Fall/Winter 2019 Beyond Stephens

Page 1











in this issue

From Dianne

Stephens President Dianne Lynch hits the highlights.

A Closer Look Stephens College by the numbers!

Moments That Matter

Visit by Designer of the Year Brandon Maxwell * Bridge signage * Networking

News & Notes

Class Notes * Remembrances * Club Notes * Story of a Stephens Friendship

Looking Back: Reunion 2019

Photos of alumnae classes celebrating milestone class reunions.


Welcome to Weaver Commons Recent donation by Anne Thorne Weaver transforms Okoboji Summer Theatre.

All In for Stephens

Longtime Stephens trustees, supporters challenge alumnae and friends to give.

Angel’s Story Stephens trustee Angel Mendez ’14 shares her journey of transformation at Stephens.

Step into the Past Stephens treasures: A peek inside the newly relocated, named Stephens College archives.

From Dianne

Beyond Stephens Fall/Winter 2019 Vol. 9, No. 2 Beyond Stephens, published twice a year, is for alumnae, alumni and friends of Stephens College. Download Beyond Stephens with your e-reader! stephens.edu/beyondstephens Editor Rebecca Kline, Director of Marketing and Communications Stephens President Dianne Lynch (standing) and OST Executive Director Ruth Ann Schulze Burke ’86 (seated right) with philanthropist Anne Thorne Weaver (seated left), a champion for Stephens whose most recent donation is transforming the summer theatre campus. Read more about improvements and investments at OST on page 4.

It’s the time of year again when we turn to reflection and consider how lucky we are to have people in our lives who help us be the best that we can be. So many of you are those people for Stephens College, giving of your time, talent and treasure to make Stephens better, to help her and to support one another. With heartfelt gratitude, we put together this issue to honor the diversity of the ways our alumnae and alumni and friends support one another and their alma mater … whether that’s making a multi-year pledge to the Stephens Fund to ensure the College has the resources to support long-range plans and initiatives … or funding quality housing at Okoboji Summer Theatre (OST) so our students can focus on honing their craft (and not navigating a ridiculously long line for the showers) … or getting together year after year, to honor the bonds of friendship that were formed here. The power of those bonds can feel strongest when you are back on campus. In that spirit, I also issue you an invitation and a challenge: to return to campus in April for Stephens Alumnae Reunion (April 17-18) and to encourage a friend to join you — especially one who has never been back to campus or Columbia. This will be a special year because we’ve scheduled our annual academic Honors Convocation to coincide with Alumnae Reunion. We’ll be honoring the best among us and revealing the students who represented the Ten Ideals this year. You won’t want to miss it. You should also consider a trip to Okoboji Summer Theatre this summer. If you’ve never been, or it’s been a while, you’ll be amazed at the artists’ village we have built there but also with the quality of our professional summer stock theatre productions. (Here’s a tip: plan ahead, many performances sell out.)

Managing Editor Sarah Berghorn, Communications Manager Writers Sarah Berghorn, Rebecca Kline, Ellen Orner Art Director/Designer Jennifer Cropp, Graphic Designer Photographer Zoë Parker, Graphic Designer Published by: Stephens College Office of Marketing and Communications (573) 876-7111 scnews@stephens.edu Photo credits: Cover, pages 8 & 11: Melissa Grindstaff. Contents page & page 6 (images of Brandon Maxwell): William Viquez Mora. Page 3 & back cover: iStock. Send address changes and story ideas to: Office of Institutional Advancement Stephens College, 1200 E. Broadway Columbia, MO 65215 (573) 876-7110 alumnae@stephens.edu Or submit an online form: stephens.edu/alumnae

Stephens College Mission Learn. Grow. Lead.

Connect stephens.edu @stephenscollege


Search for the “Stephens College” group: linkedin.com

As you take time for reflection this season, I hope you will consider a gift to Stephens to recognize all of the classmates, friends and faculty who have been there for you during your Stephens journey and every year since. Your gift will help the next generation of students to share your experience of being a part of a community that wants you to be the best you can be. Happy Holidays and Heartfelt Thanks,

ABOUT THE COVER: Stephens trustee Angel Mendez ’14, pictured outside Roblee Hall, where she lived her first year at Stephens.

Dr. Dianne Lynch, Stephens College President


FALL | WIN TER | 2019


A Closer Look

A quick dose of Stephens fun facts and interesting stats.


Number of boxes of various sizes that were moved over the course of the spring and summer to the newly located (and named!) Stephens College archives in the lower level of the Hugh Stephens Library. Read full story on page 12.

The total philanthropic dollar amount given to Stephens last year. Inspired by the transformational power of a Stephens education, Stephens trustees Vicki Russell, Henry “Hank” J. Waters III and Angeleigha “Angel” Mendez ’14 are challenging others to help the Stephens Fund grow with five-year gift commitment pledges (read more on page 8).


Ranking of Columbia, Missouri (CoMo), in the “Top 100 Places to Live” by Livability.com. In the past two years, Stephens’ beloved city also has been named “Best Place to Live in Missouri” by Business Insider and the “Kindness Capital of Missouri” in the Reader’s Digest “Nicest Places in America” 2019 contest.


Anniversary of the year (1920) in which women got the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment. In recognition of the historic milestone, Stephens College is celebrating all year long with “Stephens Salutes the Suffragettes” events, including a Suffragette Sash Party, voter registration drives, and other programming.

Number of consecutive years that Stephens has been named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champions of Character Five-Star Institution. Stephens Stars teams and groups participated in outreach activities and volunteer opportunities to demonstrate the Champions of Character’s five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.




Welcome to Weaver Commons

Okoboji Summer Theatre introduces new commons to growing artists’ village.

Spend five minutes on the campus of the Okoboji Summer Theatre (OST) in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by Anne Thorne Weaver. Evidence of her commitment to her community and to her passion for the arts is everywhere you look: At the center of campus, the theatre’s awning-covered Weaver Patio provides a shaded gathering place for patrons waiting for the curtain to go up. Peek around the southern corner and you’ll discover a world-class sand volleyball court, constructed in the summer of 2018. Anne thought the students needed a little stress-releasing exercise. Beyond the court to the west, you’ll find her ‘tiny home’ — a charming bungalow in evening blue named The Thorne Bird, the first of the 15 cottages built by donors to transform the OST campus into an artists’ village (Anne’s always been a champion and leader). And as of June 2019, just south of the mainstage theatre, you’ll be amazed by Weaver Commons — a 4,326-square-foot community space that serves as OST’s social hub and central gathering place. The commons includes a commercial kitchen and dining facilities, administrative offices, and a new rehearsal space that mimics the size of the theatre’s mainstage. The project also includes improvements in surrounding landscaping, accessibility, lighting


and sidewalks, as well as an attached patio for outdoor dining. At a cost of $1 million, Weaver Commons is the largest single capital improvement on the OST campus in its 63-year history. “We are so thankful to our longtime supporter and friend of the arts, Anne Thorne Weaver, for this incredible new facility,” says Ruth Ann Schulze Burke ’86, who has served as OST executive director for the last seven seasons. “Anne’s a summer resident and an important community member who supports many nonprofit organizations. She has been a season ticket holder for decades, always sitting in the same second-row seats.” The Omaha, Nebraska, philanthropist was named Okoboji Summer Theatre Woman of the Year in 2011 because of her dedication, enthusiasm and volunteerism for OST. Anne’s generous gift in Summer 2018 allowed the College to contract with Anna Harmon of CMBA Architects in Spencer, Iowa, to begin the design process. After many months of hard work and a steady stream of staff travel between Columbia and Spirit Lake, the Commons opened just in time for the 2019 summer season. “Watching a construction project come together is exhilarating and a little bit scary,” Burke says. “Will it be ready in time? To open the Commons just as our students were arriving was such a thrill.


