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Winter 2006


TOP î ą Alumnae Share the View from the Executive Suite

18 Is Campus Community Thriving? 22 Outsourcing: Who Wins, Who Loses? 26 What If You're Not a CEO?

features Alumnae Share the View From the Executive Suite by Julie Sell ’83 Not long ago, it was usually men who occupied the corner offices; today female execs have come of age. Is it lonely at the top? Is it all worth it?

18 All Together Now Sustaining a Sense of Campus Community in Changing Times by Maryann Teale Snell ’86 The MHC campus community may not seem the same as when you were in college, but—despite disagreements, changing values, and rampant technology use—it still is a close, face-to-face community.

22 Global Outsourcing Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters by Erica Winter ’92 Alumnae involved with outsourcing in the United States and abroad share what it is, what it means for businesses and workers worldwide, and who will still have a job in the future.

? bachelor's



? mother of M.B.A. two part-time consultant

? Ph.D.


mother of five

26 Redefining Success (What If You’re Not ‘Number One’?) By Marissa Saltzman ’07 MHC women often receive the positive message “You can do anything!” But many twist the meaning into “Therefore you must do everything, and be the best at everything you do” and judge themselves accordingly. What does success mean to those who aren’t “number one”?

Top: Ben Barnhart, right Meredith Minkin

12 Women at the Top

18 Feeling part of a campus community is still common at MHC. Here, students promote “senior pride.”

On the Cover Barbara Dombkowski Desoer ’74, chief of technology, service, and fulfillment operations for Bank of America, is among the alumnae sharing their experiences as top executives. Photo by Michael O’Neill


Emily Harrison Weir WRITERS

Mieke H. Bomann Michelle Ducharme CLASS NOTES EDITOR

Deborah Sharp DESIGNER

Bidwell ID EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy L. Cavanaugh ’06 Quarterly Committee: Avice A. Meehan ’77, chair; Kara C. Baskin ’00, Susan R. Bushey ’96, Diana Bosse Mathis ’70, Marissa Saltzman ’07, Julie L. Sell ’83; Susan Beers Betzer ’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.


2 local and personal history, economic

Your comments on political diversity at Mount Holyoke, “superwomen,” and other topics

Campus Currents

development in Costa Rica, miniature horses, and other topics


MHC responds after Hurricane Katrina; a new major, minor, and department; what’s a One Card?; distinguished campus visitors; and more campus news

Class Notes


News of your classmates, and miniprofiles

Bulletin Board


Announcements, travel opportunities, and classified ads

Alumnae Matters 28

Last Look

New Association initiatives to bring alumnae together (Alumnae in Action and Global Reunion), Black Alumnae Conference report, Web site highlights, and alumnae clubs’ news

By Donal O’Shea Don’t let disasters like Hurricane Katrina leave you paralyzed about how to help society, Dean of the Faculty Donal O’Shea advised students at convocation. Instead, think long term and seek that old-fashioned thing: a vocation.

Off the Shelf


Books by alumnae and professors on Caribbean intellectuals, “selling war,”


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 Political Diversity at MHC? When did MHC become a “liberal campus?” We Democrats were scorned and thought to be traitors as we gleefully celebrated the ’36 election. It was a Republican stronghold for the four years, and they resented and were angry at any new idea. If you wanted peace, you kept quiet. Anne Purpura ’40 Blanco, Texas

Congratulations to the AQ and Maryann Teale Snell for not sugarcoating the dilemma conservative students face on a liberal campus. I once made a collage of Mount Holyoke News articles dating from the years,1950 to 1954, that I was a student. Headline from 1952: “Ultraconservative Campus Favors Eisenhower 3 to 1.” Campus-wide ballot finds Eisenhower received 79 percent of the student vote. What happened in fifty years? Why are student bodies so out of sync with the voting public while in the 1950s they (and probably their parents) mirrored national trends? Is MHC’s location in the northeast east of the Hudson River an aspect? In the 1950s, professors in the philosophy department (my major) admitted if 2

pressed that they voted for Adlai Stevenson. I assumed political bias affected their emphasis on certain philosophers and factored that in. They were mostly atheists too. My honors thesis comparing Aristotle and Aquinas led to a lively debate and grilling but no recriminations. In our era, we had compulsory chapel. We duly filed in Tuesday and Thursday mornings, creating a sea of yellow slickers. No students —Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or agnostic—seemed particularly offended by this requirement. Bored perhaps, but not offended. One Catholic classmate who majored in religion was held up as a trophy by the liberal all-Congregational religion department. The role of religion on today’s secular campus would make a good article. When you talk about Mary Lyon’s challenge to society and authority in creating a women’s college, do you acknowledge that what she created was a seminary? Do you say, “That’s all she could do in 1837?” Or do you factor in her deeply held religious beliefs and note how times have changed? Elizabeth Bashore Brayer ’54 Rochester, New York

I laughed at the article “Do We Have Political Diversity at MHC?” When I took a poli-sci class, I was the only woman who expressed a different viewpoint. I received an A/B on my paper and challenged the professor because I felt he lowered my grade because I took an opposing viewpoint. He admitted he did and changed my grade to an A. I admire the professor for his honesty, but it concerns me that he wasn’t able to separate his personal opinions from his profession. While I appreciated and learned another perspective, I should not have had to fight for a fair grade. He is still teaching at MHC. My senior year I lived across from a woman who started a pro-life group. Her door was trashed and she was the recipient of a lot of uncivil behavior. I believe this lack of tolerance by students was an offshoot of the same lack of tolerance of the faculty. [California] Governor Schwarzenegger was labeled a racist because he did not support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. When people are attacked in this manner, honest dialogue and positive changes cannot happen. I believe we rob our society and ourselves if we don’t allow a variety of opinions to be expressed.

MHC does a disservice to our students when the majority of the faculty represents one viewpoint and squashes any form of discussion. Julie Seibert ’91 Los Angeles, California

Today’s MHC Would Disgust Mary Lyon Over the years I have become more and more distressed at what I have read in the Alumnae Quarterly and the other publications from Mount Holyoke College. From these reports, I have watched the College and its inhabitants (including former inhabitants) descend steadily and irretrievably into paganism, secularism, and a host of other evils that Mary Lyon opposed throughout her life. In her magnificent book, Mary Lyon and Mount Holyoke: Opening the Gates, Elizabeth Alden Green has recounted the beginning of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and its early days when young women were trained as teachers and missionaries. If Mary Lyon were alive today to see that her seminary— the seminary she sacrificed her life for, struggled to found, and guided from the deep well of her Christian faith—has become an abomination unto God, she would,

Judith Vickers Andrews ’68 Guilford, Connecticut

“Superwomen” and Other Fall Quarterly Feedback It is with great joy and pride that I read how our graduates are Superwomen who are changing our world, and living lives that “do God’s work,” to quote Mary Lyon, and [engage] “with the world,” to quote Joanne Creighton. As to “Pieces of Mount Holyoke’s Past—What You’ve Kept and Why” (fall), I received as a wedding present a small sterling silver ladle with my initials on it, a gift from my Frances Perkins benefactor. Also I have a book which belonged originally to President Mary Woolley. It has her signature and date inside the cover: “Mary E. Woolley, 11-13-37.” The title is They Dared to Live, by Robert M. Bartlett (Association Press, 1937). I treasure both of these. Also, I still have the gym clothes we wore while I was in college—bright red tunic and bloomers. Beatrice Marvel ’38 Worcester, New York

What a fun article to read in the recent issue of the Quarterly! “The Objects of My Affection” made me think back to my years on campus and about what MHC objects I still use, sometimes every day. I have three things that come to mind: 1. My senior ring has been on my finger almost every day since the fall of 1988! People comment on it all of the time. 2. My freshman year, my elf, Large Marge, gave me a crystal engraved MHC wine decanter. I have it displayed on a bookshelf and I put loose buttons in it. Each time I put a button in it I smile. 3. My sophomore year I purchased a MHC sweatshirt. A friend of mine wanted to switch shirts because she like the blue one I had and I liked her gray one. We switched and I still wear it when it gets cold down here in South Texas.

I’d love to set up a fund with the Development Office so that future archival projects can be tackled. If there are alumnae out there interested in helping to establish such a fund, or donating to it, please contact me ( I’ve worked with the Development Office in the past, creating a fund for a special need, and I feel confident that with enough interest, this could be successful. Donna Albino ‘83 East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Here is a photo (below) of some of us who were “Superwomyn” for convocation. A lot of us really enjoyed the article (“Superwomen,” fall) and of course felt inspired … but we wanted to make sure

you knew that we were already aspiring toward just that at the beginning of this year. Yaminette Diaz ’06 South Hadley, Massachusetts

As an artist and a member of that generation depicted on the cover of the fall Quarterly, I found it tasteless and embarrassing. However, the article “Publishing Against the Clock” is almost an exact duplication of my experience almost twenty years ago when I started my press, The Winstead Press Ltd. My friend never lived to see our book in print, The Epsteins A Family Album. Through sorrow we go forward. Women have to and always will cope. That’s all there is. Jane McCall Babson ’47 Stamford, Connecticut

Shannette Frazier Hoelscher ’89 Corpus Christi, Texas

I was delighted to read about the efforts to make the Ella Grasso papers accessible to the public at Mount Holyoke’s Archives and Special Collections. Meeting Ella Grasso at Girls’ State in 1978 was a highlight in my life, and an influence in choosing to attend Mount Holyoke. I was interested to note that Donkova’s employment on the project was funded by a small group of alumnae.

Diaz (second from the left) and sister “superwomyn”

We Want to Hear From You!

Be Part of a Quarterly Article

We love getting mail. Send your thoughts, with your full name, address, and class year to Mieke 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).

The Quarterly staff would like to know your most vivid memory of MHC dormitory life. Send your name, class year, and brief—about 300 words would be ideal— description of your memory for possible publication to Emily Weir (, or c/o Alumnae Association, 50 College St., S. Hadley, MA 01075-1486).

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006


[ viewpoints ]

I firmly believe, tear the place down with her own hands. My distress has reached the point of disgust and complete alienation from the College. If there is a specific incident that has prompted my long-planned comment, it was the appearance of letters on “Lyon’s Pride” in the latest Quarterly.



Mount Holyoke Responds to Hurricane Katrina

Though Hurricane Katrina struck more than 1,200 miles away from South Hadley, the devastation hit home. Twelve Mount Holyoke students come from stricken areas; of those, seven are from areas hardest hit. Among them was Katy S. Smith ’06 from Jackson, Mississippi, where, she said, “the people count their blessings every day because they escaped the worst of it.” Another student, Layne C. Hilton ’06, a resident of New Orleans, was en route to Mount Holyoke for the new academic year with her father when the city was evacuated. Her mother later joined them, and, literally unable to return 4

home, Hilton’s parents temporarily settled in the South Hadley area. In addition, the College has an estimated 143 alumnae living in the three states most affected by the hurricane. The Alumnae Association quickly transformed the message board on its Web site into a forum where those alumnae could check in and where others could offer assistance. “Clubs and individuals immediately stepped up,” said W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, executive director. “Months later, alumnae continue to offer housing, transportation, even foster care for animals. The generosity of Mount Holyoke’s alumnae has been extraordinary.”

The campus community likewise reached out. As the devastation became obvious, MHC offered visiting-student status to academically qualified undergraduates who were unable to return to their college or university. Seven displaced students accepted that offer—four from Tulane, two from Loyola, and one from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “Tuition was waived for students who had already paid for the fall semester at hurricane-stricken institutions, and we’ll help make sure that they remain eligible for federal financial aid,” said Jane B. Brown,

Paul Schnaittacher

The College rallied to provide aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. For one project, Karen Engell, director of Health Services (second from left), drove to Mississippi to distribute the contents of a twenty-five-foot truck filled with donations from (and, above, packed by) the community.

Fred LeBlanc

many relatives in areas that were hard hit, including my brother in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Even ten weeks after the storm, the area is in need of basic supplies.” She’s deeply grateful to the MHC community, including CAUSE and Facilities Management, for their assistance. “So many people helped make this a success,” she said. Among the club efforts was a fund drive by the MHC Club of Atlanta. Led by President Christine A. Vaughn ’01 and Treasurer Nanette L. Ward ’74, the club raised money for New Orleans resident Dee Drummey Boling ’88 and her family. “The response was overwhelming,” said Vaughn. “This is an amazing—and generous—group of women.” Another relief effort was initiated by Kelley A. Tompkins-Calvin ’05, a Teach For America (TFA) corps member, who teamed up with another TFA volunteer to create a tutoring program for children in Opelousas, Louisiana, shelters. When Tompkins-Calvin appealed to MHC alumnae for supplies, she, too, experienced an overwhelming response. Winnie Romeril ’89 and Rebecca Cardozo ’68 were also among the individual alumnae who played a direct role in the relief efforts. Romeril, who has been a Red Cross disaster volunteer for ten years, was sent to the Mississippi Gulf Coast a few days after the storm hit and began coordinating public affairs efforts in the worst-hit areas along eighty-plus miles of devastated coastline. Cardozo was one of the Peace Corps-run Crisis Corps volunteers activated to help in hurricane-damaged areas. MHC’s efforts will continue. “We’re trying to make Katrina relief a longterm, collaborative effort,” said Tungate. Added McDermott, “Even though the hurricane isn’t on everyone’s mind as much these days, we know that there are still affected people living in great need. Simultaneously, CAUSE has been raising money for earthquake victims in Pakistan. Fortunately, this campus recognizes its ability to help.” Web Extra: Three MHC seniors who experienced firsthand the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina share their accounts of the natural disaster at http:// katrina_seniors.shtml.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

[ campus currents ]

vice president for enrollment and college relations. Meanwhile, Dean of the College Lee Bowie asked the student group CAUSE (Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equality) to lead the College’s relief efforts. Guided by Anita Magovern, Catholic chaplain and CAUSE coordinator, cochairs Mollie McDermott ’06 and Katherine S. Tungate ’06 wasted no time in rallying their membership—and the campus. “CAUSE was honored to lead the way,” said Tungate. “We met first with the MHC students who had been affected and the displaced students from southern colleges. We strived to incorporate their ideas into our efforts and welcomed ideas from concerned students, staff, and faculty.” McDermott, who is from the New Orleans area, said that being able to work for the relief effort with CAUSE “really saved me. It would have been unbelievably frustrating to be up here and not be able to help out.” CAUSE’s fundraising has grossed, to date, more than $6,000. Among the efforts was a competition among campus organizations to raise the most money (the Frances Perkins Scholars Association won with $1,000 raised) and a southern film festival. During the second half of the semester, CAUSE raised money for affected schools in Louisiana and Mississippi, and held a raffle that brought in $628 for severely affected Spelman College students. “The campus was so supportive,” said the cochairs. “We thank everyone who donated time and money.” CAUSE also collected clothes, school supplies, and toiletries, an effort known as the Good Will Mission to the Gulf Coast. McDermott and Tungate attribute its astonishing success—a twenty-fivefoot truck was filled—to the determination of Karen B. Engell, director of Health Services. A native of Denham Springs, Louisiana, Engell not only coordinated the effort but also, with her husband, drove to Mississippi over Thanksgiving break to transport the donated goods. Donations also came from communities, churches, and synagogues in western Massachusetts and West Hartford, Connecticut. “I spent my formative years in the affected area,” explained Engell. “I have

