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Summer 2006

The CHANGING NATURE of FAMILY TIES Family Diversity Is Here to Stay

16 Gender, Power, and Space 18 Paris Pix 22 “Late Bloomers” Reunion in print and online


Family Diversity Is Here to Stay

Paris Photographs by Alison Harris ’79

 y Susan Bushey ’96 B When it comes to families, one size—or type—doesn’t fit all. The traditional mold of husband, wife, and 2.3 kids has been expanded to include a variety of family structures, evident in these alumnae households.

By Emily Harrison Weir Walking some eight miles daily through Paris, the city that has been her home for years, Alison Harris ’79 has captured on film a city few tourists ever see.

16 This Place We Know Mount Holyoke’s Architecture Reflects the Changing Roles of Women

By Erica C. Winter ’92 MHC’s buildings are not only functional and beautiful, but each also speaks volumes about how society viewed college women in the era in which it was built.


18 The  “City of Light” in Black and White

22 Much Better Late Than Never Alumnae Late Bloomers Go Forth Slowly

By Marcia Worth-Baker ’88 Like fall-blossoming flowers, late-blooming alumnae peak later than the rest. Those who arrive at a calling or career not late, but later than others, are vivid reminders that growth occurs in all seasons.

Alison Harris

10 The Changing Nature of Family Ties

departments Viewpoints


Comments on rethinking retirement, Christian values, protesting globalization, and other topics

Campus Currents

Bulletin Board 4


Reunions, “Alumnae in Action” activated, technology takes reunion global, Association activities on campus and off, and alumnae clubs’ news


Announcements, bed-and-breakfast guide, and educational travel opportunities

Last Look

Alumnae Matters 26

Books by alumnae on water gardens, signs of divine intercession, the business of child care, values in action, the Bronx Zoo, poetry about conflict, and other topics

Class Notes News of your classmates, and photos from reunion

Commencement, help for lowincome students, vaudeville, listening for women’s public voices, senior research and awards, and more campus news

Off the Shelf

On the Cover

Sister Power By President Joanne V. Creighton As chair of the Women’s College Coalition, President Creighton is helping the organization lead the charge for women’s education worldwide.

Literally bound by their family “ties” are Lois Farquharson Hayes ’49, husband Charles, son Stuart Chen-Hayes (far right), his partner, Lance, and their son, Kalani. Photo by Ricardo Barros


Volume 90 Number 2 | Summer 2006 Managing director of Print and Online Magazines

Emily Harrison Weir STAFF Writer

Mieke H. Bomann


Class Notes Editor

Erica C. Winter ’92 DesignER

Bidwell ID­­­ Editorial assistant Amy L. Cavanaugh ’06 Quarterly Committee: Linda Giannasi O’Connell ’69, chair; Kara C. Baskin ’00, Susan R. Bushey ’96, Maya Kukes ’95, Marissa Saltzman ’07, Julie L. Sell ’83; Mary Graham Davis ’65, ex officio with vote; W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, ex officio without vote Quarterly Deadlines: Material is due November 15 for the winter issue, February 1 for the spring issue, May 15 for the summer issue, and August 15 for the fall issue. Ideas expressed in the Quarterly are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of either the Alumnae Association or the College. Published in the spring, summer, fall, and winter and copyrighted 2006­­ by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc. Periodicals postage paid at South Hadley, MA 01075 and additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA by Lane Press, Burlington, Vermont. The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College is an independent organization that serves a worldwide network of diverse individuals, cultivates and celebrates vibrant connections among all alumnae, fosters lifelong learning in the liberal arts tradition, and facilitates opportunities for alumnae to advance the goals and values of the College. Comments concerning the Quarterly should be sent to Alumnae Quarterly, Alumnae Association, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; tel. 413-538-2301; fax 413-538-2254; e-mail: (413-538-3094, for class notes.) Send address changes to Alumnae Information Services (same address; 413-5382303; Call 413-538-2300 with general questions regarding the Alumnae Association, or visit POSTMASTER: (ISSN 0027-2493) (USPS 365-280) Please send form 3579 to Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486.

viewpoints Drop the Banners, Pass the Water [Re/ “Global Outsourcing,” winter] I watch with dismal curiosity anti-globalization protesters as I have those who lament being left behind by the digital divide. Could it be that both groups lack the required vision? Outsourcing has actually revealed a huge business opportunity in the U.S. just waiting to be tapped. There is now a growing market for job retraining with easily identifiable fields on the up and others that are clearly being shipped offshore. Why are private players not filling this void? Could it be that they are too busy protesting? I work in HR in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. Globalization pays for my business suits, but many years ago I spent a few months holed up in an ashram, reading religious texts and eschewing

Coca-Cola because we were against what globalization was doing to the farmers of India. When I got into the BPO industry, on the weekends I worked for a foundation that sought to provide clean drinking water to Indian farmers. So one day on a trip to a village, I asked a farmer if he would object to private players entering the potable water space and providing him with high-quality potable water in exchange for a small fee (thus far his drinking water had been free). He enthusiastically welcomed this idea, agreeing quickly to the fee provided it guaranteed quality. He never even noticed the Coke can in my hand. Jyotsna Singh ’93 Bangalore, India

Serving a Changing World I was offended and saddened by the letter from Judith Vickers Andrews ’68

We Want to Hear From You! We love getting mail. Send your thoughts, with your full name, address, and class year, to Mieke H. Bomann, Alumnae Quarterly, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486 or We reserve the right to edit letters, especially for length (300 words is ideal).

(winter). I think Mount Holyoke has done an excellent job of meeting [the needs of] today’s changing world and serving and acknowl­ edging its wide-ranging and varied community. I am greatly distressed by the selfrighteous and judgmental tone of Ms. Andrews’s letter, and of the Christian Right that has become so prevalent in our society. It does not reflect Christian tolerance, or Mount Holyoke values, as I understand them. And, by the way, congratulations for acknowledging Lyon’s Pride and the lesbian community. Being gay or lesbian is no more a choice than being born black or with blond hair and blue eyes, and like these traits, it is neither evil nor wrong! Margaret Norton ’58 Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Challenge of Alternative Viewpoints I echo the sentiments of Rev. Cressell ’01 in her recent letter (spring). I am a born-again Christian, and think that MHC’s liberal bias challenged me to examine my own faith, and only caused it to grow deeper. I enjoyed the variety of religion classes taught by

fine religion professors like John Grayson and Robert Berkey (who recently passed away). And I benefited greatly from the Christian groups on campus, such as Inter­varsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ. I think freedom of religion is key to our culture in the United States of America. We as Christians should not be of the world, but should live in it, and thereby learn to shine our Light among its people. Holly Schabacker Daniel ’85 Strongsville, Ohio

Retirement? What a Scandal! I read the article on retirement (“Rethinking Retirement,” spring) and realized I fit right in! I turn sixty-five in June and am running— for the first time—for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. I’ve yet to retire, and work part-time for the Mental Health Association of Franklin County and time-and-a-half behind the scenes for candidates, issues, Democracy for America, America Votes; you name it. Retirement? Never. I decided to run for several reasons. I’ve been preaching grassroots

[­­ viewpoints ]

find something that gives us joy , that we are good at, and that serves others , we can’t help but make a difference in our communities and in our world . ”

“ When we

Natalie Baxter Strange ’82 Norwich, England

involvement for thirty years and it was time for me to practice what I preached. And this is not the year in scandal-ridden Ohio to let any Republican stand unchallenged. Twelve years of one-party rule in our state legislature has resulted in all kinds of problems and negative firsts: first in foreclosures, first in bankruptcies, college tuition so high that we are losing young people to other states, and the loss of manufacturing jobs with no effective plan to replace them. Let’s not even mention the number of people without health insurance. So here I am, a candidate for the first time at the ripe old age of almost sixty-five, ready to knock on doors and talk to the people of my district. Check out my Web site at www.marianforohio. com. Retirement? Hah!! Marian Lichtiger Harris ’62 Columbus, Ohio

Serial Careers Are the Way to Go I enjoyed “Rethinking Retirement” but was astonished and amused at how young most of the retirees who reported are. Let’s see: I retired from teach-

ing in 1984, but not from my research in the English romantic period, from which I retired in 2005 with my last publication in the Keats-Shelley Journal. And although I retired last year as the editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal (fifty years was enough), I remain on the editorial board and still write all the reviews. In the eighties and nineties, I had a career in arts administration for the Maine Arts Commission, and then in my eighties settled into a long-postponed career as a freelance writer. I’m specializing in memoirs, three now published as articles and a book scheduled for 2007. Another article, on war, is still out, and I’m just finishing a book on my experience of wilderness. After a lifetime of editing other people’s writing, I find the self-indulgence of writing my own experience is enormous fun. To today’s students I’d say: If all goes well you will have a life span long enough for serial careers. Keep acquiring skills and concerns. If Holyoke has given you what it gave me, you will be incapable of boredom.

Life’s Expanding Third Trimester The article “Rethinking Retirement” by Maryann Teale Snell ’86 was right on the mark. I was delighted to see my quote included; but even more important was the article’s affirmation of my belief that the usual notion of retirement is not applicable to educated women who have had creative and interesting professional lives, as is the case for many Mount Holyoke graduates. The Quarterly is an excellent source for tracking the unique life-cycle issues of educated contemporary women who lead the way in many areas throughout their lives. Neither the popular press nor the usual nonfiction books does justice to this segment of our changing society. Thank you, Maryann. Let’s have more on the

lengthening “third trimester of life.” Elinor Miller Greenberg ’53 Centennial, Colorado

Making a Difference, Vocationally Donal O’Shea’s words from his convocation speech (winter “Last Look”) stirred my heart. I wholeheartedly agree with his urging to find one’s vocation, not just a career. Vocation is a calling, something bigger than ourselves. As O’Shea says: “Vocations are about care, about passion and excellence, and about service.” When we find something that gives us joy, that we are good at, and that serves others, we can’t help but make a difference in our communities and in our world. Natalie Baxter Strange ’82 Norwich, England

Correction: The spring Quarterly article on board of trustees chair Leslie Anne Miller ’73 contained an error. It should have read that Miller served (not serves) as general counsel for the state of Pennsylvania. We regret the mistake.

Marion Kingston Stocking ’43 Lamoine, Maine

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006



National Book Award winner and prolific author Joyce Carol Oates brought graduating seniors a dose of reality therapy in her commencement address on May 28. She told MHC’s 590 seniors that they share with other young people across the country the “common experience of coming of age in a schizoid time,” in which war, political and business scandals, and other distressing events must be dealt with while plunging into postcollege life. “So this is the great adventure before you, establishing the personal, moral, intellectual, and spiritual life in a schizoid time,” she said. Student speaker Mollie McDermott ’06 echoed Oates’s comments about the unpredictability of modern life. “No


matter how much planning we do, no matter how well organized we are, we can’t change the fact that tomorrow is unpredictable, unrehearsed, and that much of it will be out of our hands,” she noted. However, she urged her sister graduates to accept and embrace such uncertainties. Oates also encouraged the seniors to press ahead despite the challenges awaiting them. “There is an expecta­ tion that a younger generation has the opportunity to redeem the crimes and failings of their elders and would have the strength and idealism to do so,” she noted. Doing this will require faith in yourself and persistence, Oates said, citing a litany of famous authors who struggled in college or endured

Paul Schnaittacher, Fred LeBlanc

Joyce Carol Oates Urges Seniors to Rely on Their Own Judgment in a ‘Schizoid Time’

Fred LeBlanc, Paul Schnaittacher

repeated rejection but ultimately achieved literary success. “America is a wonderful country, but its media focus upon winners, stars, and cele­ brities doesn’t really prepare us for living in the world … We must rely upon our own judgment and our own sense of self-worth,” she said. She also let seniors in on a little secret: professors really do care about their students. “We never tell you that we actually love you. It’s one of those secrets that’s embarrassing to acknowl­ edge, but we do love our students,” she said. Oates, who is Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, was awarded an honorary doctorate at the MHC commencement ceremonies. So were Kitty Eliopoulos Kyriacopoulos ’45, mining entrepreneur and philan­ thropist; Hilda Chen Apuy ’44, a Costa Rican-Chinese scholar who received Costa Rica’s highest cultural award in 2004; Eric Reeves, professor of English language and literature at Smith College and an activist for human rights in Sudan; and Eugenie C. Scott, execu­

tive director of the National Center for Science Education. In all, 590 seniors received bach­ elor of arts degrees, and one master’s degree and twenty-one certificates for international students were awarded at the 169th annual commencement.

Grant Will Boost Number of Low-Income Students at MHC Mount Holyoke will markedly increase the opportunities for high-achieving, low-income students to enroll thanks to a $779,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The grant will enable the college to expand its commitment to enrolling traditionally underrepresented students from com­ munity colleges and to strengthen its established partnership with Holyoke Community College. “This generous grant goes directly to addressing the biggest challenge that we face in higher education today: access to top-quality education for low-income students,” said President Joanne V. Creighton.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

Students’ Civil Liberties Resolution Read in U.S. Senate A student resolution to uphold civil liberties on campus in response to the USA Patriot Act was read on the floor of the U.S. Senate in March by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russell Feingold, in anticipation of the law’s renewal. The MHC Student Government Association last win­ ter approved the resolution, proposed by the college chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Generally, it seeks to protect the civil rights and liberties of all MHC students, but particularly those of Middle Eastern, Muslim, or South Asian descent. In part, it calls for the college’s public safety department to refuse to search a residence without a warrant, and not to hand over to local police a person who might later be placed in federal custody. To read the entire resolution, visit aclu/resolution.html. 