“For those of us who have worked at OST for years, the commercial kitchen is a game-changer. It allows for much easier meal preparation, and a quicker turnaround of meals for the busy students, artists, cast and crew, who produce nine shows over 10 weeks, six days a week. The new setup also allows for fundraising and community events.” Volleyball is a time-honored tradition at Okoboji, but the longstanding grass court was far from ideal, Burke says. The new sand surface allows students to give the game their all without concerns about scrapes and bruises — or worse. “It’s great to have the volleyball court back,” Burke says. “It’s such a healthy outlet for energy and stress. You can watch your friends play volleyball while you eat — because we have outdoor eating spaces as well, something we didn’t have before. That really helps to build a sense of community.” Stephens Assistant Professor Michael Burke ‘86, who serves as director of production and operations at OST, says he was excited to put the new rehearsal space to use. “Our 32-foot stage barely fit in our previous rehearsal space,” he says. “Now we have an extra 10 feet on each side of the stage giving us room to move. This is especially important for musicals with large casts. Now the directors have room to get their work done in

a more robust way. The space is also equipped with mirrors and sprung floors, both of which enhance the rehearsal experience for our students and artists.” “With two spaces, we can rehearse two productions at the same time, which, given our full schedule, is essential to our creative process,” says Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, Dean of the School of Creative and Performing Arts. “We are eternally grateful to Anne Thorne Weaver. With her support, we have built a place that welcomes and nurtures our students, artists, patrons and friends. We also owe a round of applause to our dedicated staff who spent countless hours making sure this construction project was fully realized. There’s no place like ’Boji because of them.” As you leave the Okoboji Summer Theatre campus, you’ll notice a sign tucked under a bank of trees along the drive. It reads “Anne Weaver’s Parking Space,” and it’s the only reserved parking space on the entire OST lot. It’s a small token of our deeply held gratitude for her generosity and support — and it helps ensure that the summer theatre she has loved so long and so well is always just a few steps away.




Moments That Matter Visit by Designer of the Year Brandon Maxwell On Oct. 16, Brandon Maxwell, a 2019 Project Runway judge and 2019 Council of Fashion Designers of America Womenswear Designer of the Year, visited the Stephens College campus as part of the Jeannene Booher Fashion Lecture Series. During the Q&A event, titled “Perspectives on Fashion,” Maxwell fielded questions from the audience that was comprised of Stephens students, faculty and staff as well as central Missouri alumnae and members of the local Columbia community. “I was honored to moderate the Q&A with Brandon Maxwell,” Stephens senior Aurola Wedman Alfaro ’20 says. “He is incredibly talented, and I loved learning more about his career. It is so refreshing to meet someone who will share the rewards and challenges of being in the fashion industry.” Madeline Buasri ’20, a fashion design and product development major, says that she is grateful for Maxwell’s visit, which she calls a “big deal.” She says she learned important advice from the industry professional who owns a luxury women’s ready-to-wear label. “My biggest takeaway from his public talk was that you should not let anyone or any single opinion ruin your drive and confidence in the industry,” she says. “He said to stop waiting for someone to open the door for you, and instead, knock it down yourself.”


Prior to the main event, Maxwell — described as open and authentic by Stephens students — attended a private meet and greet/photo opp for School of Design students and faculty, local Stephens alumnae and Board of Trustees members. The fashion designer also graciously hosted a VIP private pizza party following the public Q&A so that Stephens fashion design and costume design students could have more time to ask him questions. “I learned so much the night we got to spend with him and can’t wait to take his knowledge and grow with it as a designer myself,” says Haley Valentine ’20, who described Maxwell as witty and inspirational. Alyssa Kamen ’21, an apparel studies major, says she is lucky to go to a college like Stephens because of opportunities such as those provided by the fashion lecture series. “Even though I’m not a designer, I highly enjoyed listening to him speak,” she says. The Jeannene Booher Fashion Lecture Series launched in November 2016 with a $1 million gift from Jeannene Thompson Booher ’56, a fashion program graduate. Since then, the series has created many moments that matter for Stephens students.

MOMENTS Campus Beautification When students returned to campus this August, they were excited to find new Stephens College signage depicted on the bridge that spans from Lela Raney Wood Hall to Stamper Commons. That new signage is highly visible from Broadway, one of the most central streets in Columbia, welcoming guests to the city and reminding everyone that Stephens College is located at the corner of College and Broadway. The process to make the signage a reality took several years due to city signage regulations and the need for approvals, but the impact has been significant. Stephens students, faculty and staff even gathered on a bedazzled bridge for cake and photo opps in celebration of Stephens’ 186th birthday. This particular moment that matters was funded by a $100,000 bequest gift from the Estate of Glenn R. and Nancy A. Linnerson (Nancy Wegner Linnerson ’52) to the Stephen Fund. The couple’s generous donation not only supported the new Broadway bridge signage but also helped to fund landscaping, sidewalk maintenance and ADA compliance improvements on campus. Ask the Office of Institutional Advancement about planned giving.

L.A. Networking Trip The L.A. Women for Stephens alumnae club working together with the Stephens College Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) hosted digital filmmaking graduate Ayanna Smith ’19 this summer as part of a networking trip in the greater Los Angeles area. “My week in L.A. was full of fun but also lessons that will guide me toward building a career,” she says. After my week in L.A., I had a renewed passion and drive for the path I had chosen to take.” Smith met with studio executives in programming at Starz, attended a mixer with working writers and learned about the voice-over world. She also visited Flappers Comedy Club, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Santa Monica Pier and was welcomed at an alumnae club happy hour with many local alumnae in attendance. Smith is thankful to Jennifer Flaks ’03 who came up with the initial networking idea, to the CCPD for its support and coordination, and to every member of the alumnae club who helped contribute to the program. Smith says: “I came to realize how lucky I am to be a part of an alumnae group that wants to help current students.”

About Moments That Matter In our continuing magazine feature “Moments That Matter,” we spotlight the various ways in which our generous donors are making a difference in the lives of our students. Learn how you can make a gift to the Stephens Fund by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement at (573) 876-7110 or giving@stephens.edu.





Inspired by the transformational power of a Stephens College education, three Stephens trustees are challenging others to give.


CHALLENGE You don’t have to be a graduate of Stephens College to know the transformative impact Stephens women have on the world; you only have to meet a Stephens woman.

Angeleigha “Angel” Mendez ’14 immediately accepted the Russell Waters challenge. She has served alongside Russell and Waters on the Stephens College Board of Trustees since 2017.

Just ask Vicki Russell and Henry “Hank” J. Waters III, longserving Stephens Board of Trustees members and longtime Stephens supporters.

“When I saw what Vicki and Hank were doing, I raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll be the voice for my generation,’” says Mendez, who has pledged to give $1,000 a year for the next five years. “I had no idea where I was going to get the money, but I knew that this was something I had to do. I knew I had to be ‘All In’ for Stephens.”

“When we talk with Stephens students, Hank and I always hear the same thing: ‘I am not the same person I was when I came here,’” Russell says. “Students tell us they feel ready for and excited about their futures. We’ve heard again and again about the transformative power of a Stephens College education. That’s why we are choosing to put Stephens first on our list of philanthropies and to give $125,000 over the next five years to the Stephens Fund.” Russell and Waters are known for supporting education and programs that help students thrive. They are longtime leaders in the Columbia community and former publishers of the Columbia Daily Tribune newspaper. Waters founded and led organizations to support job placement and financial counseling for low-income members of the community and community-based residential rehabilitation for adult criminal offenders. He was enshrined in the Boone County Hall of Fame and received the University of Missouri School of Journalism Gold Medal. Russell is a recipient of the Columbia Women’s Network ATHENA Leadership Award for professional excellence and community service. She also was recognized by the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation as the Community Leader of the Year and inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame.

