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Helping riders with disabilities, sit tall in the saddle motivates Ann O Shallie

Finding Wilson’s future students | Studying tolerance Moving day help | At 88, Mirjam Tuovila keeps winning volume 86 | FALL 2013 | number 3

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volume 86 | FALL 2013 | number 3




12 Lead By Example By Cherie Pedersen Ann O’Shallie was given a mandate from the founder of the equestrian program at Wilson College to establish a therapeutic riding program.

02 Letter from the Editor

16 Representing Wilson By Ben Ford Recruiting students to Wilson can mean long hours on the highways and byways. 22 Framed Creations Wilson mounts alumnae/i art exhibit to show their unique talents.

on the cover

Young rider Ean Ritchey sits high in the saddle, assisted by two Wilson students in Professor Ann O’Shallie’s equine facilitated therapy class. Photo by James Butts


03 Wilson News 28 Around the Green A Wilson grad studies tolerance in some churches, volunteers help students with their move to campus, a student researches the psychology behind altruism, an 88-year-old athlete keeps winning, and a mother fulfilled her dream of playing college basketball. 38 From Your Viewpoint By Caileigh Oliver ’14 39 From the Archives By Amy Ensley The Heritage Committee has played a vital role. 40 Alumnae Association A report from the president and director, Ring It Forward, ‘Aunt Sarah’ growing stronger, Tift Award winner spotlighted. 44 Class Notes 61 Obituaries 65 Last Word


administration Barbara K. Mistick, President Camilla Rawleigh,

— letter from the —


Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Brian Speer, Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Wilson Magazine Committee Mary Cramer ’91, Alumnae Association President Debra Collins, Director of Communications Amy Ensley, Director of the Hankey Center Marybeth Famulare, Director of Alumnae/i Relations Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations and


he long miles of Pennsylvania countryside rolled away as I rode with Wilson’s Director of Admissions Patricia Beidel ’82 on her travels to high schools and college fairs. I had arranged the trip with Beidel in advance for an article inside this issue of the magazine.

College Editor

Camilla Rawleigh, Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Brian Speer, Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Carol A. Tschop ’72, Alumnae Association Courtney Wolfe ’12, Class Notes Coordinator

STAFF Managing Editor Ben Ford Design Kendra Tidd Contributing Writers Casey Beidel, Debra Collins, Ben Ford, Gina Gallucci-White, Dianna C. Heim, Cathy Mentzer, Cherie Pedersen, Brian Speer, Courtney Wolfe Contributing Photographers James Butts, Debra Collins, Matthew Lester, Travis Long, Cathy Mentzer, Ryan Smith, Kendra Tidd, Courtney Wolfe, Carolyn Woods Wilson Magazine (USPS-685-580) is published quarterly by the Office of Marketing and Communications and the Alumnae Association of Wilson College. Send address changes to: Wilson College Alumnae/i Relations, 1015 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg, Pa. 17201-1285, 717-262-2010 or Opinions expressed are those of the contributors or the editor and do not represent the official positions of Wilson College or the Alumnae Association of Wilson College.

contact us: Wilson Magazine 717-262-2607 Alumnae Association 717-262-2010 The Wilson Fund 717-262-2010


I wanted to shadow her to see her work in action rather than to just interview her about recruiting students. The story was proposed before I joined Wilson Magazine, but it was a journalism technique I had used often at newspapers with long hours on stakeouts with Hagerstown Police narcotics detectives to overnight shifts with firefighters as they answered calls. When you spend time with people as they do their jobs, you get a better understanding of the challenges and difficulties they face than they can describe themselves because what is ordinary to them might be quite unusual to an outsider. Hopefully the story inside helps take you along for the ride as well. Seeing Beidel meet with high school students made me realize how much Wilson has to offer them and also gave me insight into the students’ goals and hopes for their higher education experience. My own experience was much different. I enrolled at Ohio University-Chillicothe because it was in my hometown and Ohio University offered a good journalism program. My first meeting with someone from the university was the day I arrived at the campus to enroll. But spending that time with Beidel made me realize that the College admissions recruiters do much more than even people they work with on campus probably realize. For the new students moving into Wilson, a new tradition greeted them with faculty and staff volunteers helping unload their belongings and carry them to their dorm rooms. I saw many mothers and fathers helping their daughters move away from home for the first time. Seeing the mixture of pride and sadness on the parents’ faces was very moving. Inside this edition of the magazine you will also find stories on 88-year-old Mirjam Tuovila ’47 who has added to her collection of medals and ribbons as a triathlete, and the amazing work done by Ann O’Shallie in teaching Wilson students so they can help those with disabilities learn to ride horses. I’ve heard from a number of you about the changes to the magazine. Nearly all of you had praise and some of you had ver y constructive criticisms. The magazine remains a work in progress. One of the changes we would like to bring to the magazine is a section devoted to your letters. We’d like to hear from you regarding the articles in the magazine. We also want to have a regular media section highlighting the books, poetry and other published material from Wilson’s alumnae/i, faculty and staff. So please, if you have a book, or other published material send it to us; if you have work that is being published, a performance or an exhibition, let us know. I want to especially thank those of you who sent me messages for your very kind words regarding the magazine. The magazine is a real team effort and we are eager to tell Wilson stories.

Ben Ford Managing Editor

wilson news wilson continues Campus Improvements Projects range from paint to infrastructure upgrades


but the discovery in late September of more asbestos has put that date in jeopardy, Ecker said. Trustees also approved $500,000 for an interim student center to be used while Sarah’s Coffeehouse is occupied by library services. The interim student center will be located in the former fitness center space in Lenfest Commons. The fitness center was relocated to the old gymnasium formerly used as a practice space for Wilson’s gymnastics team. Work on the student center began in September and is slated to be completed during the fall semester. With a mix of comfortable furniture and a dining area with a kitchenette, the student center is intended for dances and food-related activities to television watching and a game room. Student representatives are working with Residence Life to choose the furnishings and entertainment offerings in the new space. The relocated fitness center opened Aug. 26 after workers repainted the walls, rolled out specialized rubber flooring used for exercise facilities, upgraded the electrical system, moved in fitness equipment and installed four, 40-inch flat-screen televisions. Campus-wide improvements over the summer also included running electricity to the softball, soccer and lacrosse fields in Kris’ Meadow. New audio systems were installed at those fields, as well as the hockey field, where a new electronic scoreboard was added. At the Gannett field house, new windows and lockers were installed and the locker room was painted, the audio system was upgraded and wireless Internet was added.



rom painting to new air conditioning for a residence hall, work is completed or currently under way to improve the campus and give it a fresh look, Wilson officials said. A paving company poured new concrete sidewalks in June around the main green. The crew also widened the roadway between Harmony Cottage and Alumnae House before laying new blacktop on the road that circles the green. Workers from an area painting company repainted the exterior of Norland Hall before moving on to the front of Lenfest Commons. At a meeting in May, the Wilson Board of Trustees approved spending $2.64 million to renovate McElwain/Davison Hall, the primary residence hall for new students and for conference groups visiting during the summer. The work includes the addition of air conditioning, and every room will get new paint, ceiling tiles, flooring and mattresses. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems also will be replaced, according to Brian Ecker, vice president for finance and administration. The lounges, community kitchens and laundry area will be updated and the bathrooms will be completely overhauled to make them accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. “We’ll have total ADA accessibility and we’ll have some ADA rooms,” Ecker said. Design for the Mac/Dav renovations began in June. Construction, which was to begin in late summer, was delayed for asbestos removal but should begin in late October or early November, according to Ecker. Mac/Dav was initially projected to reopen in time for the spring 2014 semester,

A wide range of campus improvements are either under way or soon will be at Wilson. From left, the new fitness center opened at the beginning of the school year; new blacktop was laid on the road that circles the green; Lenfest Commons is getting a makeover; an artist rendering of the work to be done at the McElwain/Davison Hall.

fall 2013 03

wilson news


in brief


WCGA Works to Involve Students The Wilson College Government Association is working to help students maintain a positive perspective and to increase student participation by letting them know what they think matters. Two of the new programs introduced this fall are the Walk and Talk, and Chat and Chew, intended to encourage more student involvement in shaping campus life.

Larry Shillock

ORR FORUM The annual Orr Forum on Religion is expanded to a series this school year, featuring events throughout the academic year building up to the guest lecture by the 2014 Orr Scholar Laurie S. Zoloth in April. Zoloth is a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program, and director of Northwestern’s Center for Bioethics, Science and Society. “One of the gifts of the Orr Forum is the way it brings the campus and community together in conversation with a scholar,” said Associate Professor of Religion David True, who’s wanted to experiment with an expanded format for several years. “The

year-long format allows for a fuller and richer conversation through multiple conversations with scholars, thought leaders and performers.” This year’s Orr theme—Humanity 2.0?—is especially suited to such an approach, according to True, who said it will focus on the effects of technology on humanity. The series began with a Sept. 5 lecture by Wilson English Professor Larry Shillock on “The Walking Dead, Advertising, and the Epistles of Saint Paul.” The series concludes in April with a lecture by the 2014 Orr Scholar. All events are free and open to the public.

“We’re trying to help the students maintain a positive outlook and let them have a voice in what’s going on,” said WCGA President Caileigh Oliver ’14. “We’re trying to reach out and engage with students and get them to actively participate. With programs like our Chat and Chew, and Walk and Talk, we’re trying to say your voices do matter. That’s our main goal.” Walk and Talk has WCGA members—often with the president or a member of cabinet—walking around the dining hall during lunch hours to answer any questions students have about campus issues while the Chat and Chew are informal monthly sessions for students to sit down with WCGA members.

A New Legacy

High School Art Show Wilson College recently hosted its third juried exhibition of art created by area high school students. The month-long exhibit ran through Oct. 18 in the Bogigian Gallery in Lortz Hall. The show displayed 22 works of art selected from 105 entries from Franklin, Adams, Cumberland and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania and Washington County in Maryland. Students got the opportunity to see Wilson College and to showcase their artwork and talent with Wilson fine arts faculty as jurors. The event, presented by Wilson’s Department of Fine Arts and Dance, also gave students the chance to offer their artwork for sale.