[­­ campus currents ]

Beginning this fall, MHC will imple­ ment the Community College Transfer Initiative. This program will increase enrollment of transfer students from com­ munity colleges by ten students every year for four years, through enhanced outreach efforts at Holyoke Community College and other institutions. Other aspects of the program include creating a five-week quantitative reason­ ing course for HCC students, a peer men­ toring program, and an outreach effort to women veterans of the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars who wish to continue their educations. Of the nation’s thirty top liberal arts colleges, Mount Holyoke has the secondhighest percentage—more than 20 per­ cent—of students receiving Pell Grants, federal funds designated for low-income students. On average, there are 200 community college transfer students at Mount Holyoke, representing 10 percent of the student population. The majority enroll in the Frances Perkins Program for nontraditional-aged students.

Ancient Coins, Darfur Topics of Student Web Sites Students in Professor of Art History Bettina A. Bergmann’s 300-level seminar A classical-era coin last fall studied from Syracuse, Sicily ancient Roman coins and helped prepare an exhibit for the Mount Holyoke Art Museum. (“Heads and Tales: Portraits and Propaganda on Classical Coins” runs through the fall.) Students also constructed their own museum on the Web. Anyone can access this numismatic treasure thanks to the Virtual Museum, a software program that allows students to import scanned images and place them in “virtual” galleries. Check out the exhibition at bbergman/arth310-f05/index.html#. A more contemporary event is the topic of a Web site created by Rachel M. Sposato ’07. Outlining the geno­ cidal killings in Darfur, Sudan, for Professor of Politics Vincent Ferraro’s World Politics class in 2004, Sposato never expected the extraordinary response it received. The U.S. Library of Congress recently sought her per­ mission to include the Web site in its

collection of Internet materials related to the crisis in Darfur. Sposato’s site explains the history of the geno­ cides and shares the experience of one woman from Darfur. She is also working with the Red Cross to set up a donation system for victims. Visit her insightful Web site at http://www. A Life Based on Hope Next year’s “com­ mon read,” assigned to all incoming first-year students, will be Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder, the Pulitzer Prize– winning author. The book is an inspiring chronicle of the life of Dr. Paul Farmer, Harvard professor, MacArthur “genius grant” winner, and world-class Robin Hood. His life demonstrates how radical change—specifically, curing infectious diseases in the world’s most challenging places, including Haiti— can occur if equal doses of knowledge, unmitigated persistence, and hope are applied. Kidder will be on campus September 14 to speak about the book. Incoming students, faculty members, and orientation leaders each receive a free copy of the book, which will also be available in the library. Alumnae clubs are encouraged to read the book, too.

Association Programs are for Students, Too More than forty alumnae and 130 seniors gathered in March for the Senior Fair. Alumnae representing various career paths and graduate schools offered seniors advice about job hunting, networking, and postgraduation expectations. The Alumnae Association also cosponsors the annual Junior Banquet, the Networking 101 workshop for sophomores, and a special first-year event. The goal of these events is for students to build networking and mentoring relationships with alumnae, says Associate Director of Campus Programs Maya D’Costa, who works with various college offices and class boards to create events relevant to each class’s needs. Students said they enjoyed listening to the different experiences of alumnae and found it reassuring that a Mount Holyoke degree yields so many options.

Tidbits • International students, students study­ ing foreign languages, and folks just plain tired of broadcast network news can now access sixteen international channels on campus television sets with cable access. From African Independent TV to Sony Television Asia to Al Jazeera, it’s a cinch to stay in touch with your home country or area of interest. • This year’s Sally Montgomery Award, celebrating community-based learning, was presented to Emily H. Morgan ’06, Tracy S. Zhu ’08, Kristine M. Swann ’06, and Aileen E. Suzara ’06 for their urban ecology project, “The Right to Breath: Air Quality Monitoring in Holyoke, Massachusetts.” The project was in response to the high rate of asthma in that city. • The student newspaper, The Mount Holyoke News, is now available online. Check out the voices of these uncommon journalists at • The MHC Board of Trustees approved a 5.1 percent increase in tuition, room, and board for 2006–07. The annual tab will be $44,120. • In a March op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times that was syndicated across the country, President Joanne Creighton discussed the failings in standardized testing above and beyond the College Board’s recent grading blunder. • Coincidentally, the college has ended its five-year, Mellon-supported study of the impact of making SATs optional in admission. “Our research confirmed that we can make good admission decisions whether or not students submit stan­ dardized test scores,” says Jane Brown, vice president for enrollment and college relations. “There is no meaningful differ­ ence in academic performance between students who submitted test scores and those who did not.” MHC will remain SAT-optional in the admission process. Senior Symposium Highlights Diverse Passions Upwards of eighty-five students from all disciplines showcased their

Random House, Paul Schnaittacher

[ campus currents ]


Center Stage

Immigration Stand

Top: Paul Schnaittacher; Fred LeBlanc

Students gathered in support of illegal immigrants on May 1 as part of a national boycott against stricter immigration laws. Some of the estimated 125 rally participants on Skinner Green taped signs to their backs declaring “Immigrants are Humans” and listened to a number of student and faculty speakers.

intellectual passions, scholarly research, and independent projects at the first an­­nual Senior Symposium in April. Building on the idea of public presenta­ tions required of students majoring in the sciences, this year’s symposium reflected “the diversity of student and faculty interest and mirrors in small the scope of human achievement and curiosity,” said Donal O’Shea, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. Presenters were allotted fifteen minutes to divulge the ways in which their questions, theories, and conclu­ sions about their projects evolved during the academic year. On topics including water and forest quality in the Quabbin Reservoir, the visual acuity of jumping spiders, and poetry and literary indebt­ edness, seniors noted why and how they had been drawn to their projects and the insights and conclusions they had come to understand. “I am proud of these students, who have built upon the vibrant intel­ lectual foundation that Mary Lyon laid almost 170 years ago,” said MHC President Joanne V. Creighton. Well attended by students, parents, and mem­ bers of the faculty, the symposium also

While the end of senior year may feel like a series of one-liners for many, Biz Wells ’06 spent one of her last weekends as a Mount Holyoke student in an actual vaudeville show. But this production—Side Dish: A Vaudeville Show—is just part of Wells’s vibrant four-year stint both onstage and backstage at Mount Holyoke. In her time here, Wells has impressed audiences, professors, and fellow students in her quest to plumb the depths of theater and film, both theory and performance, even going to the other side of the world to do it. “Biz is highly intelligent, very talented, and a wonderful woman. Hands down, she is one of the most gifted students to come through Mount Holyoke in years,” says Joyce Devlin, professor of theatre arts. The rest of the theatre department agreed, giving Wells (and Kristy Matero ’06) the Biz Wells ’06 takes center stage in Genevieve Schmich Memorial Award, A Murder of Crows. for “a senior or seniors whose activities have lent most distinction to the benefit of the college.” Wells also is interested in film, and graduates with a special major, film studies and theatre. In her junior year, she went to Hyderabad, India, to study the “Bollywood” film industry. Wells was eager to study a vibrant film culture, she says, pointing out that each year India produces three times the number of films produced in the United States. When asked about her accomplishments and work while a student here, Wells first suggests that a fellow student, Ryan Berman, get the attention. Wells juggled duties as assistant director of Berman’s one-man show, In-Patient, while she was learning the finer points of clowning in Side Dish. The show gets its name from traditional vaudeville, in which the main acts were called entrées, with smaller acts, or side dishes, serving as bridges between them. Wells is one of three clowns in the show, who do a series of vignettes that all knit together, although there is no official plot, she says. “This is my first time as an actual clown,” Wells says. Comedy is much harder to do than tragedy, she adds, because “comedy has to be reinvented.” An audience can watch a lovers’ tragedy again and again, “but the banana peel only works three times, and then it’s not funny anymore.” People can withstand bad drama, she says, but bad comedy “is like death.” Wells will continue her exploration of theater after graduation when she starts an acting apprenticeship with the prestigious Actors Theatre of Louisville.—E.C.W.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

Student Edge

Students Earn Prestigious Academic Awards Seven students have won presti­ gious fellowships this year, including Josephine R. Giles ’07 and Caitlin E. Scott ’07, who are among this year’s winners of the coveted Goldwater Scholarship. The award is designed to encourage outstanding students to pur­ sue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Giles, a resident of Houston, Texas, has been doing immunology research with Sharon A. Stranford, assistant pro­ fessor of biological sciences, and plans to

study immunology at the doctoral level. Scott, from Moraga, California, works with Maria A. Gomez, assistant professor of chemistry. She is planning graduate work in computational chemistry. Viviane S. Callier ’06 has won a Churchill Fellowship, one of only ten awarded this year, and Mount Holyoke’s first ever. The fellowship will allow Callier to study at Cambridge University’s Churchill College in England next year. She plans to return to America the follow­ ing year for graduate school in biology. Melissa A. Yasinow ’06, Katie B. Flachs ’06, Edana A. Kleinhans ’03, and Lindsay R. Chura ’06 each received a Fulbright Fellowship to travel and work abroad next year. Yasinow plans to teach

English in South Korea. Flachs will go to Canada to work on a project involving the delivery of health services to immigrant groups. Kleinhans will teach in Germany, and Chura will investigate the role of diet in relation to female infertility at the reproductive clinic at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Sport Shorts Alumnae Association Scholar-Athlete Award Field hockey player Katie Marquis ’06 received the Alumnae Association Scholar-Athlete Award at the annual athletic awards celebration. Marquis, a

Raising Our Public Voices It’s been more than thirty years since women took to the streets demanding equality. But for all the progress since then on the home front and in the workplace, the dearth of women’s public voices remains deafening, says Martha Ackmann, senior lecturer in gender studies. She points to numerous national studies showing that men are still relied on as sources for news stories twice as often as women. Women make up less than 20 percent of newspaper columnists, Martha Ackmann with a few of her intellectual and are commentators on interests. Sunday morning news shows only 10 percent of the time. “There is a culture of expertise that equates wisdom with men,” says Ackmann, who adds that the lack of female voices in public debate ultimately lessens confidence in women’s leadership abilities. In the next eighteen months, she hopes to help turn the tide. Thanks to a grant from the National Institute of Technology in Liberal Education, Ackmann has engaged technology experts, faculty, and students at MHC and four other women’s colleges in developing ways to project the voices of undergraduate women through classes, videoconferences, workshops, and the Internet. Students will create a Web site including podcasts, digital


storytelling, and photography on a wide variety of publicpolicy matters and current events. The participation of alumnae whose voices are already part of contemporary public discourse is an integral component of the project, which includes MHC, Smith, Wellesley, Barnard, and Bryn Mawr colleges. At the March kickoff event, Cassandra L. West ’79, editor of “WomanNews” at the Chicago Tribune, shared her editorial experiences. In a first-year seminar Ackmann taught last fall, Priscilla Painton ’80, executive editor of Time magazine, and Jane “Bambi” Bachman Wulf ’76, chief of reporters, met with students for four hours at Time’s headquarters. “We still live in a world in which gender bias undeniably exists,” says Ackmann. “To present students with these great role models excites and inspires them to speak up.” This fall, at least three classes at each participating college will devote an assignment to some aspect of Ackmann’s project, and alumnae journalists will present their experiences in January videoconferences. By spring 2007, the student Web site will go live with content from the blogging exercises, course work, and workshops. Ackmann hopes these efforts will result in a permanent institutional collaboration. Ackmann has focused her academic career on women whose stories have been pushed into the shadows of American history. These include her book on the first women astronaut candidates, The Mercury13, and a new project on female baseball players in the Negro leagues of the 1950s. With her own public voice very much in tune, Ackmann hopes her work will stimulate students to fulfill one of the College’s primary missions—purposeful engagement with the world. Check out her Web site at  —M.H.B.

April 9, 2006. Copyright 2006 The Republican Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

[ campus currents ]

was supported by foundations, College programs, and research centers.

Alumnae Association ScholarAthlete Award winner Kathryn Marquis ’06

four-year start­ ing forward on the field hockey team, compiled a career total of 77 points (34 goals and 9 assists), ranking her third in the col­ lege record books. She was a two-time NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team honoree and a 2005 NFHCA All-Region Second Team selection. Academically, Marquis received the Sarah Williston Scholar Award in 2003, the Robert P. Sibley Prize for English in 2002, and was named to the NEWMAC Academic AllConference Team for three straight years. She graduated with a double major in English and Spanish. Spring Sports Roundup All six spring sports programs earned postseason bids at the team or indi­ vidual level. The riding team led the effort by winning the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship for the third time in MHC history. In individual competition, Danielle Johnson ’07 walked away with the Walk-Trot National Champion title,

and Nathalie Cooper ’06 earned Open Flat Reserve Champion honors. The tennis team earned a 5-4 spring record, and tennis player Angela Horner ’09 was one of thirty-two athletes selected to compete at the NCAA Division III Singles Championships. The lacrosse team ended the regular season with a 7-9 record and upset Wellesley in the first round of the NEWMAC Championship, 15-8, before falling to second-seeded Wheaton College in the semifinals, 12-15. Caitlin Taylor ’06 was one of forty Division III lacrosse players chosen to compete in the North-South Senior All-Star Game held at Johns Hopkins University. The crew team defeated national qualifier Smith College and placed second at the NEWMAC Rowing Championship; four boats also qualified for the ECAC Division III Rowing Championships. Members of the track and field team achieved many personal records throughout the season, and several athletes qualified for post­ season competition, including five ECAC Championship bids: Grace Zeigler ’08 in the long jump, Valerie Shepard ’06 in the 400m hurdles, Meghan Lynch ’08 in the 5k, Anna Zimmerman ’09 in the 10k, and Charisse Pickron ‘08, Jen Bourdeau ‘08, Stephanie Albero ’07, and Zeigler in the 4x100m relay.

