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Sem Snippets Summer at Sem

Summer 2009

Bidding Adieu


s I write this note in the early June morning, the school is quiet. But the momentary silence in the hallways belies the bustle of activity happening at Sem this summer. “Summer at Sem” begins on Monday, June 29th, and 90 little girls will roam the hallways each week. Many of them will come to love their time here and will explore the possibility of enrolling at Sem as they approach high school. In fact, nearly 50% of the students arriving at Sem this fall participated in "Summer at Sem". In addition to the arrival of campers, construction work has begun on the Athletic Center renovation, and soon the new squash courts, fitness room and locker areas will take shape. Already we can see that the new space will surpass our expectations. Just down the road on Bidwell Parkway, two homes are being cleaned and readied for our house parents and students. Twelve young women from across the country and around the world will arrive for orientation at the end of August. Director of Admissions Carrie Lyons Auwarter '96 and her husband, Kevin, will be house parents in one home, while art teacher Katharine Simonds will live next door. We are all eager to welcome our new students.

Amy Habib Rittling '86


s the 2008-2009 school year comes to a close, so do Amy Habib Rittling's six years of service to Buffalo Seminary's Board of Trustees. During her 2007-2009 tenure as Chair of the Board, the school has completed a strategic plan, started a residential program, and initiated a renovation of the gym into a modern Athletic Center complete with squash courts, fitness areas, and renovated locker room and office space. Amy has led by example. She has demonstrated sound judgment, determination, and a willingness to listen to all sides of any issue. Her work ethic is extraordinary. As Board Chair, Amy is technically a member of all committees, and she has managed to stay on top of the issues in all areas of the school. Her passion for Sem and her attention to detail make a difference in every committee. Perhaps most impressive has been Amy’s concern for people. She made a commitment to tackle some difficult issues of school governance and still ensure that all constituents had an important voice in planning the future of Sem. Her efforts to improve faculty salary and professional support have been impressive in difficult financial times. Her concern for the alumnae of Sem reflects her own determination to make a difference for her school.

As I began my tenure as Head of School, I could not have asked for a more thoughtful, competent, and compassionate Board Chair. I will miss her mentoring and leadership more than words can express. Undoubtedly, Amy will remain actively involved with Buffalo Seminary as an alumna, but I will miss her presence on the Board. We all thank Amy for her commitment, dedication, and guidance.

All of this activity reflects the vision outlined in our new strategic plan adopted by the Board of Trustees at its June meeting. Since 1851, Buffalo Seminary has empowered young women to become leaders and to make a difference in their communities and in the larger world. The renovation of the athletic facilities and the addition of a residential program reflect a commitment to excellence that is guided by the mission and powerful history of this fine school. The world that our graduates enter now has seen the transformation of communication and the explosion of access to information through the internet. We can not know all that will happen in the world even four years from now; however, the strategic plan has been prepared to ensure that the next generation of Buffalo Seminary graduates will have a strong foundation grounded in tradition, yet guided by visionary teaching and an innovative curriculum. I look forward to sharing the excitement of our new plans and our renovations as the next school year begins. Best wishes for a wonderful summer!

Outgoing Board Chair Amy Habib Rittling ‘86 with incoming Board Chair Kevin O’Leary

College Acceptances


Sports Shorts

he following colleges and universities have welcomed our seniors to attend their institutions:

American University (3) Arizona State University Babson College Barry University Bates College Beloit College Bentley University Boston College Boston University Canisius College (7) Carnegie Mellon University (2) Case Western Reserve University (2) Catholic University Cleveland Institute Of Art Colby College Colgate University Columbia College Chicago Columbus College of Art & Design Cornell University City University of NY - City College Curry College Denison University (3) DePaul University Drexel University Eastern Michigan University Elon University (2) Fordham University (4) Franklin & Marshall College George Washington University Georgia Institute of Technology Goucher College Hartwick College Hobart & William Smith Colleges (6) Hofstra University Howard University Ithaca College John Carroll University Johns Hopkins University Johnson & Wales University Kent State University Kenyon College Lake Forest College Lawrence University Lewis & Clark College (2) Loyola University (IL) (4) Loyola University (MD) (2) Marymount Manhatttan College Medaille College Mercy College Mercyhurst College (3) Miami University (OH)