Mendez credits Stephens for giving her the opportunity to transform from a shy, small town girl into an empowered, confident, successful professional woman — the kind of transformation Russell and Waters have heard about from so many students. (Read more about what Mendez has been up to on page 10.)

A Commitment to Stephens

“I want Stephens to continue to thrive long into the future so that more women can have the opportunities that I did,” she says. “A five-year commitment gives me the freedom to make a larger gift over an extended period of time that fits into my budget. As a young professional, that’s important to me. “I hope my gift inspires 10 more five-year pledges, and then those gifts inspire 100 more. When that happens, our collective giving ensures that Stephens women will exist forever. Empowered, vocal, talented women who will continue to kick in door after door all over the world, until every place on this planet has an open door for women.” Her colleagues on the Board agree.

“While growing up, I was fortunate to have had strong women role models ... women who insisted I could achieve anything I wanted and who preached the concept of ‘I think I can,’” Russell says. “In my career, I have admired the women and men who saw the value and necessity of giving women opportunities that were denied to my predecessors simply because they were female. I’m grateful to be able to reciprocate by supporting young women on their missions, knowing their success is essential to strengthening economies, communities and global stability. “I certainly hope my grandmother is smiling down from her perch in heaven, proud that she read ‘The Little Engine That Could’ to me about 1,000 times. She had confidence in me as I do in the coming generations. The world needs their brilliance, creativity, energy and collaborative skills. That’s why I chose to be ‘All In’ for Stephens; I know that Stephens is the best institution for helping the coming generations of women to dream up.”

Inspiring Others

“Vicki and I are committed to Stephens and her transformative power,” Waters says. “We announced our gift in the hopes of inspiring others to make their own five-year commitment to Stephens.”

“When we heard that Angel was ‘All In’ for Stephens, we were honored and excited,” Waters says. “Stephens is an extraordinary place that both needs and deserves support from donors — whether they are alumnae or have come to know Stephens in a different way … whether they’ve recently graduated (like Angel) or they are returning for their 50th class reunion. “Anyone who has seen firsthand the impact of a women’s college education should consider how they can be a part of this five-year initiative to get more people involved in giving to Stephens.”

Vicki and Hank’s Challenge

“Alumnae, friends and families: Let’s show Columbia how important this mid-Missouri women’s college is to the world. We’re giving $125,000 over the next five years, and we hope our pledge will inspire others to do the same. Join us with a new $5,000+ gift every year for the next five years ... we’ve matched you 1:1.” —Vicki Russell and Henry “Hank” J. Waters III Step up for Stephens: stephens.edu/giving






Angeleigha 'Angel' Mendez '14 reflects on her Stephens transformation as she takes on life, leadership, career.

Angeleigha “Angel” Mendez ’14 arrived on the Stephens College campus as a six-foot-tall girl who simply wore sneakers because she was afraid of seeming too tall, especially to men. One of her Stephens sisters, who went on to become her best friend, taught Angel that if wearing heels made her happy, then she should do it. “I’ve been wearing heels ever since, and making it my mission to help other women see the beauty in themselves,” she says. Meanwhile, in the classroom, she was learning the skills she needed — and how to present those skills — to land her first job. “The professors let us get hands-on and showed us how our class work connected to the real world, often helping us produce portfolio pieces that were critical in making us stand out to employers,” Angel says. “Many of the technical skill sets I learned at Stephens — from graphic design to video production — are my most sought-after assets by every employer I’ve served.” As a senior in high school, Angel received a good-throughgraduation scholarship to the college of her choice as a Gates Millennium Scholar. During her years at Stephens, she received three Missouri College Media Association Awards and the College’s Sara Ann Fay Broadcasting Award. She also worked with Columbia Access Television and the Stephens College Digital Filmmaking program to develop a weekly television broadcast that featured the staff of Stephens Life magazine. Angel graduated summa cum laude from Stephens College with a B.S. in Integrated Media and a minor in Business Marketing. She later went on to earn an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College. But her career success, she says, goes beyond her academic achievements. “Honestly, without President Dianne Lynch and her willingness to share her limited time to mentor me, I would have missed out on internships and job opportunities that have influenced my career so far,” Angel says. Angel always dreamed of landing a reporting job. The first step in that journey came during her sophomore year at Stephens when she began working at KMIZ-TV (ABC 17 News) in Columbia as a production assistant. The job came thanks to Samantha Schwartzman ’11, who helped Angel get her foot in the door at the news station.


Then, with her hard work behind the cameras in the evenings after classes, she achieved that dream before the end of her senior year at Stephens. However, before the news director offered her a spot on the weekend reporting team, Angel began to have concerns: “My lifelong dream of becoming the next Katie Couric wasn’t what I wanted anymore,” she says. “I started seeing the real grind these reporters were putting in. Long hours, sad stories, braving the weather — and for little pay.” Despite her reservations, Angel decided to try her hand at the job. She is grateful for taking advantage of that opportunity. “The experience as a reporter at KMIZ, along with interning at the Columbia Daily Tribune and Newsy, shaped me into a better, faster, more accurate communicator, which made me a great fit for the world of marketing and communications,” she says. Angel’s next stop was the University of Northern Iowa, leading communications for Governor Branstad’s statewide K-12 STEM education initiative. There, she and her team received four Public Relations Society of America PRIME Awards for their work, and she fell in love with the idea of dedicating her life to “market and sell” something everybody needed: education. “In my career so far,” Angel says, “I’ve gotten to do just that — encourage more Iowa teachers to inspire their students toward indemand STEM jobs of the state, telling the stories of New Mexico State students whose lives were changed forever because of critical scholarships, and now, sharing the impact on medicine and disease led by the University of Minnesota Medical School. “My ultimate career goal is to increase the importance of marketing and communications to C-suite members — to show them why having a strong, present communications strategy, run by a talented team, will drive every other business priority. “I’m indebted to President Lynch, the professors, and my Stephens sisters for creating a life-changing experience that I know I could only have received at Stephens College.” Angeleigha “Angel” Mendez ’14 has made a five-year commitment to give to Stephens College to celebrate and honor the transformative power of a Stephens College education. Learn more about her gift on page 9.


I’m indebted to President Lynch, the professors, and my Stephens sisters for creating a life-changing experience that I know I could only have received at Stephens College. —Angel Mendez ’14

Angel's Challenge “Hey, ‘young’ alumnae, friends and families! Who wants to join me and pledge a new $1,000+ gift every year for the next five years? Are you ‘All In’?” —Angel Mendez ’14 Take the pledge and match me 1:1: stephens.edu/giving




Step into the Past Newly relocated archives offer insights into College’s treasured past.

The vintage red hat (pictured left), continues to look as sharp today as it did when Patricia Anderson ’43 wore it when she arrived at Stephens aboard the Wabash Cannonball from Hanford, California. A scrapbook (pictured below) owned by Margaret Lucy Thomas ’26 documents details about her time at Stephens, including mementos from her campus involvement in societies such as Theta Tau Epsilon and Dramatic Club; cherished keepsakes like dance cards, with tiny pencils, and party napkins; numerous snapshots of friends and places around campus; as well as a telegram from her father wishing his “little girl” well on her birthday, with a warning not to get “too wild.” And the archives’ oldest-known document (pictured right) offers the long-ago words of Clara Thornton Warth 1867 through her valedictorian address. The list goes on and on ... Each item, in its own unique way, adds to the collective story of Stephens’ generations of bold, strong, independent women — and each offers a brief glimpse into the College’s rich and storied past that proudly spans over 185 years. Starting this academic year, gaining access to Stephens’ treasured past has never been easier.