By the Numbers The Building Blocks of Learning We’ve lived in the buildings at Mount Holyoke, studied and learned in them, and told stories about them. To add to your next discussion of campus architecture, here are some facts that may surprise you. Zero: the number of original architectural plans of the Mandelles still at the college (They were stolen.) One: the number of locked “ghost rooms” in Wilder. In truth, the room was formerly used for storage and was not a dorm room because of the chimney standing in the middle of it. It’s now closed altogether as repairs continue on Wilder’s roof, which was hit by a falling limb from a beech tree last winter.

Two: the width in inches of the dorm-room walls in Prospect Eight: the width in inches of the walls in Brigham Fourteen: the number of towers on campus, at Mary Woolley (four), Abbey Chapel (three), and Mary Lyon, Clapp, Williston Library, Miles-Smith Library, Dwight, Kendade, and Safford

Below: Fred LeBlanc, top: John Risley, right: Ben Barnhart

Twenty-six: the number of cement stick figures parading around the Rooke Theatre building façade (above) Ninety-one: the height in feet of Clapp tower, which also features the campus’s highest classroom, at fifty feet

MHC Faculty Honored for Outstanding Work Four Mount Holyoke faculty members were honored for outstanding teaching and scholarship in April. Carolyn Penney Collette ’67, professor of English language and literature and chair of medieval studies (center right), and Vincent Ferraro, professor of politics (left), received the Mount Holyoke College Faculty Prize for Teaching. Janice Hudgings, associate professor of physics (center left), and Donald Weber, professor of English (right), received the Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Prize for Scholarship.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

105: the total number of vertical feet cold water travels between buildings to provide air-conditioning Countless: the number of burnt bricks, foundation stones, shards of crockery, and other artifacts and remnants remaining from the original Seminary building that are scattered around campus, underground

Meredith Minkin ’95

By Susan Bushey ’96

The Changing Nature of

Family Ties

Family Diversity Is Here to Stay When Meg Soens ’77 graduated, she feared she would never be able to have a family. Soens was struggling with coming out as a lesbian and because of that, didn’t feel she would ever fit into the traditional family mold of husband, wife, and 2.3 kids. Yet today—at least from the outside—her family resembles a very traditional one: two parents, four kids, and a house in the ’burbs. Though both parents in this family are women (Soens married Celia d’Oliveira in 2004), their goal is like any family’s: to enjoy life in a loving, supportive environment while adding something to the world. Soens found that society, at least in her neck of the woods [Massachusetts], is changing right alongside her and her family.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006


Meg Soens ‘77 (below, center), wife Celia d’Oliveira, and their children

“We have a greater awareness of diversity of family forms, but there is still such a lack of institutional support for nontraditional families.” with those who appreciate people for who they are, not what the stereotypes are.” Bhachech—who comes from a traditional family with married parents and siblings—never thought she could find someone as committed to family as she was. “It’s tough to find that today in the US, but it’s an integral part of Indian culture. We believe in being committed to our family,” she says. That, for her, includes family, friends, and “anyone who would move mountains for you and for whom you would do the same.” For Bhachech, the important thing is to remain close, maintaining a built-in support system and network of friends. According to Danielle A. Bessett ’96, who taught a course on the changing family at MHC this spring, one reason the geography of family is changing so much is that people are living longer. “It’s subtle, but has a great effect on all other trends,” she says. Bessett says everything from the divorce rate to cohabitation trends can be traced to longer lives. That is “transforming the kinds of needs in terms of care,” she says, especially concerning older folks. Members of the so-called “sandwich generation,” such as Bhachech, can find themselves not only taking care of

Paul Schnaittacher

Soens isn’t the only alumna for whom the traditional family structure doesn’t quite fit. MHC graduates become mothers at differing ages and choose varying ways of having children. They find themselves, as grandmothers, welcoming their grown children and grandchildren into their homes. You name it and there is bound to be an MHC graduate doing it. In their individual ways, these graduates have created new family structures that work, and of which they are proud. Tamsen Schultz Bhachech ’96 had no idea that by her tenth reunion she would be married to a native of India, have two small children, and live with her in-laws. “I thought I would meet someone, probably not have kids, and do the young urban professional thing,” she recalls. “But then I met Navdip and realized I wanted to have his kids … I completely changed.” “My family is white as white can be, tracing our heritage back to Jamestown in the 1700s,” she says. “My husband came to the US from India fifteen years ago.” Bhachech, a lawyer in Seattle, Washington, says the racial differences have not been a problem with either her or her husband’s family, though she does remember getting “looks” when the couple lived in California. “We’ve been really been lucky in terms of openness of our family. There is definitely a cultural divide, but the underlying thing is we love each other very much and we are committed to being a family and an extended family. …We have surrounded ourselves

Ricardo Barros

their children, but also caring for their parents or their spouse’s parents, Bessett says, creating constantly changing family structures. “That demographic change often goes unacknowledged.” It’s evident, though, in the household of Lois Farquharson Hayes ’49. Hayes and her husband Charles, who has Alzheimer’s disease, live in New Jersey with their son Stuart, his partner Lance, and their child Kalani. “When I graduated from Mount Holyoke, I didn’t give [family] a thought,” recalls Hayes. After earning graduate degrees, Hayes taught college and then spent time at home raising two children. But when her husband became ill about eleven years ago, Hayes, now seventy-eight, decided to move closer to family for support. Stuart and Lance invited her and Charles, now eighty-six, to live with them. “It helps me to have other people around if I need a little help with Charles,” Hayes says. The family grew still more when Stuart and Lance decided to have a child. Initially they wanted to adopt a Chinese baby, but there was red tape—China has strict policies about same-sex adoptions. Then Stuart’s sister volunteered to be the surrogate mother. For Hayes, family does not necessarily come with a marriage certificate; it’s what comes with love and commitment. “In our case, not only is there a marriage in my husband and myself, but Stuart and Lance had a commitment ceremony, the equivalent of marriage. And commitment is really the important part,” says Hayes. Another major impact on the family structure and process, according to sociologist Bessett, is the financial independence of women these days. “Women have always worked, but the number of women with children who work has tripled since the 1950s, so that has given women a lot greater independence economically,” she says. Bessett says that financial independence has made it possible for women to divorce and afford life after marriage, as well as adopt or have children on their own. More and more women can afford to survive without a male to take care of them, she says. Mona C. Bernstein ’74 is one of this new breed. The San Francisco Bay Area resident is a single mother by choice. Nine years ago, at age forty-five, she participated in an open adoption. “I was able to be at his birth,” she says of her son Ethan, whose birth mother is Mexican-American. “Adoption is very different now. Open adoptions are designed to avoid stigma and secrecy [and to provide] some kind of community for us,” she says, adding that the adoptive and birth families work out their level of contact and involvement together.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

Family Trends Danielle A. Bessett ’96, now a visiting assistant professor at Williams College, notes some trends related to families over the past several decades, according to the US Census’s 2003 and 2004 current population surveys. rowing numbers of educated women are • gdelaying childbirth n overall drop in the number of children per • afamily • a growing number of cohabitors (although most people still marry at some time in their lives)

• more moms working outside the home rise in nonmarital childbearing (although • amarried-couple families still account for about 68 percent of all families with children)

• a rise in single-parent families xtended kin are still most likely to provide • ecare for children when parents work are still disproportionately responsible • wforomen childraising and household labor • a drop in childbearing by teenagers She adds, “Despite [having] fewer children and more hours of paid employment, both mothers and fathers spend more time with their children now than in the 1950s, reflecting what we call intensive parenting. Basically, standards of parenting have risen since the 1950s, though it runs contrary to everything we think we know about our nostalgic past.”


Bernstein says her family now is the best part of her life, even if it does keep her busy 24/7. “My decision to adopt was the best thing I have ever done,” she maintains. But much like her fellow alumnae in nontraditional families, Bernstein says her life is not without challenges. “Anybody who is a working parent, with a full-time job with some travel, juggles a


Tamsen Schultz Bhachech ’96 and husband Navdip live with their sons Liam and Rai, and Navdip’s parents Amita and Snehit, in Bellevue, Washington.

Photo by Stewart Hopkins

“F amily is the everydayness, not the special  occasions and treats.  We are very fortunate to live in an age where there’s a lot of choice. Thirty years ago I would never have been able to do this. I hope people understand and appreciate the choices we have.”

tremendous number of tasks. If I have a trip, I have to arrange baby-sitting. If he has to go somewhere or must be picked up early, I have to make arrangements while fulfilling my responsibilities at work. I work a mad dash to get to the after-school [program] before it closes at six. Then it’s dinner, the dog, and bedtime. There is no sitting down, no personal time,” she explains. Bernstein’s own family has been a help, though. “My family was great—totally open, accepting, and supportive,” she says. Though most people in the Bay Area understand her situation, some don’t get it. “When you say single, people assume there’s a divorced dad somewhere. I explain that we started this way,” Bernstein says. “I live here for a reason. A lot of our good friends’ families look like our family. Many are interracial, transcultural, lesbian moms, or other single-mom families. And there is the occasional heterosexual nuclear family,” she says. To her, family is about relationships and security. “Family is the everydayness, not the special occasions and treats,” she says. “We are very fortunate to live in an age where there’s a lot of choice. Thirty years ago I would never have been able to do this. I hope people understand and appreciate the choices we have.” Bernstein is teaching her son that it is OK to be different, something Bessett says many try to minimize. “Difference is not inherently a bad thing,” Bessett explains. “Some liberal scholars try to show differences are minimal, but that’s not intellectually honest, and it’s selling diversity short.” Mildred Moore Rust MA’52 grew up in a “very traditional” white family, but has seen her own family

© 2006

structure evolve over time. Rust lived with her fortyseven-year-old daughter, and her daughter’s three adopted African American children and one birth son, until moving recently to an assisted-living facility. She had her concept of family broadened in the 1980s. The divorced mother of two—one lesbian daughter with a partner and four children, and one bisexual daughter married to a man and childless by choice but “very bonded with their dogs”—says when her daughters “came out” to her in the ’80s, she never thought twice about accepting it. Rust defines family as “one or more adults living with one or more children who they really care for. I would extend that because I think my other daughter has a family with her dogs.” Sociologist Bessett notes that, even when individuals are open to nontraditional family arrangements, the government may not be. “We have a greater awareness of diversity of family forms, but there is still such a lack of institutional support for nontraditional families,” Bessett says. This absence of societal and legal sanction can make life more complicated for any family outside the norm—including gay and lesbian parents, older mothers, single parents, and those wanting to build families by adoption. Jamie B. Kotch ’74 and husband James adopted a baby from Siberia when Kotch was just shy of her fiftieth birthday. “I pushed Deena in a stroller in the alumnae parade at my thirtieth reunion, shocking my classmates, I’m sure, many of whom had college-age kids,” she recalls. Amy Trabitz Charness ’82 also entered the parenting game later than most by adopting two babies from Russia when she was forty-four. Now nearing her half-century mark, she and husband Neal find themselves chasing two-year-olds while managing careers. International adoption “wasn’t the easiest road, but what a joy it is having two little ones,” she says. “It’s not always so easy managing two careers, the financial changes, not to mention all of a sudden having our lives being run by the children, but we’re finding our way through the challenges,” she explains. Kim Allard ’91 also knows the ups and downs of parenthood. She lives with her partner, Heather, and fifteen-month-old daughter Vivian just outside San Jose. When they were deciding whether to have kids, Allard wondered how her traditional nuclear family, and Heather’s family, “would take it when we said

we were going to have a child, but our siblings and parents were excited for us,” she says. “We’ve thought about what difficulties the child might have with having two moms, and took steps legally to protect ourselves,” she says. Now that Vivian is in their lives, Allard says she worries less about what society thinks and more about little things, such as how to get Vivian to sleep through the night. “But I also think about the challenges of raising any girl with the political climate in the country. How do we teach her to take care of herself and keep herself safe, while also teaching her to trust people?” Allard says that their family structure makes them ponder matters such as how Vivian and her moms would be received at day care, and where they would move if they leave the area. “Most of the time I’d like to think [we’re living in an open society]. But, sometimes I am reminded I live in a liberal bubble,” she says. For Allard, and many others in nontraditional families of various kinds, one question keeps coming up. Bessett asked it this way: “How come social institutions can’t catch up to the ways people are leading their lives? Family diversity is here to stay, so how can we help these families succeed?” Susan Bushey ’96 is the editor of the Lexington Minuteman and Burlington Union newspapers.

Mona C. Bernstein ’74 and son Ethan live in Berkeley, California.

Web Extras

For more alumnae experiences, census data on changing families, and books on the topic, see

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006


This Place We Know


M o u n t H o l y o k e ’s A rch i t e c t u re Reveals the Changing R o l e s o f Wo m e n B y E r i ca C. W i n t er ’ 9 2

Jennifer E. Gieseking ’99 is studying how MHC’s architecture reflects changing social norms, and what the buildings reveal about perceptions of women and their power.


Jennifer E. Gieseking ’99, who is pursuing her PhD in environmental psychology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, spent last summer in MHC’s Facilities Management building doing something no one had ever done before. With a fellowship from the Alumnae Association, Gieseking went through every architectural plan available for MHC buildings, and cataloged all 35,000 records for the college archives. That project was the launch pad for Gieseking’s academic exploration of the meanings of architecture on the Mount Holyoke campus. She looked at how the architecture of campus buildings reflects the social norms of their time, and what the buildings reveal about perceptions of women and their power.