Morgan State Mount Holyoke College Nazareth College New York University (2) Niagara County C.C. (2) Niagara University (2) Northwood University (2) Nova Southeastern University (2) Oberlin College Ohio University Ontario College of Art & Design Penn State University Purdue University Randolph Macon College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Roanoke College Rochester Institute of Technology (4) Roger Williams University (2) Sage Colleges of Albany (2) St. Bonaventure University (2) St. John Fisher College (5) St. Joseph’s University St. Lawrence University St. Peter’s College Savannah College of Art & Design State University of New York Albany (2) • Buffalo (9) • Buffalo State (6) • Fredonia (5) • Geneseo (3) • Oswego • Purchase Susquehanna University Syracuse University Temple University (2) University of Aberystwyth (Wales) University of Connecticut University of Dayton University of Delaware University of Hartford University of Mass. (Amherst) University of New Hampshire (2) University of New Haven University of Pittsburgh (8) University of Puget Sound University of Rhode Island University of Rochester (2) University of St. Andrews (Scotland) University of Utah University of Vermont (2) University of Wisconsin (Madison-2) Utica College Xavier University (2)

Crew Highlights… NYS Championships - all Sem boats entered made the finals Freshmen 4 - 2nd place • Lightweight 8 - 3rd place Senior 4 - 5th place • Lightweight 4 - 5th place U.S. Scholastic Championships - 2 boats qualified, Lightweight 8 and Senior 4 Canadian National Championships - Lightweight 4 placed 6th Lacrosse Highlights… Lacrosse finished 3rd in the Monsignor Martin League this year, losing to Mt. Mercy in the Semifinals Sarah Miller ‘11 and Megan Starzynski ‘10 made the 1st team Monsignor Martin League Sarah Miller ‘11 and Carol Sullivan ‘10 made the Midwest School Girl’s Lacrosse Association 2nd Team Tory Dann ‘09 and Lucia Martino ‘09 made the Midwest School Girl’s Lacrosse Association All-Tournament Team Tory Dann ‘09, Carol Sullivan ‘10, and Jasmine Koleini ‘10 were named U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-Americans Tennis Highlights… Tennis finished 2nd in the Monsignor Martin League in Division 1 Katie Bollier ‘09 was ranked 4th in the league for #1 singles and went on in the All-Catholic Tournament not losing until the Semifinals Haley Stearns ‘11 made it to the Quarterfinals

Joan Kostick Andrews ‘48 Annual Spring Concert


hrough the thoughtful generosity of Peter and Joan (Kostick ‘48) Andrews, music, once again, filled the air as Buffalo Seminary held its annual spring concert in the school’s chapel. All in attendance for the evening performance on Wednesday, April 29th greatly enjoyed the talented singers and musicians who took to the stage for the Joan Kostick Andrews ‘48 Annual Spring Concert featuring Seminary’s Glee Club and Ensemble with Ron Martin conducting.

Annual Fund Campaign

hile everyone was affected by the devastating economic downturn in 2008 and the Giving USA Foundation reported that charitable giving in the United States declined for the first time since 1987, Buffalo Seminary was fortunate to have alumnae, family, and friends who chose to make Sem a philanthropic priority. Through the generous support of the members of our Founders’ Society, Leadership Club, Reunion Club and others, the school has once again exceeded its Annual Fund goal of $360,000. Thank you to all donors who in total have contributed to the success of the 2008 - 2009 Annual Fund campaign. As a good steward of their thoughtful investment, Buffalo Seminary will continue to strive for excellence in all programs in our ongoing effort to provide an exceptional education for our young women. Gifts to the Annual Fund support the school’s operating budget , having a direct impact on the education for girls. According to Giving USA, education saw a drop in charitable gifts of 9 percent. Not so for Buffalo Seminary, our donors showed renewed confidence and support by giving generously. To show your support and confidence in educating college-bound young women, please visit our newly redesigned secure website to make an online donation at Thank you.


