Giving Up Social Media
What happens when two Wilson students forego Facebook and other social media networks?
Student Answers a Call to Service | Planting Trees Remembering Sarah Hunter | A Tale of Two Wilson Women volume 86 | WINTER 2014 | number 4
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Wilson Fund donations impact studentsâ€™ lives every day. Your commitment to Wilson supports students and faculty and helps provide educational opportunities that shape our studentsâ€™ futures. Gifts of any size make a difference. Join your classmates, faculty, staff, parents and friends in supporting the Wilson Fund.
For information on ways you can support and volunteer for Wilson, visit
WWW.WILSON.EDU/WAYSTOGIVE or contact the advancement office at 717-262-2010
volume 86 | WINTER 2014 | number 4
FEATURES 09 A Love of Writing By Ben Ford Poet Melanie Faith ’99 describes her life as a writer and shares her poems. 16
12 Remembering Sarah Hunter By Athena Varounis Athena Varounis and Sarah Hunter, both of the Class of 1976, met at Wilson and developed a friendship meant to last a lifetime. Then tragedy struck. 16 A Tale of Two Wilson Women By Amy Ensley Evelyn Wiltshire ’37 and Hazel Barnes ’37 had very different views on following Wilson’s rules, but together, they both made the most of their college experiences. 22 Constantly Connected By Ben Ford Social media has changed the way we live and interact, but what happens when two Wilson students give it up?
AROUND THE GREEN 28 Answering the Call Patty Hall’s ‘epiphany.’ 30 Paying It Forward Stabler scholar pursues her dream. 32 Living With a Smile Professor credits cancer for positive changes in his life. 34 Writing Bernecker into the Record Books Soccer co-captain leads on and off the field. 36 Planting Seeds for the Future Project to plant trees and shrubs will help environment.
ALUMNAE/I 40 Alumnae Association An update from the AAWC president and alumnae/i director, Ring It Forward, supporting internships and student conferences spotlighted. 44 Class Notes 61 In Memoriam
DEPARTMENTS 02 Letter from the Editor 03 Wilson News Library campaign reaches milestone, Fulton Center for Sustainable Living receives federal organic certification, Wilson adopts new signature program in animal studies, Stabler Foundation gives $700,000 for scholarships, Office of Admissions reports applications and visits up, and other news spotlighted.
38 Viewpoint By Sarah Bay, Fulton Farm manager Thanks to the thousands of concerned citizens, the FDA revises regulations. 39 From the Archives By Amy Ensley A doll plays a part in Class of 1941 history. 65 Last Word: An Adventure in Learning Stephanie Marshall ’17 and her children find a home at Wilson.
ON THE COVER Marissa Feldberg juggles her school work, personal life and daily routines with her online presence. Photo by Brian Speer.
— letter from the —
Barbara K. Mistick, President Camilla Rawleigh,
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Brian Speer, Vice President for Marketing and Communications
WILSON MAGAZINE COMMITTEE
peaking at Fall Convocation, Director of the Hankey Center Amy Ensley weaved a colorful tale of two Wilson women, Evelyn Wiltshire ’37 and Hazel Barnes ’37, from their letters and book excerpts. Coming from a very conservative household, Barnes found the College liberating while Wiltshire flaunted many of Wilson’s rules by going out with boyfriends to dinners, shows and dances, and often returning late.
Mary Cramer ’91, Alumnae Association President Amy Ensley, Director of the Hankey Center Marybeth Famulare, Director of Alumnae/i Relations Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations and College Editor
Camilla Rawleigh, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Brian Speer, Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Carol A. Tschop ’72, Alumnae Association Courtney D. Wolfe ’12, Class Notes Coordinator
STAFF Managing Editor Ben Ford Design Kendra Tidd Contributing Writers Samantha Burmeister, Amy Ensley, Marissa Feldberg '14, Ben Ford, Laura B. Hans '13, Dianna C. Heim, Kimberly Maske-Mertz '14, Cathy Mentzer, Athena Varounis '76, Courtney D. Wolfe '12 Contributing Photographers Samantha Burmeister, James Butts, Ben Ford, Matthew Lester, Caileigh Oliver '14, Ryan Smith, Brian Speer, Kendra Tidd Wilson Magazine 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 717-262-2607 www.wilson.edu/magazine Alumnae Association email@example.com 717-262-2010 www.wilson.edu/aawc The Wilson Fund firstname.lastname@example.org 717-262-2010 www.wilson.edu/give
Despite, or perhaps because of, their differences, the two women became lifelong friends. They became roommates during their last three years at Wilson and both went on to graduate school at Yale. Like many who heard Ensley’s speech in Alumnae Chapel that day, I found the story fascinating and wanted to share it with the Wilson Magazine audience. Through the words of the two women and the exchanges between Wilson’s president and Wiltshire’s father, we get a glimpse of a different time with much more restrictive rules at the College, but also the timeless aspects of friendships made in the formative college years. As you read this issue of Wilson Magazine, you will find other stories of the College’s past and present, news of future events—from tree planting to library plans—and the lives of alumnae/i, students and faculty. At the suggestion of a reader, the name of the obituaries section has been changed. “… I find the new heading, ‘Obituaries,’ very cold,” wrote Judith Averill '59 in an email to the magazine and quoted with her permission. “While I support the omission of newly deceased alumnae relatives, I greatly prefer ‘In Memoriam’ as a warmer, more inclusive heading.” As the magazine’s managing editor, I thought she raised good points and the name of the section returns to In Memoriam. Even though not every suggestion for the magazine can be granted as easily, we listen and give consideration to all of them. Beginning with the summer issue of the Wilson Magazine, a policy of editing class notes was instituted with regard to any comments that seek to support or oppose college decisions. This policy is an extension of one established concerning the use of class notes as an editorial platform—a policy shared with class correspondents at Leadership Weekend and through the new Volunteer Handbook. The magazine began as a way for alumnae to stay connected with each other and the College. It has grown into a publication that builds community with all constituents. It helps the College tell its story and support its brand. As a result, the magazine is not the proper forum for the current debate. The College has received a considerable amount of feedback on this policy, both from those opposed to it and from those in support. The editing of class notes will continue in this and future issues, with magazine staff working with Alumnae Association representatives and the Office of Institutional Advancement in determining how the policy is applied. I hope you find this issue of Wilson Magazine enjoyable. As I write this, the falling snow has turned the campus into a lovely winter postcard. Wilson is a beautiful place where students continue to thrive, occasionally break rules and make lifelong friendships. Hopefully you will find some of that ongoing Wilson spirit inside this issue’s pages. Ben Ford Managing Editor
Correction: The name of Thérèse "Terry" Murray Goodwin '49 was spelled incorrectly in the Fall 2013 edition. Clarification: Morgan Shadle did her thesis as part of the honors psychology major and not religious studies.
WILSON NEWS LIBRARY CAMPAIGN REACHES MILESTONE Nearly $5 Million Raised so far in Cash and Pledges
Architectural drawing show proposed changes for the John Stewart Memorial Library. Fundraising efforts continue.
he “Reimagining the John Stewart Memorial Library” fundraising campaign has met the first $1.2 million phase of a matching gift from Marguerite Brooks Lenfest ’55, which will double the amount that Wilson receives. “That means we’ve raised $2.4 million since February 2013,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Camilla Rawleigh. The total raised in cash and pledges for the library since the first gift was given in spring 2012 is nearing $5 million, according to Rawleigh. Longtime college supporter Thérèse “Terry” Murray Goodwin ’49 gave the lead gift of $1 million in March 2012. Over the course of 2012 and early 2013, the College had raised a total of $2.3 million for the library, which has been closed since summer 2011 due to a heating system failure and is expected to cost from $10 million to $12 million to repair, renovate and upgrade. In March 2013, another longtime Wilson benefactor, philanthropist Marguerite Brooks Lenfest ’55, pledged a $3.6 million matching gift to the library. The pledge was broken into three segments of $1.2 million. The effective yield of the Lenfest gift is $7.2 million. Reaching the first $1.2 million phase is an important step, but the College is focused on meeting the other two matches before the pledge expires in March 2015, college officials said. “We have an end date on that match and any portion of the match that we don’t fulfill means we will have left money on the table,” Rawleigh said. The gift that allowed the College to reach the first Lenfest match came from Louise Robinson Plodinec ’68 and her husband, M. John Plodinec, of Aiken, S.C. After making two other gifts earlier in the year, the Plodinecs made an additional contribution on Dec. 12. “[Louise Plodinec] understands how important this is to the College and she continues to step up,” Rawleigh said. Wilson President Barbara K. Mistick, the Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees, and Rawleigh and her staff are focusing fundraising efforts on the library, which is an important part of college life and essential to drawing prospective students, college officials said. Since the Trustees’ decision in October to fund design development for the library option that involves razing the 1960s annex and replacing it with a modern learning commons, excitement among the alumnae/i community is increasing, according to Rawleigh. “The October board meeting gave tremendous clarity,” Rawleigh said. “Additional gifts are under consideration. Enthusiasm is growing. There is a ton of activity. We have over 400 donors who have contributed to the project.” At Reunion Weekend 2013, the Class of 1963 gave the largest 50th class reunion gift to date of $80,000. The Class of 1964, which will have its 50th reunion in June 2014, has designated its gift to the library and is aiming for $100,000, according to Rawleigh. “We are optimistic that we will reach our fundraising goal, but there is also a sense of urgency to meet the [entire] Lenfest match and begin construction as soon as possible,” she said.