SENIOR SNAPSHOT Here’s a parting glance at the class of 2005, taken from the Career Development Center’s senior survey, released this fall. Top majors biology/biochemistry psychology economics English politics international relations Academic highlights publishing or presenting a paper off campus working on a faculty member’s research

9% 31%

doing independent study or research for credit 57% participating in a studyabroad program


participating in domestic off-campus study


completing a domestic internship


completing an internship abroad


Where they were headed Employment


Graduate or professional school






When Simone Weil Davis, visiting associate professor of English, recalls the seminar she taught last spring on prison literature, one class particularly stands out. It was the meeting when three previously incarcerated women visited. While serving their time, the three had participated in the creative writing workshops offered by Voices from Inside (VfI)—an affiliate of Amherst Writers and Artists—and since their release have become facilitators for the program. A student in the seminar, Kim A. Keough FP’06, who also is a VfI facilitator, helped arrange their visit. “The conversation began and the whole room went electric. There was an amazing sense of commonality,” said Davis. “We all were women and we all connected to certain themes, including having made mistakes.” The group also was just as struck by the differences that come solely from the luck of having a certain skin tone or other random privileges of birth. “Some of us can make a dumb mistake and won’t end up behind bars. Others make that same mistake and find themselves serving time,” she said. After that class, Davis recognized a new direction for her interest in issues of social justice and incarceration. That interest, she acknowledges, stems from her father’s six-month imprisonment for refusing to testify before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities in the 1950s—“he took the First [Amendment] instead of the Fifth, knowing it would mean jail time.” What happened next was a Mount Holyoke Innovation Fund grant, the Mellon-funded program that supports academic, cocurricular, and administrative projects. That grant, combined with an award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, enabled Davis and her student Keough to attend Temple University’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program that summer. “This wonderful program trains people from all over the country to teach courses that bring together incarcerated students and college students,” Davis said. “Some of our trainers were incarcerated men serving life sentences in a maximum-security prison. It was astonishing.” Equally moving to Davis was that Mount Holyoke then gave her the green light to put her training into practice. Fall semester, ten MHC students and ten incarcerated women met weekly at Ludlow’s Hampden County Correctional Center (HCCC) to discuss prison literature. Though the reading list focused on contemporary prison memoirs, the class also read Oscar Wilde and Dostoyevsky and did creative writing. Joining Davis as cofacilitators were Keough and Lysette Navarro, a VfI facilitator who formerly was incarcerated at HCCC. Along with being an ideal community-based learning opportunity, Davis believes the class is cutting-edge for the Pioneer Valley. She added, “Mount Holyoke’s willingness to support this is remarkably courageous. If that [prison] door opens and closes on a regular basis, I believe there will be greater justice in approaches to incarceration. There must be a flow between inside and out.”

Excellence on Board Six new trustees, including three alumnae, joined the MHC Board of Trustees this fall. They are Susan Bateson McKay ’76, senior vice president, human resources, of Human Genome Sciences Inc.; Ellen M. Cosgrove ’84, associate dean and dean of students at Harvard Law School; Anthony Lake, distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; Guy R. Martin, a senior partner in the national law firm of Perkins Coie, who specializes in natural resources, energy, and environmental law; Congressman Richard E. Neal, who represents the Second District of Massachusetts and serves on the Ways and Means Committee; and Margaret L. Wolff ’76, a partner at the international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. “Each trustee is at the top of his or her field, and as a group they represent a broad array of backgrounds, talents, and perspectives,” President Joanne V. Creighton said. “Each brings a passion for education and a commitment to Mount Holyoke, and we are delighted to have them as colleagues.”



Major—and Minor—Happenings • The Five College film studies major opened to critical acclaim this fall. It is the first Five College major developed in the consortium’s forty-year history. Sally Sutherland, associate dean of the faculty, credits Robin Blaetz, chair of film studies, along with philosophy chair Thomas F. Wartenberg and Associate Professor of English Elizabeth Young, as driving forces behind the major. “Students can now study in a coherent and rigorous way the most important art form and communication tool of the twentieth century,” Blaetz said. “Following the model of cooperation provided by the Five College Film Council, we are pleased to be the first discipline to officially gather the

Paul Schnaittacher

Learning From Those Behind Bars

Paul Schnaittacher

• This coming September, Mount Holyoke students will have a new department to consider as they select courses, majors, and minors. The Department of Gender Studies will draw on existing faculty talent, with a combination of “rotating” faculty members who will relocate to gender studies while on temporary leave of absence from their home departments, a larger group of affiliated faculty, and senior lecturer Martha Ackmann. The plan for the new department, which emerged out of a series of faculty and student conversations following the dissolution of the former Women’s Studies Steering Committee, received unanimous endorsement from the faculty in May and approval from the Board of Trustees in October. Mary A. Renda, associate professor of gender studies and history, will serve as its first chair. • Meanwhile, educational studies, a new minor, also made its campus debut this fall. Developed by an interdisciplinary group of faculty who were part of a faculty work group funded by the President’s Innovation Fund, this eighteen-credit option offers cross-disciplinary perspectives and is intended for students who do not plan to teach. The multidisciplinary minor, which includes an independent study project, offers varied perspectives on the contexts and historical moments that shape and define knowledge, behavior, structures, and policies both in and out of classrooms. “It gives students the opportunity to study the enterprise of education, both in the United States and internationally, from a variety of disciplines,” said Sandra Lawrence, associate professor of psychology and education. • On the certificate front, the Five College Consortium launched its program

in the interdisciplinary field of Buddhist studies. The certificate can be pursued in conjunction with a major in philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, Asian studies, or another field to which Buddhist studies is directly relevant, or as a complement to other courses of study. A World Leader in Residence Gro Harlem Brundtland, who served for ten years as prime minister of Norway and five years as director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) was on campus in October as the Center for Global Initiatives global studies fellow-in-residence. During a community lecture, Brundtland spoke of the moral imperative of narrowing health-equity gaps. Access to a

[ campus currents ]

remarkable expertise of those devoted to the study of film across the five colleges into an official major. We’ve already begun to feel the major’s influence with more students from the other schools in our classes and the burgeoning of what promises to be a vital, student-driven film culture in the Valley.”

By the Numbers: Five College Interchange The Five College Consortium’s interchange program continues to be the icing on the cake of a Mount Holyoke education. During the 2004–05 academic year, when MHC students boarded the PVTA buses for classes, here’s where they were headed:


Amherst College Hampshire College Smith College UMass

190 238 238 373

The interchange appeal was mutual. Here are the stats on Five College students enrolling in classes at MHC:

HEADING OUR WAY Gro Harlem Brundtland

functioning health system, she noted, is “a basic human right and a matter of social justice. We need to invest in people. Public responsibility for all is a vital part of a functioning democracy.” During her residency, Brundtland also met with a number of classes, including the medical anthropology class taught by Lynn M. Morgan, chair of sociology and anthropology, and lunched with local high school students to discuss the issues women face in striving for leadership positions. “Having Brundtland as our fellow-inresidence was a distinct honor,” said

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

Amherst College Hampshire College Smith College UMass

92 465 71 119

(+ 3 graduate students)

Eva A. Paus, director of the Center for Global Initiatives. “Last year the Financial Times named her the fourth most influential European of the past twenty-five years, behind Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Margaret Thatcher. There is nobody in the world better able to help us understand the problems, politics, and policies of global health.” 7

B. Brown, vice president for enrollment and college relations at Mount Holyoke. “We are delighted Sadiqa Basiri (left) to welcome and Malalay Waziri Sadiqa and Malalay to our community, two bright and courageous students who will use their Mount Holyoke education to help rebuild Afghanistan and lead the way in educating many Afghan women in the future.”

Basiri wants to study political science and help Afghanistan in development and education. In Kabul, she founded the Omid Learning Center, a nonprofit focusing on educating girls. She attended university for one month in Pakistan before the Taliban closed all schools for girls. Waziri, who completed one year at a university in Pakistan, plans to study international relations and economics and work in a political organization. Both are grateful for the encouragement they’re receiving at the College. “We hope to go back home and do something good,” said Waziri.

Georgia on Their Minds When Allison “Ally” B. Neher ’07 and Nino S. Guruli ’07 met in Mead as first-year students, they never envisioned a research partnership on acute conflict and environmental degradation. However, the friends (and sophomore-year roommates) spent last July traveling through the Republic of Georgia testing the hypothesis that conflicts described as violent or acute often stem from competition for scarce resources, made scarcer by environmental degradation. “We wanted to see if it was applicable in a country rarely studied. We also wanted to do research in a field that’s received limited attention and which we believe deserves more,” Nino explained. Their interest was sparked by Russian professor Stephen F. Jones’s Oil and Water Don’t Mix, a Eurasian studies class, which Ally took. “We read Thomas Homer-Dixon, a pioneer in the field of environmental security,” said Ally. “One afternoon, Nino and I were talking to Professor Jones. Our conversation moved from Homer-Dixon’s work to how fascinating it would be to pursue research that merged politics and environmental studies.” With Jones’s encouragement, the two quickly shaped a proposal and submitted an application for the Center for Global Initiatives’ Global Studies Fellowship Program. Much to their astonishment, they soon found themselves in Georgia. For Nino, the trip was a homecoming. “My family left Georgia when I was ten. I hadn’t seen my relatives there for a decade,” she said. Between those relatives referring them to sources and Jones linking them to his NGO contacts, Nino and Ally found themselves with a vast network. “Georgia is the type of country where if a good friend recommends someone, then they become your good friend,” explained Ally. “We networked our whole way through and ended up meeting people at all levels of government.”

Student Edge


Friends Ally Neher ’07 (right), an environmental studies major, and Nino Guruli ’07, a double major in politics and philosophy, are contributing research to the burgeoning field of environmental security.

Although Jones was with them for the first two weeks pursuing his own research, Nino and Ally traveled on their own through three conflict-prone regions during their last two weeks in Georgia. All research was done in the form of interviews—with officials, interest groups, NGOs, and citizens from all the groups affected by each conflict. Since the international personnel usually spoke Russian, Nino would use her Georgian to communicate with an interpreter who then would converse with the interviewee—and eventually an English translation would make its way back from Nino to Ally. In many conversations, ethnic conflicts were either denied or attributed to a “third-party agitator” such as Russia. “Local government officials also were prone to deny the reality of environmental degradation. We’d be thinking, ‘And that strangely colored stream over there is what?’” Ally recalled. This fall, Ally began work on an independent study using their summer research. Nino, meanwhile, has been studying abroad in Spain. Their next goal is to write and publish an article in an academic journal; they’re also hoping to present at this spring’s meeting of the Association for the Study of Nationalities. “A whole new world has opened up,” said Ally.

Top: Donna Cote

[ campus currents ]

MHC Welcomes Students From Afghanistan This fall, Mount Holyoke welcomed its first Afghan students, first-year Frances Perkins scholars Sadiqa Basiri and Malalay Waziri. The two come to MHC through the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women (, a four-year-old program whose mission is to bring bright and capable women to American colleges and universities. “Mount Holyoke is an extraordinarily global and diverse learning environment committed to advancing women’s education worldwide,” said Jane

Below: Fred LeBlanc

SAW Adds Foreign Language Component Mount Holyoke’s Foreign Language Writing Assistance Program (FLWAP) was launched this fall as part of the Weissman Center’s Speaking, Arguing, and Writing (SAW) Program and the Center for Global Initiatives. FLWAP provides students with assistance in writing papers for Spanish, French, Italian, and German classes beyond the intermediate level. Like SAW, FLWAP focuses on producing concise and creative thinkers, writers, and speakers through peer mentoring and assisting. Donna Van Handle, dean of international students, developed FLWAP and says that it differs significantly from the College’s previous foreign language writing programs in its use of Foreign Fellows, native speakers who are studying at MHC for one year, as the writing assistants. The program is being cocoordinated by Nancy Holden-Avard, senior lecturer in French, and Glynn Anderson, SAW coordinator and visiting lecturer in English.

New Center for the Environment Director Lauret Savoy, professor of geology, was named the new director of the Center for the Environment (CE) this fall. Savoy’s vision is to take CE initiatives “beyond the sciences. The flavor I want to bring is that of bridging across disciplines, across points of view, across structures that keep us from engaging in dialogue about ‘environment’ in our work, community, and lives.” Soon after her appointment, Savoy initiated a grassroots idea- and information-gathering blitz to help the CE’s efforts in charting a new course. “Mount Holyoke is fortunate to have someone as talented and capable as Lauret to continue the important work of the Center for the Environment,” President Joanne V. Creighton said. “Her interdisciplinary work on geology and sense of place give her a unique perspective through which to interpret the center’s mission.” Visiting VIPs Throughout the fall semester, Mount Holyoke was visited by a steady stream of distinguished newsmakers who drew appreciative audiences and provoked discussion. Among them was writer and education critic Jonathan Kozol, who visited in October. His call to action for educational equality in inner-city schools inspired a rousing standing ovation from a packed Chapin Auditorium. Later that week, it was Dr. Andrew Weil, the best-selling author and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, who took the stage for a discussion of healthy aging. November’s guests included the Honorable Anna Escobedo Cabral, U.S. treasurer, along with Lea Abdnor, past member of the President’s Commission on Social Security, who visited MHC for a nonpartisan panel discussion titled “How Social Security Reform Affects Women.” Judge Joyce London Alexander, the first African American woman to serve as magistrate judge in the United States, also was on campus in November as part of the Weissman Center’s Law and Dis/Order series.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

It’s What’s News Mount Holyoke’s redesigned news and events Web site (www.mtholyoke. edu/offices/comm/news) made its debut this fall. The site, which is updated at least daily, offers stories on faculty, students, and campus events. It’s also your source for opinion articles and speeches by MHC faculty, staff, and students, as well as event photo galleries. The new site has gotten rave reviews, and the daily “Candid Campus” shot is quickly becoming a must-see. Decatur Appointed Associate Dean of Faculty for Science Sean M. Decatur, Marilyn Dawson Sarles, M.D. Professor of Life Sciences and Professor of Chemistry, has been named to the newly created position of associate dean of faculty for science. The position, formerly the director of the science center, will be half-time and filled by faculty members on a rotating basis. “Sean will take on an increasing role in ensuring our excellence in science and mathematics and in helping us decide how best to allocate our resources,” said Dean of Faculty Donal B. O’Shea. Decatur is a chemist whose work on how chains of amino acids transform themselves into three-dimensional proteins has been supported by over $1 million in grants, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. “I’ll now also be working closely with faculty, staff, and departments on ways in which the College can support the curriculum and research in the sciences,” Decatur said. “The physical adjacency created by the new science center allows for much closer cooperation among the science departments. My role is to facilitate that whenever possible.” Sheila Browne Receives Lifetime Mentor Award The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named Sheila Browne, Bertha Phillips Rodger 9

[ campus currents ]

Million Monitor Drive Sleeping isn’t always good for students (in class, for instance) but it’s great for computers—and the environment. The College’s “million monitor drive” got 75 percent of our computer monitors to go to sleep, or enter power-save mode, when not used for fifteen minutes or longer. Having that many monitors automatically turn themselves off this way will save MHC an estimated $49,000 and 574,000 kilowatt-hours (enough to light 460 average homes for a year), and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power plants producing the college’s electricity by 411 tons (equivalent to removing 71 cars from the road). The campus effort is part of a nationwide drive aiming to convert one million computers to this energy-saving status. For more information, visit www.mtholy