04 wilson magazine

Patrick Fox ’17 is not only one of Wilson’s first male traditional undergraduate students, he is also the only legacy student new to Wilson for the 2013-14 academic year. Fox, who transferred to Wilson for its English program, is the grandson of Nancy Hoke ’79. He is also the first member of the men’s cross country team and he even set a school record—for men—in his first race.

Honor topic of


Several speakers discussed the meaning of the Honor Principle to the Wilson community during Convocation, which had the theme “A Life of Honor,” during the Sept. 10 ceremony held in Alumnae Chapel. “There is probably no topic that holds greater significance to Wilson community members and alumnae than the Honor Principle,” Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Mary Hendrickson told students at Fall Convocation. “There are thousands of women and men before you who have struggled with the meaning to their lives of the Honor Principle.”

Other speakers included Wilson College Government Association President Caileigh Oliver ’14 (see Oliver's Viewpoint on page 38) and Hankey Center Director Amy Ensley. In accordance with tradition, new Wilson students, faculty and staff signed the Honor Principle during the ceremony.


In her remarks, President Barbara K. Mistick welcomed first-year students and encouraged each community member to live a life of honor. “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character,” she said, quoting author R.J. Palacio. “These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”

Wilson College Government Association President Caileigh Oliver ’14 spoke Sept. 10 at Convocation.

New Wilson Trustees Named The Wilson College Board of Trustees recently named three new members. Patricia W. Bennett ’68 is an award-winning reporter and columnist as well as a historian of the American media. After receiving a bachelor’s in English from Wilson, she earned a master’s in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. Her master's degree thesis on Civil War newspapers was the subject of a presentation before the American Journalism Historian's Association in 2005. Bennett’s professional communication experiences included editorial positions in magazines and community newspapers. Her past volunteer services include vestry (the governing body of Episcopal Church parishes) membership; communications consultation for Episcopal Community Services of Philadelphia; and time devoted to the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children. R. Charles Grant is the associate pastor for senior adults and pastoral care for the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Furman University, as well as master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University. Since his ordainment to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church in 1978, Grant has served churches in Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He has pursued advanced training in conflict management, church organizational behavior, and structural family therapy, while continuing his scholarly interests in Christian origins and New Testament literature.

Grant is a past president, leading spokesman and founding member of Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities, a metropolitan Richmond faith-based community organizing movement. He also has served on the steering committee for The Rehoboth Project, a clergy renewal program through the Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education funded by the Lilly Endowment. Dorothy M. Van Brakle ’09 attended Wilson College as a non-traditional student and received a bachelor’s degree in business management after completing an associate degree in 2006. Her 30-year tenure at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa., has culminated in her current role as the chief of the logistics division in the Directorate of Public Works, where she supervises 130 employees. Van Brakle is a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Special Emphasis Program committee and the manager of the depot’s Minority College Relations Program. She also serves on the Elm Street Board of Directors in Chambersburg and belongs to the Federal Managers Association, the Federally Employed Women Organization, and the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees. She also currently serves on the Wilson College Alumnae Association Board, having joined in June 2011.

fall 2013 05

Nicole Zvarik ’03 Returns to Campus as Artist In Resident


In-resident artist Nicole Zvarik ’03—a choreographer and performer based in San Francisco—taught dance classes; rehearsed with Wilson’s dance troupe, Orchesis; lectured on the topic of feminist artists, and met with students in the Women with Children program during the week of Oct. 7.

Nicole Zvarik ’03 interacts with students and faculty recently after she returned to campus as artist in residence.

Zvarik is co-founder of Deep Root Dance Collective in the San Francisco Bay Area—a collective of modern dance choreographers, performers and teachers—and also serves as dance department head at Bayside STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy in San Mateo, Calif. Zvarik is a former resident artist at California State University Stanislaus and at the Garage, an art space in San Francisco. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and recipient of the 2013 Alumnae Association of Wilson College’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award. A former Women with Children student, Zvarik attended Wilson with her daughter, Savannah. As an artist and returning alumna, she found the artist-in-resident experience enriching on many levels, she said. In addition, it has allowed her to give back some of what she received while a student at Wilson.


“After being out in the field, I have a great appreciation for my Wilson experience,” she said. “The support I received at Wilson gave me the strong foundation that has helped me become the feminist I am today.” Zvarik is Wilson’s first alumna artist-in-residence, according Professor of Dance Paula Kellinger. “She worked with students all week and it was a fabulous experience for everyone. It was inspiring for our students,” she said.

Wilson and Heinz Enter Master’s Partnership Wilson College graduates interested in pursuing a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College will be eligible for scholarships under a new agreement. The recently signed memorandum includes Wilson College as a regional educational partner with Heinz College. Students who qualify for admission will receive at least $6,000 per semester. Applicants must indicate if they are a current student or an alumna/alumnus of Wilson on the application, submit transcripts from all universities attended, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and a resume. Students can apply online

06 wilson magazine

for free. Up to 10 Wilson graduates can qualify for the scholarship funds with each incoming class to Heinz College. Heinz College offers a Master of Information Systems Management degree that requires at least one college-level programming course prior to enrollment. Other master’s programs are: Master of Science in Public Policy and Management; Master of Arts Management; Master of Entertainment Industry Management; Master of Science in Health Care Policy; and Master of Science in Information Security Policy and Management.

wilson news Fall Enrollment Wilson’s fall enrollment numbers, released in mid-September after the deadline for students to add or drop classes, are mixed. The total college headcount in all programs is 662, down 4.7 percent from the fall 2012 headcount of 695, while the number of new students is at the highest level in three years. There are 100 new students this year, up from 96 last year and 92 in fall 2011. “The positive trend in the number of incoming students for us is especially important in light of reports of declining enrollments nationally, and what we are seeing at both state institutions and private colleges here in Pennsylvania,” said Mary Ann Naso, vice president for enrollment. “Given the changes taking place at Wilson, we are seeing increased interest and excitement from prospective students, especially around full coeducation and our tuition reduction and debt buyback initiatives.” The College also saw a 23 percent increase in enrollment over last year for its graduate degree programs with a total of 91 students, up from just 37 three years ago. “Our current master’s programs in education, humanities and accountancy have laid the groundwork for establishing Wilson as a graduate-level institu-

tion,” Naso said. “This will be important as we look to add additional graduate programs in the coming years.” The adult degree program experienced a decline in enrollment from last year, down 13 percent from 2012. The decline is seen across all adult undergraduate programs—bachelor’s degree, associate degree, non-degree and the Teacher Intern Program, which has dropped significantly in the past few years and has been largely attributed to state budget cuts to education. Enrollments in the adult population can be erratic and can vary with changes in the economy and the job market, spending cuts, course offerings and personal circumstances, said Adult Degree Programs Admissions Director Beverly Evans. College enrollments nationally have been on the decline. A May report from the National Student Clearinghouse, reported there were 2.3 percent fewer students enrolled on U.S. campuses this spring than in the same period last year. U.S. Census Bureau figures released in September reported that college enrollments in 2012 declined half a million students from the previous year—with students over 25 representing the largest drop.

Given the changes taking place at Wilson, we are seeing increased interest and excitement PHOTOS BY MATTHEW LESTER

from prospective students… — Mary Ann Naso The campus continued to buzz with activity even as student enrollment numbers for the fall was mixed. New student enrollment increased though total enrollment was down, mainly due to a decline in students enrolled in the adult undergraduate degree programs.

fall 2013 07


12 13 President Report of the



or reasons both obvious and less so, the 2012-13 academic year proved remarkably productive for Wilson. The College continued to make strides toward the goals of the strategic plan, blending the board approved initiatives into our work; the John Stewart Memorial Library project and the College received tremendous show of support; and, of course, our students and faculty continued to amaze. Wilson maintained progress toward the five main goals of the strategic plan. All measures approved by the Trustees—drawn from the work of the commission—support the strategic plan framework. Faculty worked on issues of student preparedness and retention to help strengthen the student learning experience, exploring enhancements to the first-year seminar and changes in foundational requirements for incoming students. The College also took steps toward cultivating a learning community by providing a professional development day for staff and a customer service training session for staff and faculty. The plan for providing distinctive and innovative programs moved forward with board approval of the graphic design major, the Master of Accountancy program and the hiring of a director for the RN to BSN program, which will serve as the basis for a health sciences division. The faculty continue work on additional programs that take advantage of Wilson’s strengths and opportunities for careers in our region. A number of measures in the board plan will work to strengthen the College’s long-term financial stability. One of the cornerstones of the strategic plan is to bring enrollment up to healthy levels. The rollback

08 wilson magazine

of tuition by $5,000 and student debt buyback program that provides up to $10,000 of relief on federal student loan debt have been well received by prospective students and their families. Coeducation has opened Wilson to a wider prospective student audience and our admissions staff has been well received during high school visits and at college fairs. Wilson also welcomed our first three traditional undergraduate male students this fall as part of an incoming class of new students that represented a third consecutive year of modest improvement. Efforts to increase the College’s visibility and reputation may be evident already to many of you. This past year saw the creation of a new Office for Marketing and Communications. While we do have some concern about the effect on local recruitment from the misinformation about the College that is being presented by those opposed to coeducation, we have seen a lot of positive developments. From the positive feedback that this magazine and other new print materials have received to a comprehensive advertising program that includes online, radio, television and billboard outreach, we are making important strides. This past year saw a number of enhancements to campus facilities. Paving around the green with formal parking for admissions and a warm, welcoming paint scheme for Lenfest Commons made the campus more attractive to the increased number of summer visits from prospective students. And the renovations of McElwain/Davison Hall and the new student center space are particularly exciting to our students. Other improvements, including the completion of upgrades to the campus electrical grid, are less visible but critically important to the campus infrastructure. Student accomplishments during the 2012-13 academic year were varied and impressive. Lindsey Sutton ’16 and Kelly Myers ’16 were named Lenfest Scholars for their outstanding incoming academic cre-




Left: The John Stewart Memorial Library project has received tremendous support and plans continue to move forward. Center: Work, including new paving, continued throughout the spring and fall to spruce up the campus. Above: The Phoenix softball team made the NEAC tournament for the fifth year, finishing the season third in the conference, with Tara Fields ’13 and Megan Schneck ’14 selected first team all-conference.