winter 2014 03
PHOTO BY MATTHEW LESTER
FARM CERTIFIED ORGANIC BY USDA CENTER PURSUES PROJECTS The Richard Alsina Fulton Center for Sustainable Living reached a significant milestone in December when it received U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification for produce grown on Fulton Farm. Wilson College sought the certification, which recognizes natural growing practices already in use on the farm, to allow the College to pursue partnerships with the USDA, including research and funding opportunities. “This is a big deal,” said FCSL Program Manager Chris Mayer. “It’ll give our students tremendous opportunity for research with the USDA and that’s really what we’re after.” The FCSL includes Fulton Farm—which grows pesticide- and chemical-free produce for use in the community and dining hall— and the Robyn Van En Center, which houses a national database of community-supported agriculture programs.
04 wilson magazine
The FCSL made other advances in 2013, including new projects and initiatives that were completed or got underway thanks to funding from the Cargill Foundation. Over the summer, a pole barn for equipment storage was constructed and a produce wash station was built at Fulton Farm, providing a covered space where produce grown on the farm can be washed and packed before being sold at a local farmers market or through the farm’s community-supported agriculture subscription program. A related solar project is in process. Solar panels capable of generating six kilowatts of electricity have been installed on the roof of the new pole barn. After the array receives state and power company approvals, it will be used to power a solar irrigation pumping system throughout the seven-acre farm, as well as an electric tractor.
The solar project is being funded by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, which has provided funding for a wide range of sustainability-related projects on campus in recent years, including a solar charging station for electric vehicles, a composting toilet at the farm, the pole barn and washing station. The five-year, $433,612 Cargill Foundation grant is also is being used for several ongoing projects. Cargill funding is allowing Wilson faculty and administrators to explore the expansion of FCSL programming and course offerings in the areas of food science, food policy, food safety and sustainable farming. The FCSL will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014. Originally called the Center for Sustainable Living, the center was renamed in 1999 after former Trustee Susan Breakefield Fulton ’61 endowed it in memory of her husband, the late Richard Alsina Fulton.
WILSON HAS THREE YEARS TO COMPLY WITH MEN’S SPORTS REQUIREMENTS The NCAA granted Wilson College a three-year waiver in November to comply with male sports sponsorship requirements, allowing time for the College to provide the required number of athletic teams for male students. Under NCAA bylaws, Division III institutions with up to 1,000 students must sponsor five men’s varsity sports, according to Wilson Director of Athletics Lori Frey. The College already meets the sports sponsorship requirements for women, offering women’s teams in field hockey, soccer, cross country, basketball, lacrosse and softball. Men's Division III sports programs debuted at Wilson in fall 2013 with cross country. Additional men’s teams will include golf and basketball, set to begin in the 2014-15 academic year, and soccer and volleyball starting in 2015-16.
Head coaches for men's golf, cross country and basketball are in place and recruitment of male student-athletes is underway. Searches for men's soccer and volleyball coaches will be conducted in spring 2014. “The athletics department is collaborating with many campus constituencies and departments to assure the best possible experience for our current female student-athletes and our new male-student athletes,” Frey said. “Coeducation at Wilson is an important part of the college’s future, and nowhere does the transition involve more moving parts than in athletics,” said Barbara K. Mistick, president of Wilson College. “Lori Frey and her staff have done a remarkable job in shepherding us through the NCAA process.”
WILSON ADOPTS NEW SIGNATURE PROGRAM
IN ANIMAL STUDIES
A new signature program that builds on Wilson’s popular veterinary and equestrian-related degrees will begin in fall 2014 when animal studies debuts as a major. A Bachelor of Science degree in animal studies, which was approved by the Wilson College Board of Trustees in October, provides a new option for students who want a career working with animals, but are not necessarily interested in a science-based major.
It will prepare graduates for advanced study, as well as for a career as an animal trainer, animal control officer, zoo or animal park employee, researcher or someone who works with animal-assisted therapy or at a veterinarian’s office, among other things. Graduates also might work for a government agency such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Drug Enforcement Agency, or in the agriculture or animal inspection field. The animal studies bachelor’s degree program is the third new academic program to be added in the last year, joining the graphic design and master’s degree in accountancy programs that began in fall 2013.
PHOTO BY RYAN SMITH
The animal studies program is designed to be interdisciplinary in nature and will include study in such areas as animal behavior, the animal-human bond, training and handling methods, animals in service, environmental impact and ethical treatment.
Wilson students will soon be able to sign up for new animal studies major.
winter 2014 05
AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS VISIT WILSON Top administrators from three Franklin County school districts, the Chambersburg Area School District and the county career and technology center visited Wilson in November to learn more about the College. In addition to talking about Wilson’s various programs and facilities, the groups discussed ways to strengthen ties between the College and the school districts. Participants met with Wilson President Barbara K. Mistick, Master of Education Program Director Eric Michael and Vice President for Enrollment Mary Ann Naso before taking a brief tour of the Brooks Complex and visiting the Beach veterinary center, where they watched students perform a feline dental cleaning. The visits highlighted the need to keep area school officials informed about what Wilson College can offer their students.
LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
The Wilson College Department of Athletics launched a new website in November that provides easy access to information—including live stats for sporting events—as well as direct access to athletics social media pages and videos. The new website— which can be viewed at www.wilsonphoenix.com—also features a photo gallery, e-newsletter and sponsorship ads, as well as direct links to merchandise under the “Fan Zone” section. “The new site really enhances the online experience, both for our current student-athletes and those we are trying to recruit,” said Director of Athletics Lori Frey.
06 wilson magazine
ENROLLMENT ACTIVITY INCREASES DURING FALL SEMESTER The Office of Admissions at Wilson College had more than 400 applications as of mid-November in process—a number not normally reached until spring, according to Vice President for Enrollment Mary Ann Naso. Of those applications, 15 percent are from male students. Wilson has seen an uptick in prospective students attending fall open houses. The annual open house event for students interested in the equestrian and veterinary medical technology programs drew its largest attendance to date with 166 prospective students, surpassing the previous high of 109 reached in 2009.
WILSON NEWS RESIDENCE HALL, STUDENT CENTER RENOVATIONS CONTINUE
The Mac/Dav project, originally scheduled to begin in late summer, was delayed by the discovery of asbestos, which had to be remediated before actual construction could begin. “The asbestos abatement took longer than expected because they found a layer under the flooring,” said Ecker. “As of the middle of November, all [asbestos remediation] work had been completed. Then they were able to start actual construction.” Workers are replacing the plumbing and electric systems, installing air conditioning units in each room, painting, installing carpeting and renovating bathrooms. In addition, lounges, community kitchens and laundry areas are being updated. The Mac/Dav project is now projected to be finished sometime in March, according to Ecker.
PHOTO BY KENDRA TIDD
Two major construction projects were underway during the fall 2013 semester—a new student center and renovations to McElwain/ Davison Hall—with work on the student center being completed in early December. Though the construction phase of the student center has wrapped-up, finishing touches—including appliances, televisions and furniture—remain to be installed. The Wilson College Government Association donated $20,000 to help pay for student center furnishings. The student center, which was relocated to the former fitness center in lower Lenfest, is expected to formally open near the start of the spring 2014 semester, according to Brian Ecker, vice president for finance and administration.
Work on the new student center has wrapped up, but furniture and appliances are not yet installed.
