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FALL 2007


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View from Mt. Ida Panorama Around Emma Comment Sports Round-up Class Notes/In Memoriam From the AAC Alumnae Connections In the Archives Images of Emma

photo by Steven Ricci


Celebration 2007 12 Weekend Synopsis 14 Symposium 18 We Are Emma 20 HerStory 22 New Spaces 24 DAA winners 28 Reunion 2007


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Cover photo by Gary Gold



By Trudy E. Hall, Head of School

The Power of One Each of us has authentic power. I like to call it the power of one. We can believe in it. Grab hold of it. Act on it. It’s personal; it’s ours. This fall, our school community took on the issue of personal power in a compelling mantra: women, power, and responsibility. Over a stunning September weekend, a cadre of notable women from the international arena guided and inspired our exploration, and you will read more about the perspectives we heard and shared in the following pages and on our website. Let me set the tone for your reading—just as I set the tone for our 194th academic year at September’s Opening Convocation—with my own perspectives on power. I define power as the ability to influence outcomes. Historically in this country, women had relative lack of access to resources that could directly improve their status. Despite the fact that we arrived on the Mayflower in 1620, American women did not officially have the right to vote in national elections until 300 years later; and that right was won only after a long, contentious struggle. Lucy Stone, a reformer who played a key role in launching the suffragist movement (in the company of our own pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Troy Female Seminary Class of 1832), was admitted to Oberlin College in 1837, but although she was permitted to attend class with men, she was not allowed to read her own papers in class,

participate in debates, or deliver a commencement address that she had written. A woman’s voice was not yet welcome in a public forum. Even then, however, women were not to be deterred in exercising their authentic power. So what is authentic power? It is real power: power that is not granted by the position society has assigned us—being the spouse of a president, or being born to royalty or wealth. Nor is it power that is granted by the position we might have earned—the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the head of school or captain of a team. Authentic power is the power that is hardwired into us from the moment we are created. Dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said of such power: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and it will be lost.” In my convocation talk, I reminded our students to pay close attention to those moments when they feel more competent, more comfortable, more successful, more alive, more focused. These are moments when they are very close to their own authentic power. If they were to lose the potential of those moments, all of us would lose. And I reminded them of something equally important, that with power comes the responsibility to do something: power an idea, power a promise, power a risk.

—Trudy Hall can be reached at 2

Emma Willard School

Perhaps most important, I am committed to teaching them that power is a gift. They must use it wisely, use it judiciously, use it only with good will as their intent, and they must never use it as a weapon. While it is true that women who have chosen to embrace power have not always walked an easy path, their perseverance has made a difference in the lives you and I live. They applied their power responsibly, and we are the beneficiaries of their triumphs—from the right to birth control to the right to vote; from the right to own property to the right to speak publicly; from the right to pursue an education wherever our intellect takes us to the right to run for political office. We honor these women by following their lead and exercising our authentic power with gusto and flair, with purpose and determination. Whatever our age or position in life, we need to claim our authentic power and use it creatively, responsibly, and joyfully. We must never play small. If we have an idea, we must act on it. If we have a belief, we must stand up for it. If we expect Emma Willard students to become women of power and responsibility, it is up to those of us who have gone before to show them the way. Are we owning our own authentic power? Are we leading by example? n


EMMA Fall 2007 n Vol. 65, No. 3 EMMA, the Bulletin of Emma Willard School, is published by the Communications Office three times each year for the alumnae, parents, grandparents, and friends of Emma Willard School. The mission of EMMA is to capture the school’s remarkable history, values, and culture through accurate and objective coverage that adheres to the highest journalistic and literary standards. STEVEN RICCI Manager of Publications and Media Relations Editor SUSAN H. GEARY Web and Production Manager Class Notes Editor CHERYL ACKNER Class Notes Coordinator Design by Kristina Almquist Design Alexis Murphy ’08 Hilary Rosenthal ’08 Student Interns TRUDY E. HALL Head of School TRUDY J. HANMER Associate Head of School MARGARET A. FUSCO Director of Strategic Communications LARRY LICHTENSTEIN Director of Advancement Molly Price Director of Alumnae Relations Please forward address changes to: Emma Willard School 285 Pawling Ave. Troy NY 12180 (518) 833-1787 or visit www.

A Sage Tower gargoyle is hoisted back into place. More coverage on page 4. Photo by Steven Ricci

I Ain’t Afraid of No Gargoyle It’s 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 1, 2007, and the day is already hot and humid. I’m lingering outside The Laundry with videographer Lisa Grace ’77, who has been documenting the school’s master plan projects, and Assistant Head of School Eric Niles, who earlier that week had sent us an email announcing that the Sage Tower gargoyles would be returned to their perches on Wednesday should we want to record the event. With a clunky borrowed hardhat cinched to my scalp and my ever-present Nikon slung across my shoulder, I stare up at the network of scaffolding that encircles the tower, trying to absorb the dizzying verticality of this immense nest of pipes and platforms. I count the flights of stairs to the top (losing track at 14) and accept that the exertion and the heat will thoroughly traumatize the quadriceps of a middle-aged editor who uses the elliptical trainer in his family room as a snack tray. We are approached by a pair of construction supervisors chatting on cell phones with workers already on the tower. They have hoisted the first gargoyle aloft and secured it, they say. The second gargoyle has been strapped to its tether and they will be raising it presently. Time to climb. The illusory sensation that the scaffold is wobbling reminds me that I’m now inhabiting a set of time/space coordinates that should not be occupied by anyone who is fond of the internal nature of his vital organs. But I keep climbing and after a few minutes we arrive at the top platform, which sits just below where the crenellations have been neatly chiseled off. Even through the haze of the muggy late-morning air,

the view is dazzling and I start firing the camera. When the crane swings the second gargoyle into position, I transfer the source of my anxiety from the heights I’ve just surmounted to the gargoyle itself. As the crane operator (who can’t actually see the gargoyle because he’s located 100 feet below and inside a cab) inches it into place, I try not to consider the abrupt atmospheric freefall we’ll experience should this 2,700pound limestone monstrosity slip from its harness. However, that anxiety is soothed by watching the expert masons ease the beast’s massive stone pedestal into its niche, secure it with rebar beams, and slather it with cement so that it can peer safely across Mount Ida for another century. After half an hour it’s time for reentry, which sparks a discussion of which is more unnerving, the ascent or the descent. The consensus: the second leg is worse because you must look down at the steps in order to maintain your balance, which forces you to notice the tormenting distance between yourself and the security of terra firma. It’s also the trip down that truly angers the thigh muscles. Like a rookie astronaut returned safely to the earth, as soon as I reach the ground I immediately want to go back up so that I can stand once again, as Eric noted, where few members of the Emma Willard community can claim to have stood—outside the top of Sage Tower. At that thought, my burning quadriceps instantly send an urgent message to my brain: “Climb those steps again and every time you sit down I will make you scream like an ambulance siren.” Nice meeting you, gargoyles; see you in another hundred years. n —Steven Ricci

—Steven Ricci can be reached at

Fall 2007




Rousted and Roosted They’re back. After almost a century of peering across Mount Ida from their lofty heights, Sage Tower’s gargoyles were removed for several weeks this summer to accommodate masonry repairs. Once their perches were restored, the gargoyles were returned and secured to their original locations.