While it won’t have you leaping tall buildings in a single bound, it can get you into your dorm faster than a speeding locomotive. The all-campus ID card, affectionately known as the One Card, is quite literally the key to campus life these days. Because the color of your card matches your class color, a One Card instantly identifies whether you’re a senior, junior, sophomore, or first-year student. That, say our student sources, makes a red (senior) card quite the status symbol. Take a closer look at some of the many uses of the ubiquitous One Card, courtesy of Indunil S. Fernando ’06, Erin M. Fitzgerald ’06, Faith C. Giordano ’06, and Ines G. Leal ’08. IT’S A KEY… to get into dorms (now open to everyone until 2 a.m.) for “dis-orientation” (i.e., when the amazing Brigham firsties hung a banner made of underwear in South Rocky) to get into the Ortega House for meetings and to hang out for alums staying in student dorms during reunion IT’S A MEAL CARD… for the meal swipe in the dining halls for dining on sushi at Blanchard Café IT’S A LIBRARY CARD…

IT’S A DEBIT CARD… for coffee at Rao’s in the library and at Blanchard’s Uncommon Grounds for late-night snacks at Blanchard for printing … lots and lots of printing for Chef Jeff’s chocolate chunk cookies

Celebrating a Beloved Centenarian When the Flora Belle Ludington Reading Room turned 100 on Founder’s Day (November 8), the campus gathered to celebrate the library’s crown jewel with cake and an exhibition of the building’s history. When the College’s original library was torn down and rebuilt in 1904 on the same site, the main part of the new building was the reading room, a Gothic-style hall with an open timbered roof and stained-glass windows, modeled on Westminster Hall in London. The library was dedicated on

for laundry binges (all laundry machines are debit only) for shopping at the Odyssey and other stores in the Village Commons OTHER USES as a makeshift letter opener

to check out Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks ’85

to draw straight lines

to borrow DVDs for the weekend

to get the student discount at movie theaters

Paul Schnaittacher

[ campus currents ]

ARD of a ONE C Y M O T A N A

Professor of Chemistry, as the 2005 recipient of its Lifetime Mentor Award. The award honors Browne’s dedication to mentoring students for more than twenty-five years and her efforts to increase the number of women with PhDs in chemistry. Since coming to Mount Holyoke in 1976, Browne has mentored more than eighty students doing independent research projects, and more than 40 percent of those students were women of color. She also has served as mentor to the New England Board of Higher Education network. Coming from a poor family in Appalachia, Browne, who is part Cherokee, knows firsthand the difficulties women and other minorities face in science education. “One person can make all the difference in overcoming those adversities,” said Browne, whose assistance to students has ranged from helping them to find money to pay for books to buying winter coats for students from warm climates. “What every student needs is different. It’s a matter of caring and putting it together, finding a way to make it work,” she said.

to get books from any of the Five College libraries 10

Doing the Math Mount Holyoke was saluted in the November 2005 issue of the Mathematical Association of America’s MAA Online. In a recommendation titled “Avoiding Dead Ends,” adapted from the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM)’s Curriculum Guide, CUPM chair David M. Bressoud discusses the need for good introductory college math courses that reignite the interest of students who had a bad experience with mathematics in high school. He continues, “Too often, the mathematics for liberal arts course succeeds in energizing some of its students, but the department then knocks these students down with the message that this course was actually irrelevant to any further mathematics they might want to study. I know of no college that has grappled with this issue more effectively than Mount Holyoke College. Their ‘exploration courses’ are worthy of consideration and emulation.”

Klepacki ran the six-kilometer course in 23:07 and helped MHC place eighteenth out of forty-one teams. Field Hockey Advances to Championship Game Mount Holyoke’s field hockey team qualified for the ECAC championships as the second seed. They defeated number-seven Endicott in the first round and number-three Plymouth State in the semifinals to advance to the championship game. In the title game, the Lyons fell to top seed Wellesley in the final minute of regulation play, 0-1. This was MHC’s fourth ECAC championship appearance. The Lyons last qualified for the tournament in 2002, defeating Clark University for their first title.

Top: John Risley

On the Run Cross-country runner Christine M. Klepacki ’09 was named All-New England in November for finishing thirty-fifth at the NCAA regional championships hosted by Springfield College.

All-Conference player and national assist leader Liz Colby ’06

Curl Up With a Good Book If winter has you longing for a fireplace and a stack of good books, look no further. (At least not for the books.) Meg Murphy, visiting assistant professor of English at MHC, has come up with a reading list of worthy nonfiction titles for every season. The books mostly deal with the relation between women, art, love, work, and community. All are available in paperback. For detailed descriptions, go to www. For a fireplace, cup of java, and a sweet roll, head to a friend’s or a good coffeehouse. Enjoy!

Sports Shorts Rowing to Victory In October, Mount Holyoke won its first Seven Sisters Championship since 2002 with a two-point edge over defending champion Smith College. The Lyons earned 24 points for the team win, ahead of Smith (22), Wellesley (20), and Bryn Mawr (12). Among the highlights was the first novice boat winning its race by a huge margin, defeating its nearest competitor by over one minute with a time of 15:36.8. Senior coxswains Drew E. Silver and Laura E. Valente were named to the All-Regatta Team.

[ campus currents ]

Founder’s Day, 1905. The library building underwent a major renovation and expansion in 1967. At that time, the reading room was named in honor of Flora Belle Ludington, who headed the library from 1938 until 1964.

Paula by Isabel Allende (Perennial, $13.95) Negotiating With the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood (Anchor Books, $13)

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Scribner, $12.95) Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford (Perennial, $16)

Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History by Jane Brox (Beacon Press, $13)

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters With Extraordinary People by Susan Orlean (Random House, $13.95)

Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir by Martha Gellhorn (Penguin, $15.95)

Here But Not Here: My Life With William Shawn and The New Yorker by Lillian Ross (Counterpoint Press, $15)

Writing a Woman’s Life by Carolyn G. Heilbrun (Ballantine Books, $12.95)

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron (Vintage, $11)

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006


Alumnae Share the View From the Executive Suite By Julie Sell ’83

She may be only five-foot-one and 105 pounds, but Janet V. Lustgarten ’82

holds her own in the male-dominated world of financial traders and computer engineers. As chief executive officer of Kx Systems, a California technology firm that sells database products to corporate and government clients, Lustgarten has closed business deals with some of the world’s top financial brokerages. “In twelve years, I’ve only interacted with two women [clients] who were the decisionmakers on this sort of technology,” says Lustgarten. She contends that her gender softens the impact of her direct business style, which she attributes to years spent in New York. “Because I’m a woman, people hear it differently,” she says. “It doesn’t become an ego battle.” Ten years after the US government’s “glass ceiling commission” published a report on the challenges facing women in attaining senior executive positions in the private sector, the numbers reveal that women like Lustgarten are Janet V. Lustgarten ’82 still vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts. Women account for more than 46 percent of the American workforce but hold less than 8 percent of top management positions. Among women managers, average earnings are less than three-quarters those of their male colleagues. “The situation is pretty dire,” says Vicky Medvec, executive director of the Center for Executive Women at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. “There are a lot of women at the beginning and middle of the pipeline in corporate America, but almost none at the top. These are missed opportunities for companies.” Conversations with senior executive women among Mount Holyoke’s alumnae ranks reveal that there are challenges en route to the corner office, but there are also more paths for women seeking leadership roles than in the past. “I was on the early curve of recruiting and hiring” women at Bank of America, says Barbara Dombkowski Desoer ’74, who joined B of A in 1977 after earning an undergraduate degree in math and an MBA. Women were relatively scarce at the bank then, she recalls. After nearly three decades at B of A, which is America’s second-largest bank, Desoer now holds one of its top executive positions as chief of technology, service, and fulfillment operations.

“I think it is false to say women can have it all. You can do it in sequence, but not in parallel.”


“I’ve worked in meritocratic companies where you’re judged on your results, not on how you look or what your sex is. I’ve obviously been lucky.” Barbara A. Cassani ’82 meritocratic companies where you’re judged on your results, not on how you look or what your Her departments are responsible for everything from sex is,” she told a BBC television interviewer check and cash handling to customer service and support, several years ago. “I’ve obviously been lucky.” cash management, treasury operations, collections recovery, When BA eventually decided to sell Go, Cassani and fraud. put together a £110 million management buyout Although B of A has a significantly more diverse workand stayed with the company. Go was later taken force than it did thirty years ago, Desoer sees an ongoing over by a rival low-cost airline in Britain, easyJet. shortage of senior women running technical departments. The takeover made her a wealthy woman, but also “There are fewer women committed to engineering and left her without a job. in the technical space,” she says. “The challenge is the A past recipient of the prestigious Veuve breadth and depth of the talent pool.” Clicquot businesswoman of the year award, Cassani Indeed, the lack of women with appropriate skills more recently was tapped to join the committee that is one of the challenges highlighted by Medvec, of the organized Britain’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Center for Executive Women. She contends that more Games. She initially headed the committee, but eventuwomen need to gain profit-and-loss responsibility in ally relinquished the top job once she realized that, as their careers. Those without such experience face an American, the heavily political and “nationalistic” “a huge barrier” in becoming chief executives. She world of the Olympics meant London’s chances would also believes that there’s a dearth of female CEOs improve with a Briton at the helm. The London commitbecause many women don’t negotiate well for themtee’s success last summer—the winning city for 2012 was selves in terms of promotions, titles, salaries, even chosen in July—has left Cassani time to plan her next the resources needed to succeed. venture, which she hints may be in the hotel sector. Barbara A. Cassani ’82, who has spent much “It’s a bit of a relief to be back in the business world,” of her career based in London, clearly has not fallen she confides. “The Olympics is so political.” into those traps. After graduate school she joined the consulting firm of Coopers & Lybrand, and eventually moved to British Airways. When the head of BA decided to launch a no-frills airline in Britain in the late 1990s, he tapped Cassani—who was then a key executive in BA’s sales department—for the top To share your comments on this article, please use job. During her tenure as chief executive, the budget the message board at airline Go recorded several years of double-digit forum/w06Q. (You’ll need to register once to post growth and turned a profit ahead of expectations. comments, but this will also give you permanent access At the time, Cassani was one of the few women to message boards on all topics.) running a major British company. “I’ve worked in

What Do You Think?

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006


Judy A. McComb ’90 says that despite working eighteen to twenty hours a day, she has no regrets over becoming the chief executive of her own business. 16

Mindy J. Allport-Settle

Unconventional choices have been a hallmark Cassani sees more challenges of that sort for executive of Cassani’s career, and she has rejected a number women in her adopted home of Britain than in America of overtures to work in another big company. “Middle-class British culture puts more demands on “I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody,” she says. women than upper middle-class America does,” she says. She sees other women opting out of the corporate “Here [in London] I know some very well-educated, race as well in favor of running their own businesses. intelligent, successful women who feel guilty about not “Fewer women want to play the game” at big corporashopping for their families or putting Sunday dinner on tions, she says, because they are fed up with internal the table.” Her assessment: “It’s not about the women, politics, unimpressed with executive perks that appeal it’s about men.” to many men, and seek more control over their careers. All the executive women interviewed credited But, she admits, “you have to play the game to get to Mount Holyoke with giving them skills and confidence the top.” to succeed in their high-powered careers. For Desoer, the Judy A. McComb ’90 left a major pharmaceutical competitive environment on campus—“working with the firm after ten years to start her own company, Pharma­ best of the best,” she says—meant she had to be prepared Logika, in 2002. The firm, which offers consulting and organized. “There was nowhere to hide,” she recalls. services in the biotechnology sector, helps clients Her math major also prepared her for a career dealing secure financing and navigate the “regulatory land­­­­­­ with numbers. mines” to get products in the biotech pipeline to market, Lustgarten, who majored in mathematical logic, including overseas. found that the personal attention of faculty members— Reached by phone during a business trip to Puerto she particularly remembers Lee Bowie (philosophy) and Rico, McComb says that despite working eighteen to Eliana Ortega Gonzalez MA ’72 (Spanish)—boosted the twenty hours a day—“my staff would describe me as a confidence of a Latina girl who felt she didn’t fit the crazed workaholic”—she has no regrets over becoming Mount Holyoke mold when she arrived in South Hadley. the chief executive of her own business. “It was the “They found a way to help me exist within a system,” best decision,” she says. Nonetheless, there are additional she says. “Thankfully I had a gift from God—I was good challenges facing a woman in international business: she at math.” When she started working on Wall Street later finds herself working extra hard to be taken seriously by on, she recalls thinking, “If I can do it at Mount Holyoke, clients in Asia and Latin America. All the international I can do it here.” travel, long hours, and extended stays at client sites have McComb, who majored in romance languages and also left her striving for a better work/life balance. literature before getting an MBA, says the ability to “That’s something people can’t teach you,” she says. speak multiple foreign languages—Spanish, Italian, and Indeed, work/life balance is an issue for many execuFrench—has allowed her access to the inner circles of tive women. Studies confirm that in dual-income executive international business. “I was constantly pushing my own households, women still spend more time dealing with limits and gaining confidence” at Mount Holyoke, she says. family and household issues than their partners do. “I would have stayed another eight years if they’d let me.” “I think it is false to say women can have it all,” says For Cassani, who majored in international relations Lustgarten, who works in partnership with her husband and then attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Public running Kx Systems (“He’s the genius behind it”) and has and International Affairs at Princeton, Mount Holyoke two teenage children. “You can do it in sequence, but not in represented the quest for excellence. “I felt strongly that parallel.” She contends that stamina and consistent work are ideas mattered; they were at the heart of change in the more important in running a business than a brilliant idea. world.” She was also touched by the college’s idealism.