STABLER FOUNDATION GIVES $700,000 FOR SCHOLARSHIPS The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation recently approved a $700,000 grant to continue its support for scholarships for Wilson College students with financial need. The grant is a $300,000 increase over last year’s award, bringing the total of Stabler support for Wilson to $1.1 million over the last two years. The funds will be added to Wilson’s Stabler scholarship endowment, which has provided scholarships for 65 students since the program began in 2009. Students are selected for scholarships based on financial need, academic achievement and service to the community. Although the number changes as the year goes on, a total of 26 students at Wilson are being helped with Stabler scholarships in the 2013-14 academic year, according to Margaret Light, director of corporate and foundation relations.
Located in Harrisburg, The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation was established by the Stablers in 1966 exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes. Last year, the foundation granted Wilson $400,000 for the scholarship endowment. Wilson students who receive Stabler scholarships sign a “debt of conscience” indicating that when they are able, they will make gifts to the endowment in an amount equal to what they received. This is not a binding agreement, but rather a commitment for future philanthropy after graduation. The Stabler Foundation has provided support to Wilson since 1985, including funding for the Curran Scholars program and daycare for Women with Children students, as well as the Stabler scholarships. (See related story Page 30.)
winter 2014 07
PHOTO BY JAMES BUTTS
The Hospice Tree of Light shines brightly during a recent night in the holiday season.
A Love of Writing
Melanie Faith ’99 Shares Her Stories in Poetry By Ben Ford
nspiration for poems can come to Melanie Faith ’99 from anywhere, from late-night shopping on the popular craft and art website Etsy.com to watching Japanese anime. At an early age, Faith knew she wanted to be a writer, but it was a high school teacher reading “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot to the class that convinced her to be a poet. “Something clicked for me,” Faith said. “I thought, ‘I could tell my stories in the form of a poem.’” She graduated from Wilson with a bachelor’s degree in English and later attended Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., where she received her master’s degree in fine arts. Faith opened this year’s annual Writers Series at Wilson, reading from her latest poetry collection, “Catching the Send-off Train.” Writing is such a solitary process that Faith said she enjoys when she has the opportunity to speak to an audience. Michael G. Cornelius, chair of Wilson’s Department of English and Communications, said he enjoys Faith’s presentations and that it is always good when she is able to speak to Wilson students to show an alumna who is a writer. Over the past 15 years, Faith has worked as a poet, photographer, English as a Second Language instructor, a creative writing instructor and a tutor at a private high school. “I’ve been teaching what feels like forever, although I love it,” Faith said. Inspired by how certain words sound and by details of her life, Faith writes poetry about a range of topics. She has written about the birth of a niece and how her sister’s progeny felt like her own. She has written about her love of buttons. She wrote about the chopping of firewood and the sound of the ax. She plays with words and the way they sound to strike just the right tone. “I like to use sound effects,” she said.
Faith has written about 70 percent of her poems on the computer, though sometimes she will grab a sheet of paper to jot down an idea or line when it comes to her. “Whatever is handy. Sometimes I’ve even written into a blank email document,” she said. Faith was on The Billboard staff at Wilson and did a summer internship at the Echo Pilot newspaper in Greencastle, Pa. “I covered school board meetings, got to interview a visiting artist, whatever they needed,” Faith said. “But I loved that I got to give that a try.” Faith also has taken to writing flash fiction— short stories generally under 1,000 words. “It’s a lot like poetry because you have to rely on image,” she said. “Of course in flash fiction, you’re not concerned with line breaks.” Flash fiction allows writers to develop characters easier than in poetry, she said. The growth of flash fiction has come with more people reading online, either through smartphones or e-books. “A lot of online magazines don’t like a lot of prose over 4,000 words anymore,” she said. “People’s attention spans online are much shorter. I used to write longer short stories. It’s hard to place stories that are longer.” In her flash story On Composition, she wrote about her love of writing and reality of a writer’s life. “Most of what we compose is, after all, dross— workbook pages half-filled, half-crossed out before the final, garden vegetables rotted with random infestations, letters in lead pencil on wide-ruled paper passed in class with good intentions then dropped or tossed or intercepted. But there are efforts which arrive as priceless payback. “You can only guess at what little good you’ve done for such splendid return—a check that covers rent on the exact day it’s due, lunch with a friend and you can’t recall how long it’s been since you’ve forgotten yourself this much, for the first time holding your niece of three weeks, this teeming thicket of life, love, light pulsing in your chest.”
See Melanie Faith poems pages 10-11.
winter 2014 09
Among The Poplars Imagine windswept hieroglyphsa, snow-packed prints. Fog, ice—winter’s imperfect loom. Dusk, the messenger, shape-shifts moon cold. Tangled brambles, branches descend. Father’s axe makes music, the swing and chop jack-knifes, crafting wood smoke. Memo of comfort: tealeaves, an unspooled dappled scarf fireside, later. First: breath’s snap and bite, overcoats in silhouette gather and stack, gather and stack.
Mix Tape Excavated from a sneaker box from a bedroom closet from a yellowed plastic see-through jewel case that still tucks perfectly into my palm, you make me feel fourteen again with your relentless spool of sound, with your rewind and fast forward and rewind. Impossible to know exactly where your stop will stop. Will it make the chorus this time? It little matters after all these years— you teach a musical patience born of hit and miss. You teach do-overs are still probable. In this jumbled life, a renewed grace. Nothing is earned or expected at once in afternoon stretching out like bare legs along summer grass. The fragment when it bubbles up— eventual, all the better for delay and imprecision.
10 wilson magazine
Browsing Etsy.com, I Window-Shop a Treasure I Will Never Purchase It’s ridiculous how much I want to add to my virtual cart the distressed tin with equine riders etched on its hinged lid, and inside the compartment a king’s ransom: three-hundred buttons. $16.95, plus $2 shipping. White, off-white, bone, tan, ecru ivory. A hillock of fortune by crafters’ standards. Two-hole, six-hole, a few with none on top nor drilled through but a nubby loop tucked underneath, such as once clasped sleeves, a wasp waist, a complicated bodice. In the offering: their surfaces brittle yet cool, slivers of plastic, disks of painted wood, shell, Bakelite, glass, celluloid made to mimic ivory. They overlap each other and yet fit, interlocking layers of sameness differing with each bit. Their at-any-moment usefulness, quiet composites of industry I know I’ll never repurpose for a pair of jeans, a doll’s dress for my niece, a button for the errant one on my white blouse I’ve not worn in eight months since the second from the top slipped its thread.
In a family tree littered with sewers on both sides, I am a failed seamstress with no desire to learn again— cross-stitch, crochet, pillowcases, a tote my middle school teacher completed on her own— even the matter of hems I finish with a brisk ruler brandishment, a squirt of gluey Liquid Stitch. It almost fixes itself. And yet, I cannot get over it, Not three or six to a cardboard card but three hundred buttons—at once!— as if pearlescent candies heaped, offering the slightest bit, a sliver of story no one now living can verify. Each and every could be all and any. I want the tin and its buttons aloft my white and black silk bureau scarf, then three minutes later my mind transports them to prime real-estate: beside the gray tabletop desk fan all the better to swing the lid ajar, all the better to sift them as I compose, as I drop them, letting the slippery circles plonk like coinage outspent as I plot for the screen. They have not outlived their purpose.
winter 2014 11
sarah hunter remembering
Wilson alumna slain in 1986 recalled for the happiness she brought others By Athena Varounis ’76
he was the last person I said goodbye to as a student at Wilson College. She was one of the first people I came to know. I met Sarah L. Hunter ’76 on the Wednesday of my first week at Wilson in September 1972. I came down from my room in Davison and my friend, Marian Burke ’76, (now Marian Burke Courtney) was waiting for me in the lobby. Standing next to her was this tall, solidly built girl with straight brown hair and squinting blue eyes. Sarah was wearing a green, L.L. Bean polo shirt, cutoffs and leather deck shoes without any socks. We were going to field hockey tryouts. (I had no idea how anyone could wear shoes without socks, let alone play field hockey in deck shoes.) “This is my friend, Sarah Hunter, from Maine,” Marian said. That summer, Marian had headed north from her home in Pennsylvania in search of employment and had ended up working at a resort
in Kennebunkport, Maine. It turned out Sarah was working there as well. Both were shocked to find out they would be attending the same college in the fall. Sarah threw a hello at me and then strutted off and out the lobby doors. We had to jog to catch up to her and then walk two steps for every one of hers. Thus began a friendship that would last over the next four years and into the world after graduation. It would come to an incomprehensible end. Sarah was a talented athlete and played on Wilson’s varsity field hockey, basketball and lacrosse teams (we called them “A” teams then) from her freshman year on. She was on the forward line in field hockey and could send the ball flying from one end of the field to the other with one swing, the crack of the impact of her stick on the ball echoing across the field like a sonic boom.