After securing the rigging, workers signal the crane operator to hoist one of the 2,700-pound gargoyles.

Picking Up the Pieces Shortly after he joined the music department in September 1953, Russell Locke, faculty emeritus, found that the school had not kept a file of programs for the concerts and recitals that had been given during the years. For the next half century, he made sure that these programs used for Christmas Vespers (now Eventide), the spring choral concert, Honors Convocation, baccalaureates, alumnae choir concerts, and the many student and faculty recitals were kept as a permanent record. As he neared retirement in 2003, Locke came to grips with the serious problem of storing the large collection of choral music, which, with the growing size and diversity of the music program, had increased significantly over the years. “It was all over the place—in various closets, piled up in my office, on top of furniture and under it,” he said. “It needed to be pulled together. We needed a library for our choral collection and our archives.” He convinced the administration that Snell 202 was a good place for such a library, and with the purchase of shelving and storage boxes, he began the chore of consolidating, organizing, and properly cataloging the thousands of pages of choral music, many of them yellowed and worn with age—a job which he has continued into his retirement. “Part of the retirement mentality is that you don’t want to leave a mess behind,” Locke said. “I was really itching to do this.”

A gargoyle’s-eye view of the inner campus as GirlSummer campers stroll across the Senior Triangle. Photos by Steven Ricci


Emma Willard School

Russell Locke and the newly organized choral library. Photo by Steven Ricci

What he has done, though, is more than simply clean up a mess. “Emma Willard has a rich choral tradition, and having all of our music easily accessible and in one area is a great help to me or anyone interested in studying our collection,” said Debra Spiro-Allen, director of choral music. “In addition to our music collection, Russell has created an archive of the music programs, a practice we continue to this day. These are gifts one cannot find in a file cabinet.” The majority of the work, Locke says, is done. Each item in the collection is cataloged on index cards according to composer and title, and stored in one of 100 tightly packed, numbered boxes. Locke is also compiling a repertory list of music that was performed during his tenure—a task, said Spiro-Allen, that is “vital to the music history of the school.”

Mentionable Honors Mad About Science

A Nobel Distinction

Wander the laboratories of the Hunter Science Center and you may find science instructor Maureen Harrison concocting some oddly reactive chemical mixture or ruminating pensively over a tray of sheep’s brains. Since she arrived at Emma in 1994, Harrison’s passion for research and experimentation has made her classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and neuroscience among the most popular academic offerings with students. In September, Emma Willard named Harrison the Eliza Kellas Instructor in recognition of her standards of teaching excellence (she was the 2002 winner of the Madelyn Levitt and Linda Glazer Toohey Award for Faculty Excellence) and her exceptional devotion to the extracurricular life of the school as a resident faculty member, creator and director of the freshman orientation program and co-advisor of the senior proctors.

Math instructor Angela Richard said she was “shocked and honored” last May when the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) announced that she had been named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction. She hadn’t realized she’d been nominated by one of her students, NSHSS member Wendy Xu ’09. The award—named for Claes Nobel, a member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes—is given for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in teaching. Winners must be nominated by NSHSS members, a select group of the nation’s top national scholars, through an essay that describes the teacher who has had the most positive influence on them. “This is my first teaching award,” said Richard, who teaches algebra, trigonometry, and geometry, and is also a swimming coach. “I’m very grateful to Wendy.” “Most teachers just teach their subject,” Xu said. “But Ms. Richard really cares about how you’re feeling.”

Maureen Harrison, Eliza Kellas Instructor Photo by Steven Ricci

Dance Fever Dance instructor Sue Lauther, the newly appointed Elsa Mott Ives Instructor, is known around campus for a nearly perpetual smile, which fades only when she sees someone failing to recycle. In addition to her environmental advocacy, Lauther is a consummate teacher of all levels of dance: ballet, jazz, contemporary, theatrical, choreography, history, and more. She literally danced her way across the globe

during a 2003 sabbatical, studying various dance forms with internationally acclaimed artists in dozens of countries and bringing many back to Emma to perform and teach master classes. Under her leadership as coartistic director, the Emma Willard Dance Company has developed into a flourishing ensemble that enables students to showcase their talents in cities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Wendy Xu ’09 and Angela Richard, 2007 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Photo by Steven Ricci

Sue Lauther Elsa Mott Ives Instructor Photo by Steven Ricci

Fall 2007




Encounters Great and Small What began last year as a chance encounter for Kent Jones, director of college counseling, culminated this summer in an enriching and adventurous journey—one, he said, that has made his life more complete. When he was in his early 20s, Jones discovered the works of James Herriot, the pen name of Scottish-born veterinarian James Alfred Wight, whose books about the people and animals he encountered in his practice in the Yorkshire Dales of England include the 1972 classic, All Creatures Great and Small. Jones, who comes from a farming background, immediately identified with Herriot’s heart-warming tales of English country life. On a November 2006 trip to visit his daughter Caitlin ’04, who was studying in London, Jones spent two days in the Yorkshire Dales, finding them equal in beauty to Herriot’s literary depictions. He also visited Herriot’s veterinary surgery in the small market town of Thirsk, now a museum and historic site known as the World of James Herriot. After returning to Troy, Jones and his wife, Bonnie, traveled to Fort Myers, Florida, to visit her aunt, Jane Hanks. Knowing of Jones’s interest in Herriot, Hanks had arranged for him to meet Alfred Ames, a resident of her retirement home whom she had recently heard give a talk about his relationship with Herriot. Jones soon learned that Ames had been a book reviewer and an editorialist for the Chicago Tribune for more

than 30 years, and had written the initial American review of All Creatures Great and Small, which launched Herriot’s American and international success. Herriot was so grateful to Ames that they became friends, beginning a correspondence that lasted from 1972 to 1993, two years before Herriot’s death in 1995. During his first meeting with Ames, Jones talked about his fondness for Herriot’s books, and of his recent visit to the Yorkshire Dales and the museum. Ames shared his treasury of Herriot correspondence, consisting of about 26 letters and numerous articles and letters about Herriot that Ames had collected over the years. “I was speechless,” Jones said, especially when Ames mentioned that he was considering donating his collection to the museum. “Dr. Ames felt strongly that others needed to know that the James Herriot they loved was, in real life, the same warm and wonderful person portrayed in his books,” Jones said. “He wanted the letters to be part of the James Herriot legacy.” Ames asked Jones to carry the letters to England and present them to the museum on his behalf. Once again, Jones said, he was speechless. Returning home from Florida, he contacted Sue Dalton, manager of the Herriot museum, and asked if they would be interested in Ames’s collection. Of course, he said, they were. He also contacted Lisa

