emma: summer 2007

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Ye Grey Walls Protected Preserving Our Magnificent Masonry


Spring/Summer 2007

Photo by Steven Ricci

DEPARTMENTS 2 3 4 8 9 26 63 64 69 72

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

FEATURES 10 14 18 20 22

Ye Grey Walls Protected A Table Spread for All Having 200 for Tea The Emma Willard IDEA Commencement 2007



Cover photo by Steven Ricci

22 20


“ I have met these Emma Willard girls, too… Not only have they laughed their way into loveliness, they have lived their way into wisdom.”

This One’s for the Girls This one’s for the girls who’ve wished upon a shooting star; you’re beautiful the way you are. So croons Martina McBride, the country music sensation on her CD, Martina (RCA/2003). Her album happens to be my workout music, as I pound my way through another morning session on the treadmill. Oh, all right, I confess. I adore country-andwestern music. I recently spent a glorious afternoon at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville. And yes, I have been to the Grand Ole Opry more than once. Honestly, a great day for me is any day I get to ride in the car alone with the local country-and-western radio station blaring. (You know that wonderful joke, don’t you? It goes something like this: What do you get when you play a country music song backwards? You get back your house, your dog, your best friend, your farm, your barn…) Well, here’s an even more stunning confession. I often find inspiration for my work as an educator in the lyrics of a country-and-western song. As I was hitting mile three, Martina’s voice surged into my headphones. This one’s for the girls, who love without holding back, who dream with everything they have. I’m transported to scenes from Emma Willard. It’s Revels, and the student body is screaming at eardrum-damaging levels. It’s Honors Convocation, and the student body is cheering Cum Laude and EW recipients.

It’s the dance assembly, and the student body is stomping to encourage each dancer in the recital. I pick up my pace. This one’s for all you girls about 13. Hold on to your innocence. Stand your ground when everyone’s giving in. I picture the eighth-graders I have been speaking with at open houses all year long, many of whom have not yet contemplated the advantages of single-sex education. If they were to come to Emma Willard, a big change would be in store for them. I love imagining how they would discover their strengths here. I think about all the bright girls from across the globe who find in Emma Willard a place that will teach them to honor their intellects and hone their voices so they will be heard. I’m up to mile four and Martina has swung into another verse. This one’s for all you girls about 25, in a little apartment, just trying to get by. Living on dreams and SpaghettiOs®, wondering where your life is gonna go. My mind goes to our young alumnae “about 25.” I know these young Emma Willard women. I handed them their diplomas on a June day not all that long ago. They are poised, articulate, and empowered. They have big dreams to make real. They may have already changed majors, changed jobs, changed boyfriends, and changed living spaces, but they are on a mission for good. They may not know precisely where they are going, but they have the conviction to make

—Trudy Hall can be reached at thall@emmawillard.org 2

Emma Willard School

their mark. I am really hitting my stride as I think about them. Martina keeps singing, and I find myself hoping she is not going to stop at every decade. This one’s for all you girls about 42. Every laugh line on your face made you who you are today. I have met these Emma Willard girls, too; at reunions and alumnae gatherings around the country. Not only have they laughed their way into loveliness, they have lived their way into wisdom. They have already made a difference in many people’s lives, and there is much more they intend to do. I admire their strength and grace. They and their counterparts from earlier decades are my role models. Heart pumping, I step off the treadmill. Martina is definitely not as breathless as I am right now. All around the world, this one’s for the girls. We are all the same inside, from 1 to 99. Well, I’m not so easily swept along in that lyric. In fact, in the coming day’s work I am about to witness something striking, something more and more apparent to me: Although Emma women “dream with everything they have,” their dreams are more colorful; their dreams are more ambitious; their dreams ignite sparks. A five-mile workout with a country kick and I’m ready for another great day at Emma Willard. Thanks to Martina’s reminder, I know that, for me, this day—just like the ones before and the ones after—is for the girls. n


Spring/Summer 2007 n Vol. 65, No. 2 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 sricci@emmawillard.org SUSAN H. GEARY Web and Production Manager Class Notes Editor sgeary@emmawillard.org CHERYL ACKNER Class Notes Coordinator cackner@emmawillard.org Design by Kristina Almquist Design 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 alumnae@emmawillard.org or visit www. emmawillard.org/alumnae.


Two photos in the winter 2007 issue contained misidentifications. In the opera photo on page 6 (Out & About), the gentleman at left is Stephen A. Brown, company manager of the Metropolitan Opera. On page 8, Marcy Taylor Pattinson ’64 was misidentified as Deborah Brumell ’64. We regret the errors.

“When your muse suggests moose, you probably shouldn’t argue.”


Why This Column isn’t About a Moose I’ve had a 24-year-career in newspapers and magazines, as a reporter, a columnist, an editor, a photographer, and even (briefly) a cartoonist. Of all the journalistic genres in which I’ve dabbled, writing a column is by far the most challenging. The frantic grind of crafting a lucid piece of writing while a frothing, apoplectic editor screams at you about deadlines has been known to impel otherwise well-adjusted people through the dark threshold of acute Valium dependence. This issue of EMMA was no exception, as our intrepid columnists labored to define their topics even as I hounded them pitilessly. Of course, they came through superbly as always. The peculiar problem with being an editor who also has to write his own column is that there is no one to hound me about getting my own column done. It is particularly hard in late spring, when the school year is winding down and dozens of tasks and events commence a vicious tussle for my time, energy, and creativity. So I confess, with no small measure of indignity, that even as I pestered my columnists for their submissions, I still had no topic for “Panorama.” In the throes of this familiar spell of writer’s block, my wife, Rhea, suggested that the young moose who visited Emma Willard this spring—trotting determinedly across our campus on his way to making headlines by visiting other parts of Troy—might be good column fodder. I had to admit that sprinting down Elmgrove Avenue on a 90-degree day, wearing dress shoes and slacks, and toting a Nikon D-70 in search of a renegade urban moose did seem like a departure from my daily routine worth writing about. And when your muse suggests moose, you probably shouldn’t argue. Then a distracting e-mail message arrived on a listserv to which I subscribe for the editors of school and college alumni magazines. Richard Lovegrove, copy editor for Virginia Tech Magazine, announced to

the list members that, with only two weeks to prepare, their editorial staff had released a memorial issue of its magazine about the dreadful shootings at VT on April 16. As I reviewed the online version, I marveled at the issue’s theme, “We will prevail,” so audacious and affirmative in the face of such immense tragedy. My eyes misted as I read the detailed biographical remembrances of the victims, including the story of Dr. Liviu Librescu, a renowned aeronautical-engineering educator and researcher who gave his life blocking the door of his classroom so that his students could escape through the windows. I perused the heartfelt condolences of sympathizers from across the globe, expressing their support and concern. I scanned a poignant photo essay painted with grief-stricken faces, tenderly laid flowers, soaring maroon and orange balloons, and glowing candles in the night. The issue is far more than a memorial; it is a masterful demonstration of the power of a publication to unite a devastated community and heal a despair of almost incalculable depth. It honors the fallen and bereaved, yet leaves no doubt that Virginia Tech will indeed prevail. The impregnable and unconquerable spirit of the Hokie nation as expressed in its alumni magazine will see that community through the worst day in its history. Returning to my work, it occurred to me that, as Virginia Tech’s magazine staff endeavored to chronicle such a monumental tragedy, they might have been grateful to have little else to write about than a lost moose who wandered on campus. But the moose no longer mattered to me. All that matters is that I’m never called upon to face such a ponderous task as have my colleagues in Blacksburg; and that if I am, I’m able to do it with the same grace, professionalism, and pride that comes from serving a school community that cares so profoundly about its family. Perhaps the moose will return in the fall. n —Steven Ricci

—Steven Ricci can be reached at sricci@emmawillard.org

Spring/Summer 2007




Recognizing Excellence The poets, the artists, the mathematicians, the scientists, the activists, the team leaders—at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony in May, Emma Willard acknowledged some of its most exceptional seniors. Thirteen candidates were accepted for induction into the Emma Willard Chapter of the Cum Laude Society, recognizing outstanding academic achievement, and 10 students were presented with the EW Award in honor of their exemplary leadership and citizenship. Also at the convocation, Head of School Trudy Hall awarded the Madelyn Levitt and Linda Glazer Toohey Award for Faculty Excellence to Angela Miklavcic, science instructor and coach. The keynote address was delivered by Paul Lamar, English instructor at Emma Willard from 1979 to 1995.

Cum Laude Society inductees: (front, l. to r.) Miró Cassetta, Crista Welch, Elizabeth Martin, Katherine Colson, Kateryna Kozyrytska, SunJoo Park, Laurie Massry; (back row, l. to r.) Rachel Ellman, Nastajjia Krementz, Lauren Vegter, Kathryn Dennett, Kelsey Saulnier, Ruby Ward

EW Award winners: (front row, l. to r.) Crista Welch, Alexis Steinberg, Miró Cassetta, Brennan Miller, Elizabeth Martin; (back row, l. to r.) Kathryn Dennett, Claire Feinberg, Aisha Simmons, Laurie Massry, Naffie Sawaneh Photos by Mark Van Wormer Angela Miklavcic, a science instructor and coach of the varsity basketball and varsity crew teams, is applauded by the faculty after being named the winner of the Madelyn Levitt and Linda Glazer Toohey Award for Faculty Excellence.

Paul Lamar delivered the honors address, titled, “Madame Willard on a Cellphone in Pine Island, Minnesota.” The Lamar Writing Prize was established in his honor in 1996 and has been awarded each year since. Photos by Steven Ricci


Emma Willard School

Debra Haffner Photo by Julia Jones ’09

John and Gia Recco ’10 Photo by Julia Jones ’09


Patricia Hilleren (right) speaks at AP Biology class in the Weaver conference room. Photo by Steven Ricci


Emma Willard was honored to welcome several guest speakers and experts to campus during the spring semester. In March, as part of the Serving and Shaping Her World Speakers Series, Amy Chiaro ’92, executive producer of NBC’s Weekend Today show, spoke to students about reporting, broadcasting, and the hectic but rewarding world of network television. In addition to speaking at an all-school assembly, Chiaro visited classes and community service groups such as The Clock and Emma Now, which work to report campus news to the school and the outside world. Painter John Recco (father of Gia Recco ’10) held a two-day painting course on mythological landscape and imagery in March. The first day’s session was devoted to developing ideas and sketching them on canvas, and the second session covered painting itself and the evolution of the image. Under Recco’s direction, students in the workshop created their own paintings. In April, the Serving and Shaping Her World Speakers Series welcomed Debra Haffner, a Unitarian minister and director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing. Haffner—who has been a guest on CNN, NBC’s Today show,

and Oprah—spoke on the topic of “Healthy Ethical Sexual Decision-Making” and offered students enlightenment and practical information to guide them through the complex world of adolescent sexuality. Also in April, Cathy Lorber, Ph.D., a practicing hypnotherapist, led a workshop for students on using self-hypnosis to reduce stress levels. Focusing on meditation and other forms of hypnotherapy as effective methods for tapping into the subconscious and invoking positive images, Lorber also explained to students the difference between myths and facts about hypnotherapy. In May, Patricia Hilleren, assistant professor of biology and the Lubin Family Professor for Women in Science at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, was a guest lecturer in Linda Maier’s AP Biology class. The Lubin Family Professorship at Skidmore—like the Sara Lee and Tillie K. Lubin Internship in Science at Emma Willard, now held by science instructor Jessica Martin ’01—was endowed by Sara Schupf ’58. The mission of both positions is to provide opportunities and role models for women in the sciences.