Wilson students often gathered around Sarah Hunter â€™76 (front center) to hear her stories, seek her opinions and look up to her, says Athena Varounis â€™76 (back center).
winter 2014 13
She was one of the tallest people on the basketball team and had a shot that no one could block. She even knew how to play lacrosse, a sport few women had the opportunity to explore in the early 1970s. During the warmer months, Sarah wore polo shirts and cutoffs, and in the winter months she wore corduroy pants, turtlenecks and sweaters. She also had a propensity for different kinds of hats.
Center in Tampa. In July 1976, Sarah wrote me a letter in which she told me she practiced golf four to five hours a day. She added, “… There’s a flame burning in my heart! I may be a pro golfer in seven months! I can’t believe my dream could very well become a reality! All I have to do is have faith in my ability and follow through with it! You can’t believe how happy that makes me!”
She majored in political science, which I never understood because she seemed to take a lot of biology courses. But Wilson was a liberal arts college. After all, I was a fine arts studio major with a minor in psychology who became an FBI agent.
Her dream came true. She became a professional golfer. Sarah got married, got divorced, and moved to Vermont in 1982. During the winter months she traveled back down to Florida where she continued to work as a golf instructor at the Ben Sutton Golf School, and during the summer months she worked at the Manchester Country Club in Vermont as a golf instructor and sales representative in the pro shop.
Sarah and I lived in Riddle Hall our senior year, she on the third floor, me on the second. She had a Gary Glitter album and played it all the time. No one had ever heard of him but none of us who knew Sarah ever forgot him. She also had a sock monkey that followed her everywhere. Our senior year, it seemed wherever Sarah went, she had a group of underclassmen gathered around her. They loved her stories, they sought her opinions and they looked up to her.
Sarah didn’t come to our 10-year reunion in June 1986.
She was the last person I said goodbye to the day we graduated. I was walking out of the lobby of Riddle, heading to my car. She was coming in the door. “Well, I'll see you, Sarah,” I said to her as she almost passed me. She stopped. “You leaving?” she asked. “Yeah, gotta head to New Jersey.” She hugged me. A bear hug. I doubt Sarah ever realized how strong she was. “Take care, A,” she said. “You too, Sarah ... I'll see you.” Then I headed out. Out of all the people at Wilson, all the people I met, all the people I missed and miss today, I always thought I'd see her again. I was sure I'd see Sarah again.
‘there’s a flame burning in my heart’
Sarah went to Florida where she began to work on her dream of becoming a professional golfer. She worked at an IHOP at night to finance her lessons from the golf professionals at the Ben Sutton Golf School at Sun City
14 wilson magazine
On Sept. 18, 1986, she disappeared. She was last seen making a purchase at a convenience store in Manchester. Her car was found on Sept. 19 parked at a gas station not too far from the convenience store. On Nov. 27, 1986, Thanksgiving Day, Sarah’s body was found in a wooded area in Pawlet, Vt. She had been strangled. She was 32. When a classmate called to tell me the news, my first reaction was anger. My second thought was, “How in the world could anyone strangle Sarah? She had been one of
the strongest women I had ever met. How could anyone just overpower her?” And that just made me madder.
an offer to help
I had been an FBI agent for six years by then, and I called the detective in Vermont and offered my assistance. He was extremely cold and didn't seem very thrilled about talking to the FBI, let alone a “girl,” as he referred to me. It was extremely frustrating, trying to get information and trying to do something. Two months passed. Then the detective called me. He said the police had sent some soil samples they wanted analyzed to the FBI’s Laboratory Division and had yet to re-
ceive a response. Could I get the matter expedited? I tracked down the analyst and told him who I was and my connection to Sarah. The examination was completed that day and the results sent out. A few days later, the detective called to thank me. “She wasn’t killed where she was found,” he told me. There had been some dirt on her clothes that had come from somewhere else. His tone was much different this time. He shared some details. He promised to keep me informed. He never did. David Allan Morrison was one of many people interviewed by the Vermont State Police in the investigation of Sarah’s murder. A huge hulking man, Morrison was employed at the gas station where Sarah’s vehicle was located and was working the night of her disappearance. He was interviewed in 1986 and again in 1987. Morrison left Vermont in 1988. In August of that same year, Morrison was arrested in Chula Vista, Calif., and charged with robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault and the attempted murder of two women during two separate attacks. Upon Morrison’s arrest in California, the Vermont State Police searched his abandoned 1968 Chevrolet Impala. The evidence collected led the Vermont State Police to name Morrison as the main suspect in Sarah’s murder, but it was not enough to issue an arrest warrant.
out of all the people at wilson … all the people i missed and miss today, i always thought i'd see her again. i was sure i'd see sarah again.
— Athena Varounis '76
Morrison pleaded guilty to kidnapping, attempted murder and sexual assault in the California case and was sentenced to 20 years to life.
a break in the case
In 2009, Sgt. David Bavencoff of the National City Police Department in California came across Morrison’s name while investigating a 1986 cold case in which the details were eerily similar to the crimes for which Morrison had been convicted. Bavencoff researched Morrison’s history to prepare for an interview and discovered that Morrison had been questioned in connection with a homicide in Vermont. Bavencoff obtained details from the Vermont State Police and subsequently questioned Morrison about his cold case and Sarah’s murder. While Morrison denied any involvement in Bavencoff’s cold case, he made incriminating statements and did not deny his involvement in Sarah’s killing. The Vermont State Police immediately reopened the case. Evidence that had been stored for decades was now sent to the FBI Laboratory for DNA analysis,
Senior photos of Athena Varounis, left, and Sarah Hunter capture their personalities in the 1976 yearbook. Above left: Hunter (highlighted in back row) and Varounis (highlighted in front row) on the Wilson basketball team. Top: Hunter (highlighted) made the basketball squad her freshman year and was a successful athlete in several sports at Wilson. She went on to fulfill her dream of being a professional golfer.
a procedure not yet known in 1986. Hair recovered from Morrison’s vehicle was identified as belonging to Sarah through a mitochondrial DNA comparison to Sarah’s sister’s saliva. (People who have the same mother will have identical mitochondrial DNA.) Based on the DNA results and evidence collected in the course of the investigation, the Vermont State Police applied for and received an arrest warrant on June 30, 2012, charging Morrison with first-degree murder in Sarah’s death. Finally, after 26 years, a cold case concerning a young, independent woman who left scattered memories and fading footprints was solved through basic police work. In the age of CSI, Sarah’s killer was brought to justice by a good cop with good instincts doing good work. I wrote a letter to Bavencoff’s police chief praising his dedication and thanking him on behalf of all of us who knew Sarah. Morrison is now awaiting trial and remains incarcerated at the Corcoran State Penitentiary in California. Sarah’s Wilson College classmates have been vigilant over the years, alert to any information that might have shed light on what happened to her. Many routinely searched the Internet for updates. It was during a routine search by a classmate that news of Morrison's arrest was discovered. Sarah’s family and friends held a memorial service for her on Dec. 6, 1986, at the First Congregational Church in Manchester. After her family members and others, last to speak was the Rev. Dr. William J. Robbins of Owls Head, Maine, a longtime Hunter family friend. His words centered on celebrating Sarah’s life and his memories of her as a child and young woman. He concluded with, “Sarah, we’re glad we knew you. So long, and peace be with you.” W
winter 2014 15
16 wilson magazine
A Tale of Two
Wilson Women An autobiography and a discipline folder in Wilsonâ€™s archives tell a story of a remarkable friendship By Amy Ensley
arly regulations of student behavior at Wilson College may seem silly to us today, but in the first half of the 20th century, violations got you suspended or even expelled. Here are a few examples of regulations from a 1930s Blue Book: chaperones are required at social entertainments and athletic games at colleges for men; written permission from parents is required for all freshmen and sophomores who wish to receive calls from young men; students do not drive alone with men; signing in and out is required for any absence from campus after 8 p.m. and for driving in cars for any reason. Of course students back then were not so different from students today. Some had no trouble accepting the rules. For others, it was a bit more challenging. Take, for example, Hazel Barnes (above, left) and Evelyn Wiltshire.