Kent Jones, director of college counseling Photo by Steven Ricci

Anderson, New York bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune. As a young reporter in 1986, Anderson had interviewed Herriot, thanks to his affection for Ames and the Tribune. Her feature article was among the papers included in Ames’s collection. In a July 2007 Tribune article, Anderson warmly recalled her daylong interview with Herriot and wrote an article about the “homecoming” of his letters. On July 10, Kent and Bonnie returned to Thirsk and presented the collection to Herriot’s son and daughter, Jim Wight and Rosie Wight, who accepted it on the museum’s behalf. Although he had long dreamed about visiting the world of his favorite author, Jones said that he never anticipated he would one day play a part in contributing to his legacy. “Like so many things in life,” he said, “the most wonderful experiences are the ones least expected.” —Hilary Rosenthal ’08

New development staff

Heather Cordes, director of annual giving, and Tracey Kellogg, director of major gifts Photo by Hilary Rosenthal ’08


Emma Willard School

Emma Willard’s Development Office welcomed two new staff members this summer. Heather Cordes, director of annual giving, is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam and hails from Tarrytown, New York, where she was the director of the annual fund at the Hackley School. She says she was attracted to Emma Willard because of the girls’ school environment, having worked previously at the all-girls’ National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. Cordes oversees Emma Willard’s Annual Fund, which supports the school’s operating budget by raising funds for costs not covered by tuition revenue.

Tracey Kellogg, director of major gifts, earned her undergraduate degree in English at Siena College and a master’s degree in counseling psychology at James Madison University. Prior to joining Emma Willard, she worked at Hartwick College as the director of annual giving and at the Kent School as the director of alumni relations. As she joins a development staff in the midst of an ambitious campaign, she said, “I am really excited to be here. This is an incredible institution, with phenomenal alumnae. I am thrilled to be a part of the team.” —Hilary Rosenthal ’08

Huan Ying (Welcome)

Ginger Lin has a message for her students: “Learn Chinese.” Photo by Steven Ricci

As China develops into a major international economic power, its influence is being felt throughout the world—even in secondary education. This fall, Emma Willard introduced Chinese to the language curriculum so that interested students who might one day find themselves working in China or with Chinese companies will be prepared. Ginger Lin, who is teaching the course this semester, thinks that’s a good idea. “The country is developing so quickly, no matter what students find themselves doing in the future, it may involve China,” said Lin, who has been teaching for 16 years both in Taiwan and in the United States. Lin received a bachelor of arts and master of arts in Chinese literature from the National Cheng Gong University in Taiwan and taught Mandarin and Chinese philosophy to foreign students at the university’s Chinese Language Center. After graduating, she taught Chinese literature at Kao Yuan University and Shu De University in Taiwan. Since coming to the U.S. in 1995, she has worked as an interpreter in various upstate New York courts and taught Chinese as a Second Language at the Chinese Community Center of the Capital District. Although Chinese is often perceived as a difficult language to learn for English speakers, Lin believes that is a misperception. “It really is not difficult if you give students the right tools and use the right methods,” said Lin, who is a student and practitioner of Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. “In one month you can be speaking many words of Chinese. It’s very easy. Just ask my students.”

Guests of Honor Soldier, journalist, doctor, dancer—all made their way to Mount Ida this fall to enlighten and entertain students.

U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Rebekah Strock ’01 (right) spoke to an assembly of students and faculty about her recent deployment to Baghdad. Strock outlined the day-to-day activities of the soldiers in her outfit and explained the details of the many missions she has executed during her tour of duty.

Veteran television journalist Lynn Sherr was the first speaker in the 2007–2008 Serving and Shaping Her World Speakers Series. In an award-winning 30-year career, Sherr has covered a vast number of stories with emphasis on investigative reporting, women’s issues, and national politics.

Richard Selzer M.D. spoke to students and faculty about his dual professions as both a physician and as a writer. The second speaker in the 2007–2008 Serving and Shaping Her World Speakers Series, Selzer has authored a number of works about medical and moral challenges.

Filmmaker Micah Magee (left), daughter of Emma Willard dance instructors Kevin and Barbara Magee, screened some of her recent work for the art department’s Film and Video class in September. The work shown ranged from a documentary done in Turkey to an experimental story based on a series of Romanian folk songs. Photos by Steven Ricci In September, dance students enjoyed a master class in Odissi, a classical Indian dance, by guest artists Aloka Kanungo (pictured) and Urmi Samadar. Kanungo is a world-renowned dancer, choreographer, scholar, and teacher who has won awards and performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Fall 2007



Celebration 2007:

Pride and Appreciation by Libby Pockman Hughes ’50 A powerhouse weekend—exciting, impressive, a whole stack of exemplary adjectives. Celebration 2007 aroused feelings of pride and appreciation for the Jane Austens of the future; pride for the school that Emma Willard has become; and appreciation of the educational riches it offers to today’s young women. Everywhere I turned on campus, I met alumnae who wanted to erase the years and join the free spirits in today’s classes. And yet, they also agreed that they wouldn’t trade their experiences of 10, 25, or even 50 years ago. After registering on Friday, visitors sat in on classes and faculty seminars and also watched as the Alumnae Association Council bestowed its Distinguished Alumnae Awards on several accomplished graduates. Many of those who had not seen the campus in years were astounded at the way the contemporary renovations blend the old with the new. Emma’s well known Tudor Gothic exterior harmonizes beautifully with the modern, hi-tech interiors. The new Kellas Dining Hall has a huge, rectangular servery filled with colorful selections. Sage Dining Room has been converted to a Student Center, with sleek modern sofas, a television, and a pool table. Sage Living Room is now a well-appointed study area, and the long arm of Sage now houses the Admissions and Student Services offices. But Celebration 2007 was not about showing off new furniture and offices. It was about what it means to be part of the Emma Willard experience. One of the most powerful reminders of this came during Saturday morning’s symposium, “Women, Power, and Responsibility.” This gathering of alumnae, students, and guests had the stamp of pure professionalism on it—something one might find on an Ivy League campus or at a national conference for women. Following an introductory video by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, Katty Kay, anchor of the BBC World News, delivered a powerful keynote address in which she 8