Paul Schnaittacher

he Mount Holyoke community has always been transfixed by its own campus. Many decide to attend, then visit again and again over the decades, just to be here, in this place. But the buildings provide more than shelter; they’re also clues to the changing views of women’s roles in society.

“We live in architecture; it’s a tremendously important part of our lives,” says Michael Davis, professor of art and director of the architectural studies program. While a building’s impact may not be planned consciously, its physical shape and style “do not happen at random,” he says. Architecture both reflects and shapes society; studying it can tell much about the people who have been in a place.

Campus as Asylum and House

As the first to set up an institution of higher learning for women, Mary Lyon had to set her own architectural precedents. The school had to have credibility, but it also had to have desirability—parents had to feel confident sending their daughters to Mount Holyoke. The architectural plan for the Mount Holyoke Seminary had the floor plan of an asylum and the exterior of a house, Gieseking says. It was aimed at keeping occupants safe and controlled. Professors lived with students, and every moment of student life was regulated. In this building, students could never close their doors, except at prayer time. No dating was allowed. In 1837, parents could rest assured that their daughters would be very closely watched.

Campus as Euro-Style Palace of Learning

After an 1896 fire destroyed the original buildings, the oldest buildings on the contemporary campus were put up fast. Mary Lyon, Brigham, Safford, Porter, Pearsons, and the original Rockefeller Hall rose just one year later. The 1897 academic buildings referred architecturally to European structures of learning and status. The library’s medievalstyle reading room is the most direct citation of another space, says Davis. “It is a good copy of the great hall at London’s Palace of Westminster.” The library, then, “becomes a kind of palace,” reflecting MHC’s emphasis on academic achievement for women. In Safford, adds Gieseking, division of space reflects the era’s academic and social messages about women. Student rooms were called “studies”—indicating emphasis on academics, not social life—and men couldn’t venture beyond the parlor. Housemothers were there to maintain a family

atmosphere, oversee meals, and watch who came and went. The dorms—through the 1920s with construction of the Mandelles and the (new) Rockies—look like European manor houses. They are no longer designed to keep women in and the world out; they are now, as the architectural plans refer to them, “cottages.” Overall, the ivy-covered brick architecture was saying, this is space for serious, high-level academics, notes Gieseking. It is solidly rooted in European dignity and status, but the students were also “domestic creatures to be carefully watched and protected.”

Campus as Democratic Space

Starting in the 1940s, modernism in campus architecture brought not only flat roofs, but also the idea that if people’s built environment were rationalized, regularized, and equalized, it would lead to more equality and democracy for residents, explains Davis. The newer dorms—Ham, Torrey, and 1837 for example—reflect this idea. Each student gets “the same room, essentially,” he says. In Torrey, the housemother’s space was not as central, less of a watch-post, notes Gieseking. Students continued “sitting bells,” and slowly gained more responsibility for overseeing one another. The underlying message? You can date without being directly supervised; you should continue to meet men, spend time together, and get married. (As the opening page of the 1958 Llamarada urged, students could change the world “as wives and mothers.”) As always, respectability was key. Alumnae recall a set of rules called “parietals” that regulated dating with edicts such as no men in students’ rooms or above the first floor, and a “one-foot-on-the-floor” rule for entertaining dates. Torrey’s construction in 1949 reflected increased freedom for “the new woman” in the post–World War II era, though they were still urged to make societally supported choices.

Campus as Haven for Independent Women

Fast-forward to the 1967 building of MacGregor, which has a space specifically called “the date room” in the architectural plans. This was the beginning of the end

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

of parietals. And other changes for which students agitated gave women almost total control of their own social lives for the first time. Students with top grades were allowed keys to come and go on their own; the formidable housemothers of old were about to become history. New buildings from the late 1940s to the 1970s were meant to be a comment on and a change from older campus architecture. They were intended to show Mount Holyoke as a modern school, educating modern women and advancing with the changing times. The most recent campus buildings do not refer to external greatness, as the reading room in the library does, nor do they reach out to the changing modern world. Instead, they refer to older campus buildings while remaining thoroughly modern. The design of Kendade, the new science building, agrees Davis, refers to older buildings around it (Clapp and the library) by incorporating brick and slate, a high-pitched roof, dormer windows, and a tower. Architects planned a proposed new dorm, with construction set to start in fall 2006 next to Pratt Hall, by looking at details from the oldest dorms on campus. Student life continues to change, too, Gieseking says. By the mid-1990s, “no one knew what the bell-deskers did besides chat and do homework,” and the position were eliminated. Head residents, too—the more modern versions of housemothers—morphed into “ADs,” three assistant directors who supervise groups of dorms. Even as things evolve, Mount Holyoke never loses its history, architecturally or otherwise, says Gieseking. “We are constantly remembering where we came from. The entire campus is an archive; you just have to go and look.” Erica C. Winter ’92 is the Quarterly’s class notes editor.

Web Extra

Gieseking made a half-hour presentation at MHC on this topic earlier this year. To listen, go to


Alison Harris ’79 travels the world as a professional photographer, and her camera has captured everything from Sophia Loren’s luminous smile to the sheen of succulent shrimp. But when not on assignment, she loves to wander the boulevards and back streets of her home for the past three decades, Paris.

“I love to walk and that’s how I exercise and relax,” she explains. “I walk about eight miles every day.” With camera in hand and with “no plan other than always being on the lookout for a possible photo,” Harris estimates she’s walked some 46,000 miles through the city from her home in the Marais district. Thirty images, chosen from thousands of Paris photos shot over the past sixteen years, grace Paris, Paris: Journey Into the City of Light, written by Harris’s husband, David Downie. Why choose black and white for a city bursting with color? “Sometimes I feel I’m walking a mental tightrope shooting black-and-white film in an age where we are saturated by color,” Harris admits, but says she likes “the ‘once-removed’ quality you have when viewing a blackand-white shot. It imposes a certain detachment.” With iconic images of Paris by photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, and others in the back of her mind, Harris is challenged to see the city anew. ”I tend to photograph fragments of the city that move me, either because they are views of something from the past and will soon disappear, because they’re a juxtaposition that allows me to wonder and daydream for a brief moment, or [because] a formal composition catches my eye,” she says. Harris holds dual French/American citizenship, spent her formative years in France and Italy, and continues

to split her time between those countries, with frequent jaunts to the United States. “The mixed background probably has influenced the way I look at Paris and may be at the root of my interest in exploring issues of identity,” she says. Many of her photos “try to pinpoint traits that are distinctively French.” Now that Paris, Paris is published, Harris and Downie are onto their fourth joint book project, striding across Burgundy on a three-month walk she terms a “skeptical pilgrimage from Paris to the Pyrénées.” But then they’ll head home to the place Downie describes as “the kind of city butterfly catchers have trouble netting, tacking down, and studying. Like all great cities and yet unlike any other, [Paris] is alive and fluttering, it changes with the light, buffeted by the Seine-basin breezes. This place called Paris is at once the City of Light that inhabits literature and film, an imagined land, a distant view through shifting, misty lenses, and a vibrant world where a kaleidoscope of millions seems bent on the grand conspiracy to enjoy life.” And Harris will be back at the unending job—and joy—of trying to capture the city’s many moods on film. You can see more of Harris’s work at www.alison or—through August—in Chicago’s FlatFile Galleries.  —Emily Harrison Weir

P h o t o g r a p h s b y Al i s o n H a r r i s ’ 7 9 18

David Downie

The ‘City of Light’ in Black & White

Statue and reflections, 1997

5 4

1 2


All photographs appear in the book Paris, Paris: Journey Into the City of Light, written by Harris’s husband, David Downie.





1 Louvre, Pyramid, 1989 “I took this shot soon after the inauguration of I.M. Pei’s Louvre pyramid in 1989. Water, glass, and light came together, turning the Louvre courtyard into a disorienting dreamscape. The human figure gives an element of scale.”

2 Train Bleu Restaurant, 2005 “The Train Bleu restaurant has a stunning Belle Epoque décor. Seeing the chair at an angle picked out by the late afternoon light was all the animation I needed to take this shot.”

3 View from Marais Window, Footprints in the Snow, 2005 “I live in the Marais not far from Place des Vosges. This was shot from my bedroom window, and for me, it is an intimate photograph of a very familiar view made strange with the unexpected snowfall and play of footprints.”

4 Ile-Saint-Louis, 1990 5 Tango by the Seine, 2004 “In summer, couples often gather by the Seine to dance the tango. A river cruise boat (bateau mouche) sailed by, briefly illuminating the dancers. Their movements, and the figures of the couple in the left-hand corner, is what initially made me stop and look at the scene.”

6 Couple and Graffiti Face, 1993 7 Le P’tit Bar, 1997 “Wandering around Paris, you often stumble across time-warp scenes such as this working-class café which now has a trendy clientele.”

8 Coiffure pour [D]ames “The “D” in Coiffeur Pour [D]ames is missing, which gives a surreal twist to the image and turns the shop front [from a “hairdresser for women”] into a “hairdresser for souls.”

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006



Scott Suchman

At age fifty, Rosamond (Roddy) Pratt Mack ’63 reinvented herself as a cross-cultural art historian. Shown here at the National Gallery of Art, where she is a consultant, Mack examines Cardinal Bandinello Sauli, His Secretary, and Two Geographers by Sebastiano del Piombo.

Gwendolyn McGregor-Hendrix Scherer FP’95, shown here with her own artworks, graduated from MHC at forty-four and now teaches art history and studio art at Palomar College in California.

like fall-blossoming flowers, late-blooming alumnae peak later than the rest. Those who arrive at a calling or career not late (“It’s never too late,” says Fran Gardner ’88, MAT’90)—but later than others—are vivid reminders that growth occurs in all seasons. Joan Message Barbuto ’53 was a middle-school teacher, full-time mother, college instructor, then local reporter, feature writer, and medical reporter for the New Haven Register. All this was before becoming, in her mid-fifties, an advocate for high-school programs that teach students the basics of child safety and development and parenting skills. Even then, Barbuto hadn’t reached a final stop on the career path. She recently published God Is With Us: Signs in Our Lives and has written a novel set in ancient Greece. “I guess this means that, at age seventythree, writing is my final career,” says Barbuto. “But who knows?”

Top: Jim Coit; left: Paola Nogueras; right: Roger Hawkins

If anything is typical of late-blooming alumnae, it is Barbuto’s sense of journeying through life to a destination still unknown. Rosamond (Roddy) Pratt Mack ’63 planned a career teaching at a university or museum. Instead, Mack spent fifteen years on a literal journey, traveling with her family to the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf, before her husband’s job landed her in Washington, D.C.

Much Better Late Than Never alumnae late bloomers go forth slowly

By Marcia Worth-Baker ’88 Left: After many years of struggle, Susan “Sudy” Smith McLaren ’62 found her path as a healer. Right: Formerly a self-described “technical geek,” Anne Webster Leight ’77 is now a “master bander” of birds. She’s shown here releasing a hermit thrush after banding it.


this is it “More and more people are performing second, third, and even fourth acts” in their careers, says Barbara Moses, a North American leader in career self-management who specializes in “midlife rejuvenation.” The author of Women Confidential:

Embracing the Power to Heal

After years working in medicine-related fields and pursuing an interest in photography, in 1981, at age forty, Susan “Sudy” Smith McLaren ’62 met a woman in England who told her, ‘You are going to be a healer.’” Those words brought Sudy full circle to “where I was when I entered MHC: wanting to help people and animals, but feeling I needed to know more about what makes people tick.” Three years later, Sudy (as she prefers to be called) was accepted as a “healer” by the National Federation of Spiritual Healers in England and Australia, where she had been living, and completed an MS in counseling in 1994. In 2003, while attending a funeral, Sudy realized that “it was extraordinarily clear that I have y Susan “Sudy” Smith a strong connection with ‘the other McLaren ’62 works with side.’” Sudy combines energy work, a client. including Healing Touch, reiki, craniosacral, spiritual healing, and psychotherapy, specializing in trauma and hospice care in her private practice in Kimberton, Pennsylvania. “One of the beautiful things—and there are many—about this work,” says Sudy, “is that I get to tell other people they are healers.” “Late blooming for sure,” Sudy says of herself. “I’m dancing on the edge of continued development in ‘spirit communication.’ And then there’s the book I’ve been working with. I want to learn to tap dance and do more line dancing. People tell me I’ve had an interesting life.” 24

Midlife Women Explode the Myths of Having It All notes that many people at midlife are asking these questions: How do I want to spend the next twenty years, and what really matters to me now? For some fortunate late bloomers, the answer arrives decisively. Newly ordained Episcopal deacon Fran Gardner spent the years after graduation working as a museum educator, a teacher, a bookstore manager, and as an active volunteer. Then, Gardner recalls, “In the same week, two friends asked when I was planning to go to seminary.” A year and half later, Gardner was a full-time divinity student. “I assumed that I would take on a traditional parish ministry,” says Gardner, until she visited a “local shared ministry” where one clergy member serves several churches. “This is it,” Gardner recalls saying aloud. “This is what I want to do. This is what I was meant to do.” Gardner began her preaching career this past summer and will be ordained a priest this fall. “I have a feeling that I will do this in some way or another for a long time,” she says. “Of course, I can always count on the Holy Spirit to mix it up a little bit.” What Gardner called the “aha moment” took Kristin O. Prien ’77 by surprise. After graduating with a degree in medieval studies, she earned an MBA and eventually entered a Ph.D. program in management. She worked in human-resource management, both corporate and for a small regional consulting firm. As part of her graduate studies, she says, “in the fall of 1994, I walked into a classroom for the first time in the front of the room, prepared lecture in hand. After the immediate terror wore off, I realized this was it.” She’s now an associate professor at Christian Brothers University. Similarly, Debra L. Wilson ’77, an international studies major who worked at Rolling Stone magazine, then in advertising, and then attended law school, found her path while sitting in a restaurant. “I happened to overhear two women talking behind me. One of the women said that … what she really wanted to focus her energies on was teaching and writing. I had an epi­ phany at that moment,” recalls Wilson. “I realized that what I wanted to do was teach and write.” Wilson has spent the last three years at a public school in Brooklyn, teaching sixth and seventh graders diagnosed with emotional disturbance. “I feel as if, at last, my life has been made complete. How great is that?”