June Celebrations

Graduation 2009

Celebrating the commencement, (clockwise from above) John Ruh with daughter Alexandria ‘09; trustee Deborah Lipke with daughter Katherine ‘09; Tracy Kreppel ‘11, Annalee Burkley ‘11, Elizabeth Ruh ‘11 and Cailin Walsh ‘11; Stephanie Haddad ‘09 with father George; Iana Spann ‘09 and Jamillah Salaam ‘09; Naomi Jackson ‘10, Alanna Anderson ‘10, Kyrie Vermette ‘09 and Sadie Baker ‘09; (center) trustee Robert Carr with daughter Jule ‘09

Betty Butzer Brown ‘44 Young Faculty Award


o honor excellence in teaching and dedication to Buffalo Seminary and its students during the first ten years of service, the Betty Butzer Brown Young ‘44 Faculty Award was presented to Seminary English teacher Carey Maines at the start of graduation ceremonies, Tuesday, June 9th. The named award for distinguished teaching was presented to Ms. Maines by trustee Margaret Brown ‘72, daughter of the late Mrs. Brown. The award was established by Captain John Brown to honor his wife, Betty Butzer Brown, Buffalo Seminary Class of 1944, and former history teacher at Sem. The Brown family recognizes that outstanding teaching is the foundation of a Seminary education, and they have endowed this award to celebrate the accomplishment and commitment of a younger member of the Buffalo Seminary faculty.

Carey Maines

Carey Maines joined the English Department in the fall of 2006. She teaches sophomore English, and the senior electives Graphic Novel, and Multicultural Literature. She also serves as sophomore class advisor. Ms. Maines holds a B.S. in Secondary Education English from SUNY College of Buffalo and is finishing her M.S. in English Education with a concentration in Multicultural Education. She is an editor for Amherst Media of Buffalo, NY, and a former trustee of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County. Ms. Maines has co-authored several works on regional history and has given lectures on the history of Richmond Avenue and its surrounding area.


June Celebrations


Reunion 2009 Opposite page: Top Row: Class of ‘64; Class of ‘94ers, Rayleen Tolejko and Tori Brooks; Class of ‘44 Second Row: The Hays Family, Maureen Hays-Mitchell ‘72, Mary Rose Hennessy Hays ‘44 and Judith Hays Benedict ‘79; Class of ‘04; Class of ‘39; Class of ‘49 Third Row: Class of ‘74; Class of ‘79; Outstanding Service Awardee Marritje Van Arsdale Greene ‘69 with Jody Douglass Fourth Row: BSAA President Gitti Barrell ‘75 with Outstanding Service Awardee Molly Potter Scheu ‘44; Class of 1954; Reunion attendees at the Garret Club Bottom Row: Class of ‘69; Class of ‘94 This page: Top Row: Jody Douglass and Betty Kleindinst Fierle ‘44; Outstanding Service Awardee Karen Ellentuck ‘69; former BSAA President Lillian Osberg Fromm ‘50 with Class of ‘49ers Jan Roberts Fretz, Jacqueline Travis McNally and Jane Ruslander; Class of ‘64ers Second Row: 50th Reunioners - Class of ‘59 Third Row: Class of ‘89 Fourth Row: Class of ‘99; Outstanding Service Awardees Ruth Knight Cole ‘44 and Suzanne Dorntge Pearson ‘44 Bottom Row: Class of ‘89 Outstanding Service Awardees not pictured: Nancy Clucas ‘59 Randy Cole ‘69 Barbara Fischer McQueeney ‘74 Cynthia J. Williams ‘69 Annette P. Wilton ‘84 Katherine P. Wilton ‘89