Amy Chiaro ’92, enjoys lunch with students and teachers in Sage Browsing Room. Photo by Steven Ricci

Saying Goodbye

This spring, Emma Willard bid farewell to two of its most respected faculty members, who leave for retirement at the close of the 2006–07 school year.

After working in the school library when she arrived in 1974, Dawn Stuart Weinraub became a language instructor, teaching both French and Russian. A talented violinist and music lover, she played in the school’s orchestra and has also overseen the Opera Club, organizing yearly trips to the Metropolitan Opera and other venues in New York City. She has also organized dozens of trips to France and Russia for students through Dawn Stuart Weinraub the years, has been active in community service organizations, and has also been a board member of the Friends of Chamber Music. As French instructor Françoise Chadabe said, “It has been an honor to have such an energetic, involved, and dedicated person among us. She has been an inspirational example of how one can bring one’s professional knowledge and interests to bear in an enriching educational environment.”

Only a few years after she arrived on the Emma Willard campus in 1978, Donna Simms, the Elsa Mott Ives Instructor in English, took an active and influential role in what would become known as the Dodge Study, the groundbreaking research study of the educational development of adolescent girls. Since that timepassion for, and devotion to, the education of girls have only intensified. She and her husband, Bob Simms, also a former Emma Willard teacher, hosted and supervised numerous trips to Greece for students over the years, and she has also served Donna Simms as advisor to school’s award-winning literary magazine, Triangle. “Anyone who speaks with Donna knows she is a scholar who cares deeply about the experience of being a student,” said English instructor Chris Carroll. “[She] has made a career of the life of the mind, and of the power of words and images to enrich that life.” Spring/Summer 2007




DoWN the

RABBIT HOLE Emma Willard’s campus has often been described as a wonderland but never more so than when the senior class brought Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to life on the Triangle for May Day. As the May Queen and her court surveyed the festivities, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and other famous characters from the classic children’s novel delighted the crowd.

Laura hendrickson stars as Alice in the May Day presentation.

the White Rabbit (Vanessa Coletto) laments his tardiness as tweedle Dee and tweedle Dum (Victoria Frary and Erin Schaff) look on.

the freshman class executes a perfect Maypole dance. the May Queen Elizabeth Woodham (center), and her court (from left) Alice Newton, Ashley Coletti, Laurie Massry, and Naffi e Sawaneh


Innovators All In April, Emma Willard School, in partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, hosted The Innovation Challenge, a juried science and technology competition open to area high school students. The competition was designed by a team of Emma Willard students and RPI faculty to encourage innovative thinking through the application of math, science, and technology to the solution of environmental and social problems. Teams representing five Capital District high schools—Colonie Central High School, Rondout Valley High School, Niskayuna High School, Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake High School, and Emma Willard—presented poster displays and delivered oral presentations to judges. The winning entry was “All Roads Lead to Hydrogen Fuel” by three students from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, who will split the $1,000 prize. 6

Emma Willard School

Emma Willard student Leto Karatsolis-Chanikian ’08 and her teammate Maximilian Kaplan, of Niskayuna high School, explain their project, “Closing the Gap: bringing Girls Closer to Science and technology,” to judge Dr. tobi Saulnier, CEo of 1st Playable Productions. Photo by StEVEN RICCI

Students line up for dessert at the new dining hall’s servery.

Welcome TO EMMA’S KITCHEN Erin Delaney ’07 and Elana Riback ’07 enjoy a table for two.

tergel Purevdorj ’10 samples the fruit salad.

After many months of anticipation, the Emma Willard community came together in May to celebrate the grand opening of its brand new dining hall, servery, and kitchen. Featuring gleaming copper highlights; hardwood floors; all new cabinetry, equipment, dishware, tables, and chairs; and sweeping vistas of the inner campus and playing fields, the hall was renovated from spaces in Kellas that formerly contained Kellas Living Room, Kellas Suite, dormitory rooms, and the Health Center. The new dining spaces will allow the school community to meet and dine together, something that was previously impossible because of the location of two separate dining halls in different buildings. The school store, which had been located in the basement of Sage Hall, also relocated to a much roomier and newly designed space in Kellas. Over the summer months, crews will be working to convert the old kitchen and dining halls into new spaces, as outlined in the school’s campus master plan. PhotoS by StEVEN RICCI

Facebook:The Musical In May, Emma’s fi nest thespians staged the premiere of Facebook: The Musical, a play entirely written, scored, and performed by the students. PhotoS by MARK VAN WoRMER

Julia Jones ’09

Sandra brooks ’10

Spring/Summer 2007


comment Lauren Vegter enjoys some sun and some reflection on the Senior Triangle. Photo by Steven Ricci

Thoughts from the Triangle by Lauren Vegter ’07

“This is a place where girls come first. Our education is geared toward us and our voices are number one in the classroom. We learn to have confidence in our opinions and inquiries.” One day, as my final year at Emma wound to a close, I sat on a certain lovely triangular piece of grass and reflected on my time here at Emma Willard. The sun was shining overhead, and I was sprawled on my brilliant white blanket, exerting the last energies of my senior year on building a tan to avoid the clashing of pasty skin with white dress at graduation. The inner workings of my mind came up with a few brilliant realizations that led to one stunning conclusion. First, I thought back on one of the biggest things I struggled with when deciding whether or not to come to the land of EW. Boys. It took me a long time to recognize that there were no boys here. Then I realized that if I didn’t notice they were missing, maybe they weren’t that important, at least in the classroom. In fact, when I studied in Spain last summer, they were distracting and largely unnecessary. There’s something distinctive about an all-girls’ education beyond the absence of boys. This is a place where girls come first. Our education is geared toward us, and our voices are number one in the classroom. We learn to have confidence in our opinions and inquiries. For example, at the conclusion of the opening ceremonies for the Harvard Model Congress this year, the keynote speaker asked for questions. In a room of about 1,400 high school students—ap8

Emma Willard School

proximately half of whom were female—15 confident participants in suits proudly marched up to the microphone to ask their questions. Fifteen boys. The probability of this randomly occurring, assuming an equal confidence level among both girls and boys, is 3 in 100,000. Emma Willard’s own Olivia Risner ’09 was the first girl to join the line. My point here is that at Emma Willard, we learn that our opinions are valid and valuable. At Harvard Model Congress, it seemed that most girls never learn this. There is something about the community of this school that is also special. Sometimes I feel that I live with 300 sisters. We learn together, we cry together, we laugh together, and we live together. (Even the day students practically live here.) There’s just something special about the community here that isn’t the same anywhere else. The teachers are involved and they care about you. Several years ago a beloved history teacher greeted me in his office to discuss the rough draft of my first history paper at Emma Willard. Upon noticing that I seemed excessively tense and stressed out for reasons beyond just the paper, he asked me if I was okay. Was I okay? A tear rolled down my face, not because of the stress, but because he had noticed I was unwell and he had cared. Without asking any questions, he offered me an extension on the paper. Teachers don’t do that at most schools.

And then there are the traditions of Emma Willard—nobody else has those. At Revels, half of the senior class happily dresses up as men, and we all prance around in medieval costume for several hours; and it’s absolutely awesome. Then there’s that certain lovely triangular piece of grass that I sat on as I pondered all this. It isn’t exactly conveniently located if you have to walk around it for three years, but you do so anyway. It’s tradition. Now, as I prepare to enter the world beyond Mount Ida, I look around and realize just how good it is here. And I think I’ll realize it even more once I leave. It’s not always easy to appreciate an all-girls’ school when your social life seems inhibited, or an excellent education when you have two papers and three tests due tomorrow, or the closeness and support of this community when it seems everyone knows every little detail of your life, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s difficult to look around and realize just how good everything is, but I hope our underclasswomen will take the time to do that during their years here. I don’t doubt that Emma Willard has been the greatest gift and experience that I’ve ever had. n Lauren Vegter ’07 will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall.

Sports round-up

laX To The maX There were only 28 seconds left on the clock when Crystal Painter ’09 wove around three defenders and fired a shot that found the back of the opponent’s net. The goal gave Emma’s varsity lacrosse team a 13-12 victory over Holy Names and the Capital District Women’s Lacrosse League Section II, Class C, girls’ championship for the second time in three years, capping a stellar season. The Jester’s 12th straight victory was especially meaningful, as the season’s only loss was the first game of the year—against Holy Names. The team went on to play Nanuet in the quarterfinal round of the state championship tournament on June 3 (the afternoon of Emma Willard’s commencement), but was defeated 15-4.

Carly Patane ’07 drives around defenders during a game against Albany Academy in May. the Jesters defeated Academy twice during the season, the team’s fi rst victory over its long-time rival since 1990. Photo by StEVEN RICCI

Caroline Gregg ‘10 sprints to victory in the fi rst heat of the 100-meter dash at the Fonda-Fultonville FreshmanSophomore Meet.

“In this sport, women can be as good as, or even better, than the men.”