the inevitable question “You, Miss Late Bloomer,” Wendy Wasserstein ’71 asked herself in a 2001 interview, “why did you wait until you were fifty [to have a baby]?” Prien calls it “the inevitable question: Why didn’t you do this ten years earlier?” Prien wasn’t “ready” and values the years she learned to “balance all facets of my life” before discovering the call of the classroom. Susan “Sudy” Smith McLaren ’62 (see sidebar) explains, “After years of struggle, I think and feel that I am meeting the challenges of ‘know thyself,’ and ‘to thine own self be true.’ I know, and like, who I am. I know why I am here, and I am grateful to be doing what I do.” And for Marion Speers Blackshear ’51, her calling simply did not exist when she graduated. After raising six children and “dabbling around my dream work” by volunteering in hospitals, Blackshear became director

Top: Roger Hawkins; bottom: Paola Nogueras

“I decided (at the mellow age of fifty) to retool myself as a cross-cultural art historian, specializing in artistic contacts between Italy and the Islamic world during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” she explains. At age sixty, Mack published Bazaar to Piazza: Islamic Trade and Italian Art 1300–1600. Since then, her career has continued to evolve. “I guest-lecture on small luxury cruises. I continue to do research and writing. I am also a consultant to the National Gallery of Art.” Her life’s work is hardly what she predicted, but Mack says, “I have taken a series of risks, sometimes not well-informed but not reckless,” and they have paid off. Anne Webster Leight ’77

of an all-volunteer hospice. “I knew then that this was my calling,” she says. Thirty-five years after her Mount Holyoke graduation, Blackshear earned a master’s in social work. “I was fifty-six years old and had five grandchildren when I started the program,” she recalls. “I used to smile to myself as I tramped around the campus among all the young undergraduates with my backpack full of books.” Before retiring, she worked as director of bereavement services at a funeral home, became

“I t’s never too late …” Fran Gardner ’88, MAT’90

certified as a death educator and in thanatology (the study of death and dying), and garnered a statewide Social Worker of the Year award. “Sometimes it’s a very positive thing to arrive late on the scene,” says Blackshear.

Top: Jim Coit; bottom: Scott Suchman

the portfolio approach For many alumnae, work is a given and it’s the other parts of life that come later. Late bloomers take up tennis upon retirement, find a singing voice at seventy, or, in the case of Fran Gardner, “finally, finally learn to knit” twenty-some years after she admired classmates’ hand-knit sweaters. Author Moses refers to this as a “portfolio approach,” suggesting that we find fulfillment through many types of activities in life, rather than simply through taking on many jobs. “I think of a person’s skills and attributes like a Lego vehicle: the pieces can be reshaped into a family car, an ambulance, or a spaceship, but they are the same pieces and they still make a vehicle,” says Moses. Likewise, alumnae interests take different forms at different stages. Anne Webster Leight ’77 pursued a technical career after graduation, becoming a full-fledged member of what her children call “the geek squad.” At the same time, she grew more interested in the outdoors, especially once she moved to Arizona in 1987. Leight says, “Divorce seven years ago was a stimulus for me to go out and get more involved in doing what I love to do, and that is working with songbirds.” Leight volunteered at the Nature Conservancy’s Hassayampa River Preserve in Arizona, banding birds. “I pursued a “master bander” permit and today I run the program. Now I am a master bird bander and I love this vocation. I anticipate that retirement will bring new shifts in avocation. I am looking forward to them whatever they will be.”

“go forward…” Many late-blooming alumnae credit Mount Holyoke for instilling confidence that became the constant on an unpredictable life journey. “I know that I am never afraid to jump into a situation or volunteer for a board or seminar. Before MHC, I might have hesitated or not felt confident,” says Gwendolyn McGregorHendrix Scherer FP’95 (see sidebar), now an artist, art historian, and writer. “MHC taught me that learning is a lifelong process, Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

Accepting Challenges With Confidence

Gwendolyn McGregor-Hendrix Scherer FP’95, an art history and studio art major, graduated at age forty-four planning to rest while she pursued grants for further education. When the opportunity arose, however, she accepted a U.S. history teaching job at Springfield Technical Community College while she entered graduate school at Norwich University. This led to a stint lecturing around Springfield, Massachusetts, about the area’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. “I found information that Mary Lyon might have been connected to a group of Underground Railroad activists in Greenfield,” explains Scherer. Despite getting tenure, family health issues led her farther afield, to Arizona and then California. She now teaches art history and studio art at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. Additionally, Scherer was chosen lead artist to create public art and to supervise gallery apprentices at the West Valley Arts Council and Gallery 37 in Avondale, Arizona. “I am also [compiling] research for two books I am writing,” says Scherer. “Mount Holyoke gave me confidence and pride in my achievements. It fosters a spirit of confidence, even if the subject matter is not familiar. It taught me to ask ‘why’ when I needed to; to not be intimidated, and to be comfortable in all situations,” explains Scherer, who looks forward confidently to future changes. “I was twice hired on the spot based on the fact that I received my education from MHC and my confidence that I could do the job. I believe and expect this will happen again.”

taught me many skills, and provided exceptional opportunities for growth,” agrees Mack. Leight recalls, “MHC instilled in me a ‘can-do’ attitude. There were many instances where I tried something new or different and found great satisfaction in knowing that I did that well.” Mary Lyon, who began her working life at age seventeen and founded Mount Holyoke twenty-four years later, charged her students to “go forward, attempt great things, accomplish great things.” Many alumnae still heed her advice. Though some “go forward” at a different, slightly slower, pace, their accomplishments are equally notable and greatly savored. “It’s an amazing connection,” says Gardner of discovering her calling. “And it was just waiting for me to get there. I y Rosamond (Roddy) Pratt Mack ’63 think it’s waiting for many of us.” Marcia Worth-Baker ’88 is a teacher at Newark Academy in Livingston, N.J. Her book Greek Mythology Activities was published by Scholastic in 2005. 25



updates from the Alumnae Association

Blue feathers clung to the circular drive surrounding Mary Woolley green as more than 685 alumnae took their places once again in the Laurel Parade, MHC’s annual blend of ceremony and celebration. Dressed in white as a show of solidarity for their suffragette sisters, and accessorized with feather boas, hats, and flashing earrings in their class colors, alumnae led the march to the gravesite of MHC’s founder. “I’ve looked forward to this since I saw pictures of the laurel chain ceremony on 26

the Mount Holyoke Web site when I was a prospective student,” said graduating senior Hayley Beers ’06. She and her 589 classmates gathered first along Route 116 to don the 275-yard laurel chains, whose sprigs students once handpicked from nearby hillsides but now are grown on area farms and assembled by a local florist. The weather, forecast to be iffy, if not downright nasty, was at first simply muggy, and later, splendidly sunny. Members of the Quaboag Highlanders pipe band,

resplendent in their spats and kilts and blowing their Scottish wind instruments with gusto, took time to catch a breath at the gravesite while the seniors lifted the laurel chains above their heads to drape Mary Lyon’s resting place with honor. With many back-to-class offerings filled to capacity, and Japanese tea ceremonies, Emily Dickinson homestead tours, and tours of the new science center fully booked, returning alumnae took full advantage of the association’s offerings as

Paul Schnaittacher

Reunion 2006: The “Greatest Generation” Greets the Next Best Thing

Paul Schnaittacher

Class of 1941: Happy Surprises, Lingering Sadness Members of the class of 1941, twenty-three in number, found the campus as beautiful as ever, though a bit crowded, even as new additions blended in with the old. Many spoke of the remarkable Art Museum.

All were impressed with the competence, helpfulness, courtesy, and manners of the students. We were happily surprised to enjoy as old friends classmates we didn’t even know in 1941. Willits-Hallowell is a delight! Only a few minuses, including loud, canned music in Blanchard. All minuses negated by an extraordinary reunion for twenty-three octogenarians within a warm, nourishing atmosphere even as sadness for so many lost classmates lingered.—Margaret “Pinkie” Merriam Moon ’41

Class of 1946: “The Greatest Generation” Our 60th reunion! With the sun shining and the rhododendrons in full bloom, Mount Holyoke’s campus was more beautiful than ever. Thirty-three of us came and marched in the alumnae parade; we were finally the first class behind the antique cars. Wearing flashing red earrings, we opened our red parasols to the cheers of those who lined the parade route. We attended classes, visit­ ed department open houses, and admired the beautifully renovated buildings and gorgeous gardens. Mostly we reveled in the opportunity to see and talk with old friends again. It was, indeed,a special occa­­ sion as we celebrated our new status as octogenarians!—Isabelle Pearson Weber ’46 Class of 1951: No Rain on This Parade Our fifty-fifth—in spite of relentless rain—was the best yet! Warmth and unity

characterized our North Rocky head­ quarters, with forty of us reminiscing, laughing, and working together. Highlights: brilliant four-hand piano concert in our honor; archival slide show that brought amusing memories; the annual meeting; wearing yellow scarves; learn­ing that l951 had highest (84 percent) rate of giving to the Alumnae Fund; the class helping install the Mary Lyon statue at the archives; establishing an endowment for the annual FP prize and hosting three FP

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly |Summer 2006

prize winners; banquet speaker Prof­­essor Edwina Cruise’s captivating theatrical depiction of a housemother from Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others; and departed classmates memor­ ialized through Speersie’s presentation of The Last Dance (Susie Neidlinger’s final journey) that was poignant and powerfully meaningful to us seventy- five-plus-year-olds.—Marion Speers Blackshear ’51 Class of 1956: Half of “Nifty Fifties” Return What a weekend. With almost 50 percent of our class returning, we were delighted and excited to renew old friendships. We all looked more like the twenty-five-year celebrants, give or take a few wrinkles! I was struck with the connections that this amazing institution still manages to generate in its graduates. Marching in the parade made me realize, yet again, my good fortune

to have spent four years here. I harbor a great hope that my thirteen-year-old granddaughter will maintain her grades and be smart enough to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps. Nothing would be more exciting for us both.—Jane Kenigson Weiller ’56 Class of 1961: Fight, Fix, Support, Lead The first class dubbed “uncommon women,” we now face a possible extra third of life to live. Given this daunting 27

[­­ alumnae matters ]

well as department “at-home” gatherings and class events. “We were treated very well,” said Isabelle Pearson Weber ’46, who noted that her college years were marked by a nation at war. That history often repeats itself was evident in the banner of a more recent class, 2004, which read, “Iraq began during our junior year.” Following are personal reminiscences of Reunion 2006 graciously compiled by members of returning classes. We hope you enjoy these short tales relevant to every generation of the uncommon women of MHC.—M.H.B.

[ alumnae matters ] Class of 1966: The Privilege of Place It seemed funny to sing to ourselves—and some sixty-one-year-old women giggled— but we did both the ’68 and the ’66 retort of the Little Sister song to thank them for a lovely food basket. Shortly, I was bullying everyone into line for the parade; ’66 was on the march again, and we stood yelling and applauding as the class of 2006 walked by with their laurel chain and tears. Our dinners were a mob scene and a love-fest of reconnections old and new. We learned a lot at MHC, but most of all we learned to respect ourselves and other women. “Can you spell privilege?” asked my husband, admiring our small size. Yes, and it is spelled MHC! —Mary Duffy-Guerrero ’66 Class of 1971: The Addictive Quality of Reunions I confess. I’m a reunion junkie. I got hooked at the tenth and have come back to all of them since. What draws me back are my 28

amazing classmates—good friends from college that I’ve kept up with, those I haven’t seen in years, and especially those I didn’t know at all. This time, I had fascinating conversations about world affairs, marriage, and elder care with women I’d never spent time with. Laughter over old photos, new pictures of children and grandchildren, and the pleasurable changes on our beautiful campus added to the weekend enjoyment. But for me, the best part was the spirit of friendship and camaraderie that is uniquely Mount Holyoke.—Phoebe Zablow McBee ’71 Class of 1976: Provocative Connections I had not been back to campus in ten years, but the feeling of connection never changes. Our dorm was shabby; worn linoleum is not as romantic as worn marble. The Pratt Hall and Kendall complex renovations, however, are spectacular. The elimination of individual dorm dining rooms was universally mourned and I wondered if the gathering spaces in Blanchard and Williston library nurture the spirit of community I still cherish. The professors at Friday classes were brilliant and provocative. As always, being with my classmates was priceless. I love knowing I will always feel connected to all alumnae (pronounced alum-neye, not alum-knee).—Marge Haberman ’76 Class of 1981: Wizened and Dancing Beneath the Stars The excitement and anticipation of our twenty-fifth MHC reunion were magnified weeks earlier by a flurry of e-mails, international

cell-phone calls, shopping for the perfect gift for our classmates’ children, and the general family frenzy of “what to pack” for hot, cold, dry, or wet weather in South Hadley. We expected the adrenaline-filled greetings of classmates but were not always prepared to see them twenty-five years later and through the filters of our life experiences. Wizened by our experience, it was our turn to transform Prospect Hall with our space-green balloons, refreshments, and entertainment, and to turn back the clock and dance underneath the stars … at least until 10 p.m., when the canoe sing crowd started to assemble around Lower Lake and we stepped aside graciously to let the seniors have their moment under the canopy.—Cerise Jalelian Keim ’81 Class of 1986: Aging Like an Often-Used Fabric Twenty years? No way! Everyone looked the same. As Bitsy Osder ’86 put it, “Reunion is the only place where we can all have eternal youth in each other’s eyes.” Still, by now each of us has faced challenges in life, which have made us like well-washed flannel: softer and warmer. Like many, I harbor some regrets about my college years … I wish I had been friendlier, had talked more in class, and attended a service in Abbey Chapel. But those regrets fade in the light of the new connections made over the weekend. Said outgoing Class President Regina Collins, “Reunions are too few and far between to satisfy our desire to convene.” I’m inspired to contact more of my classmates in the next five years and encourage everyone to come back to Mount Holyoke in 2011.—Annyce Nickel Schafft ’86