“Only do things in your life that you care about.” Jean Picker Firstenberg ’58

Top: Cynthia Keely; bottom: Courtesy of American Film Institute

Kavita Ramdas

Jean Firstenberg

That tradition of public service was an influence she carried with her on the Olympic committee. Kavita N. Ramdas ’85 arrived in South Hadley as a transfer student from Delhi University in India in the early 1980s. “It was the smallest place I had ever been to in my life,” she remembers. Now chief executive of the Global Fund for Women, an international organization (it is active in 160 countries) that supports women’s issues and rights, Ramdas says the college allowed her to reinvent herself. She was thrilled that no one knew or cared who her father was, unlike in India. “I felt I was a big, fat sponge,” she says. “I couldn’t get enough. It was delicious.” An international relations and politics major, Ramdas thrived in the community of foreign students at Mount Holyoke and in the Five College network. She was struck by the sense of tolerance, openness to the world, and the “extraordinary teachers” she had at the college. The seeds of her rise to the top of an international organization with a multimillion-dollar budget may have been sown the summer she stayed on campus and worked making calls on behalf of the college to thank contributors for gifts. “It was my first experience of giving money to something I cared about,” she says. “I gave $10 or $15 whenever I could. It made me think about philanthropy.” Based in San Francisco now, she has learned to use the skills and vocabulary of the for-profit world—she talks about “risk capital” and “start-up models”—to be successful as a fund-raiser. Her description of the Global Fund is “a venture capital firm for social entrepreneurs.” Much of the career advice that these executive women give Mount Holyoke students and alumnae centers on setting goals and pursuing passions: “Go where your heart takes you,” says Desoer. As the world becomes more globally connected, she also encourages students to network with their foreign counterparts, and learn about different cultures. “Only do things in your life that you care about,” says Jean Picker Firstenberg ’58. She now runs the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, a national culture center with a graduate institution in film, television, and digital media and a $25 million budget. Cassani wishes more daring young women would enter the corporate world, but admits that student perceptions of business are difficult to overcome. Some students seem to think that “either you’re immoral or you’re not smart enough to work at [top management consulting firm] McKinsey” if you are an executive, she says. “It’s difficult to convince them business is interesting.” London-based Julie Sell ’83 is a correspondent for The Economist.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006


by Maryann Teale Snell ’86

a l l t o g ether now Sustaining a Sense of Campus Community in Changing Times

Ben Barnhart

The strength of any community—a family, a village, a nation, or the world—lies in its ability to weather storms. How well it holds up to disruption, to internal and external pressures, disharmony among its members, or just plain changing times determines not only if it lives or dies but also, if it lives, the quality of that life. Over the years, Mount Holyoke’s durability as a community has been tested by storms of varied magnitude affecting both the campus and, often, the larger world: everything from fire, war, and civil-rights crises to pressures to go coed, eliminate parietals, and forever keep M&Cs. Time and again Mount Holyoke has proven its capacity to do more than manage or merely survive the tempest—it prospers. And that has everything to do with the mettle of its members. As Sarah E. Goldberg ’08 puts it, “Community succeeds when everyone contributes.” It fails, she adds, “when individuals do not feel valued or essential to the completion of the group.” Where Is Community Found at MHC? Director of residential life Rene Davis believes that on the MHC campus, “90

percent of the connections that build community are sustained in the residence halls,” which she views as “neighborhoods, places of comfort and familiarity. It’s where you meet your first set of friends. It’s where you relax with your peers and bond. The bathrooms, computer rooms, TV rooms, laundry rooms—

“Community succeeds when everyone contr ibutes.”

they are natural venues where important yet informal connections occur.” When Maggie Lichter ’02 was a first-year student (she’s now an MHC assistant director of residential life), community “was built more around the residence hall, since that was the only place you could eat your meals.” Now that students have access to many places

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

to eat, she says, it seems they value a wider “campus community feeling more than a residence-hall community feeling.” Indeed, says Jennifer E. Nicholls ’05, the “community” that MHC prides itself upon “is not merely the relationship you have with your peers on your floor or in your classes. It’s more of a ‘big-picture’ notion.” Assistant director of admission Courtney E. Masland ’01 too has witnessed changes in the community since her student days. But “it doesn’t matter if pancakes are no longer served in your dorm in the morning,” she says, referring to recent dining-hall changes. “What we enjoyed about those pancakes—the opportunity to chat among our peers—still exists all over campus.” The college “institutionalizes community” in varied ways, Rabbi Lisa Freitag-Keshet notes. In addition to building “religious, ethnic, and cultural community by strengthening the spiritual identities within faith groups” (there are at least nine on campus), the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life builds “multifaith communities through which students learn to engage in dialogue across religious differences.” 19

C om mu n i t y: W h at ’ s You r Definition? I hear students refer to community as the feeling of belonging to a history and tradition that is much larger than any individual and supports people as they learn and grow. I heard an alum say that Mount Holyoke “loved her unconditionally,” and that can only happen when there is a positive feeling that people here care about each other.”—Beth Gibney Boulden, associate director of student programs “Community” has broad meaning. I think all definitions, though, must include the words “people,” “together,” and “common.” Contrasting goals and agendas with an unwillingness to compromise will divide a community.—Jeff Sadowski, Blanchard Café manager It’s not something that simply exists, but something that is built—in a physical space, a virtual space, and/or an emotional space. Community is a place where people of common culture, common history, common background, common thought, common optimism, or common cause come together to give and receive support.—Krysia Villón ’96, Alumnae Association assistant director of clubs A community is any collection of people. But a sustainable community is a collection of people who have explored their various individual and systemic histories … through honest dialogue about power, oppression, and privilege. There must be a recognition of where the community was, where it is, and where it is headed.—Isabelle Darling, coordinator of multicultural affairs It’s a connection that involves citizenship, dialogue, responsibility, obligation, and reward. Strong communities involve committed participants who reap the benefits of being connected. Isolation, lack of communication, lack of transparency, and being treated as a noncitizen serve to break community.—Connie Allen, dean of the classes of 2006 and 2007, lecturer in chemistry Community is a feeling … that you have something in common with a variety of people— not necessarily the same emotions or opinions, but a common goal. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, there are going to be people on your side to help you through.—Tiffany Dembowski ’06, senior class president 20

Balancing solitary study with group activity—such as this yoga session in the art museum on spa night—is hard to fit into students’ busy lives, but crucial to community building.

From her vantage point as associate director of student programs, Beth Gibney Boulden sees a Mount Holyoke community comprising many smaller ones (including more than 150 active student organizations) that “come together for a bigger purpose.” But are the numerous subgroups actually contributing to a fractionated community? SGA president Katie L. Kraschel ’06 wonders. “We become so involved and busy with these groups that it becomes difficult to [set aside] time for trying new things and meeting new people”—both of which are key to promoting community across campus, she says. Some students find their sense of community fading after their first year on campus. Once they’ve comfortably settled into a routine, Mount Holyoke women tend to “seclude themselves [with] their immediate friends,” Monica P. Gowdar ’06 has observed. She also notes that the intense focus these women have on academic achievement and personal growth “overcomes the sense of ‘community’ spirit.” Rene Davis is aware of an “unfortunate trend where students want the sense of community that MHC is renowned for, yet they’re not extending themselves to make it happen.” This inaction is not so much deliberate as it is a reflection of students’ busy and complex lives, she says. “When faced

with the choice of sleep, study, or a [community-building] program, [community] is often pushed to the side.” Krysia L. Villón ’96, the Alumnae Association’s assistant director of clubs, says she doesn’t feel the same “energy behind community building” on campus that she did as a student. “At times I think it’s because some of our culture has been lost (the different setup with dining services, less economic diversity in the student body, more technology and less face-to-face time); yet other times I think perhaps the culture is just changing (more international diversity, a more updated and user-friendly campus, a more competitive academic edge).” As the campus culture changes and grows, she says, “it’s up to each of us here to work toward maintaining the culture and community we joined.” Why Traditions and Events Matter “Mount Holyoke traditions have always been a great way to build community,” says Alumnae Association Executive Director W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83. “Unlike other colleges’ traditions—hazing, for instance—ours are based not on making a new member of the community ‘earn’ her place but on [acknowledging] that we all already belong here and enhancing our relationship to one another.” Traditions “give us mentors,

Ben Barnhart

voices of experience, and friends,” adds Marissa H. Saltzman ’07. “They allow us to learn the ropes and realize the importance of the community feel here … and then move into the role of mentor and help others settle in.” “I love traditions—it’s why I came here,” says Lichter. “I loved Mountain Day, M&Cs, Junior Show, ‘gracious dining,’ and the Laurel Parade,” notes Villón. “Traditions [foster] a connection to, and an honoring of, our past.” But they should be a “delight … not a burden,” Jenn Nicholls argues—which is why she doesn’t see the sense in “preserving some traditions merely for the sake of tradition. If student interest in them wanes, it’s time for them to be reevaluated.” Class president Tiffany M. Dembowski ’06 reveals that she elfed four first-year students her sophomore year “because very few people in my dorm were interested in participating. A few of my friends elfed six or more. It was similar with big/little sisters.” “As an alum, I’d be sad to see some traditions go,” Nicholls says. “But at the same time, I accept that the campus life I knew as a student is probably different from yours and different from the one the current first-year class will experience.” Understanding the new student culture is critical to her role as director of residential life, Davis says. “It’s important that we meet students where they are now and move beyond old methods (though tried and true) that do not meet their needs.” Davis is big on encouraging community in the residence halls, and she and her staff make an effort to reach out to students. “We eat in the dining halls, take classes, and attend campus events. We push ourselves to be strong allies to all students.” For its part in community building, the Dean of Students Office has undertaken a number of initiatives, such as planning—with students, faculty, and staff who have diverse interests—cultural heritage months. In her quest to build a sustainable community, Isabelle Darling, coordinator of multicultural affairs, has also created “dialogue opportunities to engage people in looking at their privileged and oppressed identities. Topics have ranged from exploring

whiteness to exploring homophobia in the community of color.” In planning events, The Network’s board—which special events coordinator Monica Gowdar says is a deliberately diverse group of women—attempts to incorporate “as many groups and interests as possible, to satisfy the majority of the community.” And at Blanchard Café, through which manager Jeff Sadowski says 2,000 people pass daily, establishing community around meal-sharing now includes President Creighton’s periodic community breakfasts and a weekly outdoor barbecue during the summer. Both events, open to the entire college, “are very well attended,” Sadowski notes. Commitment Needed From All The consensus is that preserving community at MHC is the responsibility of everyone: students, faculty, alumnae, staff, and the administration. All members of the MHC community, “if they claim it as their own,” Villón says, are “accountable to it—to create it, to preserve it, to live it, to give back to it.” “Maintaining a cohesive community should be a high priority,” states Connie Allen, dean of the classes of 2006 and 2007. “Faculty, administration, and staff should model the behaviors responsible for community and invite all participants to feel connected and valued.” In her convocation address, SGA President Kraschel also urged students to lead by example. “Each day, live and act to shape the Mount Holyoke you envision.” Beth Gibney Boulden observes, “Most people want to feel that they are a part of a positive community—like a happy family that always gets along and communicates well. We all know that takes work, and families change and grow through time. It is

also important to value the more difficult aspects of ‘community’ and address painful issues, have conflicts, communicate, and heal.” Having often observed a “palpable” sense of community when the administration and student body respond to incidents of discrimination and bias, Isabelle Darling says she’d like to “see them unite through proactive efforts instead of reactive ones.” How community is defined at Mount Holyoke will continue to evolve, of course. As society changes, so does community— and our perception of it. But change doesn’t have to signal a community’s demise, Jenn Nicholls affirms. “It’s a great time to test its strength and how well it can come together and work toward a functional resolution.” “MHC is resilient,” acknowledges Blanchard Café manager Sadowski, citing how the campus responded to recent dining-hall changes. “When the dust settles, the community spirit remains strong.” “An evolving sense of community is a good thing,” Calhoun concludes—“as long as community building remains a priority and a core value.” And, as Darling points out, “community is something that does not need to cost money. All of the resources exist within the people.” Maryann Teale Snell ’86 is a writer and editor in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Many little things contribute to a healthy campus community, including a “spa night” manicure, study groups at the library’s Information Commons, and playing pool in Blanchard Café.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006




by the time you read this, everything will have changed—again. At this writing, General Motors supplier Delphi has just gone bankrupt and seeks to cut its workers’ salaries in half. The head of Ford says he will announce in January a major company going up, and newspaper op-ed pages are full of opinions on global outsourcing—and what should be done about it. 22

Jérôme Studer

restructuring, including domestic plant closings. Quarterly numbers show unemployment

Left: Louis Fabian Bachrach

The speed of global business is now such that all of this probably will be different by the time this magazine arrives at your door. Yet in some ways, our economy is the same as it has been for years. People are finding and losing jobs all around the globe. New technology is coming to market; “old” technology is becoming obsolete. Companies are starting up; others are folding. Unanswered questions about how to meet workers’ needs while encouraging economic growth still bedevil experts and laypeople alike. Still, as every Mount Holyoke alumna knows, just because a question is wildly complex and potentially unanswerable does not mean it should not be asked. What is going on with global outsourcing, and what, if anything, should be done about it?

Fidelity India works in the Marlborough office. US staffers go to India to train workers, but do not stay. Is there concern at Fidelity that higher-level jobs may move to India as well? “At this point, no,” says Kamal. There are still natural barriers to outsourcing certain services overseas, notes one 1970s alumna who is a project manager in a multinational technology company. (She wanted her identity, and her company’s, kept confidential.) One “can’t say definitively” that services provided in India, for example, will end up being more desirable to a company than US-provided services, she says. Cost may not be the most important factor for a client. Banks, for example, still deal with a lot of data that cannot leave the United States for security reasons. Still, many services can go overseas; and when they do, both white- and blue-collar employees are left behind.

outsourcing 101 how workers are affected Why outsource internationally? Lower labor costs. They lead to When people lose their jobs, says Bivens, they increase competition greater competitiveness, allowing a company to offer goods or for the jobs that remain. This drives wages down overall, and services at lower prices. Lower prices are good for consumers. earnings inequality grows between those whose jobs are in global While this is all true, “it is far from the whole story,” competition, and those whose jobs remain says economist Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Instidomestically insulated. tute. Global trade has winners and losers within each Some economists would say Fariha Kamal ’01, whose country. Winners can buy cheaper DVD players. Losthat when workers lose their investment company has ers see their jobs go overseas—either still jobs in one place, they can workers in the U.S. and abroad, says fear of jobs going overseas within the company (“offshoring”) find new jobs created by is “a healthy fear, and or through another company the global economy. While certainly warranted.” (“outsourcing”)—to achieve “there is a grain of truth to Michele Flynn ’81 is those lower prices. [that] idea,” responds Bivens, president of Expense Management Solutions, Companies, by and large, it’s not what actually happens in which helps companies benefit from global outsourcing the US economy. For example, the reorganize internally or outand offshoring. Michele Flynn United States imports T-shirts source services. ’81, president of Expense Manand exports airplanes. The idea agement Solutions, helps comof job-losers getting those newly panies reorganize internally created jobs would work only, says or outsource services “to a Bivens, if imports were equal in naqualified supplier, with the ture to exports, which they are not. goal of reducing costs, increasing US workers who lose jobs making efficiency, and increasing shareholdshirts cannot compete for jobs making er value for the corporation,” she exairplanes. So the unemployed garment plains. The benefits are so great that workers must compete for lower-skilled companies are not limiting outsourcjobs, which drives down the income of similar workers. ing to ancillary services. “Companies “Everyone is affected by jobs going overseas, whether continue to push the envelope and will it’s my job or not,” says Lynne Barbee ’69, lead organizer now consider outsourcing core services or for the American Federation of State, County, and Municoperations if it makes sense financially,” says Flynn. ipal Employees (AFSCME). “Getting things done cheaper This is not yet the case at Fidelity Investments, says Fariha is a very narrow vision.” The work is being done cheaper Kamal ’01, pension analyst in Fidelity’s Marlborough, Massaoverseas, but “what happens to the 200 people in that chusetts, office. Fidelity has offices outside the United States, [US] factory town?” asks Barbee. It’s not just an issue of but the work remains in-house for the company. Management losing jobs, but of losing good jobs. Former manufacturremains in North America. For example, while Fidelity’s Baning employees are now doing service work with no health galore, India, office runs pension calculations, the president of insurance and no pensions. Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006