Emma Willard School

Libby Pockman Hughes ’50 (right) chats with Carol Orton ’62 during Celebration 2007. Photo by Steven Ricci

challenged America to reconsider the criteria it uses for choosing its leaders, in the way many other developed nations have already. After her address, she was joined on stage in Mott Gymnasium by nine other women, all thoroughly accomplished in the arenas of philanthropy, government, entrepreneurship, journalism, and education, and all sharing stories of challenge, achievement, and accomplishment. But before any of them had spoken a word, the message to the students in the audience was clear: work hard at something and success will come, no matter what the obstacles. This captivating symposium had been preceded by the traditional Alumnae Parade—in which the reuniting alumnae strode proudly across the inner campus, their class banners waving in the brilliant sunshine of a Mount Ida morning. And it was followed by a picnic lunch and an afternoon dedication ceremony for the new student spaces. At this point it seemed that Celebration 2007 had exhausted its amazing menu for the day. But much more was on tap. Another extravaganza (this one a bit of a surprise) came on Saturday night, again in the Mott Gymnasium. The audience didn’t know what was to come until the lights went down and we began to see the spotlight go from one end of the stage to the other, focusing on alumnae spanning the decades from a member of the Class of 1942 to a member of the Class of 2009. These eloquent women spoke passionately about how the school had affected them during their time as students and in their lives post-Emma. And what stories they were. As each ended her tale by proudly proclaiming, “I am Emma!” the audience whooped,

clapped, and stamped their feet, the surge of pride from students and alumnae alike in abundant evidence. Saturday’s copious festivities were capped by a voluptuous buffet banquet, music, and dancing in the outdoor tent. (My colleagues and I wondered aloud if the headmistresses of our day, Anne Wellington and Clemewell Lay, might be turning over in their graves at the unrepressed merriment.) On Sunday morning, song from the student and alumnae choir commenced an inspiring and touching Alumnae Chapel Service conducted by the Reverend Keenan Colton Kelsey ’62. After the service Associate Head of School Trudy Hanmer hosted a farewell brunch in Kellas Commons, during which she recapped some highlights from the history of Emma Willard School that she is now writing. As Celebration 2007 wound to a close, with long-lost classmates hugging goodbye and wistful alumnae taking in the scenery one last time before heading home, I exchanged my impressions of the weekend with Evelyn Reading, my 1950 classmate. She summed it up perfectly: “The girls’ boarding school of my dreams actually does exist. The energy is universally contagious, and there is purpose in everyone’s stride. It’s awfully nice to know that ‘We are Emma’ too.” Libby Pockman Hughes ’50 is an awardwinning author, editor, playwright, and lyricist who has staged plays on three continents and written biographies on such notables as Yitzhak Rabin, John Grisham, Ronald Reagan, and Tiger Woods. In 2005 she received the Emma Willard School Alumnae Association Council’s Life Achievement Award.


Tennis Jesters are All Aces In just four years, the Emma Willard varsity tennis team has not only moved from Class B to Class AA, they’ve proven themselves to be a commanding presence in this highly competitive division. “Any win over a Class AA school shows that we belong at this level,” said Head Coach Judith Curry, “which is why our victories over Niskayuna and Guilderland were so big for us.” The Niskayuna win ended the Jesters regular season at a perfect 9–0 and sent them to the sectionals, where they logged victories against Shenendehowa High School in the quarterfinals and Shaker High School in the semifinals before a loss to Bethlehem High School for the AA championship. The 2006 season marked the team’s first participation in Class AA, and the Jesters proved themselves worthy by making it to sectionals. A loss in the first round however, Curry said, motivated the team to move further into sectional play this year. With all but three players returning this fall, she said, the talent and experience was in ample supply. Three players— Shibani Das ’10 (12-0), Eloise O’Connor ’09 (11-0), and Chandana Hemanthkumar ’10 (11-0)—held undefeated records through the season.

“Tennis is such an individual sport but we had such strong team chemistry,” Curry said. “Each person was a key component to the team’s success.” “At first I was worried about how our season was going to be because we lost some seniors last year,” said co-captain Alexandra Goodman ’08. “However, this has turned out to be the best year for the team. Our lineup continued to match every team and we almost won the whole AA section by coming in second place. We continuously stayed optimistic and we played 110 percent every time we stepped on the courts.” Goodman’s stellar play this season qualified her to compete in the New York State high school competition in Syracuse in October. She is the first to reach this level in Emma Willard varsity tennis history. “Not only did our team do well but I have played the best season I have ever played and reached my goal, making states,” Goodman said. “Unfortunately, I did not get very far but it was a great experience.” With only Goodman and co-captain Eva Bochem-Shur ’08 graduating this fall, Curry expects 2008’s team to continue proving its worth in Class AA. —Alexis Murphy ’08


The 2007 varsity tennis Jesters: (front row) Eloise O’Connor ’09, Eva Bochem-Shur ’08, Alexandra Goodman ’08, Reeya Boolchandani ’09, Shibani Das ’10; (second row) Robin Levy ’09, Head Coach Judith Curry, Charis Alexander ’09, Caroline Winkeller ’10, Colleen Kilbourne ’10, Jennifer DeVito ’10; (third row) Alexandra Graff ’09, Chandana Hemanthkumar ’10, Yoon Jeong ’09, Coach Chris Kimberly, Emma Przybyszewski ’09, and Katherine Arnold ’10. Not pictured: Anne Hargrave ’10. Photo by Steven Ricci

Fall Sports Leaders

The following students were recognized for their athletic achievements at the 2007–08 Fall Athletic Awards: Cross Country • Julia Jones ’09, Most Improved • Danielle Volman ’08, Coaches’ Award Varsity Field Hockey • Sarah Ohanesian ’10, Most Improved • Charlotte Richards ’08, Coaches’ Award JV Field Hockey • Margaret Kelsey ’09, Coaches’ Award • Yi-Chun Chen ’09, Coaches’ Award Varsity Tennis • Alexandra Goodman ’08, Coaches’ Award • Eva Bochem-Shur ’08, Coaches’ Award Varsity Soccer • Jennifer Porter ’10, Most Improved • Shelby Campbell ’08, Coaches Award JV Soccer • Alyssa Lodge ’11, Most Improved • Emily Dollar ’10, Coaches’ Award Varsity Volleyball • Tess Mabry ’09, Most Improved • Lindsay McDonald ’08, Coaches’ Award Varsity Swimming • Victoria Caruso ’10, Coaches’ Award • Kara King ’11, Coaches’ Award Fall 2007




Emma Willard School

Photo by Gary gold

ION 2007

An Emma Event to Remember Fall 2007


Students thrill in the shower of confetti launched following the We Are Emma family portrait on Saturday evening. Photo by gary gold