Paul Schnaittacher

proposition, here’s what surprised us at reunion: drenching rain brings people closer together. We discovered new comfort, vitality, and trust in each other. We learned we have few illusions but lots of humor. We still seek passion and mission: fight global warming, fix the health care system, support local libraries, lead our churches, ride motorcycles (one of us, at least), write poetry, create music, enjoy the remains of our careers, and, above all, nourish our children and grandchildren. Oh, yes. We also need name tags that can be read from fifty yards!—Bonnie Barrett Stretch ’61

Class of 2001: Common Struggles, Collective Memories The class of 2001 celebrated our various successes, common struggles, and collective memories during a rowdy weekend in June. We toasted margaritas to new loves, crazy exes, and new jobs, lost jobs, grad-school acceptances, and law-school rejections. While our lives have taken us to all corners of the world, time and distance seemed to evaporate while watching Junior Show, dancing under the fog machine, inhaling Atkins donuts, and waving our pompoms. With the dorm decked out in green, we were reminded of how our Mount Holyoke experience is still rooted in the deep connections and friendships that began in its halls and continues today.—Annemarie Farrell ’01 Class of 2004: Spreading the Love Though we graduated two short years ago, the class of 2004 is now spread out across the globe. About 170 classmates returned, from South Hadley to Malaysia. Most of us had not seen each other in two years, but we reconnected as if it had been a day. Friday night was spent laughing and reminiscing as we worked to create memorable laurel parade signs. Reconnecting with place and friends made me realize how my life has been enriched by the Mount Holyoke experience. I think it was best stated in the class of 1900’s time capsule: “We hope you love our school.” The remarkable support and actions of the class of 2004 and all of our alums show that we do, indeed, love our school.—Alexandra Polly ’04

Top: Ben Barnhart; bottom: Ed Gray

The Class of 1996: MHC Shaped Future Expectations “I can’t believe I’m not going to see you tomorrow,” I told old friends Sunday morning. There are so many things that I appreciated about this ten-year reunion weekend. Sharing meals with my MHC friends, laughing longer and harder than I can remember, and hanging out in our rooms talking about family and life decisions. The absence of our classmates who did not attend reunion was palpable. What was fascinating for me was my desire to want to do things that I never did at MHC, like walking around Upper Lake or going to a Japanese tea ceremony. Then there were the things that felt so MHC, like Leslie Ito catching a piece of bread on fire in the toaster oven. What surprised me the most was how natural it was to be in the company of my MHC friends, some of whom I haven’t seen since graduation ten years ago. How easily we spoke about our lives—the good and hard parts.

What I realized is that my current expectations of women, friendships, and community were shaped by my residential experience at MHC.—Kristine Woolery ’96

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly |Summer 2006

[­­ alumnae matters ]

Class of 1991: Unpacking Memories Upon arrival Thursday, I unpacked my “MHC box,” which had been hastily removed from my attic and tossed into my car an hour before. Unpacking it with classmates brought back a flood of memories and laughter—from the old dorm T-shirts to papers, notes, flyers, and even all my old day-planners! Emotions were genuine and sometimes unexpected, like when I walked my sophomore roommate to her room. As soon as we got away from our classmates, we looked at each other and started crying! At the annual meeting, seeing all the magnificent women who came before and after us at MHC, my fellow class officers and I were moved not only by their speeches but also by the very presence of these uncommon women. I am proud to be among them.—Robyn Scott ’91

At the Alumnae Association annual meeting, W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, association executive director, (left) lauds Susie Beers Betzer ’65 for her three years of work as association president.

Betzer Completes A Satisfying Term Susan Beers Betzer ’65 came into her position as president of the Alumnae Association in 2003 with four goals: to help increase pride, visibility, communication, and collaboration within the Association and among all of its constituents. She left office at the end of her three-year term this summer feeling satisfied that those goals had been met, and more. “I think my number one accomplishment has been supporting and nurturing W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83 [Alumnae Association executive director] as she rebuilt a staff and connections across the college.” The creation of a strategic plan that now informs the work of the association every day was another highlight, she says, as it reemphasized the association’s mission of serving alumnae worldwide. Satisfying, too, was changing the group’s logo and the new look of the vastly expanded Web site. Making solid connections with undergraduates and becoming a strong presence on campus was particularly exciting for Betzer, as well as the clear financial processes that were put in place and resulted in solid, fiscal responsibility with room for flexibility when it was merited. “We’re out there and we’re thinking of ways to do things together,” she notes of the association’s refashioned mission. “It has been an amazing experience.”


The Alumnae Association supports more than 100 clubs and informal groups around the world. Contact Assistant Director of Clubs Krysia Villón ‘96 at or 413-538-2738 with clubrelated questions, ideas, comments, and brief overviews of activities for possible inclusion in this section.

The Mount Holyoke Club of New Haven hosted an afternoon of nautical storytelling, featuring Professor of Politics Chris Pyle, who taught a January Term course on board the sailing ship Bounty, and Heather L. Stone ’93, former commanding officer of a “tall ship.” Hardtack and other refreshments were served, and the event was held at the Yale School of Management. The Mount Holyoke Club of Puget Sound hosted a 209th birthday party for Mary Lyon. “Deacon Porter’s hat” and other desserts were served. The Mount Holyoke Club of Hartford had a dinner and heard a talk on the topic “Inequality and Environmental Degradation in the Global Economy,” by Jens Christiansen, professor of economics and chair of European studies, at the Pond House Café. The Mount Holyoke Club of Delaware held a dinner at the Terrace at Greenhill. Keally D. McBride ’91, senior fellow in political science and contemporary writing at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on the topic “Home and Work: How Globalization Is Changing the Practices of Families.”

The Mount Holyoke Club of Detroit hosted Curtis Smith, professor emeritus of biological sciences, whose topic was “The Structure of Memory,” at the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club. The Mount Holyoke Club of Philadelphia hosted Tinky Weisblat ’76, who gave a talk, “Food and Memory: A Recipe Workshop,” at the Guard House Inn. The Mount Holyoke Club of Mid-Hudson Valley attended an event with the Vassar Alumnae Club. Professor Miriam Levin, associate professor of history at Case Western Reserve University, spoke about her new book, Defining Women’s Scientific Enterprise: Mount Holyoke Faculty and the Rise of American Science. The Mount Holyoke Club of San Diego launched a new book club, to be hosted by Jeanne Geantil Howard ’96. The first book selection was Anna Quindlen’s How Reading Changed My Life. The Mount Holyoke Club of Atlanta attended a talk by Cristina Rathbone, author of A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars, at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The lecture was part of the Lyon

Lecture Series and Weissman Center on the road, traveling programs that bring the intellectual life of the college to alumnae. The Mount Holyoke Club of Northern New Jersey hosted a seminar and luncheon with Martha Ackmann, senior lecturer in gender studies, who spoke about the Mercury 13 astronauts. The Mount Holyoke Club of Northeast Pennsylvania held a meeting and lunch at the home of Joan Miller Moran ’58. Lee Springer Gee ’54 gave a talk, “Andean Excursions: Can You Dig It? Archaeology and Orchids.” The Mount Holyoke Club of New Hampshire held its firstever award ceremony, “Honoring Uncommon Women: Outstanding MHC Alumnae in New Hampshire.” The first recipient of the award was Dr. Susan Upton Lynch ’76, pediatrician and first lady of New Hampshire. The Mount Holyoke Club of Central and Northern Arizona met for a tour of the Heard Museum in Phoenix and lunch at Arcadia Farms café. The Heard Museum has an

extensive collection of Native American artifacts. The Mount Holyoke Club of Dallas-Fort Worth met at the home of Catherine Simpson Grindinger ’81 to discuss Frank McCourt’s new memoir, Teacher Man. The Mount Holyoke Club of Central Ohio met for a networking/career transition/jobsearch workshop hosted by Cori Ashworth, the Alumnae Association’s alumnae career and professional consultant. In June, the Mount Holyoke Club of Fairfield Villages held its annual meeting. The speaker was Debbie Foss Farrell ’74, on the topic “How We Think, How We Lead: the Differences Between Men and Women.” The Mount Holyoke Club of Central Maine hosted a lunch­eon where the featured speaker was Darby Dyar, associate professor of astronomy and geology, who spoke on the subject “Color in Gemstones: Nature vs. Laboratory.” Forty-four members of the Mount Holyoke Club of the Peninsula celebrated Mary Lyon’s birthday at the King George Hotel in San Francisco.

Exquisite music making—Hammond-Douglass Professor of Music and Choral Director Catharine R. Melhorn led more than 200 alumnae and current students in a gala spring concert called “Mark the Music.” The concert showcased numerous MHC ensembles and musical styles. Alumnae from as far away as Sweden and Switzerland joined in the selection for chorus and orchestra, “The Harmony of Morning,” with text by poet Mark Van Doren. Melhorn, who retired this spring after thirty-six years here, was honored at the event with a work specially commissioned by the Department of Music and composed by Clifton J. Noble Jr. Its text was, he said, drawn from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and, like Melhorn, dedicated to “exquisite music making.”


Fred LeBlanc

[ alumnae matters ]

Clubs Corner

Four alumnae joined the college’s Board of Trustees in July: Janet Falik Aserkoff ’65, Mindy McWilliams Lewis ’75, Mary Graham Davis ’65, and Divita Mehta ’04. Aserkoff, an alumna trustee, is general counsel to a Boston real estate firm, and Lewis is associate director of the Cummins Foundation in Columbus, Indiana. Both will serve five-year terms. Davis, the incoming Alumnae Association president, runs the Davis Consulting Group, and Mehta, the new young alumnae trustee, is an analyst at Goldman, Sachs. Both will serve three-year terms.

­Alumnae Association Board of Directors *President Mary Graham Davis ’65 *Vice President Kayla R. Jackson ’86

Mountain Day Memories Do you have your hiking shoes? Camera? Water bottle? A little cash to spend at Atkins Farms Country Market? Bottom line: are you ready for Mountain Day? If not, sample alumnae memories from past Mountain Days online at Here’s one to get you started: Waltraut Benke Lehmann ’76 remembers this of Mountain Day 1974: “Mountain Day. What a glorious day it was! Definitely a day in October. When the bells rang, a few friends and I went downstairs, snubbed the dining room picnic offering,

and—lucky—took off in the car one of us had. We stopped to buy bread and cheese and other goodies and went to Quabbin Reservoir, walked around, ate, chatted, enjoyed the fall scenery. I have a small snapshot from a roadside stand where we stopped on the way back. I’m wearing a black jacket and standing in the midst of a sea of orange and yellow. Great memories.” If the Alumnae Association has your current e-mail address, we’ll send you a notice when the bells ring, announcing this year’s Mountain Day.

Fred LeBlanc

Cori’s Career Corner If you’re spending an hour on the phone with a friend talking about your sometimes-frustrating job hunt, you may as well get some expert advice and guidance in the bargain. This is what eight alumnae found out this spring through the Alumnae Association’s jobhunters teleconferences, led by Cori Ashworth, career and professional consultant for the association. These biweekly conference calls, Ashworth’s brainchild, bring alums from different fields, regions, and career stages

*Treasurer Patricia Steeves O’Neil ’85 Alumnae Quarterly Linda Giannasi Matys O’Connell ’69 Alumnae Trustee Deborah A. Northcross ’73 Alumnae Relations Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Classes and Reunion Maureen E. Kuhn ’78

together to give and get valuable advice on their job hunts. Participants in the spring group gave each other encouragement and advice, ideas and leads, right

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly |Summer 2006

*Clerk Sandra A. Mallalieu ’91

from the start. “It’s part of the Mount Holyoke culture,” says Ashworth. She also prepares short “lecturettes” for each session on topics such as how to do marketplace research and how to tailor a résumé to a specific organization. Another job-hunters teleconference session started in late June, and Ashworth is planning a fall session that might be expanded to include multiple groups. To express interest in joining a job-hunters alumnae group, contact Ashworth at

Clubs Lily Klebanoff Blake ’64 Directors-at-Large Maureen McHale Hood ’87 (others TBA) Nominating Chair Catherine C. Burke ’78 Young Alumnae Representative Lisa M. Utzinger ’02 Executive Director *W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83 ex officio without vote *Executive Committee


[­­ alumnae matters ]

Alums Named MHC Trustees

Climbing the nearest mountain peak still lures current students out of bed and onto the trails each Mountain Day.