Barnes came to Wilson in 1933 from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She had led a very sheltered childhood and her family was extremely conservative. At a welcoming party for freshmen, she was presented to the elderly president of Wilson College, Ethelbert Dudley Warfield, who surprised her by recognizing her name. He informed her that her father had written to him to inquire if Wilson’s religious orientation was sufficiently fundamentalist for his daughter to be entrusted there. Barnes later wrote in her autobiography that it must have been a reversal of role for Warfield since to most people, the president represented an ultraconservative view of an almost vanished generation. However, a suggestion from an English professor to meet with a student from a world different from that of her father’s conservative views led Barnes to seeing life in an entirely new way. Barnes wrote:
Barnes would later write that Wiltshire gave her "courage to think more boldly for myself." “Evelyn Wiltshire and I were at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of social development. Whereas for me Wilson was a liberation, Evelyn found it so foolishly restrictive that she recklessly broke many of its rules. She had a steady stream of boyfriends who provided dinners, shows, dancing and, at least after the lifting of prohibition, occasional drinking. All of this struck me as ultra-sophisticated and glamorous.” Barnes saw that Wiltshire had an air of worldly wisdom and refused to judge herself by other’s expectations. Barnes would later write that Wiltshire gave her “courage to think more boldly for myself.” Barnes’ family was from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where her father was a public school teacher. They spent every summer at Beach Lake, a community of roughly 200 people—all either closely or somewhat distantly related to one another—in primitive summer cabins. Her family members were Free Methodists—evangelistic, “revivalist” churchgoers whose precept was “be in the world, but not of it.” They forbade drinking, card playing, smoking, dancing, makeup, or wearing anything “fancy,” such as jewelry or decorated hats. Wiltshire grew up in Turtle Creek, Pa., a gritty industrial town 12 miles from Pittsburgh. Her family was not religious and she enjoyed a level of freedom that was unknown to Barnes. Wiltshire had been surrounded by boyfriends in high
18 wilson magazine
school. She went to movies and shows and museums. Wiltshire introduced Barnes to her first cigarette and cocktail. Fascinated by Wiltshire’s rule-breaking ways, Barnes also saw her friend’s behavior get her into serious trouble. As Barnes described it later: “Evelyn’s contempt for college regulations eventually caught up with her. I had gradually prevailed upon her to recognize that needless non-conformance was not worth the risk. But soon after the beginning of the second term of freshman year, Evelyn’s roommate suddenly came forward with charges that Evelyn had falsely reported her times of arrival and departure on dates and had pretended to have been present at required events when she had not been. The truth came out, and Evelyn was suspended for a month, the question of expulsion left hanging in the air. Making an appointment with the dean, I pled with her that Evelyn did not deserve so severe a punishment for what anyone might have done. ‘But you would never have lied as she did,’ said Miss Disert. I recklessly declared that I could have. ‘I don’t believe you,’ she replied.” In the archives in a folder labeled “Discipline,” are a series of letters between Warfield, Wiltshire and her father. Warfield wrote to Wiltshire’s father: April 9, 1934 My Dear Mr. Wiltshire, It is with great regret that I find it necessary to write you this letter. You of course know the important facts, that your daughter was informed on Saturday evening that the faculty had voted that she should be indefinitely suspended. Her offense: Miss Wiltshire has innumerable times broken college rules regarding registration and driving without permission. She has told untruths to the Board after promising to be truthful. She has admitted nothing of her own accord but only those offenses which were pointed out to her. I need not tell any father how important it is that young girls in their first year at college should be so careful in their conduct with regard to driving with young men whose acquaintance they have lately made that neither their own reputation nor the reputation of the college should be compromised. What gave me perhaps most concern in regard to this matter was that, when I was questioning her with regard to her driving with young men whom she had had no proper introduction to, she said that she felt it necessary to make a certain number of dates in order to maintain her prestige. So low an attitude to the general standard of college conduct was astonishing to me. I need not tell you that we do not consider that a young lady’s prestige in college depends upon things of this sort. I pointed out to her and to her mother that it was entirely impossible for a college in a small community to secure for 400 girls suitable male acquaintances to gratify the social ambitions of any student. I should like to emphasize also that in speaking of the breaking of rules she spoke quite lightly of having consid-
winter 2014 19
ered whether she would tell the truth or not. It seemed to be a matter of mere expediency with her rather than of a sense of the duty to tell the truth. When we suspend a student indefinitely the object is to find out whether it is possible to so adjust the situation as to make it possible to receive her back with a very full understanding that she shall scrupulously observe the rules of the College. Only under such conditions can we hope to develop that character which it is one of the chief objects of this college to develop. With renewed expression of regrets, Very truly yours, E. Warfield Wiltshireâ€™s fatherâ€™s responded: April 11 My Dear Mr. Warfield, It is with great regret that I realize that it is necessary for me to receive such a letter as you have sent to me. I am grieved that my daughter did not have full comprehension of the importance of college rules. As confident as I am that a situation of this sort is unprecedented in her life, I am equally confident that it will be unique. I am glad that Wilson College has taught my daughter something that I deem more valuable to her than scholastic work. I did not realize that she lacked this knowledge, but since she evidently did, it is indeed fortunate that she acquired it now instead of later. I do not want Evelyn to make an application for reinstatement until the end of this week. By that time I know that the situation will have been impressed on her mind indelibly. The punishment is hurting her more than anything ever has, but I am sure that she has repented and that the effects will be greatly beneficial.
20 wilson magazine
I am sorry that my daughter has caused you so much trouble. In addition I wish to thank you for the interest and concern that you have shown. Very truly yours, Bert Wiltshire Evelyn Wiltshire cheerily requested to be readmitted: April 13 Dear Sir, I wish to be reinstated at Wilson College as soon as it is possible. I am unable to express how sorry I am that it was necessary for me to be suspended from college. My parents and I have discussed the matter fully. We are convinced beyond any vestige of doubt that I am now able to return to Wilson and obey all college rules, and be entirely dependable to be truthful and honorable at all times. I am very anxious to prove to you that it is possible for me to do this. This proof will be in my future conduct, which will be that of a most loyal, dependable, Christian student of the college. I am so happy that there is an opportunity for me to come back and show you how much good this mistake and repentance has done for me. Yours truly, EW Warfield remained unconvinced, however. April 14 My Dear Miss Evelyn, I have just received your letter and I am sorry that I feel obliged to say to you that I think your letter has not approached the question of reinstatement from the right angle. You say that you wish to be reinstated and
that you are sorry that it was necessary for you to be suspended and that you can be relied on to be loyal and dependable in the future. My experience leads me to believe that there is not much to be expected of anyone in your situation who does not first of all express a sincere and deep consciousness of the fact that she has done wrong in breaking the rules and a regret, not that she has been suspended but that she has been guilty of wrong doing. This is the foundation of all better conduct. I shall not take any action in this matter until I have a very clear expression of your awakened consciousness of your having deserved suspension because of a breach of rules and untruthfulness. With best wishes for your father and mother, Very truly yours, President Warfield Wiltshire tried again: April 18 Dear Sir, My power of expressing my sentiments in my letter seem to have been very meager for I sincerely wished to communicate to you that I did realize my wrong, that I was deeply sorry, and that I was certain that I would never be guilty of such wrong doings again. Dr. Warfield, I am sorry that I broke the college rules and then was untruthful about the matter. I feel that mere words are not sufficient to express this, that I must prove it by actions of conscientious repentance. It is painful to me now when I think of how I have erred, and it will always hurt me. These thoughts are constantly tearing at every fiber of my being, it seems. Oh please realize how completely I repent! And I do know, now as I shall always, that
PHOTOS BY BEN FORD
my actions have been terribly wrong. I want an opportunity to try to show you that the motives which led me to do these things are not an integral evil part of my being. I broke the college rule because I had developed a false sense of freedom. I told untruths, an offense of which I have never before been guilty, because I became frightened. These are reasons for my conduct, but not excuses. They are reasons which I promise shall never influence my conduct again. I pray that I may be permitted to come back to Wilson, realizing my former wrongs, but repenting and eager to prove a much finer, stronger character. Yours truly, Evelyn Wiltshire Her father chimed in with a clue as to where Wiltshire got her dramatic flair: April 19 My Dear Dr. Warfield, I wish to dispel any thoughts you have about the incompleteness of my daughterâ€™s repentance. I think that I am in a position to know how sorry she is. She has lost a considerable amount of weight. She is mentally dejected. She is physically weak and can neither eat nor sleep in a normal manner. She does not wish to go out of the house. Frankly, I am worried about Evelynâ€™s health. Therefore, I am disturbed that you think she has not shown a complete repentance. I wish