dentials. Recipients of the award become part of the Wilson Scholars Program and receive special academic and leadership mentoring. In a first for the College, Casey Beidel ’13 was the first male student to hold the designation of Disert Scholar, completing his senior thesis during the year and presenting “An Exploration of New-Wave Fabulism” during our annual Student Research Day. Beidel was one of 30 students to take part in the day, with nine students presenting research posters and 21 giving presentations of work ranging from the fashions of Catherine Green ’13 and an exploration of bullying by Brenda Winklbauer ’13 to a study of timber rattlesnake venoms by Connie Goodwin’13 and a presentation by Chelsea Krebs ’13 on a “Comparative Analysis of Viability Assays for Evaluation of Post-thaw Spermatozoa.” Chelsea and Connie were among nine Wilson students to present their work in April at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences. More than 70 scientists, science faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students presented their work at the meeting with Chelsea’s presentation being judged as third best for oral presentation. Our athlete’s once again made their mark on and off the field. The Phoenix softball team made the NEAC tournament for the fifth year, finishing the season third in the conference, with Tara Fields ’13 and Megan Schneck ’14 selected first team all-conference. Gymnastics held its final season with Jenny Miller ’15 proudly representing the College as the only team member and posting a personal best performance in the all-around competition during Wilson’s last home meet. Away from the field Hilary Swartz ’15 was elected president of the NEAC Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the field hockey team hosted a clinic for Special Olympics athletes. Wilson’s faculty members continue to ply their skills in our classrooms and at venues around the world. A few highlights include Freya

Burnett (veterinary medical technology) being elected by the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine as the state’s delegate to the American Association of Veterinary State Boards; professor Ed Wells (environmental science), while on a full scholarship to attend Vermont Law School, laid the groundwork for a new articulation agreement for a 3+1 program that will allow students to achieve a Wilson degree in environmental sustainability and a master's from VLS in environmental law and policy in four years; Dave True (religion) presented “Fundamentally Modern: A Critique of the ‘Politics of Resentment Argument’” at a conference at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary that was hosted by the International Research Network on Religion and Democracy; Robert Dickson (fine arts) exhibited his work in a one-man show entitled “New Renaissance Prints” at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C.; Michael Cornelius (English) presented a paper “The Emperor’s New Farts: Socioeconomic Disenfranchisement and the ‘Colonic Miasma’ in Farscape” at the national Popular Culture Association Conference in Washington, D.C.; and Ann O’Shallie was the keynote speaker for a symposium on “Developmental Strategy for Korean Riding for Disabled Programs” held in North Gyeonsang, South Korea. We also saw a commitment to our campus and our students through the generosity of alumnae and friends of the College. A new endowed scholarship for the Women with Children program came to the College from the grateful parents of a recent graduate of the program. A longtime supporter of Wilson College, The Stabler Foundation, committed $400,000 in scholarship support to help ensure student access to quality education. The athletics program received a grant from the NCAA that will fund a sports information director. The John Stewart Memorial Library continues to be the College’s most critical fundraising objective. There are many reasons that this

fall 2013 09



project is important, but perhaps none more so than an encounter I had with a student this past year where she told me that when she graduates, she will have never known Wilson with a library. Other students have asked us to open the library so they could see what it looks like inside. Alumnae are working hard to help us achieve our goal of bringing the library back online for our students. Theresa Murray Goodwin ’49, Hope Weishaar Asrelsky ’57, Susan Breakefield Fulton ’61, Charlene Cronenberg Beradino ’63, Linda Kaley Erkelens ’64, Kristan Rodger Sammons ’64, Jane Everhart Murray ’67, Candace Straight ’69 and Theodore Peters, widow of Margaret Campbell Peters ’45 all gave donations of $100,000 or more toward the library. To date 396 donors have made contributions toward the project, with the Class of 1963 presenting a reunion gift of $80,000—the largest reunion gift on record—in June earmarked for the library. The biggest boost to library fundraising came in February from Marguerite Brooks Lenfest ’55, who gave a $3.6 million matching gift to the College. A gift of this kind benefits all who give by doubling the impact of individual gifts and helping the College reach the matching goal. As we look ahead, the College is committed to building on the good work and energy of this past year. The student center and McElwain/Davison Hall projects will be completed and we will look toward additional infrastructure improvements. The faculty continues work on programs and curriculum with an animal studies major going to the board for

approval and an expansion of graduate programs under consideration. And enrollment has become an effort shared by the entire campus. As our new students—women and men—arrived on campus this fall they were quickly followed by the media. The energy, enthusiasm and poise they showed, both female and male, in interviews was incredibly uplifting. They spoke of their excitement of being at Wilson and how they were looking forward to their college experience. WCGA President Caileigh Oliver added, “[Students] definitely feel very positive and very strongly about this year. Sarah Wilson Week was excellent. We had tremendous participation and that definitely started off the year on a high note.” That energy is shared by the faculty, who are joined by seven new colleagues in the programs of business and finance, math, chemistry, psychology, education, and communications. Also joining Wilson is Dr. Carolyn Hart, program director for the RN to BSN online program for nurses. This program will serve as the starting point toward establishing a health sciences division at Wilson and continues the process of building distinctive and innovative programs. Professor of Biology Dana Harriger recently summed up the feelings of many on campus about the work taking place, “We’re moving into new areas. That’s very exciting that the College is building upon its strengths, what the College does well. We are on the horizon of a lot of potential. I think it’s an exciting time. You have to be optimistic.” W

WILSON BY THE NUMBERS 2013-14 Enrollment 20 States 44% 14 Countries


ove r all 308 – Undergraduate College 91 – Graduate Programs 263 – Adult Degree Program

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of undergraduate students live on


of associate and bachelor’s students are Pell eligible due to moderate to low family income

students receive form of financial aid 97% ofsome


mean cumulative

GPA for first-year students

of H.S. Class

42% in top 20% *Based on student reported data.

Wilson College

2012-13 Financial Highlights giving rate 2012-13 Total giving: $4,142,533.46

Alumnae/i............$1,795,196.21 43.34% Trustees............. $1,394,051.49 33.65% Foundations.........$529,645.50 12.79% Friends.................. $200,467.71 4.84% organizations...... $140,308.07 3.39% parents................... $56,178.08 1.36% faculty/staff..........$26,686.40 0.64%


Endowment value

fiscal year

Clockwise from left: The Class of 1963 gift of $80,000 to the John Stewart Memorial Library project is the largest reunion gift on record. Nine students presented research posters on Student Research Day. Professor Robert Dickson (fine arts) recently exhibited his work at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C. Professor Dave True (religion), seen here lecturing, recently presented at a conference at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary that was hosted by the International Research Network on Religion and Democracy.











10 20 30 40 50 60 70 in millions

2013-14 academics Degrees Granted Bachelor of Arts


Majors /// 41 Minors

Bachelor of Science Master in Accountancy Master of Education Master of Humanities Associate of Arts Associate of Science

39 Full-time



Tenured fall 2013 11

lead by

12 wilson magazine



AMPLE Professor uses knowledge and understanding of horses to help others By Cherie Pedersen


hen Ann O’Shallie arrived at Wilson College 17 years ago, she was given a mandate by retired U.S. Army Col. Alfred Kitts, founder of the equestrian program, to establish a therapeutic riding program. It was a tall order for the time. Though other colleges included therapeutic riding as part of their equestrian studies, only one offered it as a major. O’Shallie stepped up to the challenge and wrote a curriculum for a fouryear degree in equine-facilitated therapeutics. The program is designed to give students a thorough knowledge of human disabilities and methods of teaching riders with disabilities, the biomechanics and kinesiology of the horse, and techniques to train, evaluate and advance both horse and rider.

Today, Wilson is one of only five colleges throughout the United States to offer such a program. “I owe it to Col. Kitts’ foresight in realizing that for students in equestrian studies, having a very wide base to stand on for their futures was going to benefit them,” O’Shallie said , who was recently named director of Equestrian Studies.

Under O’Shallie, a three-time recipient of Wilson’s Donald F. Bletz Teaching Award, students shoulder the responsibility for lessons, including scheduling, training and certifying volunteers; arranging for appropriate horses with the stable manager; getting necessary equipment, and evaluating their own and others’ lesson plans.

O’Shallie brought as much experience in the field as anyone could in 1996, experience that began while studying equine science at the University of Maryland in the 1970s. It was during the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and several injured veterans expressed interest in learning how to ride. “We had to think about how to do that,” she said. “Therapeutic programs were in existence, but they were very small and very new.”

“In the last semester, they are all functioning as program directors,” O’Shallie said. “When they walk out the door, I’m very comfortable in recommending them for a job because they are now colleagues. They’re not students anymore.”

In 1987, O’Shallie took what she had learned and started the Tipperary Horse Center in Spring City, Pa., until the farm where she taught was sold. By chance, she happened to visit a friend at Wilson, where Kitts overheard their conversation about therapeutic riding. The goals of the program she created are multifaceted. To accomplish them, students take courses in equestrian studies, education, psychology and small business management. Lin Podolinsky ’08, founder and director of Nickers ’N Neighs Therapeutic Riding Center in Acme, Pa., has nothing but praise for her former instructor. “As a professional in my field, I know that other programs in the country don’t even come close to comparing to the education I received under the tutelage of Ann O’Shallie,” Podolinsky said. “Her name and reputation is of celebrity status in the field of equine facilitated therapy for good reason. Her work in equine biomechanics and lesson planning and development is cutting edge.”