THOSE WHOSE JOBS ARE NOT IN GLOBAL COMPETITION. Barbee works with home-health aides and child-care workers, many of whom live in poverty. “It’s the reason our society is so heavily in debt,” she says; many workers are not earning enough to make it. People go on Medicaid and other government programs, the community pays, and “it ends up costing more.” These are, says Barbee, “the hidden costs” of buying things cheaper. When discussing global outsourcing, says Bivens, many people look at the wrong issue. It’s not a question of “Who wins: China or the United States?” The question is really “Who is winning and losing in China? And who is winning and losing in the United States?” The answer to the latter, Bivens says, is: the winners are those whose jobs are not in global competition—say, a corporate lawyer, schoolteacher, or car mechanic—who also get to buy cheaper goods and services. The losers are the ones whose jobs are in global competition. In the 1980s and 1990s, manufacturing workers were mostly the losers. Ironically, they were told to retrain in high-tech industries. But now that tech jobs are going overseas as well, the answers in the United States seem less simple. meanwhile, in india... … and China and Taiwan, there are also winners and losers. Nancie Fimbel ’68 went directly to one outsourcing epicenter when she accompanied San Jose State University students on a two-week tour of factories in Taiwan and China last summer. Fimbel, the associate dean of San Jose State’s College of Business and a former business ethics professor, sees global outsourcNancie Fimbel ’68, associate dean of ing as the horse that’s San Jose State’s College of Business and a former business ethics professor, left the stable—not sees global outsourcing as the horse entirely desirable, but that’s left the stable—not entirely a done deal. desirable, but a done deal. In terms of manufacturing prowess, Fimbel was agog at what she saw in China and Taiwan. “They have it nailed,” she says. The factories were brand-new, and most occupied massive “science parks”; one near Taipei held 384 electronics companies in a single compound. Manufacturing is growing by leaps and bounds in China, Fimbel 24

notes. And—aside from workers’ lack of upward mobility within companies and one rather questionable bathroom she visited—Fimbel says the factories she saw were far from the stereotypical sweatshop image. Should US workers worry about China’s manufacturing might? “Absolutely,” she says. Documentary filmmaker Sonali Gulati ’96 explores cultural and economic issues involved with outsourcing to Indian call centers in her film, Nalini By Day, Nancy By Night. She filmed in an Indian-owned call center in New Delhi that was doing outsourced work for US companies such as CompuServe. She expected the call centers to be sweatshops, but says, “I was really surprised.” Her film shows modern cubicles and open spaces, ergonomic chairs and new headsets, break rooms with ping-pong tables, and cafeterias with free meals. All the work is done on US time, so this is the night shift. Still, no one looks exhausted. Employees wear neat, casual, Western-style clothing. It was, she says, “a real college environment.” A vast support industry is growing up around these call centers: language schools that offer accent and cultural training, caterers, taxi services that ferry employees to work, designers and architects and construction workers to build the centers themselves. It’s estimated that for each call center job, one or two more jobs are created in the local economy. “India has definitely come a along way since I was a kid,” says Shireen Alam ’97. She is a program manager with Sapient, a US-based business technology consulting company. Alam started in Sapient’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, offices. Three years ago, Alam moved to New Delhi to bring Sapient’s organization and processes to the new office, she says. Global outsourcing is “the next progression in economic strategy,” says Alam. Her work illustrates this new economic picture: Alam works for a US company from its offices in New Delhi, and she oversees management of a MIT Web site. The Indian call-center boom has impact beyond the economy, too, says Gulati. Issues of race and ethnicity are involved when Indian names and voices are disguised. The idea is that to call America, you have to pretend to be an American. When asked why they did this, call-center employees told Gulati that it protected them from American racism. “But it’s inherently racist” to pretend to be American, she says. Gulati believes that the “ripple effect” of a new economy growing up around this one sector has its flip side in the United States, where job losses mean the local economy suffers, too. It is hard to see job losses in the United States, she says; but notes that it is not the Indian workers “who have the agency to take the jobs away.” While Indian people “are benefiting, they are not the real beneficiaries.” This situation “is the responsibility of the companies,” Gulati says; “if you move jobs, what do you do for the people left behind?”

Leah Williams


what would help? Sonali Gulati ‘96 directed “There is no quick fix,” says the film Nalini By Day, Nancy Lynne Barbee. Addressing By Night, which explores cultural differing wage costs between and economic issues involved with outsourcing to Indian nations is one solution to ease call centers. the burden of outsourcing, suggests economist Josh Bivens. Attaching general labor standards to multilateral trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA would also help. The losers of global outsourcing—workers in foreign sweatshops, skilled US workers being let go from union jobs to work in low-wage retail posts—“used to drive me crazy,” Nancie Fimbel says. Sweatshop production, still a reality in some places, is “unfair, exploitative, and unconscionable,” says Fimbel, who also supports international labor standards and stronger environmental laws. However, when foreign workers earn a decent, living wage for their economies, that is a different thing altogether; “we can’t compete with that,” Fimbel says. The United States needs “to keep creative” and come up with new ideas and new industries, which has always been a national strength.


Halima S. Brown

LEFT BEHIND? Fariha Kamal agrees. Fear of jobs going overseas is “a healthy fear, and certainly warranted,” she says. The United States still has the edge in technological innovations, but if it can’t keep this edge, more people will lose their jobs, she believes. “It all comes down to investment in education,” so new ideas can be fostered. Jobs will continue to leave the United States, says Bivens, who predicts that the departures will “move up the skills hierarchy.” The real solution, he says, is not to stop trade, but instead to lessen its impact on the losers, whoever they are. “Corporations are shedding [workers’] benefits and no one is picking them up,” he says; “government-provided social insurance has never been more relevant.” The employment outlook in the United States—and the headlines—will continue to change. Still in doubt is whether the United States will change its response to this shifting economic climate. The only constant, for good or ill, will be the continuing growth of global outsourcing. Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

MHC to Host Conference on Offshore Outsourcing Experts from around the globe will participate in the conference The New Global Division of Labor: Winners and Losers from Offshore Outsourcing, hosted March 3–4 by MHC’s Center for Global Initiatives. It is cosponsored by the New York Times Knowledge Network, and is the first in a planned series of biennial conferences on “key global challenges,” says planner and CGI head Eva Paus. Keynote speaker Richard Freeman, a Harvard economist, will discuss the issue of worldwide workforce doubling with the addition of emerging economies in India and China. Other participants include Louis Uchitelle, senior economics journalist at the New York Times, Beata Smarzynska Javorcik of the World Bank, Luis Abugattas of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and Hans-Peter Martin of the European Parliament. Alumnae are especially welcome at this free conference. To increase the educational value of the conference, the Center has organized a minicourse on global outsourcing, starting in January and culminating in the conference. Eight faculty members from international relations, economics, politics, and computer science will teach the class to a planned 100 or more students. For details, visit

Web extra For more about outsourcing, visit www.


? bachelor's



? mother of M.B.A. two part-time consultant


mother of five

Re•de•fin•ing Suc•cess: (What If You’re Not ‘Number One’?) By Marissa Saltzman ‘07

Mount Holyoke trains us well. During our short stints on campus we’ve learned to think logically, critically, and constructively. Then we are sent out into the world, assured that we can do anything. Nowhere does it state that we must do everything or always excel. 26

Meredith Minkin


Why, then, do we believe that the only way to be successful is to be tops in our field, number one at everything we try? Internalization of this all-or-nothing belief seems to frustrate many alumnae. One, who wishes to remain anonymous, admitted to admitted to feeling deficient because she “can’t point to any great achievement.” She’s hardly alone. Class scribes know of classmates who “don’t send in news for the class notes because they aren’t Class scribes know water-walkers.” Reunion organizof classmates who ers must reassure friends that “re“don’t send in news unions are for everyone.” Michelle G. Chuk ’95 says many alums for the class notes “wonder if we have ‘accomplished because they aren’t enough,’ or if it is OK not to go to water-walkers.” graduate school, or to stay at home as a full-time mom—because MHC doesn’t really say that those things are OK. ‘Normal’ is, well … normal, and midlevel, stay-at-home, and coffee-shop employee are not four-letter words.” Even those successful by traditional measures can fall prey to self-criticism. Michelle Hanway Thurman ’95, a family doctor, enjoys her career very much. However, she says, “I’m still fighting this guilty idea that I should be superwoman, super-doctor, doing absolutely everything that I’ve ever trained to do.” Joanne L. Lord FP ’95, who coordinates clinical drug trials at the University of Michigan, has similar feelings. “I enjoy my job, and I know I do make a difference in some of my patients’ lives. [But] I have a sense of failure because I’m not teaching nor in a master’s program,” she says. And Susan Bergdolt Filan ’88 explains, “I graduated summa cum laude, but at times feel like a disappointment because I’ve made choices that have resulted in a happy and well-balanced personal life, but not a stellar career.”

Taking a Broader View Success, however, need not be limited to a title or income level. Amee K. Shah ’93, worker, wife, and new mother, says, “I have been struggling with the pressure of having to excel in everything … Too many times, even as strong women coming out of women’s colleges, we let other people’s definitions of success drive us.” Elizabeth Peters Too many times, even Tidball ’51, a retired professor of physiology, insists that the as strong women com- individual must “learn to know ing out of women’s herself—what are my gifts, what do I do well, what do I not do colleges, we let other well, who am I—and go from people’s definitions of there. The college is not standsuccess drive us. ing at the other end saying ‘you didn’t do this or that.’ [Mount Holyoke’s message] was intended as an opportunity opening; there’s no penalty side.” So how do alumnae create lives that are both meaningful and successful? Many agree that the answer lies in creating a balance that fits their current needs and desires. Alicia Mullen Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

McNeill ’95 says she is “proud of those that have chosen to pursue MBAs and PhDs and become CEOs, etc., and I often wonder if I should pursue [another] degree, but realize that the title I have now is perfect: part-time career person and full-time mother and wife. Because I am a MHC graduate, I have the confidence that this is the right balance for me.” Our goals and ambitions evolve over time, as does our definition of success. “Success at one point in my life was getting out of bed, and at others it was being the best at something,” recalls Sarah Marie Gustafson ’95. Judith A. Jaeger ’95 notes, “There is a point on the career ladder where you aren’t doing what you love anymore and you lose the quality-of-life standards that you value. In the end, if the title is impressive and the pay is great but I hate the work, I can’t live with that. Forty hours or more a week is a lot of your life. You may as well spend that time doing something you love.” After years of wrestling with this issue, Elizabeth M. Greason ‘95 “came to realize that success is about finding out what makes you feel alive and good and like you’re doing something real ... and that looks different for all of us.” She continues, “Success and perfection are not the same. [We must] appreciate that our paths after Mount Holyoke won’t always look the way we had imagined. But if we follow those twists, difficult and beautiful as they are, we may just find that thing called success.” Marissa Saltzman ’07 is the student representative to the Quarterly Committee.

Self-Defined Success • We can be #1 at being ourselves, but it’s hard for us to learn and to believe that!—Marilyn Coburn Kincaid ’69 • I can choose, and that is the freedom MHC gave me when I graduated: I can choose to be a CEO [or] a stay-at-home mom with peanut butter in my hair and a minivan full of kids. My grandmother, who had five kids, didn’t get a choice. And recognizing that, valuing that, is where I found my peace. —Marianne Lund ’95 • Balance and well-being are critical to my happiness, and being the best wouldn’t give me the time or energy to devote to the other aspects of my life.—Sarah Marie Gustafson ’95 • I have defined [success] as always performing to the best of my abilities. For me, there’s a difference between being “the best” and being at the top of the org. chart. Just because we are allowed to be the president does not mean we should be or have to be.—Allison H. Dickens ’95

Web Extra

Many alumnae responded to the Quarterly’s invitation to contribute to this article; the complete text of all experiences is available at go/numberone





Twelfth Black Alumnae Conference Called ‘Soul Food for My Spirit’

Black alumnae reconnected with one another, and with MHC faculty, students, and staff, at the fall conference on campus. The theme was “Circles of Sisterhood.”

“Circles of Sisterhood,” the twelfth triennial Black Alumnae Conference (BAC) cosponsored by the Alumnae Association, brought African and African American alumnae and students together for a weekend of workshops, networking, and inspiration. The November 4–6 event attracted 101 alumnae and sixty-eight students. “Since 1973, this conference has strengthened the bonds between Mount Holyoke’s black alumnae while connecting them to current African and African American students,” said 28

W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, executive director of the Alumnae Association. “It’s a celebration of amazing women who have changed the face of MHC—and the world.” During Calhoun’s welcoming remarks, those women joined her in a moment of silence for Rosa Parks, whose courage sparked the civil rights movement and who received an honorary degree from MHC in 1981. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College and former acting president of MHC, returned to campus to deliver the

Paul Schnaittacher

Alumnae caught up at the Black Alumnae Conference reception.

Paul Schnaittacher

“We’re Everywhere!”Photos Move to Web The Quarterly’s “We’re Everywhere!” feature, which showcased photos of alumnae who met one another under unusual circumstances, has moved from the printed magazine to the Association’s Web site. By clicking on the “Share Your News” link in the left hand column of our home page (www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu), you can share photos as well as news of your activities. This move to the Web’s online class notes section will allow more alumnae to share photos (the magazine always received far more photos than the Quarterly could print), and to have information shared more quickly.


Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

Spring Lyon Lectures Take Weissman Center on the Road Since 2002, the Lyon Lecture Series has brought Mount Holyoke professors and other distinguished speakers to alumnae in cities throughout the United States to discuss topics ranging from globalization to Mars missions. This spring, the Alumnae Association is teaming up with the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts (WCL) once again to provide alumnae with a firsthand glimpse of its dynamic programming through “Weissman Center on the Road.” This lecture will

address “Acts of Reconstruction,” the theme of the WCL’s spring events. The program will be coming to Atlanta, with other cities being scheduled. In addition, the collaboration will bring a faculty member west to Denver and other locations to share current scholarship. Watch for your invitation in the mail. For more information, visit www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/go/LyonLectures. For photos from the fall Lyon Lectures, visit www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/programs/lifelong/lyonlec ture/fall.php. 29

[ alumnae matters ]

note address. Tatum spoke to a full McCulloch Auditorium on “Black Women in the Age of Globalization: Living on the Edge of a Flat World?” Her remarks considered the implications of an increasingly connected global community and the plight of those forgotten within it. Subsequent panel discussions explored themes ranging from “Portraits in the Media: Examining Black Images” to “Taking Charge and Taking Care: Black Women’s Health and Wellness.” During “Our BAC Legacy—An Intergenerational Dialogue,” moderator Beverly Y. Scipio ’74 was honored for organizing the first conference in 1973. Student cochairs Andrea D. Brown ’06 and Melissa E. Hector ’06 thanked Scipio for “making it W. Rochelle Calhoun ‘83 (in green), Alumnae Association executive director, welcomed alumnae back to campus at the Black Alumnae Conference. possible for us to come together every three years for the last thirty years.” Later in the weekend, Brown and Hector, along with old friends is the best part,” she said. “And meeting the stuwith Calhoun and Maya D’Costa, associate director of campus dents on campus now continues to make me proud to be a Mount programs, were applauded for organizing the 2005 conference. Holyoke ‘uncommon woman.’” “From Dr. Tatum’s address on how black women fit in a flatKaren M. Gray ’80, a writer and editor for Logistics Systening world to Rochelle Calhoun’s tribute to Rosa Parks for ‘sittems, noted that “to be continued” punctuated the conversating down and enabling an entire people to stand up and join in tions flowing from the panel discussions and the overview of the cause,’ the weekend’s tone was engraved in our souls,” said the work ahead for the Diverse Community Commission. She Akua S. Soadwa ’03, cochair of the 2002 conference. “We are added, “As black alumnae, we seek sound answers that, in more than a sisterhood—we are a legacy that should be continuturn, prompt necessary, further questions—a keen ability born ously cherished.” both of a Mount Holyoke education and our sense of personal Sandra Simpson-Fontaine ’72, executive director of the Caliresponsibility. Despite the passage of time, conversations withfornia Health Facilities Financing Authority, likewise described in the ‘Circles of Sisterhood’ resumed effortlessly, all the while the conference as “soul food for my spirit.” “For me, reconnecting inclusive of alumnae yet to arrive.”