Lydia O. Okutoro ‘98

Lydia O. Okutoro ’98 is the 2006 recipient of the Mary E. Woolley Fellowship, funded annually by the Alumnae Association. The grant, totaling $7,500, will be used by the former middle-school teacher and Nigerian native to complete an MFA in creative nonfiction at the University of Arizona. Eager to shift gears

from teaching to writing, she has in the works a memoir of her difficult early years as an immigrant in the United States, and hopes eventually to find a publisher. In total this year, fifteen alumnae were awarded MHC fellowships, ranging from $500 to $7,500, for graduate study and independent projects.

Five Honored With Alumnae Association Medal The Alumnae Association medal of honor, given for outstanding service to the association and the college, was presented to five alumnae during their reunion weekend. Left to right, they are (below) Cerise Jalelian Keim ’81, Judith Shepherd DeBrandt ’66, and Ellen Hyde Pace ’81; and (above) Suzanne P. Franchetti ’91 and Sunny Park Suh ’91. To read their citations, go to alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/go/citations.

Top left: Kathryn Wagner; top right: Ben Barnhart; bottom photos: Paul Schnaittacher

[ alumnae matters ]

Nigerian Teacher Writes Memoir Thanks to AA Fellowship

Alumnae Spring into Action —MHC alumnae, staff, friends, and students from the college’s Environmental Action Committee were on hand for the April kickoff of Alumnae in Action, a new Alumnae Association community-service program. Volunteers collected trash, weeded, and planted flowers on the campus grounds of River Valley Academy, a school for special-needs teenagers in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Other alumnae groups and clubs across the country also planned community service events. For information about organizing an Alumnae in Action event, please contact Krysia L. Villón ’96, assistant director of clubs, at 413-5382738 or


So that the Alumnae Association may honor deserving alumnae, please share names to be considered for the recognitions listed below. Please include documentation on the strength of your candidate(s), and names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of references. Send nominations to the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; 413538-2300; fax 413-538-2254; or alumnaeassociation@mtholy You can also use our online form at www.alumnae. to submit nominations. Young Alumna Loyalty Award: To honor an alumna who has demonstrated consistent effort and active involvement in one area of service over an extended period of time. Volunteer effort can be on behalf of a class, club, affinity group, the association, or the

college. Nominees may be from any class that has graduated ten years or fewer from the date of the upcoming reunion. Deadline: December 15. Alumnae Honorary Degrees: Awarded to alumnae of genuine achievement and distinction who have contributed to learning in the arts and sciences or who have contributed to society in some service, career or otherwise, distinguished for both intellect and character. Alumnae Trustee: Selected for willingness and ability to involve herself actively in the workings of the college, participate in the policy-making discussions of the Board of Trustees, and use her expertise in special areas to enrich those discussions. Deadline is January 15. Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award: Given periodically to

an outstanding alumna educator, honoring the service former MHC president Elizabeth Topham Kennan ’60 has given to the college and to higher education in general. Mary Lyon Award: For young alumnae who have been out of the college fifteen years or fewer, who demonstrate promise or sustained achievement in their lives, professions, or communities consistent with the humane values that Mary Lyon exemplified in her life and inspired in others. Loyalty Award: To honor an alumna who has demonstrated consistent effort and active involvement in one area of service over an extended period of time. Volunteer effort can be on behalf of a class, club, affinity group, the association, or the college. Nominees should be from classes that will hold reunions the following spring. Deadline: December 15.

[­­ alumnae matters ]

Seeking Awardees Alumnae Medal of Honor: Awarded for eminent service in promoting the effectiveness of the Alumnae Association, for signal service in completing definite projects undertaken by the college, or for other noteworthy services that strengthen the position of Mount Holyoke College. Deadline is August 15 prior to candidate’s Reunion year. Achievement Award: For alumnae whose achievements and service to society exemplify the ideals of excellence of a liberal arts education; who use their talents with professional distinction, sustained commitment, and creativity; and who reflect the vision and pioneering spirit of Mary Lyon.

Paul Schnaittacher

Lyon Lectures Bring MHC to Alumnae The Alumnae Association’s Lyon Lecture Series this past spring featured two distinguished speakers who shared their work about learning outside the college gates, and the history of women’s prisons. Preston H. Smith, associate professor of politics and director of the Community-Based Learning Program, gave a lecture in Holyoke, Massachusetts, titled “Community Outside the Gates.” Atlanta alumnae and guests attended “An Afternoon with Cristina Rathbone,” who presented material from her book, A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars. Rathbone’s book focuses on the history of the women’s prison in Framingham, Massachusetts, one of the country’s oldest. She examined issues including reasons for imprisonment and the societal changes they reflect. Historically, for example, women were routinely locked up for drunkenness and “acting out” in public. After the reading, the author talked with alumnae and their guests more intimately, going from table to table to discuss the larger political and theoretical issues surrounding the modern correctional system. In Holyoke, the Delaney House restaurant was packed with alums ranging from members of the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly |Summer 2006

class of 1937 to this year’s graduating class. The evening started with a dinner, followed by Smith’s presentation on the Community-Based Learning Program. It “brings together classroom theory and real practice, in which students learn how to apply what they learn and bring their experiences back into the classroom,” Smith said. Yaminette Diaz ’06 spoke to the group Preston Smith, director of the about her experiences Community-Based Learning in the program. “It Program showed me what I care about, what I want to do, how I can make a difference in the world,” she said. To see photos of, listen to, or view a video clip from Smith’s lecture, go to virtualcafe/multi


off the


Wild Lives: A History of the People and Animals of the Bronx Zoo By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld ’76 Knopf Kathleen Zoehfeld tells the story of the Bronx Zoo, from its opening in1899 with two small, bedraggled prairie dogs to its current efforts in conservation and education. Along with information on the zoo, she discusses the ethics of removing animals from their habitats for public display and ongoing threats to the habitats of many species. She presents personal stories, beliefs, and significant individuals in the zoo’s history. With


engaging animal photos and lively anecdotes, Wild Lives takes readers through a century of zookeeping at one of the most-beloved zoos in the world, and shares what zoologists have learned over the years about keeping wild animals. Kathleen Zoehfeld was an editor of children’s books for more than ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She has published more than forty books for children, most of them about animals and natural history. She lives in Berkeley, California. One Shaker Life: Isaac Newton Youngs, 1793–1865 By Glendyne R.  Wergland FP’92 University of Massachusetts Press One Shaker Life provides an inside look at the life of a member of the United Society of Believers, better known as the Shakers. He spent most of his life in New Lebanon, New York, home of the society’s central ministry. Youngs was a private diarist and official village scribe who kept meticulous records of his own experience and that of

the community. More than 4,000 pages of his journals have survived, documenting the history of the Shakers during this period and offering a revealing look at the daily life of a Believer. Wergland has written a deeply researched biography that is a complex portrait of an ordinary man. Glendyne Beemer Wergland is an independent scholar who earned her PhD in U.S. history at the University of Massachusetts in 2001. She lives with her husband in Dalton, Massachusetts.

The Business of Child Care: Management and Financial Strategies By Gail Jack ’66 Thomson: Delmar Learning This guide focuses on the business skills most needed by owners and administrators of child-care facilities. Aimed at helping these folks manage their human and financial resources, the book details the most successful approaches to managing enrollment, staff recruitment and retention, budgets, financial record keeping, and more.

Written by a veteran childcare administrator who holds an MBA and has over twelve years of experience as an early childhood administrator, the material is presented in a straightforward manner with charts and illustrations throughout. The accompanying CD-ROM with financial spreadsheets makes it easy to establish a successful business administration system for a child-care center. Gail Hannsgen Jack is the owner of Good Sense Consulting and holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Washington Is Burning By Marty Rhodes Figley FP’03; illustrated by  Craig Orback Millbrook Press Marty Rhodes Figley’s new children’s book tells the story of the burning of Washington during the War of 1812 from the viewpoint of Paul Jennings, a fifteen-year-old slave and the personal valet of president James Madison. The narrative follows Jennings and Madison’s wife Dolley as they pack up the White House—saving a portrait of George Washington—before

Woman Without Background Music By Delia Dominguez, translated by Roberta Gordenstein ’66 White Pine Press Delia Dominguez, one of Chile’s most important poets, has made her country her language. Born in 1931, she has lived her entire life in the south of Chile, most recently on a farm in Tacamó, from which she writes poetry based on the landscape surrounding her. Her poetry recounts stories anchored to the roots of fables but at the same time tied to what moves us as human beings. Hers is also a voice in search of collective social justice. In this first English-language translation of her work, we see a poet amazed by her own geography, a poet relating to the best of the culture and history of the Americas. Roberta Gordenstein has published numerous articles and reviews about Jewish and Latina writers and conducted teacher-training workshops in Eastern Europe and Central America. She is professor of Spanish at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

and that miracles do happen. The evidence is based on investigations of near-death experiences and death-related visions by noted psychologists and physicians; evidence of angels, visions of the dead, and miraculous healings reported in books; apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the last two centuries, with miraculous events witnessed by many and prophecies that came true; incidents in the lives of two twenty-firstcentury saints, and inexplicable, seemingly miraculous, events in the lives of those the author knows. Joan Message Barbuto is a Connecticut resident and the author of The ABCs of Parenting. She was also a reporter and feature writer for The New Haven Register. A Field Guide to Good Decisions: Values in Action By Mark D. Bennett and Joan McIver Gibson ’65 Praeger Publishers In A Field Guide to Good Decisions, the authors provide the skills to make decisions that reflect one’s core values while respecting those of others. Illustrated with many

real-life examples that will resonate with readers both professionally and personally, A Field Guide offers practical tools and techniques for identifying individual and common goals, reaching consensus, and communicating results effectively. The authors show readers how to overcome common obstacles to good decision-making that are psychological, cultural, and organizational in nature. Ultimately, this book is about making decisions that have a powerful effect on our sense of self, our credibility in the eyes of others, and the lives of those touched by the choices we make. Joan McIver Gibson is a philosopher and consultant in applied ethics, bioethics, and decision-making and has worked for thirty years in heath care, education, and research. The Other Side of Sorrow: Poets Speak Out About Conflict, War, and Peace Edited by Patricia  Frisella ’72 Poetry Society of  New Hampshire The Other Side of Sorrow is the result of a series of

God Is With Us: Signs in Our Lives By Joan Barbuto ’53 AuthorHouse God Is With Us: Signs in Our Lives gives evidence that there is a form of existence after death, that God sometimes intercedes in our lives,

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006


[­­ off the shelf ]

fleeing the city. Jennings later wrote the first White House memoir. Marty Rhodes Figley is the author of several children’s books, including Saving the Liberty Bell. She lives near Washington, D.C.

[­­ off the shelf ]

You People is rich with the atmosphere of New York and a cast of irresistible characters. NancyKay Shapiro has lived in New York City since graduating from Mount Holyoke, spending the past ten years in the West Village.

essays, and poems, most recently the Anthony Piccione Memorial Poets for Peace Award. Her work has been published in various literary journals and anthologies. She lives in New Hampshire.

community poetry readings focusing on the war in Iraq. Frisella spent a year tracking down poems heard at the readings and raising funds for the project. Some contributors are well known, such as PulitzerPrize winner Maxine Kumin and state poets laureate past and present. Some are veterans of wars from World War II through the Iraq War. Some do not consider themselves poets, but find poetry the best medium through which to convey their thoughts on the topic. The Other Side of Sorrow is not intended to be a polemic against war, but views a world in conflict through the eyes of a poet. Patricia Frisella has won prizes for her short stories, 38

What Love Means to You People By NancyKay Shapiro ’83 Thomas Dunne Books Once safely out of Nebraska, Seth McKenna does everything he can to erase from memory his oppressive hometown and abusive childhood, leaving his sister Cassie behind to fend for herself. Seth is making a new life for himself as an artist in New York when he falls hard for an alluring older man who is astonished to find in Seth the second love of his life. The couple’s relationship is complicated by Cassie’s unexpected arrival with significant secrets and plans of her own. Now Seth must confront his past and the consequences of the lies he’s told to move forward with his life. A whirlwind of family drama and an emotional, sexy love story, What Love Means to

Odyssey of a Learning Teacher (Greece and the Near East 1924–1925) and Odyssey of a Learning Teacher (Europe From Toe to Top 1925–1926) By Charlotte Eleanor Ferguson Aronson ’23 iUniverse Odyssey of a Learning Teacher, volumes I and II, follow the travels of Charlotte Ferguson from the Near East to Norway. Along with her travel companion Helen Larrabee, Charlotte arrived in Greece in 1924, where she taught orphan refugees and then traveled to Egypt, Palestine, and Constantinople. The second volume covers their travels in Europe, including an extensive tour of Italy and a trip up the Danube River to Austria, Germany, and Scandinavia. Charlotte’s son, David Aronson, compiled the handwritten letters that Charlotte sent to her parents while she was abroad into the Odyssey books. Charlotte Ferguson Aronson was born in central Pennsylvania into a family of farmers

and teachers. After graduation from Mount Holyoke, she worked for a year at Connecticut College and then decided to explore the world. She died in 1982. Water Gardens: Pools, Streams & Fountains Contributing writer: Barbara Perry Lawton ’52 Meredith Corporation This guide tells you everything you need to know about building the perfect water garden. Water Gardens: Pools, Streams & Fountains offers inspirational ideas, planning and site advice, building basics, and step-by-step instructions. There are also suggestions on selecting plants and fish to enhance your water garden. The book includes many photographs of beautiful plants and water gardens. Barbara Perry Lawton is the author of six previous books as well as the former publications manager of the Missouri Botanic Garden.