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Megan (Westover) Giordano ’08 credits O’Shallie with teaching her the skills to develop a therapeutic horsemanship program for special needs children at Leg Up Farm in Mount Wolf, Pa. “Every day when I reach into my toolbox for tools on how to solve a teaching problem or how to design a better program for one of my horses, or how to effectively lead the staff in my department, I am reaching for the tools that were created at Wilson,” Giordano said. “I feel even more privileged to have two other students who were trained by Ann working for me because I know the background that she gave them in the field.” Knowledge aside, O’Shallie hopes graduates will use their skills in humanitarian service. “They are never going to make a great deal of money in this field. They’re never going to be great philanthropists,” she said. “But there are other ways to pay it forward. I see the plight of individuals in Third World countries who have disabilities and there’s a lot that we can do. I try to keep the students aware that we are very, very lucky.” O’Shallie leads by example. Now president of the Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International, an organization

devoted to collaboration between countries to promote philanthropic, scientific and educational equine-assisted activities, she invites students to join her at conferences all over the world. She has led workshops to create programs and train instructors in Taiwan, Turkey and Greece, as well as throughout the United States, where she is a certified master instructor with the Pennsylvania Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship. She is also a master instructor and evaluator for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. O’Shallie uses her own money and frequent flier miles, not to mention almost every school break and holiday, to do the work that drives her. “When you go somewhere and you see that there are maybe seven horses on an island and they’re being used for the tourism trade, and the rest of the season they’re starving because they’re not bringing in any income, you have to do something about that,” she said. “So we help design a therapeutic riding program so the horses can be paying for themselves in the off-season.” In 2008, O’Shallie traveled to Nairobi with a different agenda: to study the grazing patterns of elephants through an Earthwatch grant funded by Joan Thuebel ’52. “I’ve always been a student of wild horse herds in the West and I’ve always been fascinated with elephants,” she explained. Because both have been affected by civilization encroaching on ancient grazing routes, O’Shallie hoped to investigate solutions that could also be applied to wild horses in the United States, primarily in Wyoming and Montana. Several years ago, she helped move a herd of wild horses in Wyoming and got more than she bargained for. “We had just come off Federal [Bureau of Land Management] lands and were on a macadam road when something


Equestrian students Ashlee Sunderland ‘17 and Stacey Sensenig ’17 (from left, facing camera) participate in an equestrian teaching class. Ann O’Shallie (center photo) leads a class. Allison “Allie” Shastay ’15 leads a horse with young rider Ean Ritchey.

spooked the horses,” she said. “My horse took off and there was no stopping. I was in front of the herd and had to weigh the options of bailing off or being hit by a Mack truck. I bailed and unfortunately was trampled by the horses behind me. I broke 28 bones, but I have my life and it was a learning experience.” The accident happened in summer. By fall, she was back at Wilson, with few people the wiser. Though she can no longer ride as well as she once had, she continues to publish papers, give presentations and, of course, teach others how to teach.

We don't want this to be one more therapy. Our hope is to make it enjoyable… — Ann O'Shallie “The students provide lesson plans for every class they teach and I review it with them. When they teach I’m watching and afterward, we talk about it,” she said. “We make some changes and they submit a new lesson plan for the next week, all with the goal of continually moving their riders forward in a safe and progressive, independent fashion.” On one thing O’Shallie is firm. “When they are here they are riders. Everyone who has a disability knows

that in some shape or form they are disabled. We don’t want this to be one more therapy. Our hope is to make it enjoyable enough that they look at it as a hobby and sometimes as a sport. It’s just a part of their lives.” Recently, the program received a grant from Franklin County Funds for Children with Disabilities to start a summer program that will provide both continuity and opportunities for paid internships. As always, financial support is crucial since most of the riders in the program do not have the resources to pay for lessons. “We always need help with new equipment,” O’Shallie said. “We would love to eventually have a hydraulic lift so someone in a wheelchair could be lifted onto a horse. If we are going to be teaching students of the future, we need to be as state of the art as we can.” With about 40 students now enrolled as EFT majors, O’Shallie is always looking for more riders of all ages, and with varying disabilities, so that her students have adequate opportunities to teach. More helpers to assist riders would be useful too. “When we started out, we had difficulty getting enough volunteers to help because some of our riders need someone to lead the horse and people to walk on each side of them,” O’Shallie said. “In the last couple of years, we’ve had over 40 Wilson students volunteer in the program. Where else can you turn to a community of students and ask for help and have so many of them say, ‘I’m here’? The students here never cease to impress and amaze me in their dedication to this field.” The praise goes both ways. “As a teacher and mentor, Ann’s first and best attribute is her unwavering dedication to her students and the field of therapeutic riding,” said Ariel Huffman ’13, expressing a sentiment echoed by classmate Jenna Curran ’14. “I don’t think I’ll ever meet another person as truly dedicated and passionate about EFT as Ann is,” Curran said. “She gets to know her students on an individual basis and encourages each one’s strengths and helps us through our weaknesses.” W

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atricia Beidel ’82 raced down the highway to get to the Somerset County Fall College Fair after her last high school visit of the day. She pulled into the parking lot minutes before the event. After setting up she stood behind her table and waited patiently for the prospective students to arrive. "This is what I believe I am meant to do," Beidel said of her work at Wilson. "I had such a great experience at Wilson. I want others to have the experience I did." Beidel, director of admissions for the undergraduate college, has spent the day crisscrossing southern Pennsylvania, visiting high schools and meeting with students on the first day of travel season—a two-month span when colleges and universities send recruiters to meet with high school students and talk about the advantages of a attending their school. Beidel and the other members of the admissions team travel from urban schools to rural, in well-to-do suburban neighborhoods as well as those in blue-collar towns. Last fall, Beidel logged 9,000 miles on her rental car and lost 15 pounds keeping up the fast pace of the two months. With Wilson seeking to increase enrollment numbers, Beidel and four others on the College’s admissions staff will travel across Pennsylvania and parts of the Mid-Atlantic region, live out of suitcases, snatch meals when they can, visit approximately 400 high schools and stand for long hours at booths at more than 130 college fairs to recruit prospective students. At the Berlin high school, Kelly Aharrah, assistant director of admissions at Saint Francis University, in Loretto, Pa., and a travel-season friend set up next to Beidel. The two chatted as they straightened their rectangular banners as best they could on the round tables, laid out their brochures and hurried to grab a quick bite from a complimentary tray with carrots, celery and pineapple. Beidel had skipped lunch in the rush from high school to high school and racing to the college fair. She was one of 44 college recruiters at the event held in the combination gym and cafeteria. Though Beidel competes with the other recruiters, they also spend long hours together at college fairs throughout the fall and cross paths at high schools, even in the remote corners of the state such as Berlin, a small town of less than 2,200 people.

On this Monday night, about a dozen prospective students straggled in, most with parents in tow, walking slowly past the recruiters. Beidel learned long ago to wear comfortable shoes to the events because she has to stand for so long. By the end of the event, she had spoken to three students. At 7:30 p.m., the recruiters put away their brochures, folded their banners and departed. The event’s organizer apologized to Beidel and others as they walked out for the sparse attendance, which he blamed on a Pittsburgh Steelers game on Monday Night Football. After a late dinner, Beidel arrived at her motel in Johnstown, Pa.—where she had another college fair scheduled to attend the following morning—at nearly 10 p.m. During the 14-hour day, she traveled more than 250 miles, visited five high schools, attended one college fair, and met with more than a dozen potential Wilson students. On the road again Beidel travels with her rental car’s trunk filled with a suitcase and a case of Wilson brochures describing the College and various programs. As one recruiter for another small

university said, the quality of the brochures is important, not only because of what is written on them, but of how they make the prospective students feel about a school. Brochures that seem high-grade make students feel the schools seeking to recruit them really care about them. On her first travel day, Beidel drove nearly an hour to Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Pa., where two sophomores sat in a guidance counselor’s office. The two had signed up to hear Beidel explain Wilson’s programs and why they should consider Wilson after graduation from high school. She brought up the favorable professor-to-student ratio, the College’s intensive science programs and the research projects required of undergraduates, as well as Wilson’s traditions. The teens listened intently, asked questions and filled out contact cards to receive follow-up information before they returned to class. For the students, they have time to plan their college futures. For Beidel, the visit was a good kickoff to the travel season. At the next stop, Gettysburg Area High School, two students await Beidel, except this time one is a girl and the other a boy. The girl

was interested in the College’s veterinary medical technology program while the boy wanted to hear about its business degree offerings. Students she has met with, both male and female, have reacted positively to the change, Beidel said. At one recent high school visit, 12 students came to hear her presentation, more than double the number from her visit last year. That first day passed with stretches of Pennsylvania countryside between high school stops. After her last high school visit of the afternoon, Beidel drove nearly 150 miles to that night’s college fair in Berlin. The fair was free, though some organizers charge colleges to attend their events. The larger fair scheduled for the next morning in Johnstown, Pa., charged colleges $60 to attend while some national college fairs, where thousands of students attend, charge $500. Despite the sparse attendance at that Monday night college fair in Berlin, Beidel and other recruiters took it in stride. For 28 years, Dana M. Bearer, Clarion University’s associate director of transfer and adult enrollment, has traveled as an admissions recruiter for different colleges. “We’re

A Wide Net How does a small, regional college with a limited recruitment staff reach tens of thousands of prospective students around the country and the world? The answer is more complex than one might think. The Office of Admissions uses a variety of student search outlets to reach prospective students. Student search services operate in different ways and may include websites where students create profiles for colleges to respond to, or electronic marketing to a list of students who meet criteria prescribed by an institution. Services like Cappex, which is based in Highland Park, Ill., provide online tools to match students with colleges and scholarship opportunities. Prospective college students create a profile, listing their interest in particular academic programs and activities, desired distance from home, school size, etc. Colleges then run “campaigns” that target specific interests, as well as defining the kinds of students they want to attract. For example, among the campaigns Wilson is currently running with Cappex are those for veterinary medical technology and a general campaign for liberal arts. Both have a requirement for students to have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. Students that align with Wilson’s campaigns are then sent an informational email that allows them to express interest directly to the College.