Semper Fidelis Awardees, Margaret “Peg” Metzger Keane ‘39 and Lois Daly Wright ‘34 with Jody Douglass


“Live Large”


ara VanDerveer, Seminary Class of 1971, recalled some forty years ago sitting in the Buffalo Seminary chapel listening as a returning alum addressed the student body. Her thought, “That would never be me.” Au contraire!

inducted into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and, in 2002, the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday, May 26th, Tara stood on that very stage addressing the current student body – and loving every minute of it! “This will be you someday,” she told them. “It goes fast. I encourage you to live your life large.”

Discussing leadership, dreams and goals, she recalled the circumstances of her appointment as the U.S. Olympic team coach. “At the press conference where I was announced as the head coach, the head of USA Basketball introduced me this way: ‘It’s not about bronze. It’s not about silver. It’s about gold. Tara VanDerveer.’ All of a sudden,” she said. “I had to deliver.”

And, “large” is how Tara has lived her life. For the past 23 years she has served as Tara VanDerveer ‘71 Stanford University’s women’s basketball coach, twice leading them to national championships. In 1996, she led the United States women’s basketball team to an Olympic gold medal during the Atlanta Games. She was

Her career began in Niagara Falls coaching her sister’s team. “That was my start,” she explained to the Seminary community, “and basketball is my passion. Now my job is what I love.”

To encourage the students, she said, “It’s a risk to be a leader. It’s risky to put yourself out there, but that’s what’s fun. You have to not be afraid to put yourself out there. It’s hard to define what leadership is, but I would say to be authentic, to be who you are and know what you stand for. Be enthusiastic, be passionate and be knowledgeable.” And Tara VanDerveer’s career convincingly reinforces these words.

Buffalo Seminary Celebrates Earth Day


uffalo Seminary launched a Rural Water Ventures (RWV) “awareness” campaign on Earth Day, April 22nd. With excitement for Sem’s all new athletic facility which will open in the fall, and in keeping with this “small footprint” renovation, Athletic Director, Jessica Heffler, came up with the idea of raising environmental awareness by selling sustainable, recyclable aluminum water bottles. The water bottles have both the Buffalo Seminary and RWV logos on them. Helen Marlette, Dean of Students, and her advisee group sold the bottles throughout the day on Earth Day. The goal was to have the girls purchase the water bottles and spread the word about RWV and also help the environment by not using plastic water bottles. The prof-

its from the water bottle sales will go to Rural Water Ventures. Sales will continue throughout the summer and into the fall with the unveiling of the new Buffalo Seminary Squash & Athletic Center. Rural Water Ventures, Inc. is a non-profit corporation committed to saving lives and reducing the incidence of serious disease among rural villagers in Nicaragua by funding projects that will provide them access to adequate quantities of safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation.

Taking Part in Art Alive: A Walking-Talking Art Contest


aturday, June 6th, Buffalo Seminary freshmen penciled on the famous Marilyn Monroe beauty mark for the live interpretation of Andy Warhol’s famous silk-screen portrait of the actress as they participated in the 13th annual Art Alive: A Walking-Talking Art Contest, held on the lawn of Albright-Knox Art Gallery. With the aim of instilling a better understanding and appreciation of art, students from four freshman art classes worked for ten weeks to perfect the several colorful portraits of Warhol’s Monroe. As Nkiru Ifedigbo ‘12 explained, “You gain a better understanding of art from being so involved, as opposed to simply looking at a piece of paper.”

