics boards and institutional review boards for human-subject research, as well as conducted ethics training for lawyers and public officials. Ethicists are generally considered capable of drawing upon professional expertise in making judgments that are trusted by specific communities, such as the philosophical, medical, or legal community.
In response to a question about MHC current majors and opportunities for the study of Asian religions:
To find out more about specific majors, you can look on Mount Holyoke's Web site under the department listings http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/majors.shtml . There will be contact information for the chairs of each department. There are courses in Asian religions in both the Asian studies and religion departments at the College. Someone interested in Asian religions would be able to create a self-designed major drawing upon courses in these two areas and beyond.
Once I am on campus, I hope to learn about the new disciplines by coming to know individuals who study and teach them. In fact, my first task will be to discover community members' goals for themselves and the College so that we can move forward toward achieving our common objectives. I am looking forward to becoming reacquainted with the intellectual vibrancy of the Mount Holyoke community by getting to know the people who comprise it.
In response to a question about Lynn's experience with fundraising and with cultivating relationships with corporations and foundations:
Yes, I have a commitment to and experience partnering with a variety of organizations, including large corporations, to enhance education. One of the administrative positions I held was as a vice provost for research at a major university. In that capacity, I worked with corporations at the local, regional, national, and international levels to create teaching, research, and administrative programs and garner resources through collaboration. My current position as provost at the University of Hartford has also afforded the opportunity to establish relationships with businesses and industries to strengthen our efforts in institutional advancement, or fundraising, and secure extramural funds to support a variety of initiatives. Perhaps most importantly, I have partnered with large corporate entities to provide scholarship and fellowship support for students. I love fundraising and am very much looking forward to telling Mount Holyoke's profound and compelling story.