New Location: Improved Accessibility, Hours Following a long and involved sorting process that took several months, the College’s archives recently relocated to the lower level of the Hugh Stephens Library, becoming a permanent part of the academic hub of campus. The archives previously maintained limited hours with a volunteer archivist in the basement of Tower Hall.

[Past students who donated scrapbooks] did not know it, but [they] did us a great favor. [They] left behind the materials for at least some insight into and understanding of the student experience at Stephens. —Dr. Alan R. Havig


ARCHIVES In the archives’ new home, patrons and students can enjoy more regularly scheduled hours, as well as more flexibility with archives access by setting up appointments with librarians. “With the archives’ move to the library, they are much easier for our Stephens community to access and for library staff to assist with questions,” says Dan Kammer, director of the library. “Ahead of the move, our library staff, along with student assistance, worked over several months to process and organize the College’s countless precious documents.” The Alan R. Havig Archives Collection dates mainly post-1900, with sections devoted to topics such as former Stephens College presidents, with President James “Daddy” Wood most represented; buildings and grounds, the College’s physical blueprint; academic departments and programs, with music, dance and theatre most represented; and assorted Stephens memorabilia. Materials also include 50 alumnae scrapbooks, with the earliest dating from 1908; Stephensophia yearbooks (1900-88, with the exception of 1984-86); Stephens Standard magazines (1920-51); Stephens Life newspapers (1928-current); and other publications such as curriculum catalogs, Narcissus and Harbinger literary magazines, The Gavel student government handbooks and Within the Ivy student handbooks. Come explore the archives for yourself on your next visit to Stephens College (like during Reunion 2020: April 17-18)!

New Name: Beloved Professor Honored The newly located archives now fittingly bear a new name. The Stephens community, including administrators, former and current faculty, and staff, gathered on Aug. 15 to dedicate the archives in the name of longtime Stephens professor Dr. Alan Havig. The much-beloved Stephens professor taught history and social sciences for more than 40 years until his retirement in 2005. Then, beginning in 2006, Havig became Stephens’ volunteer archivist, devoting his time and attention each week to preserve the College’s most prized documents for generations to come. Stephens honored Havig’s dedication and service to the College in Fall 2015 with the creation of the Alan R. Havig Award for Distinguished Service. “It’s a privilege to recognize Dr. Havig in such a lasting way for his deep commitment and extraordinary contributions to the College,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch says. “He has ensured that the history and traditions of the institution and community he has loved and served so well will continue to inform and inspire its future.” Stephens Associate Professor Dr. Jim Terry is gratified that the archives have been named for Havig, who provided him with invaluable insights and advice as a young professor starting his teaching career in 1998. “It is very appropriate to have the archives — our institutional memory — named for Alan,” says Terry, who teaches art history. “It’s an honor he richly deserves. “When I was starting out as a newly minted Ph.D. at Stephens, Alan Havig was my exemplum virtutis. He is, of course, an outstanding teacher and scholar, but equally important to me, he set an example of how to be a good faculty colleague. Unfailingly generous, kind, modest and supportive, he helped the junior faculty fit in to the life of the college.”

On Aug. 15, the Stephens College community gathered to dedicate the archives in honor of Dr. Alan Havig, a beloved, longtime Stephens professor. Pictured: Dr. Alan Havig with his daughter Dr. Kirsten Havig (left) and his wife, Bettina Havig (right).




CLASS NOTES Class of 1951 classmates outside Ryman Auditorium by the lifesize bronze statue of Little Jimmy Dickens. Pictured (L-to-R): Polly Webb White ’51, Margery Bryan McBride ’51, Pat Kelso Knott ’51, Frances “Sister” Webb Strong ’51, Jeannine “Davie” Davis Gullett ’51, Joan Kircher Gregory ’51.

’50s One More Time

In early May, six of the 25 White Hall “gals” from the Class of 1951 held their 23rd reunion at The Timothy Demonbreun House, a bed and breakfast in Nashville, Tennessee.

is the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The classmates also sadly remembered Pat McCallen Triplett ’51, who passed away in April.

“We made good use of the facility for our conversation areas, board games, puzzles and occasional dips in the Jacuzzi spa,” write Pat Kelso Knott ’51 and Margery Bryan McBride ’51 in their reunion recap. “Our days together flew by too fast. As we are all 87-88 years old, traveling has become more difficult. This may be our swan song, but it has been a sweet remembrance to get together 23 times since we left Stephens in 1951.”

the outskirts of Nashville in an area called Opryland: “As we rode to the center of Nashville, we saw a city that was ‘busting out of her jeans.’ Building cranes dot the skyline and two huge condominiums command one’s gaze. The Main Street, Broadway and adjoining streets were packed with people visiting the many ‘honky tonks’ (the bus driver’s term) to listen to all kinds of music, from country to jazz to any kind you desire.”

They recounted venturing out for a threeand-a-half hour city bus tour beginning at

Highlights also included a visit to the Ryman Auditorium, an 1880 theater that

Jeri Ann Emmert Stahr ’55 taught elementary students in Hawaii and Indiana for 34 years. After retiring, she served on the Elkhart Community Schools Board of School Trustees for 28 years. She is on the Elkhart Public Library board and active in several community organizations.

2019. Priscilla Studebaker Stinson ’42 of Macon, Ga.; Feb. 24, 2019. Ruth Gottlieb Cohn ’43 of Hollywood, Fla.; Feb. 26, 2019. Jean Fisher Joley ’43 of Highland, Calif.; March 6, 2019. Lois Sampson ’43 of Peoria, Ill.; Oct. 12, 2018. Jean Hearn Sniffin ’43 of Burke, Va.; Feb. 21, 2019. Mary Davies Wolff ’43 of White Plains, N.Y.; Jan. 26, 2019. Catherine Anderson Kain ’44 of Chattanooga, Tenn.; May 15, 2019. Betty Tulley Stapenhorst ’44 of Green Valley, Ariz.; Dec. 6, 2015. Natalee Ralls Story ’44 of Winfield, Kan.; April 29, 2019. Nancy Feudner Hartz ’45 of Akron, Ohio; May 17, 2019. Florence Hunter Sulens ’45 of Zanesville, Ohio; April 7, 2015. Dorothy Crane Brown ’46 of Des Moines, Iowa; June 26, 2019. Betty Hamman Hattan ’46 of Wichita, Kan.; April 17, 2019. Peggy Dugan Macdonald ’46 of Newark, Ohio; May 4, 2019. Janet

Wilson Schoendube ’46 of Evanston, Ill.; May 3, 2019. Sally Falkner Shapton ’46 of Spokane, Wash.; Feb. 25, 2019. Katherine Naxera Sowders ’46 of Georgetown, Texas; April 25, 2019. Nancy Radt Tanner ’46 of San Rafael, Calif.; May 17, 2019. Nancy Granade Belser ’47 of Bonifay, Fla.; July 7, 2019. Lynn Spencer Gilbert ’47 of Dalhart, Texas; April 3, 2019. Earlene Ham ’47 of San Angelo, Texas; March 4, 2019. Frances Ellinor Isern ’47 of Pensacola, Fla.; March 17, 2019. Betty Werth Lembcke ’47 of Rochester, N.Y.; Dec. 11, 2018. Elizabeth Perry Mandeville ’47 of Fairfax, Va.; Jan. 24, 2019. Joan Ale McDonald ’47 of Naples, Fla.; May 25, 2019. Suzanne Kowalski Pitcairn ’47 of Corpus Christi, Texas; June 19, 2019. Helen Kingsley Smith ’47 of Encinitas, Calif.; April 7, 2019. Jeanne Squires ’47 of San Leandro, Calif.; March