Art Alive is sponsored by the Junior Group of Albright-Knox Art Gallery and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

Prototype and panels from Kate Simonds’s four freshman art classes


Year-End Accolades Expect the best from a girl, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. At Buffalo Seminary, learning takes center stage, and a girl’s accomplishments matter. What she believes in and how she puts her beliefs into action are more important than what she wears. Here, the scientists and singers, athletes and scholars are girls. All the doers and the leaders are girls. Female mentors abound, whether faculty or fellow classmates. And that’s the key to real achievement: positive role models, abundant opportunities, personal practice and real-life experience. At the end of the school year we celebrate those wonderful achievements: Athletics - Most Valuable Player Basketball Varsity - Alexandria Ruh ‘09 Jr. Varsity - Olivia Knauss ‘11

Crew Varsity - Catherine Yeksigian ‘09 Novice - Ariana Rabin ‘12 Fencing Varsity - Carol Sullivan ‘10 Field Hockey Varsity - Victoria Dann ‘09 Jr. Varsity - Eliza Kaye ‘12 Golf Varsity - Jordan Mitchell ‘09

Poetry Awards 1st - Olivia Knauss ‘11 2nd - Hailey Stern ‘09 Jordan Mitchell ‘09 3rd - Sarah Collins ‘11 Annalee Burkley ‘11 Short Story 1st - Kyrie Vermette ‘09 Sarah Abell ‘12 2nd - Madison Paulk ‘12 3rd - Sarah Shafik ‘12 Math Awards AIME participant Yixuan (Maxine) Hu ‘10 So Yeon Moon ‘09

AMC 12 top scorer Lacrosse So Yeon Moon ‘09 Varsity - Sarah Miller ‘11 Jr. Varsity - Jennifer Cotto-Ecklund ‘11 AMC 10 top scorer Yeon Soo Kim ‘11 Soccer Varsity - Kilby Bronstein ‘10 NY Math League top scorer Victoria Dann ‘09 Squash So Yeon Moon ‘09 Varsity - Elizabeth Bassett ‘11 Kelsey Shea ‘10 Chunhui (Ariel) Xu ‘10 Swimming Varsity - Kelsey Shea ‘10 SET tournament winner Sarah Stoklosa ‘10 Farah Ashraf ‘09 Tennis Varsity - Katherine Bollier ‘09

Student Recognition Day Art Show Winners Faculty Senior Choice Katherine Bollier ‘09

Faculty Underclassman Choice Jenna Millemaci ‘10 Art Department Choices Katherine Lipke ‘09 Grace Hennigan ‘09 Carmen Kowalski ‘09 Chelsea O’Donnell ‘09 Danielle Fanara ‘09 Tristan Lynn ‘09 Business First WNY Academic Team 2nd Team - Jillian Smith ‘09 Special Mention - So Yeon Moon ‘09 Business First Community All-Star Shoshana Bibas ‘09 English Awards Louise Magavern ‘63 Poetry Award Elizabeth Bassett ‘11

Rebekah Farrar ‘09

National Federation for Just Communities Award Sadie Baker ’09 National French Exam Kelsey Shea ‘10 Deanna Arthur ‘10 Patricia Haddad ‘11 Jaime Engl ‘12 Yeon Soo Kim ‘11 Maya Meredith ‘11 Nicolette Korpolinski ‘11 National Society of High School Scholars Iana Spann ‘09 National Spanish Exam Sarah Abell ‘12 Kara Olszowy ‘10 Michela Gacioch ‘10 Taylor Smith ‘10 Alexandra Muto ‘10 Julia Papiernik ‘10 Jenna Millemaci ‘10 ROTC Scholarship Alexandria Ruh ‘09

Science Awards Jaime Engl ‘12 Stephanie Haddad ‘09 Naomi Jackson ‘10 Jillian Smith ‘09 Mingus Daniels-Taylor ‘12 Madison Paulk ‘12 Nkiru Ifedigbo ‘12 So Yeon Moon ‘09 Jule Carr ‘09 Elizabeth Ruh ‘11 Rosina Falletta ‘12 Caroline Spencer ‘12 Kelsey Shea ‘10 Patricia Haddad ‘11