[ alumnae matters ]

Alumnae in Action:

A New International Community-Service Program The Alumnae Association is pleased to announce the spring 2006 launch of “Alumnae in Action,” an international community-service program for MHC clubs and affiliate groups. Alumnae around the world who participate in the pilot program will gather together on a designated day or weekend (exact date to be announced) to serve as volunteers in their home communities. Alumnae in Action service projects may include participating in walkathons to raise funds for breast cancer or AIDS research; volunteering at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, or senior centers; or working with local chapters of nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or the International Red Cross. The Alumnae Association will provide resources and free promotional support for these events. Association staff will be available to offer organizational advice and tips—and the new Association Web site will contain guidelines, suggestions, and links to additional resources. After the event, photos and descriptions of Alumnae in Action events around the world will be posted on the site. Alumnae in Action was created in support of the College’s mission to unite the liberal arts tradition with purposeful engagement with the world. The program is meant to extend and deepen the Mount Holyoke experience, and to provide alumnae with club activities of substance and meaning that benefit their communities. “Mount Holyoke women have a long history of making a difference in the world,” explains Rochelle Calhoun

’83, executive director of the Alumnae Association. “It starts on campus, with community-service projects and with programs like the Weissman Center for Leadership, the Center for Global Initiatives, and the Center for the Environment. After college, many alumnae look for ways to use the privilege of their education to bring about change. Some are heading global organizations; others are volunteering their time and resources in their communities. But the impulse is the same: Mount Holyoke alumnae around the world want to be engaged in ways that have a real impact on human lives.” Krysia L, Villón ’96, assistant director of clubs, agrees. “Though many

alumnae have maintained their connections through the social endeavors of clubs and affiliate groups, it’s clear that there is also a desire to bring those connections and service out to their respective communities. Some clubs are already doing such activities,” she says. “Clubs want intellectually stimulating programming—like the Lyon Lecture Series—and other events in which alumnae accomplish something of value together.” Alumnae in Action is currently in the planning stages, and the Association actively encourages alumnae suggestions and ideas. One idea under consideration is to focus on service efforts that expressly benefit women and girls. Another is to coordinate with local United Way chapters. The Association is also developing ideas about “support kits” for Alumnae in Action participants. The kits may include Association water bottles, sweatshirts or T-shirts, and other items suggested by volunteers. Above all, the Association seeks to create an event that will unite the global alumnae community in an action of worldwide caring and service. “There are 30,000 Mount Holyoke women in countries around the planet, all with exceptional resources to offer,” says Calhoun. “We hope that Alumnae in Action helps alumnae find new ways to connect with one another and with the issues they care most passionately about.” For further information or to submit suggestions, please contact Krysia Villón at or Leanna James Blackwell, director of communications, at

“Mount Holyoke women have a long history of making a difference in the world … It starts on campus, with community-service projects and with programs like the Weissman Center for Leadership, the Center Lisa Clark

for Global Initiatives, and the Center for the Environment.”


What if you could turn your vacations into donations that benefit the Alumnae Association? Sound good? We think so. That’s why we’ve teamed up with YTB Travel Network to establish our own travel search engine service for both personal and business travel. It’s called the Book It Now Travel Program, and you can find it at Using it will get you great prices

for your travel while generating revenues for the AA’s programs and services. This secure Web site uses the same technology and provides the same features and prices as other online booking services, such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity. You can use it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation pack-

ages, and tours, and take advantage of last-minute deals and weekend getaways. You can even use it to purchase travel insurance, reserve golf tee times, order tickets for concerts and shows, buy

foreign currency, and send flowers. Each time you do, the Association benefits. The site is up and running—all it needs now is you. So when you’re heading off to see the world, come see us first.

Cori’s Career Corner: Transition Time Since the alumnae career services program was launched last year, I’ve discovered there are many MHC women who are approaching midlife and are planning big changes in their lives. Values often shift at this point in life and likely will heavily influence choices. It is an exciting time, full of potential and creative possibilities. In response to this alumnae need, I am developing workshop material on transitions. Some of the areas I’ll include will be dealing with change, values, lifestyle, shifts in career and status, and volunteer work. I’m excited about the project, and I am working with the reuning class of ’66 and also with some members of the NYC Mount Holyoke Club to develop the content. I

“I’ve discovered there are many MHC women who are approaching midlife and are planning big changes in their lives.“

What’s New for You on Our Web Site The Association’s newly expanded and redesigned Web site offers dozens of opportunities and services for alumnae. From online message boards to club news and networking possibilities, it’s all there for you. Visit anytime at www.alumnae.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

hope to have the material consolidated this spring, with the hope of making it available for clubs nationwide. Meanwhile, I continue to be here for all alumnae, no matter where you are in your work and life cycle. I’m available for career coaching, résumé critiques, and a range of other career-related services. Onsite or telephone appointments can be scheduled by contacting me at or by calling the Career Development Office at 413-538-2080. I am in the process of arranging for onsite club programs in San Francisco/San Jose, Washington, DC, Dallas, Hartford, Boston, and the Philadelphia area. If your club is interested in a program, please contact me.—By Cori Ashworth

Alumnae Association Board of Directors *President Susan Beers Betzer ’65 *Vice President Kayla R. Jackson ’86 *Clerk Sandra A. Mallalieu ’91 *Treasurer Patricia Steeves O’Neil ’85 Alumnae Quarterly Avice A. Meehan ’77 Alumnae Trustee Nancy Drake ’73 Alumnae Relations Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Classes and Reunion Maureen E. Kuhn ’78 Clubs Cerise Jalelian Keim ’81 Directors-at-Large Pamela R. Broadley ’74 Maureen McHale Hood ’87 Antoria D. Howard-Marrow ’81 Joanna MacWilliams Jones ’67 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 ]

Book It Now: AA Launches Travel Search Engine Service

Clubs Corner

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.

In October, the Mount Holyoke Club of New York City attended a performance of Wendy Wasserstein’s ’71 new play Third, which is about a college professor who accuses a student of plagiarism. The play was performed at Lincoln Center. In November, the Mount Holyoke Club of the North Shore viewed The Cyanotypes of Arthur Wesley Dow exhibition presented by curator Stephanie R. Gaskins ’61 at the Heard House Museum and then received a tour of the Ipswich Female Seminary room with Nan Fischlein ’05. The Mount Holyoke Club of the Peninsula held a holiday luncheon (and welcomed Association executive director W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83) in December at the Lugano Swiss Bistro in Carmel, CA. Following the luncheon, members of the club had the opportunity to do some holiday shopping in the area. The Mount Holyoke Club of Greater Washington D.C. hosted a birthday party in September to celebrate the club’s founding over 60 years ago. At the party, held in Chevy Chase, MD, club members celebrated with sweets and a chance to hear stories from many generations of alumnae. The club also presented a sold-out panel discussion on “Current Challenges to U.S. Policy in Afghanistan and Iraq,” for its fall meeting. Betsy Thomas Amin-Arsala ’65 and Andrea Morel Farsakh ’60 spoke on the panel.


Tina Fiasconaro ’96 and Gina Finocchiaro ‘01, two members of the Alumnae Glee Club Choir, spoke at an event held by the Mount Holyoke Club of New Haven in September. Tina and Gina were part of the group that performed in England and Wales last summer. In November, the club hosted an event featuring Tinky Weisblat ’76, author of Pudding Hollow Cookbook. Alums were invited to bring a dessert and a recipe as Tinky spoke about writing your own cookbook. In September, the Mount Holyoke Club of the Capitol District attended a private of viewing and reception for the exhibit Betty Parsons and the Women at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage College of Albany campus. Parsons was famous for promoting a new generation of American artists in the post-World War II years, and this exhibit features works by female artists whom Parsons inspired, including Judith Godwin and Ethel Schwabacher. In October, the Mount Holyoke Club of Ann Arbor attended a talk given by Martha Ackmann, senior lecturer in women’s studies on “The Mercury Thirteen.” The Mount Holyoke Club of Greater Boston attended a performance of the Snappy Dance Theater in September at the Wimberly Theater in Boston. Snappy Dance is a quirky, Boston-based, modern dance company that combines physicality, beauty, humor, and sadness in its performances.

The club attended the annual Christmas vespers concert in December at the Old South Church in Copley Square. The Mount Holyoke Club of Southwest Florida held a luncheon meeting in November at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Leah Blatt Glasser, dean of first-year studies, led a discussion on this year’s common reading, My Year of Meats, by Ruth Ozeki. The Mount Holyoke Club of Northern New Jersey held a fall supper in late October. The featured speaker was Laurie Priest, director of athletics, whose talk was “A Pictorial History of Sport and Physical Education through the Ages at MHC.” The Mount Holyoke Club of Hartford enjoyed a tour of the Wadsworth Athenaeum in November. Special exhibits included Dali, Picasso and the Surrealist Vision. They invited the Mount Holyoke Club of Fairfield Villages to join them for this event. The Club of Fairfield Villages also heard a talk by Diane Biegel ’74 entitled “Against Ourselves: Women and Autoimmunity.” The event was held in November at the home of Cathy Irwin ’80. In October, the Mount Holyoke Club of Cape Cod held a luncheon at The Belfry Inne. Speaker Alan Werner, professor of geology, asked, “Should We Worry About Global Warming?” In November, the Mount Holyoke Club of Houston held

its annual lobster boil at the home of Claudia Kozinetz ’79. The Mount Holyoke Club of Puget Sound hosted music professor Allen Bonde at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle, where he gave a musical presentation entitled, “Music in the American Musical: The Golden Age.” The event also featured dinner and a silent auction of MHC china and memorabilia. The Mount Holyoke Club of Dallas-Fort Worth met in September to discuss the book Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. The group met at the home of Catherine Simpson Grindinger ’81. The Mount Holyoke Club of Minnesota hosted professor of English Donald Weber at the home of Nathalie Wilson ’88, where he discussed the film My Son the Fanatic. The group met earlier in September to view the film. In October, the Mount Holyoke Club of Delaware attended a program at the Delaware Center for Horticulture. The event included visiting friends, sharing refreshments, and a lecture, “Cultivating a Greener Community.” The Mount Holyoke Club of Britain held its annual general meeting in October, at Ben Elwes Fine Art. After business was concluded, Ben and Rachel Elwes ’89 gave a brief presentation on the market for old masters, conservation, and authentication. In November, the Mount Holy-

[ alumnae matters ]

oke Club of Genesee Valley held “An Evening of Wine, Women and Wonder.” Some club members also attended the National Women’s Hall of Fame induction weekend in Seneca Falls, NY. The Mount Holyoke Club of the Capitol Region recently hosted “womentors” Susan Lowenthal Axelrod ’84 and Bonnie McGuire Jones at the home of Dr. Julia Reeb ’91 for a discussion on planning charitable legacies. The Mount Holyoke Club of Central Ohio held its fall meeting at the home of DeAnne Rau ’93. The agenda included discussing book awards, ideas for future events, and the holiday lunch.

Paul Schnaittacher

In November, the Mount Holyoke Club of Bridgeport Connecticut hosted professor of Latin American studies Lowell Gudmundson, who spoke on “Coffee 101: From Juan Valdez to Starbucks.” Held at the home of Nan Redmond ’77, the club enjoyed a cocktail hour followed by dinner. Clarification: In the fall Quarterly, we neglected to mention the titles of those who spoke to members of the Mount Holyoke Club of New Hampshire in September. The group enjoyed a Connecticut River Day that included remarks from Sharon Fairley Francis ’59, executive director of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions, who made a presentation and provided a video on the commissions’ work;

Alumnae (left to right: Gayle M. Horwitz ’86, Erica A. Marieb ’93 and Mahjabeen N, Haji ‘04) spoke to sophomores at the fall Networking 101 workshop.

and Rebecca Ann Brown ’81, the commissions’ marketing director.

Alumnae Introduce Students to the Wonderful World of Networking

The Mount Holyoke Club of Detroit celebrated the holidays by attending a performance of The Nutcracker by the Michigan Opera Theater.

Unbeknownst to NASA, the cosmos expanded significantly during the last week of September. At least that’s the consensus of the sophomores who attended “The Big Bang: Expanding Your Universe,” a week of programming sponsored by the Alumnae Association, the CDC, and the academic deans and dean of students offices. “Our portion was a Networking 101 workshop and panel discussion involving twenty-three alumnae,” said W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, executive director. “It was a chance for students to encounter our network of accomplished and generous alumnae.” Added Maya D’Costa, associate director of campus programs, who organized the event, “The alumnae emphasized that they truly want to share their experience and connections.” Among those alumnae were Maren Boot ’88, director of human resources at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Stephanie Gillette ’95, a contract review analyst at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. They volunteered for the panel, Boot said, because as they’ve progressed in their careers they’ve “realized the integral role of networking for continued growth and opportunities.” Anya L. Akaogi ’08, from Putney, Vermont, was among the event’s beneficiaries. “The most valuable thing I learned was how to approach an alumna,” she said. “I’m so accustomed to e-mail that I don’t think twice about it. But the panelists said they’d be more likely to respond to a call or letter. They receive so many e-mails daily that one of these other approaches would better get their attention.” As a legacy student, Solange Franklin, a sophomore from Des Moines and vice president of her class, said she already was well acquainted with the alumnae network. The event, however, gave Franklin a chance to get questions answered. “Knowing that networking is essential to success in any occupation, how could you not want to master the ability? The Alumnae Association is a wonderful resource.”

In December, the Mount Holyoke Club of Santa Barbara held an afternoon tea with special guest W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, executive director of the Alumnae Association. Rochelle spoke on “Membership Has Its Privileges: What It Now Means to be a Member of the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College.” In November, the Mount Holyoke Club of Central and Northern Arizona attended a special event with the Arizona Women Lawyers Association. Martha Ackmann, senior lecturer in women’s studies, spoke on her book The Mercury Thirteen: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight.


[ alumnae matters ] Talk About A Big Party: Association Launches Global Reunion Thanks to a new pilot being launched by the Alumnae Association, Reunion 2006 is going global. Fittingly, this virtual event is called Global Reunion and it’s available to each reuning class. Translation: no matter where on the planet you live, if you have access to an Internet connection, you can be part of your class reunion through this pioneering initiative.