REMEMBRANCES ’30s & '40s Anita Murphy Kemper ’39 of Branson, Mo.; March 16, 2019. Margaret Davis Collison ’40 of Prescott, Ariz.; Feb. 19, 2014. Betty Arrowsmith Howald ’40 of Birmingham, Ala.; May 29, 2019. Blossom Willens Levin ’40 of Chicago; Jan. 28, 2019. Katharine Coon Moyer ’40 of Pittsford, N.Y.; Feb. 7, 2019. Barbara Somers Vockel ’40 of Granville, Ohio; Jan. 10, 2018. Caroline Finkel Yaffe ’40 of Paducah, Ky.; June 28, 2019. Georgia Davis Lampton ’41 of Norman, Okla.; Feb. 20, 2019. Martha Palmer Mullally ’41 of Oklahoma City; March 4, 2019. Cleary Yeatman Hinton ’42 of Lake Charles, La.; July 9, 2019. Mary Mead Lupberger ’42 of Denver; Dec. 12, 2018. Doris Spiegelberg Scharpf ’42 of Albany, Ore.; April 24, 2019. Mary Jane McKown Shaver ’42 of Sarasota, Fla.; March 23,





Lee Frank Henson ’69 and her husband, Joe (pictured left), celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on June 7. The couple, residents of Bonita Springs, Florida, celebrated the special occasion with trips to visit family. Lee writes: “We celebrated our 50th in Chicago with the Frank family, in Missouri with the Hensons, and in Oregon with our children, spouses and three grandchildren!”

In late February, Class of 1974 Stephens Susies (pictured L-to-R) Mindy Cook Buck ’74, Chris Connor Carrico ’74, Laurie Spreen Waterman ’74, Julie Finkbeiner Plax ’74 and Posey Moore Nash ’74 gathered for a mini reunion in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Being together at Stephens cemented real lifelong friendships,” Posey says of the friends who lived together in Roblee Hall. “We weren’t the most studious group and poor Miss Vickery [the dorm mother in Roblee Hall] had her hands full with us!” After Stephens, Mindy earned her master’s degree and became an elementary school teacher. Chris works in public relations for her hometown newspaper in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Laurie became an interior designer and managed a large design staff. Julie, now retired and back in Columbia, earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. and taught art history at the University of Arizona. Posey worked at her family’s funeral home and started her own funeral consulting business.

26, 2019. Betty McGee Wyckoff ’48 of Fairmont, W.Va.; July 29, 2019. Lita Ortiz ’48 of Brownsville, Texas; Jan. 14, 2019. Lou Willis Brouk ’49 of Columbia, Mo.; April 11, 2019. Betty Slemp Kamber ’49 of Kingsport, Tenn.; Feb. 9, 2019.

’50s Betty Edenfield ’50 of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Feb. 16, 2019. Nan Frankel Levy ’50 of Shreveport, La.; March 8, 2019. Virginia Snider Mahlandt ’50 of Breese, Ill.; Feb. 27, 2019. Phyllis Roell Stewart ’50 of Fairbanks, Alaska; Jan. 3, 2019. Pat McCallen Triplett ’51 of Deerfield, Ill.; April 1, 2019. Betty Johnson Cooper ’51 of Noblesville, Ind.; April 27, 2019. Eleanor Ferrell Fry ’51 of Scottsdale, Ariz.; June 4, 2019. Patricia Ogg Luther ’51 of Findlay, Ohio; Nov. 20, 2018. Josephine Metzerott Oprendek ’51 of Dallas; July 21,

2019. Clara Springthorpe Yokley ’51 of Mount Airy, N.C.; May 31, 2019. Margaret Martin Krieger ’52 of Beaverton, Ore.; July 20, 2019. Suzanne Brown Blazer ’53 of Cincinnati; Feb. 4, 2019. Marilyn Ashman Bower ’53 of Alpharetta, Ga.; May 2, 2019. Barbara Edwards Kessler ’53 of Winchester, Va.; July 9, 2019. Betty Lingle Lambe ’53 of Winston Salem, N.C.; Nov. 27, 2018. Patricia Wright Lane ’53 of Mission Hills, Kan.; July 9, 2019. Maxine Schwabe Lusk ’53 of Kansas City, Mo.; March 4, 2019. Joan Leonard Sibley ’53 of Mocksville, N.C.; July 23, 2019. Marilyn Davidson Toenges ’53 of Orlando, Fla.; April 27, 2019. Sandra Bailey Wilgus ’53 of Dallas; Jan. 30, 2019. Phoebe Warner Flanigan ’54 of Tequesta, Fla.; March 2, 2019. Janet Tobin Goetz ’54 of Iowa City, Iowa; March 16, 2019. Roxanne Heist Greth ’54 of Florence, Ore.; Jan. 15, 2017.

Molly Evans Moore ’54 of West End, N.C.; Feb. 12, 2019. Suzanne Corren Steel ’54 of South Pasadena, Calif.; Feb. 12, 2019. Martha Rose Andrews ’55 of Raleigh, N.C.; Feb. 5, 2019. Elizabeth Jane Swank Bavaria ’55 of Sarasota, Fla.; April 9, 2019. Barbara Hagen Conyers ’55 of Bradenton, Fla.; Feb. 20, 2019. Miriam Brower Sneed ’55 of Milan, Tenn.; Feb. 21, 2019. Helen Sheppard Bowser ’56 of Wakefield, R.I.; July 10, 2019. Gayle Moseley Browne ’56 of Austin, Texas; March 13, 2019. Barbara Erickson Gibbons ’56 of Comstock, Neb.; April 20, 2019. Sybil Kendall Little ’56 of Marietta, Ga.; April 29, 2019. Janice Woods ’57 of Grants, N.M.; Feb. 18, 2012. Rebecca Powell Franklin ’58 of Fredericksburg, Va.; Jan. 30, 2019. Judith Cox Hoog ’58 of Carmel, Ind.; June 30, 2019. Kathleen Benson Smith ’58 of Owensville, Ind.; June 8, 2019. Kathleen Entwhistle Stieg ’58 of continued on next page



CLASS NOTES Lauri Kempson ’77, senior vice president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, worked with her colleagues to design and launch HowCollegesSpendMoney.com, a new website that empowers users to track and analyze college spending patterns. The website has been featured in Forbes, The Hechinger Report and Inside Higher Ed. Anne Ruttger Neafie ’78 (pictured center) contacted fellow Wales Hall alumnae Lindsey Murray Peterson ’77 (pictured left) and Dr. Leslie Miller ’78 (pictured right) during a trip to Minneapolis in June. Lindsey and Anne had not seen Leslie since they graduated from Stephens. They reminisced while enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. Anne writes: “The three of us spent a few hours poring over our yearbooks and sharing photo albums from our Stephens years. We talked and laughed about our many great experiences as Stephens students as though they happened just a few years ago. The years apart seemed to melt away as we chatted about classmates, friends, Wales Hall, classes, instructors and much more.”

Laurie Spencer ’78 writes that she has spent “14 happy years working to help prepare wholesale plant orders for shipment to various job sites throughout the Atlanta market. It took half my life to understand that theater, while I was good, was not where God wanted me to be. Once I was divorced, a whole new opportunity opened up and I returned to school to become a landscape designer and horticulturalist. This is a passion forever. Still, I find time for theater tickets as I am able!” Her design talents

are utilized both with her sales job and after hours visiting private clients in need of landscape design solutions. Laurie has changed up her busy life in celebration of surviving breast cancer in 2018. She joined a knitting circle and became a member of the auditioned The Michael O’Neal Singers, an innovative chorus in the Atlanta metropolitan area that performs six concerts each year. She continues to live in a 1945 farm house in Roswell, Georgia.

We talked and laughed about our many great experiences as Stephens students as though they happened just a few years ago. —Anne Ruttger Neafie ’78

REMEMBRANCES McLean, Va.; May 11, 2019. Laura Walker Bond ’59 of Gainesville, Ga.; Sep. 1, 2018. LaNoel Davis Custer ’59 of Golden, Colo.; Feb. 12, 2019.