Class Day and Moving Up

Jean Wende McCarthy ‘31 Award Kyrie Vermette ‘09 Cally Montesano ‘74 Award Rebekah Farrar ‘09 Mount Holyoke Book Award Michela Gacioch ‘10 Outstanding Athlete Award Catherine Yeksigian ‘09 Miriam Berger Rashman ‘29 Award Kyrie Vermette ‘09 Madeleine Breinig Reid ‘33 Award Alexandra Muto ‘10

Alumnae Association Award Grace Hennigan ‘09

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Award Kelsey Shea ‘10

Cum Laude Society Induction Farah Ashraf ‘09 Jule Carr ‘09 Stephanie Haddad ‘09 Joelle Luongo ‘09 Arielle Shine ‘09

St. Lawrence University Book Award Kilby Bronstein ‘10

Ensemble Award So Yeon Moon ‘09 Jillian Smith ‘09 Faculty Award in Honor of Robert A. Foster Sadie Baker ‘09 French Language Award Kelsey Shea ‘10 Margaret Storck Hart ‘40 Art Award Katherine Bollier ‘09 Harvard Book Award Kelsey Shea ‘10 Head’s Award Alexandria Ruh ‘09

Science Department Award Jillian Smith ‘09 Semper Fidelis Awards Freshman - Jaime Engl Sophomore - Kathryn Melber Margaret Mugel Junior - Naomi Jackson Senior - Victoria Dann Suzanne Young Smith ‘63 Award Kelsey Shea ‘10 Spanish Language Award Iana Spann ‘09 Annette Wells Stevens ‘24 Freshman Friendship Award Sarah Shafik ‘12 Gary R. Sutton Award Jordan Mitchell ‘09

Margaret B. Herron ‘73 Award Victoria Dann ‘09

Vocal Music Award Sadie Baker ‘09 Alexandria Ruh ‘09

History Department Award Joelle Luongo ‘09

Wellesley Book Award Grace Niswander ‘10

Paul J. Koessler Award Linda Goodman, math teacher

Williams College Book Award Deanna Arthur ‘10

Linda Rashman Levine ‘59 Award Nicole Ruh ‘11

Graduation Day

Math Department Award in honor of Jane Turner So Yeon Moon ‘09

Betty Butzer Brown ‘44 Young Faculty Award Carey Maines, English teacher


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Reunion 2010

Summer Fun on the Road with SEM Join us near the summer shore, at one event or maybe more!

Meet Jody Douglass, Head of School. Catch up with what’s happening at Sem and share some summer fun with Sem Alumnae. Wednesday, July 22nd – Connecticut Shore 5:00 - 8:00 P.M. At the home of Margaret Brown ‘72 East Norwalk, CT

Planning for their 50th - at The Wharf, members of the Class of ‘60 Patty Marcy Richards, Judy Becker-Cavallon, Ellen Wile Schiller and Jill Borland Flynn

Patty, Judy, Ellen and Jill Are Planning To Attend Reunion 2010. Why Not Plan To Join Them?

June 4th and 5th All Alums Are Welcome Special Tribute To Those Class Years Ending In 0 And 5

Thursday, July 23rd – Manhattan Garden 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. At the home of Linda Cornelius ‘71 NYC Wednesday, August 12th – Champlain Shore in Vermont 11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M. Hosted by Patty Marcy Richards ‘60 and Nini Augsperger Crane ‘63 Inn at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT Thursday, August 13th – Kennebunkport, ME 12:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. At the home of David and Joan (Rieckelman ‘51) Strachan To RSVP or for more information, contact Janie Constantine ‘66 at or 716-885-6780. Space is limited, so let us hear from you soon. Directions for each gathering will be sent to those who RSVP.

Sem Snippets June 2009  
Sem Snippets June 2009  

Buffalo Seminary Newsletter