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Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Wilson’s Cappex campaigns reached 66,428 students (more than 40,000 in September alone), with 245 expressing interest in applying. Wilson works with three different student search services, including Cappex. While the websites offer one approach, another form of student search is a comprehensive campaign aimed at students within the region that meets specified criteria. Working with college marketer TWGPlus, the admissions office has collaborated to create targeted campaigns for female and male prospective students that consist of 10 emails with messages about strengths of the College and topics of interest that link students to custom landing pages designed to begin the application process. These campaigns will reach approximately 30,000 prospective students. “Electronic recruiting is critical to admissions for a college like Wilson,” said Mary Ann Naso, vice president for enrollment. “It enables a small, regionally based staff like ours to extend its outreach beyond the high schools and college fairs that we can attend, and have an impact on a much wider audience.” — Brian Speer


misunderstood,” she said of recruiters in general. “[People] think our lives are easy. They don’t see the long hours on the road, the fairs where there are no students. They see we stay in motels, but they don’t see what it’s like living out of a suitcase. They don’t understand we’re the face of the university. During travel season we see few of our children’s soccer games or doctor appointments or school plays.” Beidel said it helps her that she has an understanding husband and children. Admissions work occurs year-round, but the two-month travel season—done mainly by veterans like herself or new people—can wear on recruiters. Many find the pace too hard to keep up. But Beidel said the job has its rewards. “Kids I recruited come up to me in the dining hall all the time,” Beidel said. “I get such a high off that. I love the kids. I really do.” Standing for Wilson Early the next morning, Beidel wheeled into a Johnstown, Pa., parking garage near the convention center where the 11th annual Cambria County College Fair was being held. More than 77 recruiters from regional colleges and universities, as well as the military, had set up for the event. Beidel, once again, placed her brochures and banner on the table as well as a small, stuffed toy horse with Wilson emblazoned on the saddle. Like Beidel, other recruiters try different tactics, from signs that rise eight feet in the air, to giveaways such as lanyards and miniature basketballs, in an effort to attract the attention of prospective students. The association that governs academic recruiters requires them to stay behind their tables when they speak to students to prevent them from luring prospects waiting to speak to other recruiters. The toy horse is a way to get the attention of potential students interested in horses and creates an entry point for Beidel to speak about Wilson’s equestrian programs. But some of Beidel’s friends at other colleges have made a game of capturing her horse. One recruiter from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh said he even plans to take it with him on his travels and photograph it in various locales. Another recruiter friend approached Beidel just before the students began to arrive, gave her a hug, and showed her a photo of his 1-year-old child. Beidel filled him in on her grandchildren. When she returned to the Wilson table, however, she said, “Did you see him? He was eyeing my horse.” At 8:30 a.m., the first busload of students arrived. Several approached her with questions about Wilson’s veterinary medical technology programs, and two asked about equine-facilitated therapy. “Do you have a nursing program?” asked one teenage girl, one of several who asked the same question during the event. Beidel explained Wilson does not. A high school boy asks if the school has engineering, another program the College does not have. “I get asked about those two [programs] all the time,” Beidel said. Moments after the first students arrived, Beidel remembered to add a sign she had made that she clipped on to her other Wilson sign, pointing out the College is coed. In visits to the College and at high schools with potential students, Beidel mentions Wilson is now coeducational. A teenage

Patricia Beidel ’82 sets up her display, which includes a slideshow of Wilson photos on a tablet.

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The Right Stuff:

Recruiting Athletes is About Time and Commitment

Creating a balance between academics and sports for the student-athletes is the philosophy of the NCAA at the Division III level. The same cannot be said for coaches, however. “It is time intensive. That’s the bottom line,” said Wilson College Field Hockey Coach and Associate Athletics Director Shelly Novak, who can begin one day at 6 a.m. and finish another at midnight. “If I want my team to improve, I have to put this kind of time into recruiting and be dedicated to it.”


Like most of Wilson’s coaches, Novak is not a full-time coach. As associate athletics director she is responsible for oversight of athletics recruiting, compliance, marketing and branding, team fundraising and assisting in the administration of an NCAA Division III program. “There is no balance. I just looked at my schedule. Next week after every practice, not only am I on the road for games, I’m on the road recruiting three or four high school games a day, at least four nights a week.” Recruiting is a highly competitive, complex undertaking that includes attending games, watching video, establishing relationships with coaches and athletes, print and email marketing, texting, and national recruiting services all in pursuit of players that are the right fit for both a coach’s system and Wilson College. Admissions counselor Miles Smith, who recently came to Wilson, is responsible for recruiting prospective students in a range of states around the country. He is also the College’s new men’s basketball coach, charged with building a program from the ground up. “I think admissions [coworkers] would say I probably don’t sleep. I don’t know, I guess I’ve got to use my youth as much as possible. But I’m up all times of the night,” Smith said. “Once I get off work, if I’m not at an open gym, or a recruiting visit, I’m going home, I’ll do some work for my master’s program, spend some time with my wife and son and then like around 9-9:30, I’m up until midnight, looking at either highlight tapes or game tapes, or breaking down film of teams that I’ve seen. Yeah, it’s a never, never-ending thing.” But identifying talent is just part of the process. Coaches of both women’s and men’s sports need to weigh the merits of potential recruits beyond the playing field, especially in the classroom. “Well, first thing, I don’t look at kids who are under a 3.0,” Novak said. “So, I’m going to attack this from an academic side, because I know that those kids, we’re going to give them a great education, but I want them to be academically successful.” Smith agrees. “That is my goal of getting students who want to be academically sound students first, and use basketball as a way of finishing the process of being a student-athlete. So with that being said, I can get kids earlier, based on the programs that we have. It’s the sell of the master’s in accountancy, not the basketball program. It’s the English department, the sciences or the business department. And that’s my goal for all the individuals, the basketball stuff is going to work itself out, the academics is my main concern.” While student-athletes might be more focused athletically, they are still active participants and leaders in the campus community. “We’re actively recruiting student-athletes, we’re looking for kids who want to do it all,” Novak said.


“It has to be certain individuals,” Smith said. As Wilson transitions its student body, he takes care to make sure he recruits “male athletes who are able to handle going coed. I have to make sure I recruit guys with good character, unselfish guys and people who are willing to come into a women’s-centered institution. So that is the main thing that I want to make sure to focus on, good character, bringing in good character.” —Brian Speer


High school students (left) fill a convention hall in Johnstown, Pa. Patricia Beidel meets with prospective students at a high school guidance counselor’s office in Johnstown, Pa.

boy approached and said his guidance counselor had not allowed him to sign up for a visit Beidel had scheduled at his high school because the counselor thought Wilson was still only for women. Beidel told him she would speak to the guidance counselor. Recruiting for a coeducational institution has been a different experience for her because, she said, girls who would have never considered Wilson before are now interested, and the boys are particularly attracted to Wilson’s math and science programs—two areas of strength for the College. Word that Wilson is now coeducational appears to be slowly spreading and interest is growing.

The morning passed with a steady stream of students approaching Beidel. Several filled out contact cards for follow-up information. Some of the high school students walked by without giving a second glance at Wilson’s materials. Instead, many of them hurry to the tables of the bigger, well-known colleges and universities in the Pittsburgh area. “We don’t have enough name recognition,” Beidel said. At 10:20 a.m., just as Beidel finished speaking to three high school students, she noticed her horse missing. The flow of students slowed to a trickle. She looked

over toward the recruiter several rows away to whom she had spoken with earlier. He grinned mischievously back at her before he turned to a student in front of him. “I didn’t even see him come over here,” she said. Soon after, another recruiter friend got it back and brought it over to her. An hour later, Beidel and the other recruiters packed away their materials, loading them into their cases to go to their next visits. After a quick stop for gas and lunch, Beidel drove to an appointment at Conemaugh Valley High School just outside Johnstown, where several students were waiting, including a few she had spoken to earlier at the college fair. They asked additional questions about Wilson’s programs. One of the high school’s graduates is currently a student at Wilson and Beidel said later that recruiting just one student from a far-off school pays off down the road because more students at that high school learn of Wilson through word of mouth. Conemaugh Valley is a small school that graduates between 80 to 100 students a year, guidance counselor Laurie Semelsberger said. The school does not get many college recruiters, but one she can always count on seeing is Beidel, she said. For Beidel, the work goes beyond just recruiting potential students to Wilson, but also making sure the students are those who would benefit from a Wilson education. If she thinks their goals involve an academic path that Wilson offers, she encourages them to visit Wilson to see the campus for themselves. In August, three times as many students visited the College as the same month last year. “You can hear my pitch, you can see the beautiful photos on the website, but it’s not the same as walking the campus in person,” Beidel said. “I encourage everyone to visit because you don’t know if it’s the school for you until you see it for yourself.” W

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Thistle, by Brenda Ashton Aiken ’57 Watercolor, 23¼" x 19"


Wilson mounts Alum Art exhibit


scar Wilde called a work of art “the unique result of a unique temperament” and you can see it in the delicate petals of the watercolor painted by Brenda Ashton Aiken ’57 and the shadows in the photo by Elizabeth Ashby Wardlaw Mitchell ’67. You can see it in the work of 24 Wilson artists at the annual Alumnae/i Art Exhibition through Dec. 6 at the Hankey Center. The exhibit allows Wilson alumnae/i to share their work with the community. While some of the artists studied their craft at the College, others discovered their talent later. Wilson Magazine is pleased to share some of the work represented in the exhibit, which covers a range of art, from feature drawings, paintings and prints to ceramics, photographs and mixed-media artwork. The exhibit at the center, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, is presented by Wilson’s Department of Fine Arts and Dance, Office of Alumnae/i Relations and C. Elizabeth Boyd Archives. Admission is free.




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Origin, by Kichung Lee Lizee ’67 Chinese ink and watercolor, 52" x 28"

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Folding Bed-Corner of Wilson, by Helen Rawson Bryce Watercolor, 11" x 8½"

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Prevent Pollution, by Sarah Bonham Robinson '61 Watercolor, 26" x 20"

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Warfield, by Elizabeth Ashby Wardlaw Mitchell '69 Photo, 9½" x 13¾"

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around the green

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tolerance in the chapel Sierra Schnable applies Wilson foundation to master’s research By Casey Beidel


ierra Schnable ’12 spent the summer interviewing the leaders and members of Protestant churches in the Boston area that avidly support their lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and queer members to find out how their institutions differ from other churches. “It’s important to me to see how these churches are working and how we can make that work everywhere else,” she said. The interviews were part of her research while she works to earn a dual master’s degrees in sociology and gender studies at Brandeis University in Boston. “It’s beautiful,” Schnable said. “There are whole churches here that are made up of gay and lesbian members that are open to other lifestyles.” Schnable developed her interest in sociology at Wilson College, where she graduated summa cum laude with a major in sociology and minors in women’s studies, dance and political science. Her senior research project, “The Value of a Women’s College,” involved interviewing alumnae and asking them how attending a women’s college has affected their lives and careers. “I wanted to get to the heart of how Wilson impacted their life course,” Schnable said.