to indicate that there is not any doubt in my mind that Evelyn has repented. And I have never been more confident in anything than I am in the fact that her future conduct will be above reproach. Very truly yours, Bert Wiltshire Finally, Warfield relented: April 26 My Dear Mr. Wiltshire, I beg to acknowledge your letter and the letter from your daughter. I am glad to have your comment on her attitude and it is very influential with me. I think it will have to be very clearly understood that if and when your daughter is permitted to return to college, it will be on very strict probation. It must be understood that her return shall be with a very distinct understanding that she face life with a view to becoming a woman of a serious purpose. Her ability justifies the expectation that she will become an educated woman in the true sense of the word with the purpose to live up to the rules of social and civic life that make good Christian citizens. I have been very much pleased with your attitude to this matter and I believe that in you the College will have active and intelligent support. With cordial regard, Very truly yours, E. Warfield
Hazel Barnes and Evelyn Wiltshire roomed together for their last three years at Wilson. Together, they went on to graduate school at Yale University. The two of them remained lifelong friends. Barnes became Americaâ€™s leading scholar on the philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre. She produced and hosted a television series in 1962 for National Public Television on existentialism. She taught philosophy at the University of Colorado for 40 years. The prestigious $20,000 Barnes prize is awarded to a faculty member at the University of Colorado each year for excellence in teaching and scholarship. Wiltshire ran the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University for 22 years. The child development laboratory at Tufts is named in her honor. She was one of the first alumnae to receive an honorary doctorate from Wilson. In 2001, Evelyn Wiltshire Pitcher endowed a poetry collection at the John Stewart Memorial Library at Wilson College. She died in June 2004. Barnes was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature from Wilson in 1965. She died in March 2008. W
winter 2014 21
22 wilson magazine
Social media has changed the way we live and interact, but what happens when two Wilson students give it up? By Ben Ford
ntil she gave up Facebook, Marissa Feldberg ’14 did not believe she would be a good candidate for an experiment to avoid social media use for a
week because she did not think it was that important to her. Her friends at Wilson posted more frequently on Facebook than she did. But almost immediately after beginning the experiment, she found herself having to resist the urge to visit the site. “I was surprised by how big of a part of my life it is,” said Feldberg, 23, a communications major. “I was appalled by how much time I spend there.” She is not alone. In the relatively recent existence of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other similar outlets, social media has become more a way of life than a habit for many. Open to the general public since just 2006, Facebook has grown to nearly 1 billion users globally. Created initially for college students, the fastest growing demographic currently are users 45 to 54 years old, a segment that has increased 45 percent since the end of 2012. At the request of Wilson Magazine, students Feldberg and Kimberly Maske-
Mertz ’14 agreed to give up social media for a week and to keep a daily journal of the experience. Both of them were surprised by how strong the urge was to visit the sites.
PHOTO BY BRIAN SPEER
“It was really difficult,” said Maske-Mertz——who has 354
GoodReads—-dedicated to book readers—-without even
friends on Facebook——about the experience. “Facebook
thinking about it. “It was like going through withdrawal,”
is how I keep in touch with friends and with family, and not having that connection all week was really difficult because I found myself wondering what was going on.” Maske-Mertz, 37, moved from Florida in 2003 and
she said of the experiment.
“Every new mass medium ——from books to television to the Internet——has profoundly affected the way we all see and interpret the world around us.”
lost touch with many of her friends until she joined Facebook two or three years ago
Jonathan Z. Long Associate Professor of Communications
And yet, social media does have its benefits as well. “I am excited to see that humans have found another means of communicating with one another,” said Jonathan Z. Long, associate professor of communications at Wilson. “Every new mass medium—— from books to television to the
as an undergraduate student. “I’m not much of a phone
Internet——has profoundly affected the way we all see and
talker,” she said.
interpret the world around us.”
Maske-Mertz found herself having to resist strong urg-
Long believes that there are both pros and cons to the
es to use social media. She clicked on one social outlet,
“constant connection” that social media provides. “In a 24/7
SOCIAL MEDIA: FOR BETTER OR WORSE Social media is now “an integral part of our culture” that most—especially the younger generation—-rely upon not only for entertainment but also for information, said Jonathan Z. Long, associate professor of communications at Wilson. “With new media technologies being invented every day, we now have this ability [to stay connected] in the palm of our hands—-no pun intended,” he said. “This means that there are more opportunities for us to learn about new viewpoints and ideas from other individuals—increasingly around the world.” A study released in May found 72 percent of American adults currently online use social networking sites, up from 8 percent when the study began in February 2005, according to a new report released by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. Sometimes, though, the constant connection is too constant. Like other college students, it is not unusual to hear some Wilson students say they spend too much
24 wilson magazine
time procrastinating on social media, while some spend so much time on them it “completely interfered with their school work,” said Cindy Shoemaker, director of counseling. The College’s counselors work with the students to change their online habits. “We help them develop compartmentalization skills where they actually plan for Internet time instead of just doing it randomly when they feel the urge.” Many of the students Shoemaker counsels grew up with cellphones and the Internet so they do not even recognize that the time they spend online can interfere with their work, Shoemaker said. Social media can also exacerbate emotions for some, she said. “Sometimes the students say, ‘Everybody on my Facebook account seems to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and I’m a loser, I’m lonely,’” Shoemaker said. Some students admit to sleeping with their smartphones so they do not miss a text or online notification, Shoemaker said. In a 2012 study conducted
by Pew Research titled “The Best and the Worst of Mobile Connectivity,” 67 percent of cell owners admitted to checking their phone for messages, alerts and calls even when it did not ring. Of those surveyed, 44 percent admitted to sleeping with their phone beside their bed in order to avoid missing a call or alert. For some, the habit becomes something worse. A 2006 study by Stanford University’s School of Medicine found one in eight Americans suffers symptoms of “problematic Internet use” that interfere with day-to-day activities. There is a debate whether the Internet and social media sites are creating the problem, or those who experience symptoms already had addictive personalities. Still, many specialists have lobbied for problematic Internet use’s inclusion in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a certified mental disorder, though it was not included in the 2013 edition. —Kimberly Maske-Mertz '14
Living without Social media
Wilson Magazine asked Kimberly Maske-Mertz and Marissa Feldberg to stay off social media sites for a week. The following are excerpts from the daily journals they kept.
Kimberly Maske-Mertz '14
Marissa Feldberg '14
Age: 37 Major: MA in Humanities/ Language and Literature
Age: 23 Major: Communications
I began the experiment this morning not completely aware of just how deeply social media has become a part of my daily life. My use of Facebook and Twitter has become somewhat of a constant. Upon waking, I immediately found myself reaching for my phone to check my newsfeed on Facebook. I couldn’t help but grumble at myself for the mistake. The momentary lapse followed me throughout the day. I found myself looking at my phone more than once and trying to avoid the “banned” icons staring at me from the screen. It was much too quiet, writing without Facebook alerting me of another notification. At the same time, I found the lack of distraction made me much more productive. I managed to almost finish developing an entire website for a committee. Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid logging into Facebook while working on the website, since most of the information I needed was posted on the committee’s private group. I made it a point to warn my family, friends, students and colleagues not to expect an immediate reply to their messages. A few have scoffed at the idea of me even agreeing to participate in this experiment to remain off social media. Others have wished me luck. My best friend quite bluntly told me that she did not think I could last two days. Even worse, a pregnant friend (Lisa) is due any day now. Will anyone even pick up the phone to call or will the announcement only appear online?
The good news? Most of the day, I did not even consider sneaking a peek at Facebook or Twitter. Granted, as I typed this, I could not help wondering what might have transpired in my absence. Had Lisa had her baby? Had anything exciting happened that I missed?