Photo by Rob buCKLEy


dueling paSSionS Valigorsky takes love of fencing to Penn State this fall by Alexis Murphy ’08 While her classmates fulfilled their athletic ambitions by booting soccer balls, swimming laps, or leaping hurdles, Lee Valigorsky ’07 was waving a sword in someone’s face. The boarding student has been a competitive fencer more than five years and has been involved in the sport since she was 12. Although fencing may seem an unusual athletic endeavor for a preadolescent girl, in the Valigorsky family, it was a matter of tradition. “My brother does it and my mom wanted it to be a family thing,” she said. Fencing competition takes place on an electronic strip called a piste, which connects the two opponents at each end. The strip is connected by a reel of cable to a machine with several colored lights, which illuminate when a player scores, telling the referee whose point it is. In individual competition, fencers compete in a pool (a group of selected fencers) and must face each person in his/her pool, with the first to reach five points declared the winner. Continued on page 70

Track aTTack The Emma Willard track team had one of its best years this spring, with an undefeated record through 12 dual meets. The Jesters’ competition at invitational meets in May began with an impressive eighth-place finish out of 21 teams at the highly competitive Johnstown Invitational Tournament, followed by strong individual performances in invitationals at Fonda-Fultonville and Ravena, including a number of team records and personal bests. At the Class BB sectionals, the team closed the season so well that seven athletes moved on to the state qualifier meet one week later. Four new school records were set this year: ■ 200 meter dash: Sara Sobolewski ’10; 26.2 seconds. ■ 4x100 meter relay: Alexandra Goodman ’08, Abigail Sowah ’08, Elise Munn ’09, Caroline Gregg ’10; 52.07 seconds. ■ 4x800 meter relay: Katherine Brink ’09, Laurie Massry ’07, Danielle Volman ’08, Kathleen DeMichele ’07; 10:57.69 ■ 100 meter hurdles: Alexandra Goodman ’08; 17.40 seconds One record was tied: ■ 100 meter dash: Sara Sobolewski ’10; 12.7 seconds Spring/Summer 2007


Ye Grey Walls Protected Preserving Our Magnificent Masonry

by Steven Ricci Across thy open hilltop, The winds blow bold and free Oh ye grey walls protecting, We raise our song to thee! — From the Alma Mater, lyrics by Caroline Carter Davis, Class of 1903


Emma Willard School

A crane hoists netting to secure masonry work on Sage Tower. Photo by Steven Ricci


he original buildings of Emma Willard’s historic campus have now stood at the crest of that open hilltop for more than half the school’s existence, seizing the breath of first-time visitors, sparking the memories of returning alumnae, affording snug shelter and housing for inhabitants, and providing dramatic Gothic backdrop for reunions, weddings, yearbooks, snapshots, and Hollywood films. Since Slocum Hall, Sage Hall, and the Alumnae Chapel (formerly the gymnasium) opened their doors in 1910, their celebrated gargoyles, towers, parapets, crenellations, buttresses, and thick stone walls have not only provided us with a link to a bygone age of architectural splendor, they also have come to embody the strength and fortitude that underlie our founder’s mission. Throughout that time, however, as the school flourished and its graduates left Mount Ida to meet their futures, these magnificent buildings absorbed nearly a century of driving ice and snow, soaking downpours, slashing mountaintop winds, raw sub-zero cold, steady seeping drizzle, and glaring summer sun. The combined effect of the Northeast’s punishing climate and warmer winter temperatures in recent years have taken a toll on the stones and mortar that shape the school which has shaped so many lives. Among the first to notice the changes was Bill Gardiner, a member of the Board of Trustees and chair of its Facilities Committee. Gardiner was asked to join the board in 1994—as the school was planning the additions of the Hunter Science Center and the Cheel Aquatics Center—because of his extensive experience in facilities management and construction oversight at institutions such as Harvard University, Smith College, and Colonial Williamsburg. In 1996, during his tenure as director of facilities at Bowdoin College, Gardiner had an experience that would greatly inform his interest in Emma Willard’s masonry. While walking past Bowdoin’s chapel one day, he discovered a large chunk of stone that had fallen to the ground from one of the building’s twin, 120-foot granite towers. Inspecting the structures further, he noticed several bulges in the masonry, and joints that had fallen out of alignment. He reported his findings to the college immediately, and they embarked on a process that would involve taking the towers down stone by stone and rebuilding them entirely. According to Director of Facilities Ian

Smith, a comprehensive facilities condition assessment conducted in 2000 had noted that some of Emma Willard’s masonry structures would need to be addressed within 6 to 10 years, although no immediate needs were cited at that time. Then came the winter of 2005–06.

Freeze, Thaw, Freeze

A freeze/thaw cycle occurs when stones absorb rainwater through small cracks and pores, and the temperature fluctuates repeatedly from above freezing to below freezing and back. This action causes the water to contract and expand, mechanically deepening and widening the flaws in the stone, allowing increasingly deeper penetration, and accelerating decomposition of the stone. “The winter of 05-06 was a particularly bad winter for masonry,” Smith said. “There was an extremely high number of freeze/thaw cycles that year.” In the Northeast, temperatures typically go below freezing sometime around Christmas and don’t warm up significantly until February, he said. However, last winter’s stretches of unseasonably warm weather created a number of freeze/thaw cycles, and took its toll on the school’s stonework. “The winter of 05–06 jumped us forward a few years in the deterioration curve for the masonry and exterior walls.” Seepage can occur in virtually any area of surface stone that is exposed to weather, and is most evident when it rains—the famous gray walls turning almost charcoal in areas where the stone is absorbing water. It also weakens the mortar, as water works its way into the joints between stones and leaches out the lime and cement that hold them together, leaving just the sand. But weathering factors are particularly severe in sections of masonry that are open on more than one side and appear above the roofline. “Have you ever been driving and seen a sign that says ‘Bridge Freezes Before Roadway’?” Gardiner said. “That’s the same principle at play here.” Because the surface of a bridge has cold air above and below it, water will freeze more quickly than it will on the surface of the roadway, which is warmed by the ground beneath. Similarly, a section of masonry that is exposed to the elements on more than one side—parapets, crenellations, gargoyles, etc.—will deteriorate more quickly than will a section that is attached to a wall by backing and is warmed by escaping heat from the interior. Sage Tower,

with its massive arched windows around the circumference, is exceptionally vulnerable, as wind, rain, snow, and ice can enter and exit from all sides. Following the winter of 05–06, and in anticipation of a renovation project in the Laundry building, Gardiner and Smith conducted their own visual survey of the campus and found a number of signs that Emma Willard’s masonry was finally showing its age. The north side of the Laundry was of particular concern, as its tower was clearly out of alignment, and some of the mortar had eroded. “We noticed the mortar on one buttress was in very bad condition,” Gardiner said, “and that led us to start looking at other places.”

Time to Take Action

As they discovered similar conditions in some areas of Sage Tower, Kellas Tower, and the Chapel’s clock tower, they quickly realized that a thorough examination by experts was in order. On Gardiner’s recommendation, the school commissioned a masonry audit from the Boston-based consulting engineering firm, Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. (SGH), which had done the repair work on Bowdoin’s twin chapel towers. Field work on the masonry audit began in fall 2006 and SGH found six locations that required direct attention: the stone bridge connecting the roadway behind Sage Hall to the Bridges building, the Laundry tower, Sage Tower, Kellas Tower, the parapets over Kellas Garden, and the Chapel’s clock tower. Although there was never a risk of structural collapse or imminent danger to people on campus, Gardiner said, these areas of concern required immediate attention to ensure that they would not become safety issues in the near future. “There are certain areas that need to be rebuilt,” Gardiner said. “In other areas, mortar joints need to be raked out, which involves removing and replacing the mortar where any two stones meet horizontally or vertically. Water issues also need to be addressed. Some of the stones will need to be taken off, repointed, and/or reflashed.” “What we saw at Emma Willard is not uncommon for structures that have these kinds of projecting elements,” said Brent Gabby, principal at SGH in charge of the project. Gabby noted that, because these architectural components are usually far above ground level, it makes them more difficult to inspect. “They are often so high up Spring/Summer 2007


(Left) scaffolding was placed around the Laundry tower prior to its dismantling; (center) a mason chisels a block of stone outside Kellas Hall; (right) samples of Onondaga limestone. Photo by Steven Ricci

that it’s hard to get to them,” he said, “and people don’t see the distress until you get up there and do a hands-on inspection.” In January 2007, workers from Consigli Construction, Inc.—the Portland, Maine, firm hired by the school to perform masonry work—placed fine-mesh netting to provide stabilization over several of the identified areas, including the Sage, Kellas, and Chapel towers. The nets are secured by stainless-steel straps and bolts driven into the back sides of the stones. Because the deterioration to the Laundry’s tower was the most severe, school administrators opted to take it down completely. The crenellations on the tip of Sage Tower were also removed prior to the tower being netted. Throughout summer 2007, Consigli’s workers and stone masons will dismantle the tower from the top down to the cornice where the gargoyles are located. The gargoyles, which are not in need of repair, won’t be removed. Although the additional work on Sage is not part of the immediate-concern agenda, according to Assistant Head of School Eric Niles, because the tower is such an iconic symbol of the school, the administration decided to fasttrack the work needed to restore its condition.

Stone by Stone

The walls and adornments of Emma’s buildings were done in a style of masonry known as ashlar, a random arrangement of cut stones decided upon by the masons as they build. As a result, replicating its precise look is an exacting challenge. “There are two ways you can approach it,” Gabby said. “To replicate the aesthetic, you can either document the exact loca12

Emma Willard School

tion of a stone, take it down, do what you have to do in terms of repairs, and then put it back in the exact same place. The other process is, because the ashlar pattern is so random and there is no real logic behind it, you give the masons who are rebuilding it some artistic license to put the stones back in with the same sort of randomness, but without requiring that the exact same stone be located in the exact same location.” According to Chuck Kimberling, director of operations for Emma Willard, in the areas where stone was removed, every effort was made to preserve them for possible reuse. “Everything that did not crumble when taken out was saved, numbered, and cataloged,” he said. “The stones have been documented in extreme detail, according to the dimensions and configurations of the structures they came from. A laser study took images of each area to provide details on the size and shape of each stone.” According to Matt Tonello, Consigli’s project executive, some of the original stones may be reused if they are in good condition, some may be replaced from salvaged stone removed from the Laundry, and some stones may need to be newly cut, properly dimensioned, and then delivered to the site. Emma Willard’s masonry consists primarily of Onondaga limestone, named for the western New York State region that contains large quantities of it, although outcroppings stretch from Albany through southern Canada and as far west as Michigan. When newly cut, Onondaga limestone is dark gray, almost blue in color (which is the color Emma Willard’s walls were when first constructed) and fades to a lighter gray shade as the stones weather through the years. Using combinations of old and new stones, Tonello noted, can be problematic

because of the need to match the color. Hence, this type of restorative work is commonly known as a “long lead-time” project. “It’s not like a doorknob that you can pick up at the neighborhood hardware store,” Tonello said. The project’s complexity is compounded by the scarcity of stone masons qualified to do this kind of work. “It’s a dying art,” Tonello said, because of the rarity of this type of construction. “A lot of the stone buildings you see being built now tend to be thin veneers, usually brick or stucco. Even when you see a new building being built that looks like it’s made of stone, it’s probably just a two-inch, thin veneer of stone attached with brackets to the building.” However, he noted, Emma Willard’s bearing-wall structures may have two to three feet of stone in places. The walls of Sage Tower are 16 to 18 inches thick and are two to three feet thick in some of the walls. The walls at the base of the Laundry tower, he said, were close to four feet thick. “That was the technology of the day,” he said. “At that time, they weren’t using structural steel as much as they use it now, so there is a lot of labor that goes into laying that much material, and they tend to be very heavy buildings to bear the load of the floors and the roofs, and take the load from the internal structural components. You need a very thick, beefy, strong wall to do that work.” Among SGH’s recommendations, Gabby said, are improvements in waterproofing and flashing to reduce the effects of precipitation on the masonry. In 1910, when the original buildings were erected, and even in the ’20s and ’30s when Kellas and Weaver halls were constructed, builders utilized a barrier wall

system to facilitate water dispersal, which essentially used the absorption capacity of the stones to manage the water. “Think of it like a big sponge,” he said. “If you put a dry sponge under a little bit of water, that sponge will absorb the water and it won’t drip through until the sponge is saturated. These big thick walls act like a sponge; the rainwater is managed through absorption and subsequent evaporation after the rain stops.” Construction done after World War II more commonly used a cavity wall system, Gabby said, which manages water by creating a drainage plane behind the stone veneer, allowing it to run off before it can be absorbed. As part of SGH’s recommendations, Sage, Slocum, Kellas, Weaver, and the Chapel—which were all constructed in the first part of the 20th century—will all need to have their drainage systems converted to cavity walls, Gabby said, in order to prevent additional deterioration.