Mary Lyon Honored as Entrepreneur We don’t usually think of Mary Lyon as a businesswoman, but she certainly was one. And in October, her “courage, steadfast determination, and ruthless intelligence” in pursuit of her new business, the Mount Holyoke Seminary, were recognized with her induction into the Western Massachusetts Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Alumnae Association Executive Director W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83 represented Mount Holyoke at the ceremony, which also honored six other inductees. 34

“Mount Holyoke graduates an incredibly diverse group of women who establish careers and homes all over the world. Ours truly is a global community, and we want to revitalize that dimension of the Alumnae Association,” explained W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, Association executive director. “We’ve developed Global Reunion so that all

reuning alumnae can be in community with their classmates, whether or not they can make the trip to South Hadley.” Here are some of Global Reunion’s features: Message Boards: Alumnae on campus will share reunion highlights by posting messages and photos from computers in the class headquarters. Alumnae who are off campus can read and respond to these messages. Photo Gallery: Throughout Reunion, the Alumnae Association will be posting photos that capture the weekend’s excitement and nostalgia. They’ll be posted in albums and, whenever possible, be organized according to class and activity. Alumnae can download these photos or have them printed by a commercial online service. Online Video: The Alumnae Association will film the Alumnae Parade and other Reunion events and post Quicktime video clips the same day. According to Joni Haas Zubi, associate director of classes and reunions, the initial response to news of the pilot has been enthusiastic. “Alumnae are excited by the program’s potential to create a virtual reunion that will enhance the reunion activities on campus,” she said. “Global Reunion will allow alumnae to catch up with one another, share news, and enjoy the thrill of Reunion no matter where they are in the world. It’s a chance to bring far-flung classmates together to reconnect with each other and Mount Holyoke.” For more information on Global Reunion, please contact Joni at or at 413-538-2739.

‘Get Tough,’ Alumna Urges High Schools When Niki Lefebvre ’05 says that high schools should get tough, she’s not talking about discipline. Lefebvre wants schools to raise their academic standards, and she urged just that in an essay published in the Concord Review. When interviewed by the Boston Globe about her comments, Lefebvre described “coasting” through high school, getting mostly As and A-minuses without much effort. As a result, she said that

during her first semester at Mount Holyoke “the grueling exams and term papers left her in tears.” Lefebvre, who graduated last spring with a degree in history and philosophy, credits MHC with “whipping her into shape.” According to the September 18, 2005, Globe, Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll saw a preview of the essay and sent it to his staff, with a note reading, “Every adult in high schools should

Niki Lefebvre ’05 in her student days.

take heed of the message of this young woman.” Lefebvre is now the director of development at the Concord Review, the only quarterly journal to publish the academic work of secondaryschool students.

Fiscal Year July 1, 2004–June 30, 2005

The fiscal year 2005 Alumnae Association audit was completed by Moriarty & Primack, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, One Monarch Place, Springfield, MA 01144. Its financial statements are in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States and have been found to be in good order. A copy of the annual report is available for your review in the Alumnae Association office in Mary E. Woolley Hall. A synopsis of the financial statements follows. Questions may be directed to Stephanie Gray Gonthier, director of finance (413-538-2736; Fiscal year 2005 was another strong financial year, as demonstrated by solid operating income and a strong balance sheet, driven by a significant increase in investments. The FY2005 performance and the Association’s current financial position will provide strong support for its long-term strategic plans. Statement of Financial Position Assets Current Assets $361,823 Property and Equipment 23,276 Investments 2,899,036 Total Assets $3,284,135

Liabilities and Net Assets Current liabilities $115,742 Long-Term Liabilities 3,048 Net Assets 3,165,345 Total liabilities and net assets $3,284,135 The statement of financial position reports the Association’s assets, liabilities, and net assets for the year. Total assets increased $589,724 (22%) during fiscal year 2005. The Founder’s Fund, the Association’s long-term investments, increased $1,238,490 on collection of a $562,231 bequest receivable, addition of excess operating income and investment income, current year gifts, and unrealized gains. Liabilities decreased $2,792. Net assets increased $592,516, up 23%. Statement of Activities Support and Revenues Contributions from MHC $1,634,400 Alumnae Association Support and Revenue 372,405 Founder’s Fund Donations 124,433 Founder’s Fund Interest and Unrealized Gain 314,579 Total Support and Revenues $2,445,817

Operating Expenses Administration $641,589 Programs/Conferences 422,203 Quarterly 357,921 Information Services 215,017 Communications 157,172 Committees 47,155 Depreciation 12,244 Total Operating Expenses $1,853,301 Change in Net Assets $592,516 Net Assets, 7/1/04 $2,572,829 Net Assets, 6/30/05 $3,165,345 The statement of activities presents the Association’s revenues and expenses for 2004–05, and reports the change in net assets over the year. Total revenues decreased by $307,386, with increases in Founder’s Fund interest and unrealized gain of $123,617 and contributions from MHC of $52,932 offsetting a decrease in Founder’s Fund donations of $468,046 and Association support and revenue of $15,889. Contributions in FY05 consist of funds received from Mount Holyoke College per the July 1, 2002, joint agreement between the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College and the Board of Directors of the Alumnae Association. Support and revenue comprises reunion revenues, conference/program revenues, Quarterly donations, and advertising fees. Total operating expenses increased $46,025 from the previous period, primarily due to increased spending on hosting of the online community and on salaries and benefits.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

During FY05, 125 volunteers attended the annual class, club, and Reunion Planning Workshop training; 690 alumnae and students participated in our mentorship programs; 96 first-years and alumnae attended our first-years panel and group discussion; 179 seniors, faculty, and alumnae attended Senior Fair; and over 500 seniors and faculty enjoyed the “strawberries and champagne” event. The Latina Alumnae Conference brought together 65 alumnae, students, and guests. Reunions in 2005 brought 1,636 alumnae and guests back to campus, including 1,261 enrollments for Backto-Class sessions. The new career services program served 450 alumnae between January and June. The number of registered users for our online community reached 4,600 in FY05. The Quarterly reached 33,000 alumnae, students, faculty, staff, and friends of MHC. The Alumnae Association continued its collaboration with the MHC Office of Development to produce the Lyon Lecture Series, bringing three MHC professors to 223 alumnae, guests, and potential students around the country. Founder’s Fund The long-term financial assets of the Alumnae Association are held in the Founder’s Fund, which consists primarily of alumnae gifts, bequests, investment income and unrealized gain. The Founder’s Fund is invested with the MHC endow-

ment, pursuant to the June 1990 agreement between the Association and the College. A newly formed Investment Subcommittee, reporting to the Finance Committee, oversees the management and performance of all Alumnae Association investments. Alumnae donated $124,433 (69 contributions) to the Founder’s Fund in FY05, down from $592,479 in FY04 (92 contributions). Both FY04 and FY05 included sizeable bequests; excluding these, the average contribution increased from $332 to $399 (20%), but the number of contributions fell 25%. As part of its effort to increase the Founder’s Fund, the Association invested $325,062 in operating profit and investment income. The Founder’s Fund had a June 30, 2005, value of $2,899,036, compared with a market value of $1,660,546 in the prior year. The Founder’s Fund has grown 220% since FY2000, strengthening the financial position of the Association. Alumnae Scholar Program The Alumnae Scholar Program has been supported by the generous donations of clubs and individual alumnae throughout the world since 1971. Fiscal year 2005 contributions were $46,946. Since inception, contributions exceed $2,707,846.

Patricia Steeves O’Neil ’85 Alumnae Association Treasurer 35

[ alumnae matters ]

Alumnae Association Treasurer’s Report

The Alumnae Association announces a new free service for alumnae worldwide:

GLOBAL REUNION If you can’t come to reunion, let reunion come to you.

Alumnae who can’t make it to South Hadley can now celebrate reunion wherever they are. Log on to the Association’s Web site to view up-tothe-minute messages from your classmates on campus during reunion weekend—and post your own messages in return. (Each reunion class will have a special message board set up in its class headquarters dorm.)

Global Reunion also offers, via the Web: • Photos and short videos of reunion events, including the alumnae parade, posted throughout the weekend. • An expanded image gallery after the weekend ends, providing in-depth photo coverage of your favorite people, places, and events. • Find out more at

You can share and enjoy a lot about reunion online, but you’ll still have to attend in person to get that hug from your best college chum.

off the


Hartford County, Connecticut, County Court Minutes, Volumes 3 and 4, 1663–87, 1697 Transcribed by Helen Schatvet Ullmann ’59 New England Historical Genealogical Society. 2005. $30/$19 Helen Schatvet Ullmann has taken the county court minutes for Hartford County and indexed them by subject as well as name. Cases deal with debt, conflicts over land, and probate matters, as well as stolen horses, drunkenness, accusations of witchcraft, and selling cider to Native Americans. This volume of court minutes picks up where the Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, published in 1928, left off. This work will be of great value to those studying the people and place of this time period. Helen Schatvet Ullmann is a certified genealogist and a fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. She is also the associate editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and a consulting editor for the Newbury Street Press in Boston.

A Unique Life: An Autobiography Complete with Misdeeds By Mildred D. Rust ’52 Dorrance Publishing. 2005. $16 Born with a handicap, Mildred Rust began her life knowing that she would have to work hard to succeed. In A Unique Life, the retired psychiatrist chronicles her life’s events, detailing how she overcame having clubfeet and was able to attend medical school, marry, and have two daughters (one attended Mount Holyoke). She has also been able to travel in her retirement. Rust’s work is the result of taking a course in autobiographical writing; she also wanted to have a record of her life for her grandchildren. Rust tells a story of ambition and determination, and her life serves as an inspiration for those who have had to overcome a disability to succeed. Mildred Moore Rust, M.D., is a retired psychiatrist who resides in East Brunswick, N.J. She is active in the Unitarian Church and the East Brunswick Senior Center.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

Collective Dreams: Political Imagination and Community By Keally D. McBride ’91 Penn State Press. 2005. $45 In Collective Dreams, Keally McBride looks at ideals of community as the predominant form of political imagination in America today. She examines how these ideals circulate without having much impact on social change and how this provides an opportunity to explore the hardship of practicing critical theory in a capitalist society. McBride investigates how ideals of community intersect with conceptions of self and identity, family, the public sphere and civil society, and the state. She reveals how

consumer culture affects our collective experiences of community as well as our imagination of political and social orders. Keally McBride is a professor of political science at Temple University. Journeys: A Novel of Iran By Jennifer BagsterCollins Seaver ’61 iUniverse. 2004. $15.95 Jennifer Bagster-Collins Seaver’s debut novel is a fictionalized account of her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran in the 1960s. It is the bittersweet story of Sherrie Hitchcock, who abandons a successful business 37

first history in English of the social democratic movement in the Russian Empire, which represented one of the earliest examples of European social democracy at the turn of the twentieth century. Georgian social democracy was part of Russian social democracy, from which Bolshevism and Menshevism emerged, and it set a precedent for many anticolonial nationalist movements of the twentieth century. Stephen F. Jones is a professor of Russian and Eurasian studies at Mount Holyoke.

career to join the Peace Corps. While Sherrie meets many Iranians who welcome her into their homes, this is also the story of what happens when foreigners confront the powerful forces of a conservative society. Jennifer Bagster-Collins Seaver worked for three decades as a university international educator. She returned to Iran in 2002 with the National Peace Corps Association, and is currently working on a memoir focusing on her return. Selling Intervention and War By Jon Western Johns Hopkins University Press. 2005. $48/$18.95 Selling Intervention and War explores the competition between Congress and the president in winning the support of the American people when it comes to military intervention. Western looks at how the president and his


supporters attempt to obtain public support for their military action. He argues that whether or not the president gains support is based on advantages in information and propaganda, media support, and the length of the intervention. Western uses several cases to support his arguments, including the current war in Iraq, the decision not to intervene in French Indochina in 1954, and the choice to invade Lebanon in 1958. Jon Western is Five College assistant professor of international relations at Mount Holyoke. He has also been on the staff at the United States Institute of Peace. Socialism in Georgian Colors: The European Road to Social Democracy, 1883–1917 By Stephen F. Jones Harvard University Press. 2005. $49.95 In the first of two volumes, Stephen Jones writes the

Hinsonville, A Community at the Crossroads. The Story of a Nineteenth-Century African-American Village By Marianne H. Russo ’57 and Paul A. Russo Susquehanna University Press. 2005. $39 Seeking to reconstruct Hinsonville—a tiny rural village of free black property owners who lived in southeastern Pennsylvania during the antebellum times—the late Paul Russo researched the story of the community. Marianne Russo has now placed it in the context of nineteenthcentury African American history. Torn by tensions that troubled blacks everywhere, the dozen families of Hinsonville grappled with many of the important issues of the day: white vs. black, slavery vs. freedom, and rootedness vs. restlessness. By the early 1870s, forty years after the first black man had bought land there, Hinsonville’s residents watched as Lincoln University, the oldest black college in the country, ironically devoured the

very farms whose owners had initially provided a safe haven for the institution. Marianne Heinemann Russo and her late husband both taught at Lincoln University (Pa.) during the 1960s and ’70s. Marianne still lives within a mile of the original site of Hinsonville. Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914–62 By Michelle Ann Stephens Duke University Press. 2005. $84.95/23.95 In Black Empire, Michelle Stephens examines the ideal of “transnational blackness” that emerged in the work of radical black intellectuals from the British West Indies in the early twentieth century. Focusing on the writings of Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, and C. L. R. James, Stephens shows how these thinkers developed ideas of a worldwide racial movement and federated global black political community that transcended the boundaries of nationstates. Drawing together insights from American, African American, Caribbean, and gender studies, Black Empire is a major contribution to ongoing conversations about nation and diaspora. Michelle A. Stephens is assistant professor of English, American studies, and African American studies at Mount Holyoke. Living With the Dutch By Norean Sharpe ’82 KIT Publishers. 2005. $25 Norean Sharpe looked forward to moving to Paris

Foreign Investment, Development, and Globalization: Can Costa Rica Become Ireland? By Eva Paus Palgrave. 2005. $65 This book engages the question of how a developing country’s pursuit of foreign direct investment (FDI) affects its development prospects in a globalized world. Paus explores whether small latecomers (SLCs) to economic development can use high-tech FDI to rapidly expand indigenous capabilities, thus shortcutting stages of the development process. Using the cases of Costa Rica

and Ireland, Paus argues that unless SLCs can summon the political will and economic resources necessary to address market failures, foreign investment will not advance SLCs’ knowledgebased assets, upon which development ultimately depends. The book makes an important contribution to our understanding of FDI development in the age of globalization. Visit http:// book/newbook.html for a discount order form. Eva Paus is director of the Center for Global Initiatives and professor of economics at Mount Holyoke. She has published widely on the impact of foreign investment and trade liberalization on technological change, productivity growth, and wage developments, particularly in Latin America.

light on the early history of the writing-program administration, and includes narratives from administrators at women’s colleges, historically black and Catholic universities, and “normal universities.” In addition, issues of workload, professionalization, and democratic administration are featured. This collection includes an essay by Mastrangelo and L’Eplattenier that discusses Clara Stevens, who taught at Mount Holyoke and administered the English department from 1884 to 1921. The essay also discusses Stevens’s involvement in the 1919 Intercollege Conference on English Composition. Lisa S. Gray Mastrangelo is an associate professor of English at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey.

Historical Studies in Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline Edited by Lisa S. Gray Mastrangelo ’93 and Barbara L’Eplattenier Parlor Press. 2004. $58/$30 Historical Studies in Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline traces the existence of academics who functioned as writingprogram administrators before the official founding of the Council of Writing Program Administrators in 1976. This book collects essays that shine new

Two Christmas Mice By Corinne Demas Holiday House. 2005. $16.95 Two Christmas Mice is the story of two mice and their preparations for Christmas. One, Annamouse, has a

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

Christmas tree, but no decorations. Another, Willamouse, has perfectly lovely decorations, but no tree. The snow is swirling outside, and neither will be able to finish her tasks. Is there a way for the two to meet and not spend Christmas alone? Corinne Demas is a professor of English at Mount Holyoke. She is a short-story writer, novelist, and award-winning children’s book author. Itty & Bitty: Two Miniature Horses By Nancy Carpenter Czerw ’74 Illustrated by Dana Bauer McWitty Press. 2005. $15.95 Miniature horses Itty and Bitty are best friends and opposites, and together undertake adventures such as dancing jigs and driving cars. Itty and Bitty are two real miniature horses that live at Steele Away Farm in Texas. Nancy Carpenter Czerw is a poet and teacher who is also an accomplished equestrian. She lives in Flower Mound, Texas, with her husband, two sons, and horses.