’60s Susan Thompson Moore ’60 of Dallas; April 18, 2019. Martha Berg Elech ’62 of Worthington, Ohio; Jan. 29, 2019. Louisa Lackey Martin ’62 of Whitewright, Texas; April 15, 2019. Mary Alpha McKlveen Nantker ’62 of Natalia, Texas; Feb. 5, 2019. Libbie Terry ’62 of Marshall, Ill.; April 1, 2019. Daryl Greenwood Donath ’63 of Prescott, Wis.; Nov. 16, 2018. Mary Ambrose Kearney ’63 of Seattle; June 14, 2019. Janet Westbrook ’64 of Sterling City, Texas; April 8, 2019. Robin Hopkins Amper ’67 of Lake Panamoka, N.Y.; April 26, 2019. Sue Boynton ’67 of Seymour, Conn.; Feb. 2, 2019. Maggie Billings


Henson ’67 of Columbia, Mo.; July 12, 2019. Suzanne LaHaye ’67 of Eunice, La.; June 12, 2019.

’70s, ’80s, ’90s & ’10s JoEtta Conover Miller ’71 of Tampa, Fla.; March 13, 2019. Ann Cherryman ’72 of Tucson, Ariz.; March 26, 2019. Kathleen Winters Steineger ’74 of Kansas City, Kan.; March 1, 2019. Gail Hynes Shea ’75 of Albany, Calif.; Feb. 18, 2019. Laura Allen Curfman ’76 of Peoria, Ill.; May 26, 2019. Ellen Salsbury ’76 of New Bern, N.C.; May 24, 2019. Catherine Barton Para ’77 of Boonville, Mo.; April 17, 2019. Carol Russell ’77 of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.; May 29, 2019. Lady Ellen Germond ’80 of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Oct. 22, 2016. Pamela Pardue Midkiff ’81 of Boerne, Texas; Feb. 22, 2019. Erica Carlan Pickard ’90 of Columbia, Mo.;

March 9, 2019. Natalie Strauss ’15 of Sandy Springs, Ga.; April 22, 2019.

Former Employees & Trustees of the College Frederick Bohen of New York, trustee; March 15, 2015. Mary Dawkins of Taos, N.M., faculty member; May 11, 2019. Raymond Scott Hembree of Bentonville, Ark., trustee; April 23, 2016. (He was the father of Sara Hembree Poole ’10 and Katelyn Hembree Martin ’12, and son of Sarah Janelle Young Hembree ’52.) Gustav Lehr of Columbia, Mo., trustee; Dec. 1, 2018. John McEvoy of Kenosha, Wis., English instructor; June 10, 2019. Jean Pry of Columbia, Mo., faculty member (1970-83); June 17, 2019. James Turner of Sturgeon, Mo., staff member; July 20, 2019.


’80s Erin Marie Keating ’82 started a new job as regional facilities manager for United Rentals. Dr. Gillian Silver ’82, a managing partner of a consulting firm and a tenured faculty member, recently received a Faculty of Excellence Award from the University of Phoenix. A former corporate-level senior vice president, Gillian has been recognized with more than 700 professional achievement awards. An accredited business communicator, she was among the founding curriculum designers and instructors for the Stephens M.B.A. program. Gillian gave the commencement address at the May 2011 Graduate & Continuing Studies Commencement at Stephens. She has a master’s degree in management/organizational development and a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix. Cheryl Leutjen ’83 received a 2018 Silver Nautilus Book Award for her planetary self-help book “Love Earth Now” (Mango Publishing Group, 2018). She writes: “Wondering what any of us can do about the many threats to our environment? “Love Earth Now” is your go-to guide for discovering what you can do to effect meaningful change, starting right now.”


Melissa Booker ’95 recently accepted a position with the Cincinnati Reds as the team’s coordinator of baseball analytics. She writes: “It is great to have the opportunity to return to a full-time role in professional sports. This role allows me to combine my professional experience of the past 15 years with my lifelong passion for the game of baseball. Go Reds!” Diane DeFraites Scott ’97 purchased and started Freedom Farms Equestrian Center in Princeton, Texas, in September 2018 with two business partners. They board about 30 horses and employ two full-time dressage trainers, one of which who trains up to Grand Prix, as well as a Hunter/ Jumper trainer. Diane writes: “Hopefully, we will begin the breeding portion of operation in the near future. I am excited about this new adventure. I am continuing to work with my company, Control Southern, based in Atlanta. Right now, I have the best of both worlds: Working with a company I like and taking a shot at a lifelong dream.” Margaretanne Huffman Sabata ’98 and her husband, Andrew, report the birth of their daughter, Margaret Huffman Sabata. She was born on Nov. 16, 2018, and joins her big brother, Tommy. Their grandmother is Joanne Friend Huffman ’57. Margaretanne and her family recently moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is a stay-at-home mom while Andrew works as the regional planning branch chief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Get Social with Stephens Tag us @stephenscollege and be featured in a future magazine issue!

Traven Rice ’94 (pictured right), who is now based in New York City, writes that she and Buffie Main ’94 (pictured left), the artistic director of Alley Repertory Theater in Boise, Idaho, co-directed Alley’s Spring 2019 production of Paula Vogel’s Indecent. Joy Haynes ’93 (pictured middle) was also part of the ensemble cast. Traven writes: “So, it’s a three-for-one!”




’00s Dr. Bronwyn MacFarlane ’03 M.Ed. received the 2018 National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Early Leader Award for her significant contributions in leadership and service to the field of gifted education. She teaches graduate courses in educational leadership and gifted education as a professor of gifted education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Teacher Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In early July, a large group of Stephens College theatre alumni returned to Okoboji Summer Theatre (OST) in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for a performance of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins. Pictured back row (L-to-R): Kyle Groff ’04; Courtney Crouse ’04; Sam Cordes ’09; Rob Doyen ’69, Stephens theatre professor; David Hall, a conservatory program graduate; Brandon PT Davis ’10; Cami Huebert ’12; Ashley Harrison ’05; Michael Burke ’86, Stephens assistant professor of production; Fred Holmertz ’69. Front row (L-to-R): TJ Burton


’17, Paitra Babb ’18, Mattison Williams ’19, Savannah Bell ’15, Kristen Rosello ’17, Clara Bentz ’17, Ruth Ann Schulze Burke ’86, School of Creative and Performing Arts business manager. Dr. Susan Foster ’06 B.S., ’10 M.B.A. recently graduated from Lindenwood University with a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. She has returned to Stephens College as the new program director of the Master of Science in Health Information Management. Susan writes: “I love being back on campus and being part of the School of Health Sciences at Stephens!” Lauren Caldwell ’08 has accepted a position as digital coordinator at the marketing agency M&C. She writes: “I’m in charge of deploying large-scale newsletter campaigns and building and maintaining client websites.” Etosha Moh ’08 married Justin Lesinski on May 18, 2019, at Rimrock Ranch, located outside Joshua Tree National

Park in Pioneertown, California. For her wedding, Etosha reunited with her best friends from Stephens: Waki Kawamoto ’07, Whitney Bailey ’08, Stacy Billman ’07, Maggie Laskowitz ’09 and Bailey Stewart ’06 (pictured L-to-R with the bride in the Table of Contents). Etosha writes: “I was fortunate to have been reunited with my best friends from Stephens who traveled long distances, even as far as Japan, to be part of our special day in one of our most favorite places. Our wedding day began with a morning hike and ended with dancing under the full moon and stars in the middle of the desert — it was incredible and we feel so loved!” The couple, residents of Los Angeles, recently purchased their first home in the Leimert Park neighborhood. Etosha works as the senior vice president at The Consultancy PR, a bi-coastal public relations agency, and Justin is an associate creative director at Deutsch, a bi-coastal advertising agency. Isabeau Dasho ’09 is the cohost of a podcast that deconstructs romance novels from an irreverent and feminist perspective. She writes: “I think some of my fellow alumnae would like it.”