Looking to the Future With the school currently in the midst of the first phase of its adaptive reuse Campus Master Plan, on-campus construction activities have already stretched resources and schedules to capacity. The added construction needed for extensive masonry repairs

will likely exacerbate the situation, but all agree it is a deferred maintenance item that can no longer be deferred. “There is no intersection between the masonry project and the master plan,” said Niles, who has overseen the construction of Phase I. “Some people may be confused by that but even if we weren’t embarking on the current construction project, this masonry project would have come along anyway, and we’d be doing pretty much exactly what we’re doing right now. It’s just more complicated in that we have to do it on top of what we’re already doing. It’s stretching our internal resources to their max but we have people with the expertise to handle it.” “Logistically it will be a real challenge, even stretched over quite a few years, for the campus community, for the administration, for the architects and engineers,” Smith said. “But this community is uniquely suited and has shown the wherewithal and determination to take care of things like this.” Although SGH’s recommendations phase the needed masonry repairs over a 15-year period, Emma Willard has opted to address them within 10 years, according to Gardiner. Estimates of the initial work for structures of immediate concern are about $600,000, with the long-range cost for the entire project at $18-20 million in currentyear dollars.

Some organizations might view such a monumental project as a burden, especially during a time of great change and ambitious growth. Head of School Trudy Hall sees it differently. “Not only isn’t it a burden, it’s a privilege to be in a position in which we can devote the resources of this institution to caring for this incredible physical plant,” she said. “I believe future generations will look back on our decision as being proactive and farsighted as we protect the buildings that have protected generations of Emma Willard alumnae, and will continue to do so in the future.” Gardiner agrees. “The good part of all this is that the school has identified this as a potential problem and addressed it in an appropriate way,” he said. “Although the masonry is still in safe, good condition, it does point out the need to focus on the maintenance of these buildings; they are part of the real assets of this school, and you want them to remain in perpetuity.” Although he was not a student at Emma Willard, Gardiner says the Alma Mater’s lyric touches him as deeply as it does the thousands who have sung it. “Those gray walls protecting; that’s the part that I get choked up on when they sing the Alma Mater. It gets me right here.” n

A close-up image of Sage Tower in 2005. Photo by Steven Ricci

Spring/Summer 2007


A table spread for all Nancy Taylor ’74 Is First Woman Senior Minister of Boston’s Old South Church by Patti DiBona “The church’s past is proud and secure. But it is the congregation’s commitment to the present and future that inspires me.” 14

Emma Willard School

With the Boston skyline as a backdrop, the Reverend Nancy Taylor ’74 stands atop the roof of the historic Old South Church. Photography by Gary Goodman


ld South Church, a National Historic Landmark built in 1875, dominates the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets in Boston’s bustling Copley Square. With its opulent Ruskinian-Italian Gothic architecture set off by a majestic bell tower, copper cupola, multicolored stonework, and red-and-black striped slate roof, Old South is an awe-inspiring building of power and beauty. Ben Franklin was an early congregant, as were Samuel Adams, Samuel Sewall, and Phillis Wheatley. Yet beyond the old mahogany doors of this imposingly magnificent building, the 21st century speeds along. On a quiet Monday morning, the vast sanctuary is empty of its usual 600-plus worshipers. A homeless woman draped in layers of colorful clothing against the spring chill slumbers in a back pew while rows ahead a college student tosses his backpack aside and kneels in silent prayer. Two organists confer quietly over sheet music at the massive Skinner organ, occasionally breaking the silence with a crescendo of billowing music. History meets reality neatly here, where a young mother wheels her toddler to the church’s preschool past a tourist perusing church marketing materials. A plaque at Old South bears witness to “Past Ministers of this Church,” starting with Thomas Thatcher in 1670 and followed by 18 men who served the church since its inception. Not yet added to this list of deceased pastors is the very alive, very real Reverend Doctor Nancy Taylor ’74, who in 2005 became the first woman senior minister of Old South Church, which is a member of the United Church of Christ, the largest Protestant denomination in Massachusetts, with 100,000 members in 425 churches statewide. “Old South has an extraordinary history and legacy,” Taylor said. “Its story is entwined with the story of this nation: in the creation of democracy, in the pursuit of religious liberty, and freedom of speech and assembly. The church’s past is proud and secure. But it is the congregation’s commitment to the present and future that inspires me.” Taylor noted the words carved in stone on the church’s Boylston Street porch: “Behold I have set before thee an open door.” At Old South, said Taylor, “the table is spread for all: rich and poor, wise and foolish, lost and found, homeless and housed, gay and straight, member and visitor, saint and sinner.”

More than Meets the Eye This devotion to diversity goes back to Taylor’s teen years at Emma Willard, and was the very reason she strayed from family tradition to enroll there. “My mother and sister attended Miss Porter’s School and expected that I would too,” she said. “But I always had Emma Willard in the back of my mind. It had a reputation for being culturally diverse and more serious academically. My family realized Emma Willard was a good fit for me. They were delighted when I was accepted.” Taylor made an easy transition from home on Long Island, New York, to residential life at Emma Willard as a 15-year-old. “Everyone was new that first year, and we were all so different from one another. For the first time I was meeting girls and teachers from other countries and cultures. It was exciting,” she said. Classmates still wander unexpectedly into her life. “Recently an Emma alum saw my name on the sign outside Old South. She stopped in to see if it was really me, and we had a wonderful time catching up.” Known for her beautifully crafted and thought-provoking sermons, Taylor believes her communication abilities took wing at Emma Willard, where she developed a love for Russian literature under the tutelage of Jack Easterling. “His classes were revelatory,” said Taylor. “By exploring concepts and relationships in novels and poetry, I became a person of ideas for whom thinking was a delight.” Raised an Episcopalian, Taylor felt a kinship with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. “Like me, they were spiritual people who understood that the world is not purely black and white. There is more to life than meets the eye.” With Emma Willard’s chaplain, Robert Hammond, Taylor helped raise funds for prosthetic limbs for U.S. servicemen. She was a founding member of the student/faculty judiciary committee. “I learned about fairness, compassion, and what it is to make a mistake, express remorse, and go on.” Taylor pursued her love of the outdoors at Emma Willard—hiking the Appalachian Trail with instructor Jim Craig and playing lacrosse. In a recent sermon at Old South Church, she recalled the lure of the great outdoors as a child and the sense of freedom it brought. She said the Boston Marathon, with its finish line outside of Old South, reflects the multiplicity the church endeavors to maintain: “an outdoor, open-air event where there are no best seats and the whole world has come together, with all its variety and diversity.”

In 1978 Taylor received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Macalester College, a Presbyterian college in St. Paul, Minnesota. The city was a field site for students, and she began volunteering in the community. She tutored an American Indian child and helped found MACRO (Macalester Recycling Organization) which is still active today. When she obtained her master of divinity degree at Yale University’s Divinity School in 1981, half of the 300 graduates were women, though only a select few would become ministers. While at Yale, Taylor served as a prison chaplain at the Maine Correctional Facility and the New Haven Jail. She interviewed people who’d been arrested to make sure they’d been justly detained. “An African American man who’d lost his keys was trying to get into his car and was arrested; his excuses ignored,” she said recalling a memorable incident. “I was able to track down his wife and have her bring his driver’s license to prove ownership and innocence.” Taylor found fulfillment in her ministry particularly with imprisoned women. “My job was to hear stories, listen, and pray. I brought, I think, a piece of compassion into a place of hell.”

Send Us a Minister Ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1983, Taylor noticed that her male colleagues obtained plum pastoral positions while she was an unpopular candidate. “Even the most progressive and liberal congregations wanted young men, preferably married with kids,” she said. She took a page from a book titled, Send Us a Minister: Any Minister Will Do, by Walter Cook, a collection of essays about the trials of 1970s seminary students on their first assignments in Maine. Taylor became pastor of Oxford County United Parish in East Stoneham and North Waterford, Maine, a poor region in the foothills of the mountains. “I was asked to commit for two years, and I stayed happily for four,” she said. Taylor settled into a one-room cabin with no plumbing and traveled (by snowshoe in the winter) to her three “beautiful little New England churches with steeples.” She remembers her sister’s reaction after her first visit: “My God! You’re at the ends of the earth!” Taylor, called a “flatlander” by her congregation, gained the trust of even her most skeptical parishioners. She received extraordinary handmade crafts for Spring/Summer 2007


her involvement in their lives. “This was a bartering society where people had to get along and pitch in to survive. People hunted and canned their food. I cared for goats in exchange for firewood,” she said. The role of women in the community struck a chord with Taylor, who noticed that attendance at Sunday services was mostly female. “Men had to work the farms, and as a result were less educated than their wives. They were uncomfortable with such a wordy and cerebral atmosphere. There was a division between the men and the women, who yearned for a better life for their children.” In 1987, she transferred to Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut, as associate minister. This urban, multicultural parish was well staffed and had active music, community outreach, and Christian education programs. Hired to reach out to younger parishioners, Taylor attended community and cultural events, created educational programs, and began in-

teracting with legislators. “We rallied against apartheid, expressed anti-war sentiments, and developed ‘A God’s Eye View of Hartford,’ a tour through the city highlighting different racial, ethnic, and socio-economic cultures.” Eager to embrace a challenge and armed with a broader, more experienced perspective, Taylor headed for Boise, Idaho, to become senior minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ. Her liberal upbringing clashed with the ultra-conservative landscape in Idaho. Unafraid, Taylor plunged headfirst into a cause dear to her heart—defeating several anti-gay initiatives. She also helped secure a minimum wage for Idaho farm workers. Along with other religious leaders (together they formed Idaho Voices of Faith for Human Rights, the state’s first interfaith organization), Taylor debated the issues, testified at the state house, and wrote newspaper columns. “We argued on the basis of civil rights and won,” she said. Taylor’s social activism found a burgeon-

ing audience in Idaho as her congregation swelled from 70 to 300. “Good worship and music also drew crowds,” she said. During her nine years in Idaho, the church became a safe haven for gay people and their families. “I realized the silent pain they endured and how fearful they were of sharing their life’s stories,” she said. “Just as Christians in the past safeguarded slaves through the Underground Railroad, our church is charged with protecting and welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” As a founder of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center, Taylor introduced human rights curricula to Idaho’s schools. She helped conceive, obtain funding for, and oversee the creation of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. Her words resonate on the organization’s Web site: “May this memorial inspire each of us to contemplate the moral implications of our civic responsibilities.” Hewlett-Packard honored Taylor with an Award for Distinguished Leadership in Human Rights in 1999.