Last night I notified my Facebook community that I would be cutting myself off for an entire week, assuming this would be a breeze. I primarily use Facebook as a means to tell the world about my various neuroses, to share some song lyrics I find particularly poignant and to post funny quotes, which may not actually be that funny. The social media I am most addicted to is YouTube, which I use mostly to ease into study sessions. I also use YouTube extensively to find new music and sometimes (when I am feeling especially drained) to watch funny clips (check out Portlandia: “Am I Fat?”). I figured that I would be so busy with academic assignments that I wouldn’t have time to even miss YouTube, or for that matter, any social media. But today proved otherwise. I missed my workout this morning (this almost never happens) and I find myself irritable and grumpy. Add the fact that I left the house without my purse and lost an assignment due to technological failure, suddenly, I feel the need to tell the world about my serious frustration. Can I please just complain a little bit on my Facebook wall? No, I made a moral contract with myself to refrain from the Facebook vortex. So instead of posting about my totally insignificant and melodramatic woes, I took out my frustrations on others harmlessly toiling on their assignments in Sarah’s Coffeehouse. Later in the evening, a friend and I decided to go shopping. I had fun catching up with her and we laughed a lot, but shopping proved disastrous for our self-concepts. I was disturbed by just how crappy I felt after trying on clothes, so I had an intense need to tell the world about it on Facebook and perhaps communicate with a human being, also via Facebook. I was just barely able to refrain. I went to bed tired, hoping to wake up on Day 2 as a less grumpy Miss Marissa.
On Election Day, I found it quite frustrating that I was unable to find full election results for Chambersburg without Facebook or Twitter, especially where it concerned the school board—a race I watched closely. Google proved insufficient and our own local newspaper
Today was deadline day for The Billboard. I have two articles due today that are, sadly, far from complete. I spent most of the day working under the pressure of a 6 p.m. deadline and found that I had little time for social media. I took a couple breaks, one to work out (this helps my mood
See Maske-Mertz, p.27
See Feldberg, p.27
winter 2014 25
culture like ours, being able to be reached at all times of the
long I’m spending on Facebook and how much it distracts
day is one way to keep up with constant barrage of events,”
me from other things I’m supposed to be doing,” she said.
he said. “But this begs the question of why we need to be
Breaking her online habit temporarily gave her insight. “I
reached 24/7. I have often used an exercise where I have
had a lot more time on my hands. I got a lot more done
asked students to go ‘media-free’ for a day or two. I initially
without having that distraction. I’m much more wary of
tried to do it for an entire week, but no one could do it.”
Feldberg and Maske-Mertz both pointed out many of
For Feldberg, visiting and writing on social networks are
the benefits of their activities on social media networks in
just part of her routine to post the occasional song lyrics
addition to the drawbacks. Facebook and other sites al-
that capture her mood, vent about her day or seek coun-
low them to stay in touch with friends and family, to share
sel about problems. Her friends spend even more time on
joys and sorrows, to keep up on news and music, and find
the sites, she said. “I don’t feel I have an Internet addiction.
new recipes. Feldberg especially likes when she finds “other weird, novelty health foods,” to try, she said. Facebook provides an outlet for her to express herself, listen to music and watch funny clips on YouTube as a reward to herself for completion of a task. Social media networks also provide
I have too many other things
“I’m much more conscious of how long I’m spending on Facebook and how much it distracts me from other things I’m supposed to be doing. I had a lot more time on my hands. I got a lot more done...”
to do. But I do find myself logging in when I could be doing better things.” On her first day of going without Facebook, Feldberg found herself strongly missing the companionship she has with her friends through the site because of a series of mishaps she had. “Suddenly, I
her a platform to express her-
Kimberly Maske-Mertz ’14
feel the need to tell the world
self. “I like to write,” she said.
on what she learned from giving up social media
about my sense of doom-and-
“New media outlets are inter-
gloom and serious frustra-
esting and so is what is going on in our culture in general.”
tion,” she wrote in her journal. “Can I please just complain a
Facebook allowed Maske-Mertz to reconnect with
little bit on my Facebook wall, and be one of those constant
friends from her past, as well as communicate with friends
Facebook complainers that drive me to distraction? No, I
in Pennsylvania. Thanks to Facebook, she kept up to date on
made a moral contract with myself to refrain from the Face-
a friend’s pregnancy and learned of the child’s birth when
she logged in to Facebook after the experiment. “Once I
The week-long experiment gave her insight into social
really started getting into Facebook sometime during my
media use and how she could make better use of her time.
undergraduate days, that’s when I really started getting in
“I realized how much social media sucks time away from
touch with people that I was friends with before,” she said.
real activity—-like talking to friends face to face, reading a
In her journal, Maske-Mertz wrote her friends did not
book or actually trying that new peanut butter protein fluff
think she would be able to do it. “A few have scoffed at the
recipe instead of just posting it to my wall,” she wrote in
idea of me even agreeing to participate in this experiment
to remain off social media,” she wrote. “Others have wished
Since her experiment of going without social media for
me luck. My best friend quite bluntly told me that she did
five days, Feldberg has cut back on her social media use.
not think I could last two days.”
“All in all, I’m trying to stop procrastinating on social me-
Maske-Mertz posts frequently to Facebook. “I find I al-
dia,” she said. “I find myself getting angry with myself or
ways have it on in the background,” she said. “No matter
frustrated with myself when I’m on there. It’s such a time
what I’m doing there’s a window open in the background.”
suck. It’s not really gratifying. It’d be better for me to spend
Maske-Mertz also said she is much more cognizant of her online activities now. “I’m much more conscious of how
26 wilson magazine
my time in a more productive way.” Kimberly Maske-Mertz '14 contributed to this article.
Kimberly Maske-Mertz '14
Marissa Feldberg '14
had not updated anything related to the election since yesterday. To say this was disconcerting would be an understatement. I finally found the results, buried about five pages into my fifth different Google search. Already by this point, my attempts to maneuver through everyday activities without the use of social media seem futile at best. And thinking of Lisa’s baby—let’s just say I’ve become a tad twitchy.
but not my deadline problem), tackled a few cleaning tasks (again, a nice distraction) and complained about my seemingly endless pile of academic work. I found myself needing a break to view something funny on YouTube or to find some new, brooding indie music. Once again, I was prohibited from either. Harumph. I got back to work on the articles and finally turned in my work at 5:58 p.m. Afterward, I felt a bit in need of some online pleasure. I would normally use Pinterest, but I can’t, so I read a recipe for Peanut Butter Protein Fluff, which I wanted to share on Facebook … but I refrained. Instead I used the time to clean the house, listened to music and spoke to an actual friend on the actual telephone. I am going to bed now. “Tomorrow will be better, I swear!”
DAY 4 I confess I checked my email many more times than I really needed. I also slipped onto Facebook for a minute to post something important to the committee regarding our website. On a positive note, I managed to refrain from sending a single text. Even when The Billboard Editor-in-Chief Lesley Eichelberger texted me, I called her back rather than text a reply. She remembered, once she answered her phone that texting was off-limits to me for the week. DAY 5 My daughter informed me that my friends, in an attempt to lure me into logging in, decided to play “99 Bottles of Beer” on my Facebook wall. I could not verify the truth of this, so I took her word for it. Honestly, knowing how insane (and utterly annoying) some of my friends are, I wholeheartedly believed that I would be in for a treat once I’m able to log in. Revenge will be sweet! DAY 6 My daughter has proven to be a texting machine, constantly sending me messages about the most mundane things. She lives on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. Sometimes I’m amazed she has actual, physical friendships. I’m actually considering the possibility of conducting this experiment with her at some point, but I don’t think she would survive. DAY 7 My last day without social media! I have to say, I’ve had a fairly pleasant week. Granted, I know I’ve missed out on a lot. But at the same time, I found that my productivity for the week went up with the lack of distraction. I also found that I experienced less stress without the constant chatter, gossip and drama provided by up-to-the-minute updates from my friends, family and acquaintances. At times I found myself enjoying the “quiet” while other times, I found myself bored and in need of a social uplift. But the fact remains, I made it through the week with minimal damage to my sanity. A final note: My friend Lisa had her baby! As if a karmic reward for my efforts, the announcement was the first post on my newsfeed upon logging into Facebook. The baby is adorable!