The opportunity to conduct independent research helped prepare her for her work at Brandeis. “Many students don’t get to do independent research,” Schnable said. “That has been a great advantage. The whole experience was a great jumping-off point for my work now.” Schnable also credited working with Wilson’s sociology department, where she served as a work-study tutor, for giving her confidence in her assistantships at Brandeis. She worked closely with her adviser, Associate Professor of Sociology Julie Raulli. "Not only was Sierra an excellent student, she was also a gifted tutor for students who took Introduction to Sociology,” Raulli said. “It was wonderful to watch her grow as both a sociologist and as a teacher during her time at Wilson." Schnable was awarded scholarship support in the field of sociology in her senior year at Wilson through the Carolyn Zeleny Prize, which is awarded to a junior or senior in the field of sociology on the basis of academic excellence or community service. During her time at the College, she was involved in the Wilson Scholars Program and graduated summa cum laude with honors in the discipline of sociology.

Although she was a second-generation Wilson legacy student—her mother, Regina Stake, graduated in 1992—Schnable was unsure at first whether she wanted to attend Wilson. After considering a number of schools, she decided to visit the campus and soon after her choice was clear. “When we started visiting, I asked [my mom] about her experiences, and the things she found at Wilson were what I was looking for,” she said. “Those things were important to her, and I found those things too.” Schnable appreciated Wilson’s traditions, the level of interaction with the professors and classroom dynamics, she said. At Brandeis, she incorporates Wilson’s teachings into her daily work. “As a [teaching assistant], I noticed the professors weren’t managing the dynamics of who was talking and who was being heard in the classroom,” she said. The education Schnable received at Wilson continues to guide her in other ways as well. “I could go on and on about the things that I got from Wilson that I use at Brandeis,” Schnable said. “I loved the Wilson experience I had.” W

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New Students Move in to Residence Halls with Help of Wilson Faculty and Staff By Ben Ford


n a warm August morning, Rachel Cocoros, 19, lugged boxes of bed linens, books and pillows up three flights of stairs to her new home in a Wilson College residence hall. While Cocoros had friends and family to help her, she and other Wilson students moving in were assisted by Wilson faculty and staff volunteers with carrying clothes, furniture and other belongings. Cocoros, a junior who transferred from Harford Community College in Maryland, chose Wilson to continue her education in creative writing because she is excited about the programs the College offers and by the campus itself. “It’s really small, but it’s also really spacious,” she said. “I’m from the country and it feels like home.” Cocoros, who has lived at home while attending college her first two years, said she is eager to be out on her own. Her mother, Kate Cocoros, wasn’t as eager. “I’ve been crying all day, but I’m not sad. I’m proud of her.” Her daughter considered several schools before choosing Wilson. “I love it,” Kate Cocoros said. “It’s a perfect fit for her.”

While sending a child off to school is emotionally difficult for many parents, a recent tradition begun several years ago is helping them with the physical work. Denise McDowell, director of advancement services and stewardship in the College’s Office of Institutional Advancement, said she volunteered to help the students move in so that she would get to meet them. “In my office we don’t have a lot of interaction with the students,” McDowell said as she set down a student’s cardboard box. “It just feels good to start the new school year like this.” More than two dozen faculty and staff helped the new students and their parents unload and haul boxes and furniture into the residence halls, often making repeated trips up several flights of stairs. The assistance was especially appreciated by one student’s father, Dean Rose, who was there to help his daughter, Desiraye Rose, 18, carry boxes up three flights to her dorm room. “It’s very helpful,” he said, sweat pouring down his brow. Desiraye Rose enrolled at Wilson to pursue her goal of becoming a veterinarian who

I've been crying all day, but I'm not sad. I'm proud of her. — Kate Cocoros 30 wilson magazine

works with exotic animals—particularly big cats—at a zoo, and will be in the College’s veterinary medical technology program. “Steve Irwin inspired me,” she said, referring to the Australian wildlife expert and conservationist who achieved fame on the television series “The Crocodile Hunter.” Most veterinary schools prefer students to have a four-year veterinary medical technology degree instead of a two-year degree, said Rose, who considered attending Virginia Tech, but thought the campus was too large for her. Dean Rose looked at his daughter with pride as she spoke. “It’s a little stressful, but exciting at the same time,” he said of seeing his daughter off to college. Freshman Kerri Bennett, 19, of York, Pa., was one of those that McDowell and other volunteers helped move into the third floor of her residence hall. Two SUVs were packed with boxes for her dorm room. For Bennett, living away from home for the first time to put her on the path to eventually becoming a veterinarian. “I’ve wanted to be a vet since I was 4,” she said. The hardest part for her was leaving her numerous pets behind, said her father, Mark Bennett, who was there to help with the move. “She burst into tears this morning because the dog was standing right there watching her go,” he said. “Her mom had to drive her vehicle because Kerri couldn’t.” W

Education department office manager Marian Strait helps move students into their rooms on campus.

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around the green


around the green

Senior Morgan Shadle is studying what motivates people to volunteer to help others

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the psychology behind

altruism Disert Scholar Morgan Shadle '14 Searches for Motivation of Volunteers By Casey Beidel


ilson College senior Morgan Shadle wants to know what it means to be altruistic.

The 2014 Disert Scholar who has spent hundreds of hours doing volunteer work, chose for her senior research project a study of the psychology behind volunteering. Shadle is seeking to find if there is a difference between those who volunteer because they want to and those who volunteer because it is required. Required volunteerism sounds like an oxymoron, but judges often require community service as part of the sentences of people convicted of crimes. Many organizations, such as the National Honor Society and Girl Scouts of the United States of America, also require volunteer activities on the part of members. In addition to finding out what motivates others to volunteer, “I want to see how volunteering has affected me,” Shadle said. She has set up a two-part approach to her research: a survey that asks questions about the processes and results of volunteering, and personal interviews. “I’m looking at whether non-required or required volunteer work affects how altruistic you are,” said Shadle, who defines altruism as “doing something to help others without getting anything in return.” Her project’s focus came from her own volunteer experience as a Curran Scholar,

which requires her to complete 260 hours of service per academic year. She volunteered with the Greater Chambersburg Area Chamber of Commerce by working nearly 20 hours a week at the Chambersburg Heritage Center, where she gave walking tours in 18th-century attire to local elementary school students. She also helped the Chamber of Commerce with several other projects. After completing more than 260 hours of volunteer work, Shadle was named Chambersburg Heritage Center’s ambassador of the year in 2011. When she is not cultivating her academics, Shadle is often outside, working in her garden. “I like planting plants and watching them grow,” she said. “I especially like hummingbirds. You create a habitat and then they come to you. It takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it.” Shadle also volunteers her time at the Franklin County Therapeutic Riding Center, where she helps provide therapy to community members with special needs. That experience is shaping her plans for the future. At the riding center, she’s become familiar with three kinds of rehabilitative therapies—physical, occupational, and speech. Although she is majoring in psychology and religion studies at Wilson, she now intends to pursue a master’s degree in speech/language pathology.

Shadle credits her work in religion studies for opening her mind to helping those with special needs. “Understanding others, being open-minded and seeing that there are other ways than mine—I learned that through my classes,” she said. Shadle has been recognized not only for her character, but also for her scholarship. In addition to receiving the prestigious Margaret Criswell Disert scholarship—awarded to the Wilson College student whose senior advanced research project is deemed the most worthy of support—she also received the Margaret Strode Haines Award, presented to a student in the humanities field with excellent scholarship and strength in mind, body and spirit. Shadle’s adviser, Associate Professor of Religious Studies David True, calls Shadle a model student who has excelled in his classroom because of her willingness to contribute to class discussions and her respect for other students’ opinions. “(Shadle) is not only an outstanding student, she is a quality person,” True said. “I have every confidence that she will make an outstanding contribution to her profession.” W

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more medals to her collection Mirjam Tuovila keeps winning at 88 By Gina Gallucci-White


ompleting a triathlon is considered by many to be a major life accomplishment but for Mirjam 'Mit' Tuovila, it's just another race. The Class of '47 alumna has participated in one to three triathlons a year for more than a quarter of a century. What makes the feat even more amazing is Tuovila is 88. While many her age have limited mobility due to declining health, Tuovila goes for swims three times a week, walks her dog twice a day and bike rides near her Yorktown, Va., home every week. "She's like this little Energizer bunny," says Beatrice Sanford, Wilson College director of gift planning and community relations liaison who met Tuovila in August. "She's incredibly agile and very sharp. She represents Wilson women well. I was really impressed by her." Even from a young age, Tuovila always was active. Serving as a swim instructor for several decades, Tuovila was encouraged to try a triathlon by a swim coach at the College of William & Mary. "Once you try it, you get bitten," she says. After winning four gold swimming medals in the Virginia Senior Games in May, Tuovila qualified to compete in July's National Senior Games held in Cleveland. Tuovila has earned the right to compete multiple times in the games, which are held every two years. At the National Senior Games she won two gold medals in the 200-meter breast stroke and 100-meter individual

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medley and two silver medals in two other swimming races. Tuovila's proficiency in the breast stroke came from swimming in the York River when she was younger, recalls Mildred 'Millie'

As a physics major, Tuovila took hard classes but Horst remembers her getting good grades. "She usually did very well," she says. "Once she did make up a song about getting a C."

Mainly, you just have to keep active. That's the big thing. — Mirjam Tuovila '47 Light Horst '47, her Wilson senior year roommate. The only way to clear debris and fish away was to do the breast stroke. Tuovila also competed in the triathlon in the 85- to 89-year-old category. "There were just two of us. I got beat out," she says with a laugh but with a hint of frustration in her soft voice. She will be 90 when the next National Senior Games take place in Minneapolis and she hopes to be able to compete. "I'm grateful for all that I have," she says. The daughter of two Finnish immigrants, Tuovila majored in physics at Wilson. Horst recalls Tuovila's great sense of humor, a love of coffee and being popular with boys from other colleges. Horst accompanied her home to New Jersey during one break in school. "It was a wonderful break for me," Horst says.

She and her husband of 55 years, Weimer Tuovila, who died in 2004, had three children, a daughter and two sons. Besides training, Tuovila keeps busy volunteering at her church, including selling books at its bookstore and working at the food bank. She recently helped with a youth triathlon in her town where about 25 to 30 children competed and gave them medals she has won over the years. "I still have a pile of them," she says. While many people her age would be content to watch others compete, Tuovila still has a passion to compete and be active. When asked if she had any tips, she says the key is exploring different things and finding something you like to do. "Mainly, you just have to keep active," she says. "That's the big thing." W

At 88, Mirjam Tuovila ’47 competes regularly in triathlons and swimming competitions.