[ off the shelf ]

with her children and husband, who had been offered a new job. After ten years of teaching in a rigorous academic environment, she saw this as an opportunity to reconnect with her husband and infuse a renowned culture into her life and the lives of her children. Yet shortly before the family was scheduled to move, her husband accepted a different position in The Hague, Netherlands. Sharpe’s dreams of French cuisine and access to the Louvre disappeared as she readied her family for a move to a less enticing city. Sharpe shares her humorous story of the trials faced by a family living abroad and offers her observations of the Dutch and their culture. Living in the Netherlands ends up being the perfect place for Sharpe to discover balance in her life and redefine her roles as mother, wife, and scholar. Norean Radke Sharpe is a statistics professor at Babson College. She lives with her husband and two children.


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This column carries announcements of services and events sponsored by the Alumnae Association, alumnae clubs, and College-related organizations for the benefit of MHC or members of its community. Announcements (except for classifieds) are free, but space is limited. Club and class products, most of which benefit the Alumnae Association’s Alumnae Scholar Fund, are included once a year in the fall issue. Products are always viewable at www.alumnae. mtholyoke .edu, or a listing may be requested by calling 413-538-2300.

Equestrian Center Saddle Drive Did you know that the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center accepts donations of horses, tack, and stable equipment? Items such as saddles, bridles, girths, martingales, saddle pads, lunge lines, surcingles, crops, brushes, halters, lead ropes, buckets, videos, books, rubber mats, jumps, dressage arenas, show equipment, tack trunks, hardware, tools, outdoor lights, new paddocks/fencing, hay, grain, horse trailers, farrier tools, first-aid supplies, fly spray, tackcleaning items, braiding tools, leg wraps, and even art will gladly be considered for donation. The stable staff is working hard to upgrade the saddlery used for riding lessons on the College-owned horses. The center is looking for donations of hunt seat saddles in size 17 or 17½ of brands such as Butet, Delgrange (PJ), Tad Coffin A5, Hermes, Antares, Devoucoux, Amerigo, Prestige, Luc Childeric and Forestier. For dressage saddles, we are looking for sizes 17–18 in these brands: County, Albion, Passier, and Stubben. Items may be eligible for a tax deduction. Donor to pay shipping. Please contact Joy Collins at 413538-2493 or if you can help.

For details about placing classified ads, contact Mieke Bomann (413-538-3159;

deadlines 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 15


Five Colleges Book Sale in N.H. The forty-sixth annual Five Colleges book sale will be held April 22–23 at Lebanon, N.H., High School (note new location). Each year scholarship funds have been raised for students from New Hampshire and Vermont through this sale. Last year each college (including MHC) received $10,600. Alumnae and friends of Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Simmons gather to prepare thousands of volumes starting in late February. Your help, through book donations, collecting and transporting books to the sorting site, or sorting and pricing, is most welcome. Alumnae also serve as cashiers and helpers at the sale.

It’s a great opportunity to refresh your reading material. For further information, please contact Martha Smead Doolittle ’59 (603-469-3359) or J. L. Tonner ’62 (603-526-6858) or visit Alumnae Expertise and Sponsorship Sought by CDC The Career Development Center (CDC) is seeking alumnae who would like to sponsor MHC students for summer internships. Internships have become a vital part of the college experience, and what better way for students to connect with alumnae? Students traditionally seek 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 in education. For further information, please contact the CDC at 413-5382080, or register online at http:// employer/ipo_form.htm. Golf Tournament Over 120 participants enjoyed a fun-filled day of golf, food, and prizes at the eighth annual Friends of Athletics Golf Tournament on September 12, 2005, held at The Orchards Golf Club. The dollars raised will assist Mount Holyoke student-athletes on annual training trips, and help fund postseason tournaments and other special events. In addition to corporate sponsors, golf enthusiasts, and parents, many alumnae also participated in this year’s tournament. For information on next year’s event, please visit www. Nominations Sought for “Take the Lead” Again this year, alumnae are encouraged to nominate bright, idealistic high school sophomores for Take the Lead, a highly competitive leadership program. For nomination forms, visit www.mtholyoke. edu/go/takethelead or call 413-5383500. Nominations are due April 12,

and the 2006 Take the Lead program is scheduled for September 28–October 1. The SummerMath Program Each July fifty to sixty high school women from across the country come to MHC for four weeks to open their minds to mathematics, computer programming, and a college environment. Do you have a daughter or friend of high school age who would like to spend a month with a diverse group of academically motivated students at Mount Holyoke? Please visit proj/summermath to learn more, or contact the directors, Charlene and James Morrow, at 413-5382608 or summermath@mtholyoke. edu. The 2006 program will be held July 2–29. The SEARCH Program MHC is recruiting students for Summer Explorations and Research Collaborations for High School Girls (SEARCH), a fourweek program on campus. We encourage girls who have a sense of curiosity and adventure about mathematics to apply. Students will explore exciting topics outside the usual high school curriculum. Do you have a daughter or friend who would like to find out what is exciting about mathematics? Please visit to learn more, or contact the directors, Charlene and James Morrow, at 413-5382608 or The 2006 program will be held July 2–29.


Very Original Paintings By Laura Wacha ’83 www.flash. net/~lwacha/ Currently seeking gallery representation. Placemats and Coasters The beauty of our campus is reflected in traditional English placemats and coasters specially commissioned by the Mount

Handmade FIMO Necklaces products.html

Italian Rental Historic house and garden in Civita di Bagnoregio, small hilltown between Rome and Florence, beginning July 2006. Sleeps four. $1,000 weekly. Carol Martin Watts ’71,, http://homepage. Tortola B.V.I. Rental Tortola: Three-bedroom house sixty feet above Long Bay Beach. or 203869-7344. Uncommon Goods for Uncommon Women! Purchase unique clothes and merchandise with a custom MHC alumna logo, designed by the class of 1991. Show your MHC pride! Store: Rome Countryside Rental Villa and cottage twenty miles out of Rome. Giulia Mo ’89

travel opportunities Exploring Spain’s History and Architecture MAY 20–31, 2006—with Professor of Art Michael Davis, a specialist in Gothic architecture Spain’s ancient civilization has left a wealth of architecture to explore, from prehistoric caves and Celtic settlements to Roman and Moorish monuments; Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance structures; Art Nouveau palaces; and more recently, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim. Join Michael Davis, professor of art, as we explore these wonders, beginning in Madrid, where we will visit the ThyssenBornemisza Museum, the Prado Museum, and the eighteenth-century Royal Botanical Gardens, among others. In Toledo we will visit the Gothic-style cathedral; the Church of Santo Tomé, which houses El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of Count Orgaz; the synagogue of El Tránsito; and the cloister of the Church of San Juan de los Reyes. In northern Spain, we will see the Cathedral of Burgos and the Monastery of Las Huelgas Reales. In Bilbao, we’ll visit the Guggenheim Museum, then stop in Pamplona to visit the Gothic-style cathedral and the Museum of Navarra before arriving in Olite for a twonight stay. Our final stop will be Barcelona, where we will take a walking tour exploring the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas and visit the Cathedral, Santa Maria del Mar Church, and Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Outside of Barcelona, we visit the impressive Roman ruins of Empurie; Gerona, and Montserrat. Waterways of Russia JULY 26–AUGUST 7, 2006—with Professor of Russian Studies Stephen Jones, an expert on post-Soviet societies This distinctive tour follows the network of rivers, lakes, and canals that link

Italy Home Vacation Rentals High-quality villas, farmhouses, apartments in several price ranges. Rome, Florence, Venice apartments. Personalized service from Italy experts. Italian Vacation Villas Inc. Alice Tetelman ’62. 202-333-6247, 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. or phone the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 to request a printed copy of the information. Piñata Party Packs Thematic children’s party activities and favors for groups of 6, 8, 10, or 12. Affordably exclusive! Limited number available; reasonably priced. pinata_ party_packs@mindspring. com, 718-834-9086.

Sponsored by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College

Moscow with St. Petersburg. Golden-domed churches and quaint wooden villages dot the verdant landscape, and the gentle light of summer evenings gives an otherworldly dimension to Russia’s great “blue road” of waterways. This travel program will include three full days in Moscow; six days of cruising the Volga, Svir, and Neva rivers and Lakes Rybinskoye and Beloye; and three full days in St. Petersburg. Accommodations throughout the program will be aboard the comfortable ninety-fourpassenger MS Yesenin. By virtue of its low passenger capacity, this Austrian-managed vessel offers a personal level of service not found on larger ships. Highlights include a visit to the Kremlin and a tour of Red Square. Among your ports of call along the great “blue road” are Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, and Kizhi Island. Conclude in St. Petersburg, Russia’s “window to the West,” with its exquisite architecture, canals, and bridges. Village Life in the Italian Lake District SEPTEMBER 13–20, 2006—accompanied by a local, professional guide Centered at the four-star, deluxe Palace Hotel on the shores of Lake Como, this village life program will offer an in-depth cultural exploration of the Italian lakes, with talks by local experts, meetings with villagers, and guided tours of the art, architecture, and history of this extraordinary region. We will explore the town of Como, viewing wood-beamed houses, magnificent Renaissance churches, and the spectacular lakefront promenade; travel by boat to the Borromean Islands, and visit the palazzo and gardens of Isola Bella; and

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly | Winter 2006

tour Bellagio, one of the prettiest towns in Europe. We also will visit fashionable Milan, and witness one of the key images of the western civilization, the Cenacolo (Last Supper) by Leonardo da Vinci. Australia and New Zealand: From the Outback to the Glaciers OCTOBER 21–NOVEMBER 7-with Professor of Music Allen Bonde, a pianist and composer who will offer insights into the two nations’ musical history. Join us on this trip “down under” to explore a place that is quite unlike any other on earth. Our trip will begin in Melbourne with tours of the Fitzroy Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Parliament House, and the renowned nature reserve, Phillip Island. Then we fly to Alice Springs to discover the beliefs and customs of the Aboriginal people. Near Cairns, we board a high-speed catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef. In New Zealand, our first stop will be in the beautiful Englishstyle city of Christchurch. Then we journey across New Zealand’s spectacular Southern Alps before crossing the Haast Pass to arrive in Queenstown, set on the edge of a glacial lake. Then it’s on to the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley and Milford Sound, where we will enjoy a fascinating cruise. The trip culminates in New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mount Cook. An optional twonight stay on the beautiful island of Fiji is available at the end of the tour. INTERESTED? For more information on Association-sponsored travel, please contact W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, Alumnae Association executive director, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; 413-538-2300.


[ bulletin board ]

Holyoke Club of Britain from the well-known English company Lady Clare Limited. First created in 1932 by Lady Clare Pigott for dinner parties at the British Embassy in Paris in order to save on laundry bills for stiff white tablecloths, these unique placemats were an instant success. Of the highest quality, finished with a hard-wearing lacquer, and heat-proof to 212 degrees F. with a green felt backing, placemats are supplied in sets of four in a gift box, and coasters in boxed sets of six. Each set features lovely and evocative campus photos (including Mary Lyon Hall and clock tower, Field Memorial Gate, the library, and the chapel) elegantly set off by a dark green border, gold trim, and hand-gilded edges. For photos and ordering information see: or Proceeds support the Alumnae Scholar Fund.


look How ‘Vocations’ Can Help Us Move Beyond Disasters

Fred LeBlanc

By Donal O’Shea

Convocation speeches are supposed to be upbeat, but I’m having a hard time getting past the images of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The urgency and the horror make it hard to think of anything else. Does it mean that we should cancel the school year and race down there to help? No, but I think it should give us an occasion to reflect on being here. We may be having a hard time leaving home, or with the end of summer, or with our roommate. But we are also tremendously fortunate. Does our good fortune mean that we should go around feeling guilty? No, but we should not forget how lucky we are. Our good fortune, the privilege we take so much for granted, imposes an obligation—to use our time in college well. What does that mean? Given that we talk so much about leadership, given that virtually every news commentary about the Gulf laments the lack of leadership, you would be forgiven for thinking that you need to become a leader. But I don’t think so. What failed in the Gulf was simpler and more profound than what this society calls leadership. It was a failure of care, of knowledge, of love. So, I encourage you today to think less about leadership and more, to use an old-fashioned term, about vocations. Vocations are about care, about passion and excellence, and about service. They are deeper, simpler, and more liberating [than careers or leadership]. But they tap the same root. For leadership should be about service, and service is about care. Vocations make us more human, and are what our world needs.


College is about trying on vocations, figuring out what you are good at, what you care about, and whether and how it serves others. About any potential vocation, you need to ask yourself three things: Does it give you joy? Are you good at it? Does it serve others? All of us benefit from the vocations of those who went before us. This College is a product of others’ vocations, others’ leadership. Take, for example, the grounds. Someone cared enough to plant different trees up the hill; to mark out paths around the lakes. You can’t walk into Clapp or Kendade without sensing the care, the curiosity and love of science, nor the determination on the part of women shut out of the mainstream to involve their students in scientific work. Taking a longer view, we owe much to those who domesticated animals, to the shepherds and farmers, to the storytellers, the people who taught the young, to the first builders and teachers of the past. Each of you is a beneficiary of their vocations. In a very real sense, this College is a legacy to you from women with vocations who lived before you. Your time here is their gift, freely given, to you. Take that time for yourself. Think of it as an investment to be ultimately repaid to those who need you most. Today I ask you to find the things that you love and are good at. Make time and space for them, and be alert for how they can serve others. That is how you can best use the gift of time and education, and it is the best response to the sad events of this past week. Web Extra: This essay was adapted from Dean of the Faculty Donal O’Shea’s convocation address. Read full text at news/convocation05/oshea.shtml.


Hall 1893

LEARNING may look a bit different in the twenty-ďŹ rst century . . . but a Mount Holyoke education continues to be an extraordinary liberal arts experience. Please help us meet the cost of excellence. Visit or call 800-MHC-GIVE. Direct debit available, too.

THE ALUMNAE ANNUAL FUND Photo: Cornelia M. Clapp at the blackboard in a zoology classroom in Williston Hall, ca. 1893, courtesy Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

a place of

our own

I started to cry at my own convocation. Sitting amid a somber sea of black robes, I was overwhelmed by a sense that I was no Mary Lyon poster girl. Who knew that many classmates shared my life-after-graduation fears? As Buff Spencer ’74 asked, “How many of us left South Hadley with no fear in our hearts, confident that this was the path to greatness, or at least regular groceries?” My own path turned out to have a firm foundation, made richer by Mount Holyoke friendships as joyful as the faces of the class of 2006 amid their riot of red accessories.

Paul Schnaittacher

Carole D. LaMond ’74

Red rules! Seniors celebrate their final fall convocation by flaunting their class color.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2006  

Women at the Top: Alumnae Share the View form the Executive Suite All Together Now: Sustaining a Sense of Campus Community in Changing Ti...