Back on Campus Stephens College theatre alumnae Elizabeth “Betsy” Shirey Marsala ’10 and Audra Handschke ’12 are among the talented professional guest artists who shared their expertise with students at the on-campus 2019 Summer Theatre Institute (STI). Returning for her third summer as a STI instructor, Betsy directed the long-form improv There Are No Rules. Betsy is a writer, actor, improviser and entrepreneur based in Chicago. She has performed with the esteemed children’s theater companies Emerald City and Theatre-Hikes as well as interned behind-the-scenes with Broadway in Chicago and the ensemble of the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater. “It was a no-brainer for me to come back to teach,” Betsy says. “The first year was a definite stroll down memory lane, but now I feel like I fit right back in again when I return to campus. “I spent the past 10 years studying and performing comedy and improv in Chicago so to be asked back and have the opportunity to teach fellow Susies how to improvise made this an extra meaningful experience for me.” Audra, who was Betsy’s assistant at STI, teaches theater and improvisation as a teaching artist for children’s theatres in Milwaukee. She completed the long-form improvisation program

at the world-renowned iO Theater and has also studied with the Annoyance Theatre. Audra says that she jumped at the chance to work with Betsy, whom she still recalls meeting on her very first day at Stephens. “She was part of the Warehouse Theatre Company and some of that crew were greeting freshmen and handing out popsicles because it was so hot,” Audra says. “During our year together at Stephens, Betsy was always someone everyone looked up to. She still is!” Although improvisation is a fun art form to teach, Audra explains, it can be challenging for a single teacher with a large group. “We were able to give the groups more one-on-one coaching time and actually get on stage and show them some of the forms we were teaching,” Audra says. “Betsy is the type of person and improviser whom you instantly feel comfortable with, so we just fell into a rhythm working together. “Even though it’s been nine years since I attended STI, I could still see some of myself in the students. … I could empathize with their moments of hesitation, their eagerness, their moments of victory, etc. because I’ve been there.”

... to be asked back and have the opportunity to teach fellow Susies how to improvise made this an extra meaningful experience for me. —Elizabeth “Betsy” Shirey Marsala ’10

Share news!

Share whatever is new in your life, whether it’s a career move, a new bundle of joy in your family, a special anniversary or recognition of your work. High resolution photos (300 dpi) are welcome as well.

Submit news:

Complete our form (stephens.edu/alumnae), email us (alumnae@ stephens.edu) or send us a letter (Office of Institutional Advancement, 1200 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215).

Spring/Summer 2020 issue deadline:

January 17, 2020




’10s Alexandra Widel Hombs ’10 is the illustrator of a new children’s book titled “Sassie’s New Home,” which is described as a “whimsical, moving story for children who have lost a beloved pet.” Alison Hixon ’13 acted in Mercy’s Girl, which premiered at Chicago’s Middle Coast Film Festival and won Best Feature 2018. The film is available to rent on Amazon Prime and other streaming services. She stays busy auditioning, mostly for film, in Chicago, while running her own illustration business called SheSaid Illustration (shesaidillustration.com). Alison writes: “I make custom watercolor portraits for families, friends, couples, pets — you name it! I love creating and collaborating with people. My education at Stephens taught me that building good relationships is most important, and not to be afraid to be who you are. I met my best friends at Stephens and they have been my biggest support group still today. Stephens girls forever!” Terra Carlson Nickelson ’13 married Ben Nickelson (pictured right) on May 4, 2019, at Echo Bluff State Park in Missouri. Three of her bridesmaids included Stephens roommates Morgan Cavcey ’13, Paula Goldenberg ’14 and Erica Bonnot Colter ’14 B.F.A., ’15 M.Ed. Other alumnae in attendance for the celebration included Layne Wallace ’14, Stephens trustee Angel Mendez ’14 and Claire Hoffman Novak ’02. Terra owns Plan it Terra (planitterra.com), a wedding planning and design business, and is a certified jazzercise instructor. Her husband is a graphic designer and photographer. Isabella Fernandez ’16, a fashion marketing and management graduate, reports that she was recently promoted from a merchandising assistant to Merchandising and Marketing Analyst I at Gear for Sports, a division of HanesBrands Inc., in Lenexa, Kansas. She writes: “I love working with this company for many reasons but one of them is that there are seven other Stephens alumnae who work here! Stephens helped prepare me for my career by giving me in-the-field knowledge, as well as book learning.” Sarah Vitel ’16 is the marketing and social media director for Anju Jewelry, an Atlanta-based wholesale jewelry company that sells handcrafted pieces by artisans in India. She is also a fulltime photographer with her own business, Sarah Vitel Photography. Sarah writes: “I had the opportunity to travel to India to take photo and video to document the process of making jewelry and our artisans’ stories.” During her two-week trip, she visited Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Adam Parker ’19 M.F.A. is among 50 students across the nation to be selected to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s 2019 internship program. This summer, he interned in the movies for television development department at Daniel L. Paulson Productions in Beverly Hills, California. He says: “I love television because it embraces the complex nature of the human condition, giving creators enough time to construct intricate portraits of interesting characters.”


Stephens alumnae at Gear for Sports: Pictured (L-to-R): Susan Osbourn Wiedenmeyer ’83, Tonya Pesch ’15, Lauren Hulen ’15, Shelby Jasper ’15, Isabella Fernandez ’16, Angela Travalent Stein ’06, Nancy Bolon Keener ’78. Not pictured: Emily Doyen Starke ’10.


Finding Her Niche Asya Hristova ’18, a double major with degrees in health science and integrated marketing, opted for a route of volunteer service with AmeriCorps after graduation. “It’s easy for us to trap ourselves in boxes or specific areas of knowledge,” she says. “Having two degrees has opened those walls for me to explore careers outside of what I studied. With the influence and inspiration of my English Second Language teacher from elementary school, as well as my health science teacher from Stephens College, I chose to give back. “I have a passion for social justice and health, and AmeriCorps allows me to share my knowledge with others.” This school year, Asya is working in San Francisco for Playworks, which uses the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. She is also pursuing an M.S. in Health Science with a concentration in Public Health at Touro University. Last year, Asya taught at Super Stars Literacy, an early literacy intervention program in Oakland, California. She says that she has felt well prepared for her positions with AmeriCorps. “The discipline and hard work that I put in to learning two disciplines at Stephens prepared me for the challenges that professionals go through,” says Asya, who also is a certified Breathe For Change Wellness Champion and a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance.

Stephens’ small classes allowed me to have more one-on-ones with my professors and to dive deep into the material to find my passion and niche. —Asya Hristova ’18

“Stephens’ small classes allowed me to have more one-on-ones with my professors and to dive deep into the material to find my passion and niche. I find myself striving to make that same impact on my students.”

Earning Accolades Noel Spiva ’18 hit the ground running when she joined Slug Agency, a Los Angeles-based art collective, as a freelance graphic designer, social media editor and writer for music releases. As her first big project, she helped create Slug’s third zine, “No Bad Memories,” and a capsule collection lookbook, which were featured in Vogue and Nylon magazine. “I was able to contribute two pages of collage work I created my senior year at Stephens College,” says Noel, a fashion marketing and management major who minored in graphic design. “I led in the layout design by arranging each page and creating the front cover art and various info pages in the back. I also assisted in creating pages for the capsule collection lookbook. “It was a very enjoyable first challenge that tested out everything I previously learned about turning digital creations into printed products for distribution. It was an amazing feeling being noticed by Vogue and Nylon for our capsule collection and the zine. Our hard work truly paid off.” At Slug, Noel has also designed music showcase event flyers in partnership with Instagram, created illustrations for Redbull, and co-hosted an online radio show. “Stephens has helped in preparing me for fast-paced assignments and the skills to multitask in various areas of interests as a multimedia artist,” she says. “There are endless opportunities when you are able to be multifaceted.”