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around the green

PHOTO BY Lauren Kershner

around the green

Sam Baker ’13, right, poses with her son and teammates Monica Lyons ’13, left, and Tara Fields ’13, center.

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fulfilling a

dream Women with Children graduate Sam Baker '13 made the most of her college experience By Cherie Pedersen


hen she was in high school, Sam Baker ’13 dreamed about being a college athlete. An avid lacrosse and basketball player, she envisioned the camaraderie that comes from being on a team and giving your all to a sport you love. What she did not envision was having a child on the sidelines. But life has a way of handing out unexpected obstacles, so when she did start college, the challenges she faced were different from most of her peers. Work, motherhood and school defined her college experience. Athletics were not in the picture—at least not until she heard about the Wilson College Women with Children program and transferred. “When I came here, I found a whole community of women I could relate to,” said Baker, last spring relaxing between classes in the two-room suite in Prentis Hall that she shared with her 5-year-old son, Haydn. Another mother in the program encouraged her to join the basketball team. At first she was skeptical. “I felt out of shape and wasn’t sure how I was going to play basketball and get babysitting and take Haydn on away trips and handle school at the same time,” Baker said. “I was afraid it would negatively affect my son, but it’s the opposite now. He’s like a social butterfly because he’s met so many people. He’s the team’s biggest fan.”

Although Baker is not the first WWC student to play a sport, she is unusual in that she did not join the team until her senior year. As a transfer student majoring in psychology and the mother of a young child, she wanted to get her bearings before taking on yet another responsibility. But when she did join, she was fired up and ready to go. “Sam brought passion to the game,” said basketball coach Angie Grove. “She was a very aggressive player who worked hard and never gave up. She was also a good leader and communicator who provided a spark we sometimes needed, and kept the girls doing their best. By the end of the season, she was either starting or coming off the bench.” More often than not, Haydn also occupied the bench, though his grandparents, who live in Frederick, Md., were usually at games to provide supervision—one of the requirements for WWC athletes. “We have some rules and policies in place to allow [WWC participants] to be part of our programs,” said Wilson Athletic Director Lori Frey. “For example, they can bring their children to practice if they have their coach’s permission, and that’s operating under the assumption that they are old enough to be on the sideline. If it were a very young child, that would be different.

The children may also travel on the buses with their moms to away competitions but our rule is somebody has to be at the competition to serve as a babysitter.” Frey acknowledges that WWC athletes like Baker have to be dedicated to make it all work. “Basketball has a lengthy season that runs from mid-October to the end of February,” she said. “There are five to six twohour practices a week, and some 25 games throughout the season with bus trips that can last several hours or even overnight. The time commitment is huge.” There were times she wanted to quit, Baker admits. “(But) I had people who were counting on me and rooting for me,” she said. Her only regret while at Wilson was that she didn’t get involved with athletics at Wilson earlier. “Being involved . . . gets you out of the ‘we’re different from you’ box,” Baker said “I was able to fulfill a dream that I thought wasn’t going to happen.” W

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— from your —



onor is a frequently discussed topic—living with honor, treating others with honor, doing honorable things. All of those are true and important things that make perfectly fine essay points, but they don’t truly challenge you or make you think about how honor affects your daily life. They don’t touch on what I feel is one of the most important aspects of honor—being honest with yourself. After all, how can you truly live with honor and act honorably toward others if you aren’t even honest with yourself? By honest, I mean truly knowing yourself. The kind of knowing that comes after long bouts of deep thought and contemplation. The kind of knowing that when you start feeling uncomfortable about a thought you have, you tackle it head on instead of ignoring it. By knowing yourself, you become truer in your actions with others—more honorable. Unfortunately, not all of us have time to sit and actively think about how honest we are with ourselves. Our lives are flying past us these days, with so much information coming at us from all angles that it’s often easier to let those moments of discomfort pass by. Frequently these moments of self-insight are scattered throughout our lives, happening when we least expect. I had one such moment—which led to a sequence of moments—this past July. With the help of Wilson College student development staff, I was accepted to the Student Social Justice Training Institute at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I was one of 38 students from colleges around the country who are all active in diversity-related groups on their own campuses and already educated about the basics of social justice work. According to their website, the goal of the institute is “to provide students with an intense laboratory experience where they can focus on their own learning development to increase their multicultural competencies as social justice change agents.” All of us were unsure of what this meant exactly, but were eager to find out. The following four days we were immersed in examining ourselves and the various dominant and subordinated identities that shape who we are—race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, age and ability. We discussed how our actions enforced or challenged the status quo. We were taught that we are our identities, the good and the bad, and that we have to own our entire identity—including the people we share it with. This was when I had one of my moments. I have always considered myself a feminist—by feminist, I mean that all should be treated equally regardless of gender—and a big advocate for equal rights for women. In the past, I’d often tell others, “I’m not a girly girl,” and was very anti-anything I saw as overly girly—pink, frills, the works. When we were told we had to own our entire identity, I realized that my actions and

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words were actually putting down my own gender. By using the term “girly” in a way that bordered on insulting, I was implying that there was something wrong with being feminine. I was unwittingly helping contributing to the oppression of women—something I am strongly opposed to.

By knowing yourself, you become truer in your actions with

That realization threw me off balance, but was a catalyst for the rest of my time at the institute and beyond. I now constantly examine my actions, what prompts them, and I dig deep to make sure that I’m being honest with my— Caileigh Oliver '14 self—not only about what I’m doing, but about how what I’m doing can affect others. Practicing this basic form of honesty with myself has helped me become more honest in my interactions with others.

others—more honorable.

However, I would not have had the experience I did if I hadn’t already experienced being honorable by living by the Wilson Honor Principle. Following the basic tenets of the honor principle helped me learn concepts that shaped my experience at the institute. Concepts like respecting opinions different from my own rather than dismissing discussion as “wrong” because of conflict with my beliefs. I listened to what was said and I benefited. Those benefits came about because I had the chance to actively practice and learn that behavior here at Wilson, in a community that encourages honorable behavior and helps students discover what it means to live with honor. Acting with personal integrity, treating others with honor, and living by the honor principle sets you on the road to truly knowing yourself. That challenge you gain from constantly being honest with yourself? That is one that can last you a lifetime. — Caileigh Oliver ’14 President, WCGA

— from the —

archives T


he Alumnae Association of Wilson College was formed in the living room of Abby Goodsell, Lady Principal of Wilson, in June 1879. Upon inviting a group of nearby alumnae to her home for a casual tea, Goodsell had, by the end of the evening, persuaded the ladies to form an alumnae association and had appointed a committee to frame a constitution. The purpose of the association was “to promote the interests of Wilson College and to maintain a spirit of fellowship among its graduates.” The very first project pursued by the group was refurnishing Norland Hall’s reception room. A number of standing committees were created over the years and in 1930, a section of the bylaws was amended to read, “The board of directors may appoint such committees as the work of the association requires.” These committees existed for varying lengths of time and were devoted to numerous projects. In their efforts to promote the interests of the College, the Alumnae Association members made financial contributions to scholarship funds, building funds, endowments for faculty chairs and so on. When the College nearly closed in 1979, devoted alumnae, faculty and students faced the realization that they were left with operating an institution low on funds and human and material resources. The Alumnae Association moved on from saving the College to making it presentable. As Carolyn Shaffer ’50 described the situation in the early 1980s, “The watch words were patch up, plug up, scrape, paint, mow, weed and trim.” As volunteers continued to make progress, the need for better furnishings in both common and public spaces became clear. In December 1983, the alumnae board, under Julia Billings Crothers ’38, approved the formation of the Preservation and Restoration Committee, with Joan Edwards ’58 as chair. The committee began to receive donations of funds from individuals and clubs, as well as donations of period furniture, artwork and decorative items. Furniture was repaired, reupholstered and refinished to furnish spaces including Patterson Lounge, the admissions office, Laird auditorium, dormitory lounges, alumnae offices, individual campus offices and the president’s residence. After many years of painstaking work, the committee members determined that the College’s public spaces were restored to a version of their former beauty. The committee’s name has since changed to the Heritage Committee, with the continued goal of preserving the history of the College and providing funds for improvement projects. The committee’s most recent effort is the purchase of a display case for Norland Parlor to showcase memorabilia from the historic McClure Collection. *Acknowledgements: "A History of the Alumnae Association of Wilson College from its Beginning in 1879 through 1968" by Mary Anstadt Tozer ’30 and "The Early Days of Restoration Work" by Carolyn Shaffer ’50.


— Amy Ensley

fall 2013 39

association news

Greetings, The Office of Alumnae/i Relations has been very busy over the summer: • Compiled feedback from Reunion 2013. • Revised the volunteer handbook. • Updated the list of class representatives. • Prepared for the fall semester of the Aunt Sarah Program. • E-news sent to all alumnae/i on the 15th of each month. • Added a Facebook page for Alumnae/i Relations—you can friend or follow. • Emphasized additional collaboration with campus officers, which is ongoing. Leadership Weekend was a success. All class representatives, whether celebrating a reunion next year or not, were invited. In addition, we invited Past Presidents of the Association and the current student leadership of the college—thus, making it a true Leadership Weekend. We were delighted to have over 60 alumnae participate in person or through our online video broadcast. We continue to encourage classes to contact us and confirm or update class volunteers as appropriate. If we missed you, please contact us. We hope you are enjoying our monthly e-news, which is informational on the happenings with the association and on campus. Please make sure we have your current email address. We would like to have as many email addresses of our members as possible. Check out the association web page. After each board meeting, we will post a summary of the discussions and actions taken. The association will continue to reach out to all alumnae/i by sponsoring events, informational sessions and volunteer opportunities. — Mary F. Cramer ’91 President , Alumnae Association

40 wilson magazine

—Marybeth Famulare Director of Alumnae/i Relations

We were delighted to have over 60 alumnae participate in person or though our online video broadcast. — Mary Cramer '91