If Mary Lyon updated her LifeNet Profile, imagine the possibilities … Discussion Topics Single parent Study abroad / Internships Unemployment When your college grad moves back home Work-Family Balance

Clubs and Affiliate Groups MA: MA: MA: MA: MA:

Concord Club Greater South Hadley Club Mystic Valley Club Franklin County/Northampton Club North Shore Club

Cultural Affiliations Asian/Asian-Amer/Pacif. Islander Latina/Hispanic Multiracial Native American White/Caucasian

Sports Golf Lacrosse Riding Soccer Squash

Campus Organizations Liberation in North Korea (LINK) Liga Filipina Llamarada (MHC Yearbook) Lunar Howling Society M&Cs A Cappella

Hobbies Art Antiques Bird Watching Bowling Canoeing

Expand your world. Update your MHC profile! ¸ Your starter profile is already online for the MHC community to see.

¸ You can update and expand your profile with career, hobby, family, and other information.

¸ Connect with MHC alumnae and current students. Network and explore— rediscover old friends, discover new pursuits.

Get Advice. Give Advice. Make Connections.

Get Started Today! eb site: W r u o 1. Go to . edu tholyoke mnae. m www. alu


et link N e if L e h t Click on nts on s and Eve

ew (under N e pag e). the hom

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This column carries announcements of services and events sponsored by the Alumnae Association, alumnae clubs, and Col­legerelated organizations for the benefit of MHC. Announcements are free, but space is limited. Club and class products, which benefit classes, clubs, and/or the Alumnae Association’s Alumnae Scholar Fund, are included each fall. Products are always view­able at www., or a listing may be requested by calling 413-538-2300.

Seven Sisters Seminar The annual Seven Sisters College Alumnae Seminar will be held on Wednesday, October 18, at the Italian Center in Stamford, Conn. This year’s topic is “Matters of Life and Death: Ethical Dilemmas in Medicine.” Panelists include Ruth L. Fischbach ’62, director, Center for Bioethics, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Chairman of the event is Betsy Wadt Mulcare ’64. For questions or more information, e-mail or Anne Dayton ’80 at

MHC Class and Club Products Lots of MHC-related class and club products are for sale. For details and photos of many items, please visit http://www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/shop/alumgifts.php or phone the Alumnae Association at 413-5382300 to request a printed copy of the information.

To submit an announcement, contact Mieke H. Bomann (413-538-3159;

deadlines Note: Material is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Sometimes the column is filled before the deadlines below, so submit items early. WINTER ISSUE (received in early February) November 15 SPRING ISSUE (received in early May) February 15 SUMMER ISSUE (received in early August) May 15 FALL ISSUE (received in early November) August 1


sphinx). $8 each or two for $15 (incl. S/H). To purchase, contact Laura Leon OBrien ’73 at timbezler@ or 203-374-9300.

New Club Item Members of The Mount Holyoke Club of Bridgeport are raising funds by selling MHC wine-glass charms and cell-phone lariats: high-quality charms made in the USA from cast pewter with silver plating. Great gifts for alumnae and college friends! The wine- glass charms feature each of the class emblems and colors, along with a graduation cap and female graduate to round out a set of six. Use them around your wine glass stems to distinguish yourself at your next party. Your guests will never have to ask, “Whose wine is it?” Also available is a set of six travel-related charms. $20 each or two for $38, including S/H and blue drawstring storage pouch. Specify “MHC” or “travel.” The cell-phone lariats are threaded through the small hole in your cell phone to identify your device and provide a strap to hold on to the phone. Choose any of the four emblems and colors (blue lion, green griffin, red Pegasus, yellow

Welcome to Willits-Hallowell Center Alumnae, faculty, staff, students, emeriti, and parents: do you need overnight accommodations while in the South Hadley area? Are you looking for a beautiful facility for a luncheon, banquet, wedding, conference, or retreat for up to 175 people? Willits-Hallowell Center, by the rushing waterfall of Stony Brook on the college’s campus, can accommodate you. Call 413-538-2217 for information or reservations. Christmas Vespers Through the Years CD Volume 3 (1 and 2 sold out). Glee Club, Concert Choir, Orchestra, Handbells, V8s, Voices of Faith, more! $15 (MA residents $16) plus $3 mailing. Benefits MHC Choral Music Fund. Send checks [Mount Holyoke College] to Cindy White Morrell ’68,, 135 Woodbridge St., South Hadley, MA 01075.

Alumnae Expertise and Sponsorship Sought by CDC The Career Development Center (CDC) is looking for alumnae who would like to sponsor MHC students for summer internships. Students traditionally seek summer internships in areas such as financial institutions, management, scientific and medical research, media outlets, social-service agencies, not-for-profits, law and government agencies, museums and historical societies, and education. If you would like further information, please contact the CDC at 413-5382080, or register online at http:// employer/intern.htm. Art Exhibit: Jane Hammond: Paper Work Three-dimensional and flat, large and small, painted and drawn, the fifty-five selected works of Jane Hammond ‘72 on view at the MHC Art Museum through December create a stream of mental associations and visual stimuli. While she garnered a formidable reputation as a painter in the 1990s, Hammond began her career with printed material. Her paper drawings and prints are a showcase of techniques and materials, as well as ideas and feelings. “For me, these drawings are the visual equivalent of thinking out loud,” Hammond says in the museum’s spring catalogue. “They begin as a plan and end up as they are.” The exhibit runs September 5 through December 17. Submissions Welcome for The Organic Mom Magazine Heidi Douglass ’88 has started an ad-free, nonprofit publication called The Organic Mom magazine. Its goal is to help create healthier families on a healthier planet. Alums who would like to submit poetry, artwork or photos, or short essays can contact Heidi at drheididouglass@

Sponsored by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College

Village Life in the Italian Lake District September 11–19, 2006—Accompanied by a local, professional guide Centered at the four-star Palace Hotel on Lake Como, this village-life program offers a cultural exploration of the Italian lakes and guided tours of the region’s art and architecture. We will explore Como’s Renaissance churches and spectacular promenade; the palazzo and gardens of Isla Bella; and Bellagio, one of the prettiest towns in Europe. We also will visit Milan, and view da Vinci’s Last Supper. Australia and New Zealand: From the Outback to the Glaciers October 19–November 7—with Professor of Music Allen Bonde, who will offer insights into the nations’ musical history This trip “down under” begins in Melbourne with tours of the Fitzroy Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance, and Phillip Island. In Alice Springs we discover Aboriginal customs, and later travel to the Great Barrier Reef. In New Zealand, we stop in Christchurch and Queenstown. A cruise on Milford Sound is followed by a visit to Mount Cook National Park. An optional two-night stay on Fiji is available at the end of the tour. Temples and Waterways of Vietnam and Cambodia January 6–17, 2007—Accompanied by Professor of Politics Calvin Chen, a specialist in the political economy of East Asia We arrive in Hanoi to view its ornate colonial buildings, Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum,

TaPhrom temple, Cambodia

Gardens of The Caribbean tour

and the Museum of Ethnology. After a trip to world heritage site Halong Bay, we explore Hue and its impressive temples and pagodas. Next we tour the ancient town Hoi An, then fly to Saigon and the Cu Chi tunnels of the former Vietcong. Finally, we drive along the Mekong Delta. An optional four-night stay in Cambodia is available at the end of the tour. Gardens of the Caribbean February 25-March 5, 2007—Accompanied by Professor of Spanish Dorothy Mosby and horticulturalist Anna Pavord Aboard the elegant yacht Sea Cloud II, we journey from Barbados to the sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the “spice island” Grenada, tiny Bequia, sophisticated Martinique, lush Dominica, and the archipelago Iles des Saintes and Antigua. Our focus is the islands’ lush botanic gardens, pristine beaches, and azure-blue waters.

Top: Gwen Lloyd

The Janet Tuttle Alumnae and Student Service Travel Program NEW! March 18–25, 2007 This new travel program, a Habitat for Humanity project, will enable alumnae to travel internationally with Mount Holyoke students to work on a service project. Check our Web site,, for further details. Village Life in Holland and Belgium April 6–14, 2007 This seven-night round-trip cruise departs Amsterdam aboard the MS Amadeus Royal with stops in historic Delft, the windmill town of Kinderdijk, and the medieval town of Middelburg, and then moves on to the Belgian treasures of Bruges and Antwerp before returning to Amsterdam via Gouda and the flower fields of Keukenhof.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Summer 2006

Aegean Odyssey: The Greek Isles and Turkey July 8–18, 2007—Accompanied by Professor Faith Dillon Hentschel ’65, a specialist in classical archaeology and art history On this trip we travel aboard the elegant Sea Cloud from Athens to Istanbul. We focus on the Acropolis and Piraeus in Athens before sailing for beautiful Santorini, the important archaeological site of Delos, and Patmos, once home of St. John the evangelist. In Turkey, visit the ancient sites of Ephesus and Pergamum. There is an optional twonight stay in Istanbul at the end of the trip. Celtic Lands August 10–20, 2007 Cruise for ten nights aboard the deluxe Andrea from the beaches of Normandy and historic Mont-St.-Michel in France across the English Channel to magical Cornwall and on to Cork, Dublin, and North Wales. We then visit Scotland’s Iona and Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, and Kirkney in the Orkney Islands. There is an optional twonight stay in Edinburgh following the trip. Village Life Along the Seine October 5–13, 2007 Enjoy a memorable seven-night cruise along the Seine River combining the scenic countryside of Normandy with its great historic and artistic heritage. We embark on the MV Cezanne in Paris and visit Rouen, the D-Day landing beaches, Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, and the Maison van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise. interested? For more information on Association-sponsored travel, please contact W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; 413-538-2300.


[­­ bulletin board ]

educational travel opportunities


look Sister Power Leading the Charge for Women’s Education Worldwide

It’s not surprising that women’s colleges, like women themselves, are good at building connections. Presidents, deans, and other representatives of the original “Seven Sisters” continue to meet together yearly, even though one of our sisters, Vassar, is now coed and another, Radcliffe, has metamorphosed into an institute. We, now the “Seven Sibs,” are still strengthened by our continuing affiliation. So too is Mount Holyoke a founding and active member of the Women’s College Coalition, now in its thirty-fourth year. This association brings together women’s colleges and universities of all kinds from across the United States and Canada. A cynic might suggest that the coalition’s “sisterhood” is akin to that on the Titanic. From a high of over 300 women’s colleges in North America, there are now just over sixty of us left. Historical forces over the last forty years have resulted in women being welcomed instead of excluded from higher education. Have we, then, lost our reason for being? No, but we must change as the world changes around us. And so we are. In fact, much is positive about how women’s colleges have adapted to new realities: many, to be sure, by going coed or merging, but many others by reinvigorating their institutional missions. Dozens of women’s colleges, including Mount Holyoke, are stronger than ever. As the coalition’s chair, I have urged our organization to find collective strength and purpose in advocacy for the education and advancement of women. That agenda is not complete. 80

Indeed, taking the long view of women throughout history, it has only just begun. Advancing educational opportunity for women across all ethnic, racial, age, and socioeconomic groups continues to be the great unfinished agenda of the twenty-first century. Moreover, women’s colleges continue to be about access. Many of us welcome populations that have been traditionally excluded from higher education including older women and certain socioeconomic and ethnic populations. Mount Holyoke is also the most international of any leading liberal arts college, coed or single sex, with over 15 percent of our students from nearly seventy different countries. In a related initiative, along with Smith, we founded and hosted the inaugural meeting of Women’s Education Worldwide, the first ever alliance of women’s colleges from around the world.

We are also about equity. The bad old days of blatant, systematic, and systemic gender discrimination aren’t so long ago, only a generation or two, neither long enough surely to erase the social, economic, and psychological effects nor to ameliorate the continuing gender imbalance of power in society. We need to help students to navigate and to work to redress that inequality and lost opportunity. Of course, educating and advancing women is not a mission we carry on alone, but in conjunction with schools, coed colleges and universities, governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and well-intentioned educators, poli­tical leaders, and activists. I have pushed for the coalition to reach out to others to build a more powerful coalition. One of those partnerships is with the New York Times Knowledge Network, which cosponsored a con­ ference on women’s leadership at its offices in New York last year, and in March 2006 cosponsored a conference on global outsourcing on our campus. So too has the coalition used the Times to call attention to its work. You may have seen one of our ads, “Women Can’t Do Science?” or “Women’s Education: The Great Unfinished Agenda.” Our goal is to keep public attention focused on the critical importance of women’s education. Because it seems only natural that Mount Holyoke College, the world’s longest-standing higher education institution for women, should be at the center of this endeavor, I especially enjoy leading the charge.

Fred LeBlanc

By Joanne V. Creighton

Photo: Michael Malyszko

Introducing the new CornerStone Program

With its views of Lower Lake, the Blanchard Lantern (far left) is a popular spot for impromptu gatherings—from an outdoor class on a fine spring day to ice skating in winter.

The new Cornerstone Program recognizes alumnae, parents, and friends who make leadership gifts of $1,837 or more annually to the Mount Holyoke College Annual Fund (15th reunion or higher). Look for more information in September. Until then, please visit or contact Kathleen Bronner, associate director of the Annual Fund, at 413-538-2761 or Thank you for your ongoing support!

The Annual Fund

a place of

our own

Before the laurel parade started, I thought that it would be our grand introduction into an immense, dynamic sisterhood. But when I was finally surrounded by a sea of cheering alums, I felt as though they were merely welcoming me back to a family I had known forever.

Jim Gipe

Rachel J. Schaefer ’06

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Summer 2006  

The Changing Nature of Family Ties: Family Diversity is Here to Stay The Place We Know: Mount Holyoke's Architecture Reveals the CHanging R...

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Summer 2006  

The Changing Nature of Family Ties: Family Diversity is Here to Stay The Place We Know: Mount Holyoke's Architecture Reveals the CHanging R...