An Old South Emma Connection The Reverend Nancy Taylor said she was pleasantly surprised when she learned that the historian and archivist at Old South Church was also an Emma Willard graduate—Susan Thurston Campbell ’60. Together the alumnae work together to preserve and promote the church’s heritage. Campbell and her husband, Ken, retired director of news at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now live in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, after 36 years in Boston. The parents of Bhair, 38, and Caroline, 36, the Campbells joined Old South Church as congregants in 1976. Campbell, who has a bachelor’s degree in English from Connecticut College, has been an officer of the church and its historian for 19 years. “I’ve taught church school, been a deacon, chair of art and religion and publications committees, served on long-range planning committees, orchestrated Old South’s 325th anniversary, and directed Christmas pageants at Old South,” said Campbell, who attended her 45th reunion at Emma Willard in 2005. “During these pageants the kids made the church their home, reminding me of the ‘break loose from routine’ quality of Revels productions at Emma Willard.” Along with her husband, Campbell has authored numerous marketing materials for Old South. She is a trustee of the American 16

Emma Willard School

Susan Thurston Campbell ’60

Congregational Association which runs the Congregational Library. Campbell was responsible for building Old South’s onsite storage facility, which houses historical materials such as furniture, paintings, books, manuscripts and blueprints. A member of the Christian Education committee and chair of the Woman’s Society at First Church in Jaffrey, Campbell recently promoted climate control as part of the Carbon Coalition. “Our collection of silver at the Museum of Fine Arts includes valuable Paul Revere pieces,” said Taylor. “We have rare books at the Boston Public Library (two of 12 existing Bay Psalm Books); manuscripts of Old South sermons, membership and baptismal ledgers including Ben Franklin’s, at the Congregational Library; and other artifacts

at the Massachusetts Historical Society.” As historian, Campbell ensures these items are well cared for, makes presentations to the congregation about significant items or documents, researches materials for interesting stories, and oversees the compilation and binding of Sunday bulletins and sermons. A former office manager, Campbell has continued her volunteer work at Old South while enjoying retirement in the Mt. Monadnock region of New Hampshire. “The classification of retirement is perhaps an oxymoron as we have never been busier,” she said. “One of the best features about New Hampshire is the political process of candidate appearances at diners and house parties. Participating in grass roots democracy brings us full circle to the time when we participated in dialogue about the Vietnam war and racial conflict.” “The most prominent person connecting me to Emma Willard was Jane Fonda, in whose Sage dorm room I spent my senior year,” Campbell said. “Her initials were carved in the clothes closet! Now I can boast that the Reverend Doctor Nancy Taylor, EW graduate, is the distinguished senior minister at Old South Church in Boston. And yes, I can recognize Emma Willard in Nancy’s style and purpose. What a thrill it is to have this connection.” n —Patti DiBona

A Soulmate and Helpmate Taylor obtained her doctor of ministry in 1997 at the Chicago Theological Seminary. It was here that she met the Reverend Peter Southwell-Sander, a charismatic Anglican priest in the Church of England. The two began an old-fashioned trans-Atlantic courtship and married in 1996. Southwell-Sander moved to Idaho where he preached part-time and directed Opera Idaho. The couple moved to Massachusetts in 2001 when Taylor became minister and president of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). This honor followed her work as volunteer moderator of the UCC. The terrorist attacks of September 11 occurred shortly after Taylor assumed her new position. She communicated regularly via email with her 420 Massachusetts UCC churches and met with state religious leaders of all faiths. “Clergy were numb. How do you preach in the face of such tragedy? Where is God? Our correspondence became a supportive springboard for conversation,” she said. And then the clergy sex abuse scandal broke in Boston newspapers. “Our church had fallout as well,” said Taylor. “Ministers, some dead, others retired, were accused of sexual misconduct with girls and vulnerable older women. Six lawsuits were filed. We decided to address the accusations directly and settle quickly,” she said. Taylor helped create a new Massachusetts state law mandating clergy to report suspected child abuse. “When child abuse happens, claims of religious freedom should not apply,” she said. “Why should an abused child receive less protection than the abuser? The Boston Archdiocese had tried to carve out exceptions. There are none.” Taylor took a proactive approach to improving the UCC and secured a $1.5 million Lilly endowment grant for pastoral excellence. With the help of her husband, she brought the Freedom Schooner Amistad to Boston Harbor to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1841 decision to free 53 kidnapped Africans about to be sold as slaves. Taylor traveled the cities and towns of Massachusetts preaching at different churches each week. She and her husband loved the experience. “We thought I’d retire in this position.” Then, in 2005, Old South Church invited her to apply for its senior minister role. The couple settled in Boston’s Back Bay, just a 10-minute walk from Old South’s Copley Square location. “Boston is a wonderful, exciting place to live in and we enjoyed it all – the people, restaurants, music, museums, Red Sox.” They found an ideal home for their multicultural interests and progressive ideals, preaching them from the pulpit and practicing them at church events. According to Larry Bowers, chair of the Old South Church search committee that unanimously chose Taylor, “Nancy is a superb preacher, a thoughtful pastor, an accomplished leader, and respected public voice on social justice and religious issues, who affirms every person as a child of God.”

Continued on page 70

Old South Church’s first woman senior minister says, “At Old South the table is spread for all: rich and poor, wise and foolish, lost and found, homeless and housed, gay and straight, member and visitor, saint and sinner.” Photography by Gary Goodman

Spring/Summer 2007


Having 200

T forTea

A bevy of teacups arrives on Mount Ida by Michelle Leung ’08


Emma Willard School


ome are stout, some diminutive. Some Limoges, some less refined. Most are old, one is new. Some have companions, some stand alone. Some hail from around the world, others from across the United States. One even has a mustache. Much like our diverse student body, each arrived on Mount Ida with a personal story and unique relationship to Emma Willard School, and together they form an amazing collection. Last summer, Elizabeth Kellas Harvey ’38 donated to the school an elegant silver tea service, circa 1918, which belonged to her great aunt, Eliza Kellas, principal of Emma Willard from 1911–1942. Plans were set in motion to serve a traditional senior tea, starting with the Class of 2007. But what teacups should accompany such an elegant service? A small collection of china cups and saucers had been started in 1997, when Fae MacChesney Page ’38 and her daughter, Dennett Page ’69, then-president of the Emma Willard Alumnae Association, donated 10 teacups to the Head of School’s office. This collection had been used for special gatherings in the head’s office, but with the senior class numbering 81, the search was on for enough formal teacups to accommodate the entire class, according to Robin Prout, director of donor relations. An ad on the outside back cover of the fall 2006 issue of EMMA asked readers to donate cups to the school’s collection. Within two weeks of the magazine’s mailing, teacups began arriving on Mount Ida from all parts of the world, and they kept coming through the winter and spring. “Just imagine how much fun this has been to open the boxes as they arrived,” recalls Prout. “Each and every teacup is special in some way. The variety of origins and patterns is amazing, and they have come with a great deal of enthusiasm and affection from a broad array of parents and alumnae.” The stories that accompanied the teacups were equally varied. Many stories told


of carefully built collections, often shared with a beloved mother or grandmother. Kate Spelman ’73 sent “a collection that my grandmother and I enjoyed collecting and using together.” Maryann Moore Merritt ’49, who contributed more than 30 teacups and saucers to the collection, received most of her cups from her father, a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Ingrid Gundrum ’82 donated a yellow teacup given to her by her aunt, Hilda Gundrum Lamphere, for Ingrid’s graduation from Emma Willard. Joan Miller Sparrow ’38 gave the school 12 teacups from her mother’s collection, each one purchased by her father for his bride on wedding anniversaries through the 1920s and ’30s. Mary Stock, grandmother of Sarah Stock ’10, donated the single cup and saucer left from Sarah’s great, great grandmother, Margaret Mary Bolger Delaney of New York City, along with a photograph of Mrs. Delaney. Although most cups in the collection have been passed from generation to generation, one was newly minted. Zara Acosta ’01, who currently lives in Nagasaki, Japan, purchased her handmade Japanese-style cup as soon as the magazine announcement reached her. Her donation joined pieces from Portugal, Russia, Great Britain, France, Italy, and every corner of the U.S. Although Acosta may have the long-distance record, an even younger donor contributed to the collection. Sarah Zellick, a prospective student who will attend Emma Willard this fall, sent 13 cups and saucers from Montana after learning of the growing collection through the admissions process. As the donations began to accumulate, Prout and January term intern Abby Sussman ’05 set about cataloging each donation and adding the name of the donor to the bottom of each piece. By mid-spring, more than 200 teacups and saucers were logged, not only providing an ample supply for senior tea but also allowing for a colorful rotation in future years. When not in use, the collection will be displayed in WellingtonLay, which this summer becomes the head of school’s residence, and is used throughout the year for meetings and formal gatherings. On a warm sunny Friday afternoon at the end of May, the Class of 2007 gathered on the back lawn of Gorham House to enjoy tea with Head of School Trudy Hall. Miss Kellas’s silver service was on display, along with a tribute to Miss Kellas and the many donors to the teacup collection. To mark the occasion, each senior received a commemorative silver spoon to take home.

donors to the eMMa Willard teaCUp ColleCtion

A silver tea-and-coffee service once belonging to Eliza Kellas and donated last summer by her great-niece Elizabeth Kellas harvey ’38, was the centerpiece of the Senior tea at Gorham house. Photo by StEVEN RICCI

As the girls approached a tabletop covered with teacups, they carefully examined the information written on the base of each cup, reading out the names and class years of the donors. “This collection establishes a nice tradition for the senior class,” said hostess Trudy Hall. “We can all say we were part of a very special tradition in the making.” “The tea cups are absolutely gorgeous,” said senior class president Victoria Frary. “Having teacups at our senior tea makes it a real tea, and it will also be great for future classes.” n —Michelle Leung ’08 is a Practicum intern in the Emma Willard School Communications Office.