Ring It Forward Former Trustee Is First Donor In Program Jane Everhart Murray ’67 recently donated her Wilson ring to the Alumnae Association’s Heritage Committee Ring It Forward program. Murray, whose ring is the first to be given to the program, feels as though she has sent it “back home.” “My mother [Elizabeth Stone Everhart] was a 1936 graduate and had the Georg Jensen ring design,” Murray said. “My mother wore it with great pride and great regularity. It became heavily worn, with the blue enamel entirely gone, while I was a child.” Murray said that her parents traveled in 1959 to Copenhagen and went to the flagship Jensen store. Her mother mentioned to the clerk that she had a ring designed by Georg himself, and told of how badly it was worn. They offered to re-enamel it if she had it with her, but it was back home in her jewelry box. “Nevertheless, it was a ring filled with memories which I always admired,” she said. When Murray enrolled at Wilson, she got her own ring. After she joined the college Board of Trustees, “I’d wear it at every Trustee meeting and look around to see which alumnae were wearing theirs, and what design they had. After rotating off the board, I thought I’d like to see one of the students at Commencement—or some underclassman who maybe didn’t have the funds to buy a ring—have my ring. They could add their own initials and graduation year. They then might decide, someday, to ‘ring it forward’ too.” PHOTO BY KENDRA TIDD

College rings are worn more by those on campus than those off, according to Murray. “I felt like this would be sending it back home to find a new owner,” she said. Forms are available at to participate in the Ring It Forward program. —Dianna C. Heim

Rewards program benefits Wilson College alumnae/i student activities

Do you order from Amazon? Use our link and Amazon provides a portion from each purchase to AAWC alumnae/i student activities. There is no extra charge to you as an Amazon customer. Spread the word and the link to support our efforts to give back to Wilson students. This program is a collaborative effort of alumnae/i volunteers with the Alumnae/i Relations Office and the Alumnae Association of Wilson College.

fall 2013 41

PHOTOS BY Carolyn woods

‘Aunt Sarah’ Growing Stronger I loved never knowing if there was a letter or a slip of paper saying 'pick up a package' at the post office. It made your day. — Sharon Jaymes Falk ’93

Sharon “Shay” Jaymes Falk ’93 always looked forward to receiving a gift or note from her “Aunt Sarah” when she was a student at Wilson so she stepped forward when the Alumnae Association wanted to revive the program. The Aunt Sarah Program, named in honor of College benefactress Sarah Wilson, pairs up alumnae/i with Wilson students. Through letters, emails and sometimes even small gifts, alumnae/i help guide and support their students through academic life. While a student herself, Falk loved being a “niece” to her Aunt Sarah. “I had a really good experience because my Aunt Sarah was also my French teacher in high school,” Falk said. “I loved never knowing if there was a letter or a slip of paper saying ‘pick up a package’ at the post office. It made your day.” After she graduated, Falk became an Aunt Sarah for eight years. “It was a lot of fun,” Falk said. However, the program stalled and at some point, the alumnae/i began discussing starting the program up again. Last year, Falk contacted Director of Alumnae/i Relations Marybeth Famulare. “I wanted to put this on the fast track because I felt students and alumnae/i needed to be involved in something positive,” Falk said.

The program is now open to all undergraduates in all programs. Last spring, Falk was able to pair 105 Aunt Sarahs with nieces and one nephew. She matches them up by major, as well as by interests and experiences. “It could be the Women with Children program,” Falk said. “It could be they both love Lord of the Rings.” Alumnae/i can be paired with a student or they can choose to give a one-time or occasional donation of a gift card, note or item for any student. When the campus community notifies the Office of Alumnae/i Relations of a student needing encouragement, the office uses its discretionary stash of gifts to brighten that student’s day. For those following the Aunt Sarah tradition of secrecy, aunts may bring or mail items to the alumnae/i relations office, where it can be picked up by their student. Students are encouraged to drop off letters or notes for their Aunt Sarah at the office, which will mail them to the aunt. “Students need to know those alumnae/i are there for them in whatever capacity they need us to be,” Falk said. “We do care about them and we want them to have the best Wilson experience possible.” —Dianna C. Heim

To register to become an Aunt Sarah, use the secure alumnae/i registration form, which can be found at To learn more about the program, prospective and current Aunt Sarahs can talk and network at Students must complete a form by visiting

42 wilson magazine

association news

Adventures Await! Travel with alumnae/i and friends of Wilson College to these exciting destinations, sponsored by the Alumnae Association of Wilson College Tours and Travel Committee. Ireland: July 20–30, 2014 Let the rugged allure and local charms of Ireland sweep you away on this nine-night tour featuring the best of Western Ireland and Dublin. Witness the postcard-perfect beauty of the Emerald Isle, from the craggy coastline of the Ring of Kerry to the bizarre lunar landscape of the Burren. Contact AHI Travel for trip details and costs at 800-323-7373 or visit Southwest National Parks: Sept. 19–29, 2014 Discover a spectacular array of natural wonders and incredible scenery in the American Southwest. Visiting some of America's greatest national parks, learn fascinating geological, natural, and cultural secrets of six larger-thanlife preserves, enjoy the Southwestern charm of your accommodations and take in breathtaking views that will stay with you for a lifetime. For more information, call Orbridge at 866-639-0079 or visit Craggy coastline of Kerry, Ireland

Window Rock, Arizona

Alumnae Award Spotlight The Tift Award The Tift Award, established in 1989, is presented at reunion to an alumna who has demonstrated exemplary efforts to promote the continuing growth of Wilson College. The current award winner, Cynthia Dimmick Grove ’63, defines what it means to be a Tift Award recipient. Grove has been an annual donor to the Wilson Fund since graduating and has been a member of the Pines and Maples Society— for donations of $1,000 or more in a year—for 25 years. A Trustee Emerita, she was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1988-98, serving a term as board chair from 1993-96. She was a part of the Forever More Campaign committee (1995-2001) and served as co-chair for the Leading with Confidence Campaign committee (2006-2011), where she and her husband, Dick, a current Trustee made a leadership

gift for the water wall in the Brooks Science Center. The Groves have also hosted several Leading with Confidence Campaign events near their home in North Carolina. Grove—who gave an endowed scholarship to the Women with Children Program in honor of her mother—recently answered the College’s call again through the Commission on Shaping the Future of Wilson College by sitting on the college success stories committee and the communications subcommittee. Cynthia Grove has clearly demonstrated exemplary efforts to promote the growth of Wilson College and is a prime example of what it means to be a Tift Award winner.

fall 2013 43


The Phoenix field hockey team prepares for conference play.

— last —



ou can meet the most remarkable people in the most unexpected places. You can turn a group of strangers into a tightly knit community in a very short time. And doing something that most people hope to never experience can be a wonderfully transformative event in one’s life. I learned these lessons and more during the 13 hours I recently spent in holding cells after being arrested in Washington, D.C. On July 26, I was one of 54 people who chose to be arrested as an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. My husband, Neil, was another of those arrested. This wasn’t our first arrest for a cause. We decided two years ago that it was time to translate our esteem for Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi into action, so in August of 2011, we were arrested for protesting the Keystone XL pipeline (designed to carry dirty tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, across the United States). As we neared our 70s, we had less to risk than many people. In part due to that protest, the pipeline has not been approved. But in March, President Obama received fraudulent reports through the State Department that the pipeline would not cause significant environmental impact. Our second arrest was designed to call attention to Environmental Resource Management (ERM), the company hired by the State Department to review the pipeline’s impact. ERM claimed that the pipeline would have no significant impact on the environment, but in an April op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, climate scientist James Hansen said the State Department should reconsider because researchers had concluded that the tar sands contain 360 to 510 billion tons of carbon—“more than double that of all oil burned in human history.” In addition, ERM was hardly unbiased. As Chesapeake Climate Action Network notes, they “lied about previous work with TransCanada, the company building Keystone XL, and failed to disclose ties to over a dozen companies with stakes in Alberta’s tar sands.” On July 26 we entered the lobby of ERM’s Washington, D.C., building and sat down. We chanted and held up protest signs. The building manager and the D.C. police announced repeatedly that if we did not leave, we would be arrested. Then the police began to handcuff the 54 of us who remained and escorted us two by two from the building. Neil and I were the first to walk out. We were put into paddy wagons a little after noon. The men were taken to one precinct and the women to another, where everything except our clothes was taken from us.

Linda Swanson (right) was arrested with her husband, Neil Swanson, by a Metropolitan Police officer in Washington, D.C., in July to protest a contractor’s report on the Keystone pipeline.

The next hours were unforgettable. At various times I was with women who were professors, editors and writers, photographers, community garden managers, therapists and engineers. All were passionately concerned that we leave our children and

grandchildren an earth that is safe. After initial processing, I was placed in a large cell with eight other women. As soon as the door closed, someone suggested we do a little yoga. Then another woman began to teach us rounds in Hebrew. They sounded spectacular in the space composed almost entirely of cement block and mirrored glass. As the hours passed, I learned salsa dancing, sang the “Macarena” with Keystone XL lyrics, heard great jokes, and bonded with my cellmates as we each told our stories of why we chose to be arrested. Because the police department computer was unable to handle all of our records, at 7:15 p.m., nine of us were transferred to the central cellblock for further processing. That involved handcuffs and another paddy wagon drive across town. In the new location, we were fingerprinted, had mug shots taken, were offered bologna sandwiches (I’m vegan so I said no thanks) and put into two-person cells. We had no idea when we would be released, but we knew we were in much better shape than the average individual in those cells because we had a lawyer from the National Lawyers Guild outside, working to get us out.

All were passionately concerned that we leave our children and grandchildren an Earth that is safe.

Though the other 45 arrested with us had been released earlier, we nine were held until 1:30 a.m. That delay turned out to be an incredible gift. I spent — Linda Swanson '65 six hours in a cell with a woman who will be a friend for life (along with her husband, who was in jail with Neil). Both of them are professors of sustainable development at a state university, doing amazing work for the planet. Beyond our shared concern for the Earth, my cellmate and I found we had many other things in common. We never ran out of things to share with each other, though occasionally we would pause for a rest or a little meditation, since we had no idea how long we would be locked up together. This was her first arrest and my second, and neither of us wanted to think about how easily we could have left the sit-in after the final warning and missed the amazing experience we shared. In addition, within a week of our arrests, the State Department’s inspector general opened a conflict-of-interest investigation of ERM.

Linda Williams Swanson ’65

fall 2013 65

1015 Philadelphia Ave. Chambersburg, PA 17201-1285

Patricia Beidel ’82 and the admissions staff go the extra mile to recruit students to Wilson. Stories begin on Page 16.

Wilson College Magazine Fall 2013  

Wilson College Fall 2013 Issue.

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