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m a. More than 18 mupon Mount Id as truction was co w r ns be co em or ri pt te Se in d an or ri en nvenient exte ge Tower had be dusty, and inco onry work to Sa as m e fices iv of ns of te s ex he Dozen ing to a close. T back on the job. e er w s of le es oy ec rg pi s of the ga well as thousand completed, and as f, af st d an ing faculty and sometimes and accompany been resituated d ha ar t, ye en h pm 4t ui 19 hool’s furniture and eq mma Willard Sc E of school g in he en T . op he the foliage d he us br re-resituated. T d ha r lo e first hint of co in fall 2007. loomed, and th tranquil respite d an t ie qu a r ready fo institution. community was e history of the th in la ga t es rg e threw the la students, trustSo, of course, w reds of alumnae, nd hu , 30 d an to take part in ber 27 friends gathered Between Septem d an , ts es gu s, iends and ministrator 07. Long-lost fr 20 n ees, parents, ad tio ra eb el ification e moment—C amed with grat be ls ia an incomparabl fic of ol ho new spaces; ed and cried; sc classmates hugg school’s stunning e th ed ur to e, d in the ths agap in classrooms an ts as visitors, mou en ud st t en rr campus; cted with cu across the inner rs lo alumnae intera co r ei th d t bearers parade the world’s mos dorms; banner to hear some of ed er at th th ga y lit ity un sponsibi the entire comm the mantle of re t ou ab k of e ea sp ud ultit omen lightened by a m accomplished w en e er w ts an w ip nae ere er; partic stinguished alum di ; comes with pow ns tio ta en es at breaksions, and pr mingled freely ts an seminars, discus br le ce ; ts eir achievemen hildren strolled recognized for th d picnics; grandc an , ns io pt ce re nners, played; choirs dmothers once fasts, lunches, di an gr d an rs he as confetti. their mot es. And there w at on fields where sm as cl st lo d s remembere sang; worshiper a few of the Lots of confetti. read about just d an e se ill w u lthough they g pages, yo y happening. A ar In the followin in rd ao tr ex is 07, they are mprised th Celebration 20 of moments that co rd co re d te that rmanent prin a Willard event will serve as a pe hoes of an Emm ec d evean hi ns ac io ct refle Grand only the simple y years to come. an m r fo ly , nd st ande leavrecall fo is was Emma’s gr th participants will d an , ns io at … When grand celebr e who were here os ments demand th of ds in m ought on the ing only one th —Steven Ricci ain? can we do it ag se visit ration 2007 plea eb el C of ge ra For more cove n. www.emmawill 12

Emma Willard School

Julia Jones ’10 and Augusta Needles Field ’56 chat on their way to Saturday’s Symposium, Joyce Ostrow Sillins ’57 and Bernie “Women, Power, and ResponSillins are off to Sage to see the many sibility.” Photo by Steven Ricci changes. Photo by Steven ricci Top: Pru Palmer Hollands ’57 and Jean Evans Craig ‘57 Photo by Gary Gold Middle: Suzanne Seaman Berry ’57, Bunny Billo Alexander ’57, Sue Gregory Gargalli ’57 and Nancy Bloom Johns ’57 peruse a Slocum Hall display case containing memorabilia and past issues of school publications such as The Clock, Triangle, and the bulletin. Photo by Mark Van wormer

Disguised as Emma herself, the Class of 1977 carries their banner at the Parade of Classes. Photo by Gary gold

Tamara Finkelstein ’97 and Jennifer Bennett Laflin ’97 Photo by Mark Van wormer Phyllis Ayers Harmon ’57 and Melissa Wilpers ’10 enjoy editing a video during a film and video class in the Maguire Art Wing computer lab. Photo by Gary gold

Julie Quarles Keggi ’52 and friend Lesley Rosecrans Smith ’62 and Dianne Martiny Strong ’62 model their original Emma Willard uniforms. Photo by Mark Van wormer

Members of the Class of 1972 relax on the inner campus on a spectacular fall afternoon. Photo by steven ricci

Fall 2007


20 07 N O I T A R C EL EB

, and r e w o P , Women ility Responsib braces its respon

a Willard em education, Emm s’ rl gi ex relationship in er ad le As a en to the compl om w g un yo g in uc sing global chal sibility for introd day’s most pres To y. lit bi by si et on m be and resp alth care—will between power ess, illiteracy, he sn es el become m en ho y, om rt w ly when on lenges—pove d re ue nq co morrow, and the leaders of to . of the solutions aders—repan integral part nding women le ta ts ou n te , 29 nology, ptember education, tech t, On Saturday, Se en m rn ve go as diverse as stage in Mott resenting fields health—met on ic bl pu d an , ce an , and Responsiphilanthropy, fin “Women, Power d le tit um si po .S. Senator r a sym troduction by U Gymnasium fo in o de vi d de or ilg a prerec ative Kirsten G bility.” Followin U.S. Represent by ed ered uc liv od de tr in ay K Katty Hillary Clinton, levision anchor te s ew e N or ld pl or ex W C en to librand ’84, BB ed girls and wom ag ur co en l at ne th g pa ote it. The followin an elevating keyn g their place in in fin NBC de of re t le en hi esid the world w Pitts ’72, vice pr ne Ly by ed guests to a at d er an e, students, na discussion, mod um al of ce s in ed the audien ggle and succes News, introduc se stories of stru ho w e, en iv ct om w pe p of re pers remarkable grou cisive advice, ra in d re fe of s on professi their respective spiration. in , and abundant the symposium d in launching te no l al e H us y ca ud be ol Tr power As Head of Scho out women and ab k ea sp d to an t e brac momen d that women em “We chose this an m de es ng le ar e st t orld’s chal propriate that w ap ’s It we must. The w n. ca en g ways only wom hool is the livin apply power in t. Ida, as this sc M on nn co tio to sa er er w conv r po this important an who used he om w a d, .” ar lly ill ua W and eq a Hart legacy of Emm ate women fully uc ed to e tim at it was vince America th 07 please visit Celebration 20 of ge ra ve co e For mor n. www.emmawill


Emma Willard School

Lyne Pitts ’72

Photo by Mark Van wormer

Lyne Pitts ’72, Deb Adams, Elizabeth Colton ’66, Anne Cotton, Christel DeHaan, Dina Dublon, Shirley Ann Jackson, Kathy LeMay, Kathy Kay, Kersten Gillibrand ’84 Photo by gary gold

Shelby Campbell ’08 stands to ask a question at the end of the panel discussion. Photo by gary gold

Katty Kay signs an autograph for Marissa Butners ’09 as other excited students wait to meet the BBC journalist. Photo by steven ricci Fall 2007


U.S. Representative Kirsten Gillibrand ’84: “I

really developed advocacy skills here [at Emma Willard]. I developed an interest in public service, and I recognized something that’s so important, that women really do help other women. Working together we can accomplish everything.” Photo by Steve Ricci

Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News: “If there is one

thing I’d like you to remember from what I say this morning, it’s that you, like no one who has come before you, are global citizens, and you must think of yourselves as such. The more you know about the world around you, the better you will be equipped for this new life. Learning a language, spending time abroad…and steeping yourself in a foreign culture, those are the best ways to equip yourselves for the new planet…. You can dispel your own fears about the rest of the world and you can change the fears of other people about your own country. You’ll also discover the single most important fact about education: it doesn’t stop at the schoolhouse door.” Photo by gary gold

Trudy Hall, head of school: “Each of these women

is here because she has a vision for a better world. Each has found a unique way to create change. At Emma Willard we believe that the passionate involvement of educated women can change the world.” Photo by gary Gold

Kathy LeMay, CEO of Raising Change: “If the majority of people think

you shouldn’t do something, that’s the exact thing you should do. I was 24 in 1994, and the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina had broken out. I was living in Seattle, working for an AIDS service organization. Life was good. I had a nice little apartment, I had great friends... . And I remember when journalists broke the stories of rape and genocide. I remember the covers of Time and Newsweek, and I just sat and stared at them and said, ‘I don’t know how to reconcile this. I don’t know how to do my life here, and go to the movies and get pizza, while at the very moment there are women being brutally raped as a strategy of war.’ I didn’t know how to manage that. So I thought, okay, I’m just going to go. And everyone said, ‘No, don’t go! You go to places like that after [the war], post construction, when you can rebuild.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’d want someone to come for me.’ So I got a second temp job so I could afford it, and flew Air Croatia—me and six Serbian businessmen. I had no idea what I would see or if I could be helpful. But I remember saying, ‘If it’s keeping me up at night, then do something about it.’ At some point it does not become useful to you, or the world, to just talk about how bad something is. You need to take action and just show up.” Photo by gary gold 16

Emma Willard School

Elizabeth Colton ’66, founder of the International Museum of Women: “The social problems that

we face are so tremendous. It will take a generation or maybe more to get even close to ending poverty, ending illiteracy, ending hunger. But we know from every group that we work with… that if you empower the women in the community, all of those issues are changed and are resolved more quickly.” Photo by gary gold

Christel DeHaan, founder of Christel House: “Look at

something that is extremely meaningful to you and say, ‘I can put a mark on this; I can put my imprimatur on this, and I can make a contribution.’ Search within yourself for what you have a passion for, then seek a place or an organization where you can display that passion. Do it with an immense measure of excellence.” Photo by mark van wormer

Ann Cotton, founder and executive director of CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education): “In a profound way, the

education of women affects the whole of society. It brings down child deaths. It brings down maternal mortality. It improves family nutrition. And, indeed, it has a profound impact on the environment through population. But while all these arguments for women’s education… are incredibly important, what we must also remember is that education is a fundamental human right for every single child. We mustn’t only think of educating girls because of what they can deliver for society. Each and every individual child has the right to an education.” Photo by mark van wormer

Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and trustee of Emma Willard School: “I chose MIT be-

cause [it] had just opened a dorm for women; and so the women didn’t have to live off campus anymore. So I’m working on the first physics problem set, and all the women on my floor were out in the hallway working together… . I said ‘May I join you?’ And one of them looked up and said, ‘Go away.’ I said, ‘Well, look, I’ve worked half the problems and I think I really know the answer.’ And another one looked up and said, ‘Didn’t you hear what she said? She said go away.’… I went back to my room and I actually, literally, cried for about a half an hour. But then I thought about my mother and what she had gone through. And I said ‘Well, I’ve got to finish this problem set.’ And that’s what I did. It is important that as we, as women, think about the empowerment of women, we don’t forget that it is really about the empowerment of everyone; and that we don’t forget the essential humanity that ties us all together.” Photo by mark van wormer

Fall 2007


“My wish for our new Emma grads— and that group includes my daughter Laura (Class of 2007)—is that they will never shy away from something new out of a fear of failure. Years from now, she’ll look back and know that so much of who she is, is because of Emma, just as it is for me. My name is Kate Hendrickson, Class of 1975, and I am Emma.” Photo by gary gold

“What an incredible opportunity it was to be a student at Emma Willard. I was amazed at how great the education was here—the small classes, the one-on-one interaction with the teachers, the music, the art, the beautiful campus. I just finished my Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology at UC Davis. There is so much more research I want to do. I would love to apply my skills to help improve public health conditions in poor countries. My name is Yen Duong, Class of 1997, and I am Emma.” Photo by gary gold


Emma Willard School

“It’s a thrill to belong to a school that is so invested in giving girls an education that will catapult them on to do great things. We are standing here at a moment when the potential and the momentum for strong female leadership have never been more palpable or more energizing. I am Tess Marstaller, Class of 2005. I’m Mimi Marstaller, Class of 2009. And we are Emma.” Photo by ????

“My friends at Emma Willard helped me to be true to myself. I felt that I knew myself before I came here, but I left with the realization that there is much yet to discover. I am Victoria Atkinson, Class of 2003, and I am Emma.” Photo by gary gold


We Are Em ma

“Well, I’ve been wandering arou nd this campus nothing looks fa for hours now, miliar.” and With these wor ds, a bewildered “Madame Will guests to explai ard” implored he n what had beco r m e of her school. during Saturday Although her vi evening’s We A sit re Emma celebrat pected, and her ion was unexconfusion was un derstandable, sh her concerns w e soon learned ere unfounded. that In heartfelt and ten extraordinar st ir ring soliloquies y Emma Willar , d alumnae rang 1944 to the Cla ing from the C ss of 2009 spok la ss of e ab out how their M tions helped th ount Ida educaem find their vo ic es and forge thei graduates. r achievements as Ruth Scott Eyre ’44 told the foun der, “People tell of energy. I’ve be me I have a lot en happy to de vo te much of it ov Emma. My atta er the years to chment has alw ays been here: th about Emma W ere is just somet illard. I owe the hing school a great de my life.” al for the patter n of Eleanor Lumsd en ’94 said, “To this day, of the attended, Emm schools that I’v a has been the m e ost valuable to the world, and me. I will travel I will accomplis h so much mor dreamed before e than I could ha I came to Emm ve a. Once you’re anywhere.” here you can go “Those were th e most importan t two years of m ham Quattleba y life,” Poppy B um ’54 said of inghe r time at Emma the best friends Willard. “I mad I ever had. I lear e ned to speak up needed to be do and do whateve ne. I had a sens r e of my own wor importance of fa th and I learned mily and friend the s.” As each alumna ended her narrat ion with three si am Emma,” the mple words, “I audience replie d with roaring Madame Willar ap pl ause. Finally, d (given voice by Associate Head Hanmer) joined of School Trudy her students in recognizing the their lives. school’s impact on “I could not be more proud…be cause this legacy to me…and be means the world cause I am Emm a.”