Zara Acosta ‘01 Patty Auchincloss ‘57 Pat Baumann P’01,’06,’06 Jane Luhrs Bicknell ’48 Ann Bickford P’88 Barbara Cole P’83 Patricia A. Connally ‘41 Maryann Mettler Croner ’57, P’86,’90,’94,’95 Alva Daffner ‘61 Leslie Naus Demarco ‘83 Louise Powelson Dudley ‘40 Susan Ferla ‘71 Caroline Bailey Fritzinger ‘46 Shelley Kaufman Gabel ‘85 David Gray P’84 Ingrid Gundrum ‘82 Lydia Day Hart ’70, P’01 Dorothy Sims Kotzin ‘53 Maryann Moore Merritt ‘49 Barbara McCarthy P’02 Sue Blackwell McNamara ’57, P’90 Betsey Morley P’87 Jane Packard P’90 Fae MacChesney Page ’38, P’69, GP’06 Dennett Page ’69, P’06 Jean Dixon Papy ‘46 Robin MacKenzie Prout P’00 Joan Miller Sparrow ‘38 Priscilla Fletcher Sproul ‘54 Mary Stock GP’10 Kate Spelman ‘75 Sheryl Tepper P’89 Rita Robenstein Vandergrift ‘45 Vivian Wallace-Britton P’73 Sarah Zellick ‘10

Victoria Frary, head of School trudy hall, Lee Valigorsky, and Laura hendrickson peruse the collection during Senior tea in May. Photo by MARK VAN WoRMER

Spring/Summer 2007




two families. one idea. What does the IDEA mean to Emma Willard parents? Two families explain how shared vision inspired them to make major commitments to the campaign. “The four major influences on my life have been my parents, my husband, my children, and Emma Willard School. I probably would not have said that when I graduated, but the person I am today is in great part because of Emma. That is why I feel so connected to the school. I’ve been involved all along, and I’ll always be a part of what happens here.” Kate Hendrickson ’75

“The Emma Willard Idea resonates differently for each one of us,” said Kate Hendrickson ’75, mother of Laura Hendrickson ’07, and a former trustee and member of the Campaign Executive Committee. “To have been a student here, to come back and be as involved as I have been, and then to have my daughter come here has, been a long, rich journey. Laura’s experience has been totally different from my own (which is only natural); her unique point of view has given me new insights into the Emma experience.” “We are such true believers in singlesex education,” said Doug. “All four of our daughters had the choice to go wherever they wanted, as long as it was an all-girls school. To be a part of the Emma Idea for me means to help perpetuate the values and ideals that have Kate ’75, Laura ’07, and Doug Hendrickson in Dietel Gallery, where Laura’s artwork was displayed during the Senior Art Show. Laura will attend The University of the South, Sewanee.


Emma Willard School


PHOTO BY Mark Van wormer

Wendy Littlefield, parent trustee, and Don Feinberg at home in Troy, NY. Claire ’07 (inset) will spend part of next year working on a sustainability project in India, before entering The University of Chicago. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI

“Conformity, even excellent conformity, is just conformity. The world does not need more Ivy League bankers, lawyers, or doctors. It needs more creative people of every stripe, which of course includes Ivy League bankers, lawyers, and doctors who are willing to break some rules, challenge the so-called ‘norms,’ and change the world for the better.” Don Feinberg

inspired—and will inspire—generations of young women to action.” “What sets Emma Willard apart from other schools is its capacity for recognizing each young woman’s particular strengths and its commitment to helping her realize them,” said Wendy Little-

field, mother of Claire Feinberg ’07. “We value individuality and idiosyncrasy. Not for their own sake, but because they are the best source of creativity, and creativity is what moves humanity forward. Emma gives the gift, and has the gift, of developing the individual

Emma Willard School’s campaign, The Emma Willard Idea, is an ambitious $75 million effort to increase endowment and annual giving so that our students will have unparalleled opportunities in preparing to serve and shape their world. Campaign Priorities nE ndowment for Scholarships: $20 million goal nE ndowment for Faculty Excellence: $20 million goal nE ndowment for Unrestricted Purposes: $25 million goal nA nnual Giving to Support Current Initiatives: $10 million goal

character of each young woman. Other ‘good’ schools arm their students with the external gift of a good education. Emma girls seem enriched and empowered by a strong sense of their complete inner selves and by what makes each of them unique and valuable.” n

For more information, please contact Larry Lichtenstein, Director of Advancement, at (518) 833-1779 or llichten@emmawillard.org. We invite you to join us in Join us as we celebrate The this collective effort: Emma Willard Idea on September nP articipate in conversations about what enables girls to thrive within their learning 29, 2007, a landmark symposium environment and to emerge as leaders. and schoolwide celebration. (See ad nE ngage in the life of the school. on inside back cover.) Contact the nH elp us build greater resources for the Alumnae Relations Office at (518) important work we are doing. 833-1787 or alumnae@emmanS how that you are a champion of The Emma Willard Idea. willard.org.

Spring/Summer 2007



Emma Willard School

“In choosing to come to an all-girls’ institution you’ve chosen well, and that’s a rare choice these days. Choosing an all-girls’ school is a life-changing decision. I want you to take the courage of that choice and carry it with you for the rest of your lives. Choosing wisely is one of the great secrets to living a fulfilled life—your college major, your career path, your life partner… there are so many decisions ahead of you. And I encourage you at every step to challenge yourself to do the unexpected, push yourself beyond the limits of what seems possible, and dream the impossible… ”

“It was predestined that the Class of 2007 would lead the school through the upheaval of mammoth construction on Mount Ida, for you are world-class builders. You construct friendships, you build multicultural bridges, and you frame ideas. Collectively you have modeled the flexibility and humor so necessary for thriving during the throes of such sweeping change. There was no whining; it isn’t your style. Instead there was grace in abundance. We were proud to watch 81 one of you, 48 of whom are diehards, superbly construct lives of excellence.” —Trudy Hall

—Lyne Pitts ’72

On June 3, 81 of Emma Willard’s newest alumnae gathered to celebrate the school’s 193rd Commencement Exercises. Opposite page: (left) Carly Patane savors the moment; (right) the Class of 2007 walks the Senior Triangle, with a banner recognizing their class draped from Sage Tower. This page: (above) Commencement speaker Lyne Pitts ‘72, vice president of the news division at NBC, and Head of School Trudy Hall offer departing advice to the graduates; (right, top) Elizabeth Woodham, winner of the Jameson Adkins Baxter Award; (right, below) Elizabeth Martin, winner of the Clementine Miller Tangeman Award.

Continued on page 24

Spring/Summer 2007



Emma Willard School

(Opposite page, bottom, left to right): Ellie Colson bids a tearful farewell to Sabrina Putnam-Matthew, assistant dean of residential life; Jack Easterling waves the red hat outside the Slocum Hall doorway, signaling the entrance of the graduates; Kateryna Kozyrytska; Nawal Mays. (This page, above, left): French instructor Sabra Sanwal and members of the faculty enjoy the senior speech by Alice Newton; (above, right) Ania-Lisa Etienne and her Emma Willard diploma; (center) The Class of 2007; (below, left to right): Crista Welch, Vanessa Coletto, and Aisha Simmons. Photos by Mark Van Wormer and Steven Ricci

Spring/Summer 2007


From the


“This is the Hudson River Valley of the 21st century, and I take great delight in watching its renaissance through my train lens.”

Coming Home By Erin Crotty ’84 As I write this column, I am coming off a weekend of meetings for the Board of Trustees and the Alumnae Association Council, as well as two days in New York City mixing business and personal commitments, and found, much to my delight, that spring is in full bloom. I have taken the train from Albany to New York City and back so many times in my life that if Amtrak were a publicly traded company, I would definitely buy stock. It is arguably one of the most beautiful train rides in the country. Sometimes I purposefully sit on the “non-river side” so I won’t become spellbound by the motion picture that unfolds over the course of two hours and 35 minutes. Unfortunately for my work, the non-river side is equally interesting and intoxicating. Traveling from New York City to Albany this morning, I followed my normal routine: read the morning’s newspapers, do some work, check Poisonberry (the name I gave my BlackBerry®), check voicemail, make some calls (without speaking too loudly; you can’t believe how many business secrets are innocently divulged on the train), do some more work, and intermittently gaze as the Hudson River Valley unfolds before my bleary eyes. I don’t know what the explanation is but I eerily gaze at the same places along the trip—coming out of the Pennsylvania Station tunnel to meet the West Side Highway and the George Washington

Bridge, the Palisades, West Point, Audubon’s Constitution Marsh, Storm King Mountain, Bannerman Island, the Catskills (which go on for a good 40-minute stretch), and the interspersed relics of the valley’s role in the Industrial Revolution. It’s a miracle that I get any work done. As if that all-star lineup is not enough, the river valley is teeming with wildlife. This time of year a sharp-eyed rider will be guaranteed a glimpse of juvenile and adult bald eagles frolicking in the tree tops and swooping down for the river’s plentiful tasty treats. Dozens of great blue herons join in the feast and elegantly stalk their prey. There are ducks, geese, cormorants, turtles, and even anglers in fishing boats. This is the Hudson River Valley of the 21st century, and I take great delight in watching its renaissance through my train lens. I was struck this morning by how much I truly enjoy my journey home. There’s another renaissance occurring in the Hudson River Valley. This renaissance is taking place at our alma mater. Many of the Phase I Campus Master Plan projects are finished and ready to be enjoyed. The new dining hall is open and will literally take your breath away. You will have the ability to walk from what is now Sage Living Room to the new dining hall in Kellas on the same level. The experience of space is inspiring, and the completed projects are already building a better sense of community.

On a recent trip to New York City I had dinner with one of my closest friends at Emma Willard, Gay (Johnson) Grossman ’84. We figured out that, although we have reconnected via e-mail and telephone calls over the past few years, we have not seen each other in more than 20 years. Twenty years! How do close friends not see each other in more than 20 years? Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to lose touch with close friends when careers and families enter the picture and we all struggle to find the everchanging balance in our lives. How fantastic it was for me to reconnect with Gay; I found the years instantly melted away, and we picked up where we left off so many years ago, using the solid friendship we developed at Emma Willard as a springboard to this next phase of our friendship. We parted ways determined not to let another year go by without seeing each other. Don’t let another year go by. Come see the renaissance at Emma Willard. Get on a train, plane, or in a car, and come reconnect with your old friends, make new friends, and experience Emma Willard’s renaissance at Emma’s Women, Power & Responsibility symposium and celebration weekend from September 27 to 30. It is time to come home. n

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

Spring/Summer 2007




Regional Clubs in LA, DC host events Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

February 10, 2007

May 6, 2007

LA Emmies enjoy polo and a picnic at Will Rogers State Park on Sunday, May 6.