Stephens has helped in preparing me for fastpaced assignments and the skills to multitask ... —Noel Spiva ’18




Story of a Stephens Friendship Margaret Tylczak Heffelfinger ’74 shares about making longtime friend by chance. Margaret Tylczak Heffelfinger ’74 (bottom photo, pictured right) recently shared with Beyond Stephens how she and Laura Elizabeth Raun ’74 (bottom photo, pictured left), her Stephens roommate, first met and how they have remained friends for nearly 50 years. It’s a tale to which many Stephens alumnae can relate. We share several excerpts from Margaret’s story below: “Back in the early ’70s, even before AOL, Stephens matched incoming freshmen with a likely roommate, and sent a little information sheet of things that were intended to reassure you about compatibility, based on their assessment. Then, roomies exchanged their photo studio high school graduation picture and little letter. “Laura’s picture was that of a striking honey blonde who was touring Europe for the summer. Margaret’s picture was of a dishwater blonde who was working at the Dairy Queen for the summer. But Stephens was right. They were the perfect match. “Margaret arrived on the third floor of Dearing Hall first, having traveled from a small logging town in Washington State. She was a Stephens legacy who promised her mom, [Ruth Lavington Hiller ’42], she’d attend. … Laura arrived second, having traveled from the family rice farm south of Houston.”

“It was the beginning of a friendship that has stretched nearly 50 years. Laura and Margaret both stayed two years at Stephens. [Margaret transferred to Washington State University and Laura to the University of Wisconsin.] They went to the Mayday march in Washington, D.C. in ’71. Then, Margaret, a communications major, went on World Campus Afloat at the recommendation of a professor from the University of Missouri. Laura, the editor of Stephens Life, the school paper, landed a job at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.” “Laura has built a PR firm, LauraRaunPR, which specializes in the water industry. Margaret became a freelancer and painter and shows in several galleries including her own, Margaret In The Hallway.” “They make a point of getting together someplace nice for hiking once a year. Margaret still sleeps in the bed on the left and favors blue. Laura sleeps in the bed on the right and favors yellow. The conversation picks up where it started about 50 years. Was it a random matchup? They choose to think not.”



Tell us how you met your Stephens roommate: scnews@stephens.edu




Club Notes Kansas City Alumnae Club In July, the Kansas City Alumnae Club celebrated new Stephens women from the Greater KC area with an ice cream social, hosted by Mary Lew Eldridge McCarty ’79 at her plaza-level garden gallery. Stephens President Dianne Lynch, the event’s special guest speaker, wowed freshmen, their parents and Stephens alumnae alike. As KC Club President Karen McCarty Poe ’63 says: “I almost want to start over at Stephens to absorb the innovative and up-to-date education these students will learn and experience.” The club proudly sponsors an annual student grant for Greater KC area freshmen. Group members love meeting the grant recipients and hearing about the students’ Stephens lives throughout the years. Club grant recipients in attendance were Lucy Gobber ’22, 2019 recipient; and Hannah Kueck ’21, 2017 recipient. Interested in joining the group? Please contact Judy Derry Mahoney ’62 at judyjdm@aol.com.

Back row (pictured, L-to-R): Mia Dozier ’23, Lucy Gobber ’22, Stephens President Dianne Lynch, Haley Holt ’22, Adriana Jones ’23, Savannah Andrews ’23, Joely Elam ’23. Front row (pictured L-to-R): Hannah Kueck ’21, Avery Saxton ’22. Not pictured but in attendance: Jaedyn Colvin ’23.

LA Women for Stephens On May 19, LA Women for Stephens hosted its second annual Day of Sisterhood, bringing together generations of Stephens women for reflection on common experiences and consideration of how the College has changed over the years. Charlotte Holtzermann ’67 A.A., ’69 B.F.A. hosted this year’s event at the Hill Street Center in Santa Monica, California. Brianna Jackson ’16, former executive board president of Stephens’ Student Government Association, shared her participation and perspective as a recent student leader. Others in the group added their thoughts on what they believe have been recent challenges and progress, as well as ways in which alumnae can be more active as advocates for advancement.

Alumnae Club of Greater Washington This year, the Alumnae Club of Greater Washington decided to step “out of the box” as Taressa Snelling Fisher ’82 says. The group, which typically hosts a silent auction, held an online fundraiser that raised $3,200 for its Stephens scholarship. The Stephens College Office of Institutional Advancement assisted with the fundraiser’s logistics. Betsey Dibert Mulloy ’65 A.A., ’67 B.A., who is among the 23 Stephens alumnae who donated to the cause, says: “My club means to me the same thing that going to Stephens meant: Meeting a variety of unique, smart, motivated, ambitious women who are also great fun. It means staying in touch with old friends, maintaining contact with the College, and being able to help young women who have the same special experience that I had. I am so glad I became involved with ‘my’ Greater Washington group!”

Pictured (L-to-R): Briannica Ponder ’15, Suzanne Embry Whitman ’04, Tennessee Martin ’11, Shelley Blessing Bay ’80, Joy Winkelman Rinaldi-Donohue ’63, Sarah Palmrose ’99, Ashlynne Berkemeyer ’15, Brianna Jackson ’16, Charlotte Holtzermann ’67 A.A., ’69 B.F.A. Photo credit: Emily Claire Petrie ’11

Get connected!

Interested in joining (or starting) a Stephens alumnae group in your area? Contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (573) 876-7110 or alumnae@stephens.edu.




Looking Back Reunion 2019

40-Year Reunion | Class of 1979 Front row (pictured L-to-R): Cynthia Redel ’79, Marcia Urban ’79, Dinah Urban ’79, Nancy Campbell Landrum ’79. Back row (pictured L-to-R): Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Metzger ’79, Roseann Carter Durbin ’78, Dr. Leslie Foster ’79, Marguerite “Peggy” Fitch ’79.

Reunion 2019 included honoring those alumnae and alumni celebrating milestone class reunions (“4”s and “9”s). Popular events included the Alumnae Cabaret & Bistro, where reunion attendees enjoyed several student and alumnae performances as well as a tea-room style fashion show in honor of the fashion program’s 75year anniversary.

es perform at

The Velveton

the Cabaret

20-Year Reunion | Class of 1999 Front row (pictured L-to-R): Tiffany Thompson Reid ’99, Kirsten Tapp Burnfin ’99, Megan Thompson Mercer ’99, Mandy Leamon ’99, Samantha Johnson ’99, Virginia Ris ’99. Back row (pictured L-to-R): Beth Shippert-Myers ’99, Dr. Diedre Sorenson Wagers ’99, Ashley Wellman Renton ’99, Elka Serrano ’99.



30-Year Reunion | Class of 1989 Pictured L-to-R: Renee Tremaine Stadelman ’89, Gretchen Luedtke ’89, Tracy Brown Hager ’89, Margaret Kendrick Finnessy ’89.

n students

ow by fashio

le fashion sh

Tea-room sty

7-Year Reunion | Class of 2012 Pictured L-to-R: LaTasha Bashley ’12, Candace Stephenson ’12, Camille Stephenson ’12, Stephens President Dianne Lynch, Charde Stephenson ’12.

Save the Date

Join us for next year’s alumnae reunion: April 17-18, 2020. Watch for details: stephens.edu/reunion



dream up.


Alumnae Reunion April 17-18, 2020