“When my daughter Ashley (Class of 2005) was four years old, I wanted to take her to a place where she could experience her heritage as a female. When I looked around for a place to take her, I found none. I made it my mission to build such a place. When Ashley was 15, I wanted her to be educated in a place that valued women, honored their places in history, and inspired and prepared them to serve and shape their worlds. This time I knew where to take her. My name is Elizabeth Colton, Class of 1966, and I am Emma.” Photo by gary gold “I always wanted to be a doctor, like my grandfather in Pakistan. Yes, grandfather, I am a doctor. My specialty is treatment of early-stage melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Yes, Emma Willard School, you helped me become the person I wanted to be. I am Kishwer Nehal, Class of 1986 and, yes, I am Emma.” Photo by gary gold

IO N 2 0 0 7

For more covera ge of Celebratio n 2007 please vi www.emmawill sit n.

From the


Just Another Emma Day By Erin Crotty ’84 During Emma Willard’s annual Parent Days celebration in October, I offered to attend classes with my niece, Hannah Bower ’10, daughter of my sister, Ann Crotty ’83. I had forgotten how hectic being an Emma student can be. This is the Emma Willard day (version 2007) that I experienced: 7:45 a.m. I met Hannah at the day student lockers, now located next to the new Student Center (formerly the Sage Dining Room). The Student Center has a pool table and a large-screen plasma TV that cannot be turned on during the school day. I don’t remember having lockers when I was a day student at Emma but we did have a Day Student Lounge in the basement of Slocum, complete with plastic bubble chairs from the ’70s, but, trust me, no pool table or TV. 8:00 a.m. Our academic day started in geometry class. The students were bright-eyed and ready to tackle the most difficult problem set. I, on the other hand, was still looking for a place to get some coffee. Together we learned about vectors, congruence, perpendicular gliding reflecting triangles (demonstrated using a computer), and other vexing geometric conundrums. The teacher also split the entire class (parents included) into three teams to solve a geometry problem. All the teams managed to arrive at the correct answer, although each used a slightly different route to get there. I thought that was an important lesson to learn. 8:55 a.m. Remember Morning Reports? I sure do. I remember them being first thing in the morning, though. Today’s Morning Reports are still in Kiggins, but take place an hour after classes start on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. We were told about the col-

leges visiting campus in the coming week; a trip to Spain planned for the summer; the all-school photo shoot; the tennis team’s undefeated season to date; Emma’s 11 National Merit scholars; Al Gore’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize; and the debut of the school year’s first edition of The Clock. We were also entertained by an interesting performance from 12 Tones that included a medley from “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” by Jay-Z. All that in 14 minutes. 9:10 a.m. Hannah really likes chemistry. She had been telling me about the experiment that was planned for the class, and she even had a hair-tie for me to pull my hair back so it wouldn’t go up in flames. The class is learning about the emission spectra specific to certain elements. We were broken into teams and our lab consisted of a flame test in which the students and parents heated different salts and recorded the colors that were emitted. The Hunter Science Center, where the class was held, had not been built when I was at Emma, but the facility is of the highest caliber and the students seem right at home among the scientific apparatus. Following the experiment, we headed down to the basement of Weaver Hall for the famous wintergreen Lifesavers experiment. The basement of Weaver is where my passion for life sciences was ignited. I took anatomy and physiology with Cornelius (Corny) Provost, and we not only dissected fetal pigs but we also performed hysterectomies on mice. I recently learned that Mr. Provost passed away. I regret not telling him what a profound impact he had on me and my career choice. 10:20 a.m. I took Spanish when I was in school and will occasionally try to have conversations with Hannah en Espanol. I must admit that my Spanish is more than a little rusty, so

—Erin Crotty ’84 is president of the Alumnae Association Council.

my recollection of Spanish II class may be completely inaccurate. I believe it was about the various types of communication (“tipos de comunicacion”—Mrs. Hunter would be so proud) between different Hispanic populations residing in the U.S. A map of Spain reminded me of my fantastic trip to Spain and Morocco, chaperoned by Mrs. O’Brien, during spring break of my junior year. The trip to Spain with my Emma friends was a wonderful cultural experience, and I was glad to hear that they still offer such trips during breaks. 11:30 a.m. We enjoyed lunch in the new Dining Hall and relaxed in the Sage Student Center while reading The Clock. Then it was off to history class, where I learned that potatoes don’t come from Ireland after all, and acting class, where the students were instructed to speak only in gibberish. After at this point, I had to leave Hannah to attend a meeting (at Emma) while her day continued with English class and a varsity soccer game. Aside from interesting discoveries in chemistry, Spanish, history, and geometry, my day with Hannah also showed me that academics at Emma Willard continue to be rigorous and challenging; the teachers are doing a great job at incorporating new media into classes for a high-tech generation; the newly renovated spaces feel as though they should have always been used this way; the students are engaged and enthusiastic; there is a sense of community and camaraderie; and the school day is hectic but fulfilling. Oh, and the varsity soccer team won. n

fall 2007




Debra Aaronson Lawless ’77 hosted Cape Cod and Boston-area alumnae at her home in Chatham, MA, for a reception on August 11, 2007.

Chatham, MA August 11, 2007 Back row (left to right): Debra Aaronson Lawless ‘77; Winifred Merrill Fitzgerald ‘43; Libby Pockman Hughes ‘50; Susan Edwards, former director of admissions; Anna Ellis ‘91; M. Barbara Greenwood ‘66. Front row: Joan Miller Sparrow ‘38; Linda Miller ‘55; Sue Koerner Pearson ‘83; Donna Applegate White ‘53. Not shown in photo: Sally Munson Bohman ‘79; Katherine Bringsjord ‘05.

Nancy Sinsabaugh ’72 hosted alumnae in her garden in Cambridge, MA, for a potluck and book discussion of Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind on August 22, 2007.

Cambridge, MA August 22, 2007

Left to right: Jacqueline Kennedy ’69, Carole Cole McMillen ’46, Nancy Sinsabaugh ’72, Diane Wynne Mercer ’61, Rebecca Hegarty ’89, Catherine MacIntyre Williams ’56, Kathryn Dale Stewart ’64, Bonnie Sontag ’65, Sue Koerner Pearson ’83 Not pictured: Ruth Culleton ’72


Emma Willard School

Betsy Gifford Gross ’72 hosted the DC Emmies for a discussion of Grace: An American Woman in China 1934 -1974 by Eleanor McCallie Cooper and William Liu, on Saturday, September 8.

A group of Boston-area alumnae and friends gathered on September 23, 2007, for the Komen for the Cure Race, which was chaired by Ann Beach ’76. The Emma team won an award for most money raised per team member in the school category!