The LA Emmies group toured Icons from Sinai at the Getty Museum in February. The tour was organized by Kathy Kibler ‘72 (far left) and Sue Blackwell McNamara ‘57 P’90 (far right).

Washington, DC March 13, 2007

Washington, DC May 6, 2007

Head of School Trudy Hall with U.S. Representative Kirsten Rutnik Gillibrand ’84, host Bonnie Casper Winston ’66, and DC Emmies chairs Bev Burke Gunther ’60 and Cortney O’Toole Morgan ’92. Sally Marshall ’64 (second from right) hosted the DC Emmies for a discussion of Lee and Bob Woodruff’s book, In an Instant.


Emma Willard School

Emma Willard Faculty Travel Coast to Coast

Faculty members Kathleen McNamara and Chris Kimberly presented a mini-class on teaching ethics across disciplines, entitled “Homer and Heredity: Ethical Questions in the Emma Willard Classroom.”

Los Angeles, CA March 10, 2007

Phyllis Chase ’75, Betty Rosenberger Stanson ’52, Director of Alumnae Relations Molly Price, Jeanie Freed Pelzman ’52, and Chris Kimberly, Dean of the Faculty, and Homer L. Dodge Chair in Science

San Francisco, CA March 11, 2007

Michelle Spreadbury ’87 and Christine Bence Allen ’86

Janet Sessions ’92, Margaret Wing Dodge Chair in Literature Kathleen McNamara, Meghan Lang ’91 and Ashley Gardner ’05

Spring/Summer 2007




Mt. Ida: History in the Making

Associate Head of School Trudy Hanmer is researching the history of Emma Willard School in the first phase of her book project. She presented her ongoing work to groups in Florida and New York City in February and April.

Windermere, FL

Palm Beach, FL

Naples, FL

February 8, 2007

February 10, 2007

February 11, 2007

Jim Mabry P’09 talks with Valere Voorhees Heaton ‘45.

Ellen Hughes Burlington Williams ’96, Jill Rundle ’73, Trudy Hanmer, Kristen Waddell DeWitt ’74, Linda Passaretti ’84, and Margaret Higgins Cox ’77 enjoyed a lovely evening at Margaret’s home in Windermere, FL.

Barbara Anderson Bolling ’49, Lynn Healy Nichols ’49, Cilla Hall Wall ’49 at a luncheon in Naples hosted by Anno Bent Murphy ’69. Dorothy Harris Wilken ‘53, Trudy Hanmer, and Judy Mabry P’09 discuss Hanmer’s research on the history of Emma Willard School.

New York, NY April 12, 2007

Yuen Chun P’08, Elizabeth Merena P’05 ’08, and Caroline Cooley Loeb ’75

Keri Cunningham O’Brien ’89 and Odile Weissenborn ’88

Ariana Kanwit ‘00, Kristen Lepore ‘95, Kelsey MacMillan Banfield ‘95, and Meghan DeBerry ‘95

Jacqueline Hudak P’09, Sarah Stearns ‘69 P ‘09, Carol Batchelder Trester ‘81, Craig Trester (son)


Emma Willard School

Education at Emma Willard: The Last 50 Years with Jack and Marcia Easterling

Boston, MA May 6, 2007

Lauren Dorgan ’00 and Kathryn Dale Stewart ’64, P’88, ’90

Rosalie Tassone ’87, Kelly McDonald ’05, and Zoe Foss ’05

Emma Hart Willard’s Birthday:

Something about brunch on campus…Capital District alumnae and parents gathered in Sage Dining Room to celebrate Madame Willard’s 220th birthday. February 25, 2007

Back row, standing, l. to r.: Pinki Srivastava Verma ’79, Laura Bedford O’Donnell ’85, Michelle Robbins Cleary ’85, Deborah Frease Geraghty ’88; Seated, l. to r.: Rachel Sutel Sherman ’86 and Jane Cohen Freedman ’86

Back row, l. to r.: Sheila Stenhouse Lee ’81, Augusta Needles Field ’56, Victor DeVito P’10; Front row, l. to r: Wendy Littlefield P’07, Kristen Lepore ’95, and Joan DeVito P’10

Spring/Summer 2007


aGe: 36 PrOFeSSiOn: Taught history and has published extensively on women and deafness.

SUSAN MOSS BURCH ’89 hOw She GOT There: “My interest in sign language began during an independent study program at Emma. I continued to develop that at college. After completing my Ph.D., I became an historian, teaching Soviet American history at Gallaudet.” inSPiraTiOnS: “I still think about the incredible teachers I had—Jack Betterly, Sharon Clark, and Brian Davidson, to name a few—and I try to inspire my students the way they did me.” why She GiVeS: “Two things were very clear to me after graduating from Emma Willard: how fortunate I was to have the education I did; and that it came with a responsibility, not only to my school, but to society as a whole. I want to support ideals that are important to me: social justice, civic responsibility, and the empowerment of women. I want an Emma education to continue to equip young women to be the broad-minded, global-thinking citizens that the world needs today.” why a chariTaBLe BeQUeST: “I was surprised when I learned it was unusual for someone my age to have a will. Why wouldn’t I give the same level of attention to my financial plans after my death as I do now? It just makes sense. The amount Emma Willard will receive after my death is likely to be small, but I’m an optimist: maybe I’ll make millions. You never know. Interested in learning more about charitable bequests? For further information and sample language that will help you include Emma Willard in your will, contact Michele Susko, director of planned giving, at (518) 833-1788 or msusko@emmawillard.org.

In the


Emma Sails to War By Nancy Iannucci Although she was 156 years old and weighed about 10,500 tons, on that historic day in April 1943, “Emma Willard” never looked lovelier. On March 8 of that year, Principal Anne Wellington received the following news from a Mrs. Plaisted: “Emma Willard’s keel was laid on February 1…she will be launched on March 21, if all goes well with the weather. She is being built in one of

“We are making strenuous effort to meet the date of March 21,” he wrote. “However, present indications are none too favorable. Will give you the final date at the earliest opportunity.” In the weeks spent planning for the event, Miss Wellington managed to arrange for two students to represent the school at the celebratory launch. Anne Hazelwood ’43, president of Student Government, was chosen to christen the ship, and Anngenette Groton ’44 accompanied Hazelwood as a representative of the junior class. In an article from the Newark Evening News (March 31, 1943) Mr. Robert, of the South Portland Shipbuilding Corporation, made the following statement: “It was the United States Maritime Commission that had chosen to name the vessel Emma Willard and the occasion of the launching will be unique in that Emma Willard School will stand as a A mural of the S.S. Emma Willard painted on a wall in the basesponsor. To our knowlment of Slocum Hall still stands as testament to the day when the edge this is the only inschool joined the World War II effort. pHoTo by STeVen RIccI stance of a school acting in that capacity.” On the day of the the basins right outside my window and I launch, April 5, 1943, a luncheon folsee her grow every day…beginning to take lowed the christening ceremony. It was at shape now.” the luncheon that Miss Wellington and Miss Wellington wrote to the superinHazelwood presented gifts of a framed scroll tendent of the Portland Shipyard in Portof Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep (a song land, Maine, on the same day: “I hear that a written by Madame Willard); Madame ship will be launched on the twenty-first of Willard’s picture with a special poem writMarch which is to be named for the founder ten by Joan Campbell ’43; a framed picture of this school,” she wrote. “Through the use of the school campus; and a ship’s library of of the school’s name in this way, we feel as if selected books to the captain and crew of we were sharing in the war effort. Would it the Emma Willard. be convenient or possible for one of our stuIn a May 22, 1945, letter written at dents to be present at the launching of this sea aboard the Emma Willard, V. J. McMavessel?” A telegram dated March 13 made its nus, Ens., USNR, wrote to the secretary of way back to her desk from R. P. Robert of Student Council. In this letter he described the South Portland Shipbuilding Company. exactly where these gifts, presented at the

launch, were situated on the ship. “You will begin to appreciate our situation when I tell you that the starboard table forward faces an inspiring photograph of the entrance to the E.W.S.; the table on the port side faces an enlarged copy of ‘Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep,’ complete with music and both stanzas (the center table unfortunately faces a port),” he wrote. “The acme of views is reached at the lone after table where the two gunnery officers, the Army C.S. officer and I eke out our meager existence of 3 meals, 3 ’tween meals and a midnight lunch, for here on the after bulkhead is hung a portrait of Miss Willard, true nobility of human greatness showing wherever the clothes of half a century ago permit. From stem to stern, from gunwale to gunwale, from keel to peak, these and these alone are the inspiring symbols which we carry to remind us of our tie with your great institution of vitalizing youth.” Although the launching of the Emma Willard was a momentous occurrence in the history of the school, as well as the United States Navy, the only existing miscellany to attest to this notable spring day 64 years ago are carefully stored artifacts placed in one small acid-free box in the school archive. The contents include newspaper clippings; an encased, fractured christening champagne bottle wrapped in red, white, and blue ribbon; correspondence concerning launching preparations; and the poem written by Joan Campbell: Democracy can never rest content In selfish ease, while human kind is bound, A fearless woman, challenged by this truth, Charted a course for freedom of the mind. She taught that knowledge is a priceless right Which leads a groping world into the light. Oh gallant ship who bears her name, sail forth Undauntedly to prove her spirit lives. Bear safe across the seas the means to aid Defenders of our liberty and peace. May He whose voice rebuked and calmed the sea Protect you as you sail to make men free. n Spring/Summer 2007


Dueling Passions—Continued from page 9

Once pool winners have been determined, the competition moves to an elimination format, in which winning fencers move on and losing fencers end competition. One of only four sports that have been featured at every modern Olympic games, fencing requires intense concentration and physical exertion, and Valigorsky maintains her conditioning through rigorous training four to six times per week at the Beaches Sabre Club in Troy. In fall 2006, she increased her ranking in the United States Fencing Association in a mixed competition in which she was one of only three women competing. She won by defeating most of the men in the pools and everyone in the direct elimination bouts. In addition, she qualified and took part in the Junior Olympics in Denver in February 2007. She has held several titles and has placed in the top five in numerous tournaments, including smaller competitions held between the larger events. She has fenced throughout the United States, as well as in Italy and Spain. As a student at Emma, Valigorsky was not only able to continue her interest in fencing, she was able to get credit for it through the school’s Practicum program, an independent study program offering students opportunities to enrich and extend their studies through on- and off-campus internships. Although some internships are more traditional, such as working in law, medical, and veterinary offices, and tutoring or teaching-assistance, others include wide-ranging interests such as figure skating, riflery, orchestra participation, and horseback riding. Anne Mossop, director of the Practicum program, said that a misperception exists that off-campus sports are an easy option. However, she noted, taking classes outside Emma inevitably takes extra time from a student’s already busy schedule, and requires students to be organized, responsible, time-oriented, and considerate of others to be successful. “When Lee first came to Emma, I was concerned for a new student taking on a heavy practice schedule and a sequence of away tournaments on top of Emma academics,” Mossop said. “But Lee successfully took on the challenge with determination and very hard work.” Valigorsky considers fencing a part what makes her different from most people. “I guess I never really think about fencing as a sport but just as something that I just do,” she said. As a woman in a traditionally male-dominated sport, she also sees herself as equal to her opponents. “Being a woman in the sport isn’t really something I think about, because there are so many women who are awesome at fencing. I don’t look at it like, ‘Wow, there are women fencers!’ because in this sport, women can be as good as, or even better, than the men. Beating a guy is a great feeling because you feel extremely powerful,” she said. This spring, Valigorsky was accepted on the Penn State fencing team, which will give her an opportunity to work with one of the highest-ranking women fencers. “[This] is something that I have been wanting for basically my entire fencing life,” she said. “I grew up around those coaches, and I am honored to get the chance to work with them for the next four years. They are truly the best coaches, and I thank them for putting faith in me and giving me this experience of a lifetime.” n —Alexis Murphy is a Practicum intern in the Emma Willard School Communications Office. 70