Washington, DC September 8, 2007

Boston, mA september 23, 2007

Back row: Marcia Braude Weinberg ’62, Bonnie Casper Winston ’66, Sally Wildanger Marshall ’64 Front row: Nan Anderson Coughlin ’56, Betsy Gifford Gross ’72, Priscilla Smart Weck ’51, Erica Ling ’75

Left to right: Marla Keene ‘00, Emily Neubauer ’00, Erin Silverman ’00, Jeanne Walker Bourland ’82, Sue Koerner Pearson ’83 Not pictured: Kelly McDonald ’05; Jennifer Stearns Mottur ’85

Associate Head of School Trudy Hanmer P’05 presented her latest research on the history of Emma Willard School to a group of alumnae, parents, and friends in Boulder, CO, on Sunday, October 14, 2007.

Emma Willard School October 14, 2007

Left to right: Ellen Urell ’89 and Jessica Betterly ’85 Left to right: Lisa Shykula, Alice Dodge Wallace ’38, P’70, Anne Beach ’72

Left to right: Lauren Cronin ’03 and Trudy Hanmer P’05 Fall 2007


We can help you connect with classmates! • Contact us for your EWS Alumnae Online Community password. The EWS Online Community is a great place to reconnect and search for classmates, post personal updates and class notes, network, publicize your business, and share photos! • Are you interested in joining or starting an EWS regional group? We currently have groups in, Boston, Washington DC and Los Angeles. It’s a wonderful way to gather informally with EWS alumnae of all ages. Past activities include: picnics, sporting and fundraising events, book discussions and the list goes on! Contact us today for more information. • Have you misplaced a friend’s contact info? Contact us and we can try and put you in touch!


Jill Smith

Development Assistant (518) 833-1787

Margaret Roach

Associate Director of Annual Giving & Alumnae Relations (518) 833-1324

Marlena McNamee ’98

Assistant Director of Alumnae Relations (518) 833-1775

Molly Price

Director of Alumnae Relations (518) 833-1772

In the


An Early Emma Activist By Nancy Iannucci

The archive is filled with dozens of dusty old boxes marked “to be processed,” each packed with hundreds of clippings, pieces of correspondence, photos, and documents. Although perusing their contents lacks the exhilaration of acquiring a rare artifact through an online auction, or the thrill of opening a gift from an alumna or her family, the stories contained within these old files sometimes provide our most intriguing treasures: a chronicle of the lives of Emma Willard’s talented, innovative, and sometimes heroic alumnae. One such alumna who lived her passion—Eunice Burton Armstrong, Class of 1904—was discovered during a recent effort to collect historically significant letters pertaining to the early 20th century from the files of deceased alumnae. Born in 1887 in Waterford, New York, Armstrong was a thinker well ahead of her time. After graduating from Emma Willard and then Mount Holyoke College, she received her master of arts degree in sociology from Columbia University in 1912, and was also a graduate of the New York School of Social Work. Throughout her life, Armstrong was an accomplished social activist who fought for some of the great causes of her lifetime: women’s suffrage, civil rights, and the anti-nuclear proliferation movement. She marched in the first women’s suffrage parade in New York City in 1917, an event that transformed her life. She went on to become one of the founding members of the Carrie Chapman Catt Organization, which later became the League of Women Voters. After victory was achieved in 1920 in the form of the 19th Amendment, Armstrong took a respite from political activism. She attended the Institute for Psychoanalysis and was a lay analyst in private practice from 1932 to 1953. She also became an ac-

complished writer; among the many books, plays, and pamphlets she wrote, she won first prize from the Social Hygiene Society for a pamphlet entitled, Sex in Life. She also wrote book reviews for the American Journal of Public Health, and her three-act comedy, Technique, was produced on Broadway, though it closed after the first performance. As nuclear technology proliferated following World War II and the Korean War, Armstrong’s focus shifted once more to political activism. Through the pamphlets and articles she wrote, and the marches and demonstrations that she organized and participated in, pacifism became the object of her energies, and stayed with her until the day she died. During these activities, she did not forget her alma mater. In September 1955 she wrote to Principal Anne Wellington, enclosing a treatise (possibly inspired by Emma Hart Willard’s own, A Plan for Female Education) titled, Plan for World Wealth. The goal of the plan, according to its author, was peace attained through an agreement to guarantee no war, or threat of war, for a minimum period of four years. It was her hope that during this reprieve, “useful instead of useless activities will be performed by all members of all armed forces. And this substitution of useful goods and services must be accomplished without disturbing existing economic systems, or labor markets.” In a section titled, “Conversion from War Production”—an argument that would fit nicely into today’s debate on environmental changes and global warming—Armstrong suggests that “All money and labor now spent on the production of atomic energy for destructive uses will be used for research in, and development of, atomic and solar energy for peaceful purposes.”

“I wonder,” she asked Wellington, “if you think it sound education to arrange to have some of your students discuss the enclosed plan? After all, it is their world, and they should feel some responsibility to keep it from being destroyed.” In addition to her plan, Armstrong’s file is cluttered with pamphlets and flyers that she helped to compose and distribute regarding peace marches, promoting the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and various anti-nuclear-proliferation activities. One pamphlet invites global peace-conscious readers to sign the National Turn Toward Peace roster along with Eleanor Roosevelt, Clarance E. Pickett, Edwin Dahlberg, Martin Luther King Jr., Walter Reuther, and Dorothy Day. Armstrong also solicited signatures from members of the Emma Willard faculty and staff in this effort. In a response letter dated October 2, 1962, Manette Swetland, director of alumnae offices, informed Armstrong that she did “not have time in which to try to get signers for the petition you enclosed. Here it is however, with four signatures gladly given.” Mrs. Swetland went on to write that she would try and feature the great work she is doing in the next Emma Willard bulletin, and that “it should strike a responsive note to many an alumna’s mind, that SOMEone is doing something about today’s great problem, war.” Eunice Burton Armstrong died in her home at Scarborough, New York, in 1971. She was 84 years old. Forty-five years after it was written, Manette Swetland’s promise of recognition in the bulletin has finally been realized. Eunice Burton Armstrong might have slipped through the cracks of obscurity if it were not for the reprocessing project currently under way in the Emma Willard School archive. n

—Archivist Nancy Iannucci may be reached at Fall 2007


Sunny Days Saturday, September 29, 2007 Clockwise from lower right: Adeola Ajirotutu ’10, Libby Hughes ’10, Anna Mantero ’10, and Crystal Ruiz ’10. photo by Gary gold


Emma Willard School

Reunion 2008

Classes of 1933, 1938, 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003

If you are interested in volunteering for Reunion, please call (518) 833-1787, or e-mail

Save the Date: September 26-28 EMMA WILLARD SCHOOL 285 Pawling Avenue Troy, NY 12180

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 36 Pittsfield, MA

emma: fall 2007  

The alumnae magazine of the Emma Wilard School. Fall 2007.

emma: fall 2007  

The alumnae magazine of the Emma Wilard School. Fall 2007.