Emma Willard School

Nancy Taylor ’74—Continued from page 17

When the Democratic National Convention came to town in 2004, Taylor and her husband organized “Let Justice Roll,” a citywide interfaith worship service. The ancestral home of Old South Church, the Old South Meeting House on Milk Street in downtown Boston, was recently the site of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s inauguration, an interreligious ceremony that Taylor helped plan. Back in 1773, Samuel Adams gave the signal for the “war whoops”at Old South Meeting House that triggered the Boston Tea Party. “We’ve been getting into hot water ever since!” said Taylor.

Preacher, CEO and Forward Thinker Taylor is a proponent of stem cell research and is pro-choice but not pro-abortion. “Why are impoverished women having babies while males are walking away? Abortion is a sad but viable option.” She believes that religion and science are complementary. “Evolution is a beautiful thing.” Named one of “The Best New Faces of 2005” by The Boston Globe, Taylor received the Building Bridges Award 2006 from the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. A supporter of gay marriage, Taylor hosts Gay Pride interfaith services at Old South and participates each year in Boston’s Gay Pride Parade. Old South holds an LGBT fellowship group, as well as many religious education and community outreach programs. It is home to a preschool, the Poor People’s United Fund, Amnesty International, Chorus Pro Musica and many 12-step support groups. Respected for its music, Old South Church has a choir, handbells ensemble, world renowned organists at Sunday services and an evening service with a live jazz group. Taylor is a member of several board of directors including Pax World Funds, Andover Newton Theological School, The Old South Meeting House and Ecclesia Ministries. Taylor admits that her job at Old South Church is unlike that of most Protestant ministers. “I’m not only a preacher but also the CEO of a historical building open to the public seven days a week. There is a lot of administrative work here, and often I’m writing my Sunday sermon on Saturday. I always begin with a biblical text and then take inspiration from books and current events. Transcripts and podcasts of Taylor’s sermons are now available on the Old South Web site. “I’ve heard from people as far away as Australia who’ve listened to us online,” she said. Taylor’s tremendous connection to the people of Old South was particularly comforting when her husband died in June 2006 after living with cancer for many years. His name was etched on a new 220-pound bell wheel crafted by the church moderator to help the original 1895 bell ring more easily and richly. “The bell calls all people to worship. It carries on my husband’s legacy. He was a person of faith, and he loved to welcome people to the church,” said Taylor.

In the Company of Great Women As Taylor perseveres and learns to live without her partner, she is strengthened by the company surrounding her. She sometimes talks with the ghosts of her predecessors at Old South. “Most were forward-thinking men and I think we’d get along,” she said. She also draws encouragement from the eight great women depicted in portraits on the walls of her Old South office. They are decidedly the only feminine touch in this darkly paneled room. Looking over Taylor as she works at her desk or thumbs through a book in search of inspiration are: Anne Frank, Virginia Woolf, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhardt, Helen Keller, Pearl Bailey, “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, and Zora Neale Hurston. Taylor laughs as she points to an old black-and-white photo taken in the late 1800s. Frances Johnston is seated in a most unladylike manner staring defiantly into the camera, her petticoat showing, a beer bottle in one hand and a cigarette in the other. “She was a very sought after professional photographer, one of the first women in the field. She took pictures of Mark Twain and five presidents, and this is her self-portrait. She is who she is. I like that.” n

—Patti DiBona is a freelance writer from Braintree, Massachusetts.

Thank you Annual Giving Volunteers! We want to acknowledge and thank our Annual Giving volunteers for their dedication and hard work. Rallying support and excitement for Emma Willard’s critical mission is of vital importance. You help ensure the limitless possibilities of an Emma Willard education for all of our students. Cheers to you, and here’s to another successful Annual Fund year! Annual Fund Co-chairs Deborah Dodds ’79 Kelsey MacMillan Banfield ’95

Parent Fund Nancy Alexander P’05,’08 (Co-chair) Amy Cannon P’07,’09 (Co-chair) Elizabeth Aleksandrowicz P’09 Sally Bishko P’07 Barbara Bennett-Calkins P’08 Amy Simon-Cassetta P’07 Molly Cowgill P’08 Michele Cummings P’09 Holly Doherty P’08 Susan Ellman P’07,’10 Janet Evelyn-Dorsey P’09 Cole Godfrey P’08 Cynthia and Thomas L. Goodman P’05,’08 Theresa Hobbs P’09 Beth Ann Hutcherson P’09 Wendy Littlefield P’07 Maria LaViola P’09 Micki Massry P’98,’07 Elizabeth Merena P’05,’08 Jacqueline Michaud P’08 Denise Padin (Aunt ’10) George Painter P’09 Jeanne Rabin-Kanaan P’08

Gail Sacco P’08 Val Schultz P’02,’05,’08 Burnell Shively P’09 Class Agents Margery Avirett ’39 Patricia Connally ’41 Polly Ormsby Longsworth ’51 Nancy Hoagland Steidl ’54 Ann Gumaer Johnson ’55 Peggy Doud Christie ’58 Ardelle Fenn Darling ’58 AnneLee “Didi” Andrews Smith ’61 Leslie Adkins Gunnels ’64 P ’95 Suzanne Pennink Ream’69 Ronna Cohen ’73 P ’06 Marcia Brooks ’74 P ’09 Barbara Vass ’76 Patrice Ridgway Gallagher ’80 Arlene Mainster Holtzman ’81 Ann Plane ’81 Catherine Uroff Brill ’83 Katherine Goddard Viret ’83 Elsa Scagel Conway ’84 Elizabeth Halleron ’85 Melissa Palmer ’86 Deborah Frease Geraghty ’88 Susan DeWitt Cramer ’89 Victoria Barrett Jacobsen ’91 Farah Jaffer ’93 Neelam Mehta ’93 Clare Smith ’95 Julie Massry Knox ’98 Jane Phelan ’03 Chrystel Valdez ’05 Inga-Marie Facey-Higgins ’06 Shantay Mobley ’06 Reunion Gift Chairs Elissa Robison Prout ’52 P ’88, GP ’00 Suzanne Seaman Berry ’57 Nancy Smith Bushnell ’57

Nancy Ferguson Chapman ’57 Maryann Mettler Croner ’57 P ’86, ’90, ’94, ’95 Prudence Kielland Pecorella ’57 P ’79, GP ’02 Deborah Rose Cravets ’62 Lucy McCarthy ’67 Georgina Murphy Scott ’67 Jenny Sage Hunt ’72 Katherine Butler ’77 Christina Plattner Evola ’77 Marilyn Dunham Fountain ’82 Sarah Manning ’87 Athena Nagi Mays ’87 Amy Chiaro ’92 Kathrin Phelan Midgley ’92 Amanda Poppei ’97

1814 Association Solicitors Deborah Dodds ’79 (Chair, 1814 Association) Nancy Alexander P’05,’08 Kelsey MacMillan Banfield ’95 Jameson Adkins Baxter ’61 Ronna Cohen ’73 P’06 Patricia Connally ’41 Amy Cannon P’07,’09 Erin Crotty ’84 William Gardiner Douglas Hart P ’01 Erica Ling ’75 Wendy Littlefield P’07 Diane Wynne Mercer ’61 Wendy Pestel Lehmann ’64 Elissa Robison Prout ’52 P ’88, GP ’00 Linda Glazer Toohey ’66 P’00,’03 Michal Colby Wadsworth ’65 Victoria Thompson Winterer ’61

Spring/Summer 2007


Images of


Victory May 15, 2007 The Varsity Lacrosse Jesters: Section II, Class C, girls’ lacrosse champions photo by Steven Ricci


Emma Willard School

CELEBRATION • 2007 September 28-30



Women, Power, and Responsibility.

● Reunite and reminisce with 2s and 7s at REUNION 2007 ● Celebrate the renewal of our community life spaces ● Share your EWS stories with the HerStory Project ● Engage in intellectual debate with current students and faculty ● Join us for a groundbreaking SYMPOSIUM WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS




Inner Campus Saturday 9:30am

Mott Gymnasium Saturday 6pm

Inner Campus Saturday 5:30pm




Inner Campus all weekend

Athletic Field Tent Friday 6:00pm

Emma Willard School proudly presents an outstanding opportunity to explore the relationship between power and responsibility in the lives of women today. With the help of prominent women leaders from fields including education, law and politics, finance, technology, public health, and philanthropy, we will examine a range of issues and contemplate the global transformation possible when women use their power to make the world a better place. Confirmed speakers include Deb Adams, Ann Cotton, Christel DeHaan, Dina Dublon, Kirsten RutnikGillibrand ’84, and Shirley Ann Jackson. To learn more about our speakers and the positive impact their organizations are having on our world, please visit www.emmawillard.org. EMMA WILLARD HERSTORY Come share your Emma Willard story! Because we want to capture as many Emma voices as possible, there will be audio recording booths on campus where you can provide first-person accounts of Emma Willard memories and friendships, those defining moments that shape a life—and a school. Be sure to indicate your interest in scheduling an appointment on your registration form.

For more information and a full schedule of weekend events, please visit www.emmawillard.org, or contact us at (518) 833-1787 or alumnae@emmawillard.org.



We’d like to thank our alumnae, parents and friends for their generous contributions to Emma Willard’s 2006–2007 Annual Fund. Donations to the Annual Fund ensure that the life-changing power of an Emma Willard education will continue for generations to come. Through your gifts, you are helping to empower a girl and transform the world!

EMMA WILLARD SCHOOL 285 Pawling Avenue Troy, NY 12180

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