DAY 3 By 6 p.m., I was a bit frazzled and ready to use some social media. After working out, running some unsatisfying errands and cleaning the house a bit, I was grumpy. Normally, I would use Facebook to ask for some advice from some close friends, but since that isn’t allowed, I grumbled on until I found some more immediate concerns, like dishes to wash, to focus on. DAY 4 By Sunday, I was really ready to use YouTube for some musical inspiration. I sent text messages to a dear old friend off and on during the morning. I also talked to another friend via text who was running a marathon and was allowed to receive texts. So I wished her luck and got about the rest of my day free from social media. While writing papers and other work, I listened to iTunes (Stars’ In Our Bedroom after the War) to help make the activities more palatable. I wanted to post some of the selected verses on my Facebook wall. I spent the rest of the evening plodding through my to-do list. Good Lord. I do like to procrastinate! DAY 5 Finals were approaching. I almost had a heart attack when I looked at my syllabi for the next two weeks. I used to be very disciplined and good at managing my time in high school—when I did not have a Facebook account. And even a month ago, before my car was totaled in an accident and I tore my meniscus, I was much better at managing my frantic workweek. Now, without such a ridiculous schedule, I have practically fallen off the “hard work” wagon, trading in hours of due diligence for social media. So now, given the current state of my academic affairs, it looks like this “no social media” experiment may inevitably continue until either the semester is over or I keel over and die due to the stress and panic. Somebody help me!
winter 2014 27
AROUND THE GREEN
THE CALL A Mission Trip Gave Patty Hall an 'Epiphany' By Cathy Mentzer
or years, Patty Hall felt, but resisted, a calling to enter the ministry. A mission trip to a Navajo Indian reservation and her experience at Wilson College finally convinced her to yield to the impulse that always seemed to resurface, no matter how hard she tried to quash it. “Probably even as early as the mid-‘90s, I started to think about [going into the ministry],” Hall said. “The idea just sort of hounded me. I would put it out of my mind and talk myself out of it, but it just always sort of came back.” The 51-year-old enrolled at Wilson as a business major with thoughts of advancing her career at Chambersburg Hospital, where she verifies physician credentials, among other things. After a few semesters of exposure to Wilson’s liberal arts curriculum, she began to reconsider. “I took a couple of courses in business and then I had a class with Dr. [David] True called ‘Private Values, Public Policy,’” said Hall, who lives in the tiny village of Mad-
28 wilson magazine
densville, Pa. “I was so interested in how religion permeates different aspects of our lives and how it translates over into our governmental policies.” At the same time, Hall, who is an elder at the McConnellsburg United Presbyterian Church, had several other experiences that helped bring her calling into focus. One of the most influential was a 2012 mission trip to the Navajo Nation, a semi-autonomous region occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah and northwestern New Mexico. It is the largest land area in the country—–larger geographically than 10 of the 50 states—–assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction. “You always hear about Indian reservations. I wanted to see for myself what it was like there,” Hall said. She first noticed the bumpy, unpaved roads and desolate landscape of sagebrush and rocks. Later, she began to see beneath the surface. “Some of the houses that I went into had dirt floors and they had no water. Some were made of particleboard. I’ve seen sheds here that are nicer.”
The memory still hurts. “That first night I was so heartsick that our country would do such a thing and allow people to live like that,” said Hall, beginning to cry. On the plane ride home, while reading her church’s “Book of Order,” she began to realize that mission trips, making donations and similar well-intentioned acts are not enough. “It was like an epiphany,” said Hall. “We need to change our policies and laws.” Back at Wilson, Hall changed her major to religious studies. Now she is seriously considering attending a seminary after graduation. “I thought, why not do something that’s meaningful,” said Hall, who expects to graduate in 2015. “I’m really happy with that decision.” She has quietly tried to bring about change, writing to political representatives to support fair wages and immigration, and speaking at her church about food justice and responsible consumerism. To many of the friends and acquaintances she speaks to, that kind of advocacy seems like tilting at windmills. But a recent experience at
PHOTOS BY KENDRA TIDD
We've been warring with others since the beginning of time. I think it's time to look at ways of resolving conflicts other than killing each other.
— Patty Hall
Harvard Divinity School reinforced and renewed Hall’s enthusiasm. In early November, she attended a selective recruitment opportunity—–the Harvard Diversity and Explorations Program—–on True’s recommendation. As one of 54 chosen to attend from 200 applicants, Hall had an opportunity to see first-hand what it be would like to attend HDS and explore the social justice and religion issues that so inspire her. Now, with her husband’s support, she is seriously considering applying after graduating from Wilson. “After going there, I felt like I was with my people,” Hall said. “Everyone there was just
so hopeful and full of great ideas and trying different things.” She also liked the way people of all religions were accepted and included in an atmosphere of understanding and collaboration. “It seems like such a wonderful opportunity.” True, who is impressed with Hall’s decision to follow this new path despite the obstacles that stand before her, calls her the most prepared student he’s ever worked with in his teaching career. “Her presence in a course helps to raise the level of conversation in both tone and substance,” True said. “She’s shaped my teaching. I’ve learned things as a teacher
from her. And Patty’s passion for religious studies—it’s contagious. That’s a gift for me as a professor.” Hall is passionate about many social justice issues, but her keenest interest is in promoting peace. Although her father, husband, son and son-in-law all served in the military, she wants to see the U.S. and ideally, all governments, change their approaches to conflict. “We’ve been warring with others since the beginning of time,” she said. “I think it’s time to look at ways of resolving conflicts other than killing each other.” Though she isn’t sure what she will ultimately do after college, Hall thinks she might like to work as a chaplain at a place that serves veterans. In the meantime, “I write letters, I talk to my friends and people that I know about peace and reform,” she said. “I hope I can go on to graduate school and be in ministry and find some way to make the world be a better place.” W
winter 2014 29
FORWARD Stabler Scholar Pursues Her Dream To Help Animals and Prepares to Help Future Wilson Students By Courtney D. Wolfe ’12
essica Meck ’15 is the kind of student the Stabler Foundation scholarship program was created to help. When discussing her career options as an animal caretaker or doing fieldwork studying animal behavior, she smiled and spoke animatedly about her future. “It would be awesome to work for National Geographic,” she said. But she also looks forward to the day she can repay the scholarship so that a future Wilson student can have the same opportunity as her in the future. A biology major minoring in psychology, Meck is one of 29 Stabler scholars at Wilson in the current academic year. The program provides funds for students with strong academic performance who have significant financial need so they can complete college, and also is intended to instill them with a sense of stewardship, leadership and philanthropy. The Stabler Foundation, which endows the Stabler scholarships at Wilson, was established in 1966 by Donald B. and Dorothy Stabler. During his lifetime, Donald B. Stabler was an advocate of higher education and believed that college graduates should feel a debt of gratitude toward their alma mater. He created the scholarship to foster that sense of gratitude. The Stabler Foundation has been supporting Wilson College students since 2008 through the Stabler Scholarship Endowment. Recipients are identified by financial need, must have a minimum grade-point average to qualify and are selected by an internal committee. However, it is the post-graduation
30 wilson magazine
requirement of the Stabler Scholarship that sets it apart. Stabler scholars declare their intent to pay back their award to the College in order to maintain the scholarship for future students. The obligation, termed a “debt of conscience,” is a moral obligation, not a legal one, and is intended to develop a sense of stewardship in recipients toward the College. Born and raised in Huntington, Pa., Meck has had a penchant for animals for as long as she can remember. “I grew up with cats and dogs and rabbits and horses.” However, Meck’s interest in animals extends beyond the domestic pets she grew up with. “Exotic animals fascinate me. The things they do. They’re amazing.” Meck completed an internship at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas, over the summer and the experience confirmed her desired career path. She spent the summer performing emotional enrichment with two lions at the sanctuary, an exercise in which zoo staff sit outside of an animal’s area and forge emotional bonds with the animal. Meck’s experience with one lion, Shauna, resonated with her. “I sat down and she immediately came over and started grumbling. She rubbed up against the fence and lay down. Being three feet away from a lion and having it want to interact with you, want to be there with you, it’s an amazing experience.” For Meck, who receives little financial support from home and is already heavily burdened with student loans, the payback
contingency of the Stabler Scholarship was at first a cause for hesitation. “I was like, ‘Oh, I have to pay it back, even though it’s a scholarship,’” she said. But after understanding the conditions of the payback—recipients have a five-year grace period before payments to the College are due—and considering the intent of the scholarship, Meck applied. “I knew what I’d be giving back to the College and that other students would benefit, and I figured it was worth paying back.” While Meck worries about the economy and the job market, she is adamant her Wilson education will allow her to quickly find employment, establish herself and meet the obligation. Smiling broadly and looking around campus, she said, “I’m getting this great degree here at Wilson, so being able to pay the debt back—sure that’s stressful, but it’ll be worth it. I’m going into the job field confident with what I have [to offer].” “I came in as a freshman and I was terrified of everything. Even presenting made me really nervous,” Meck said. “But I’ve gained confidence in [my ability to be] a leader and I’m more involved in things.” It is this transformative experience that Meck wants to pay forward. “If [future students] hear the things I’ve done that I never thought I’d do, it might inspire them to work hard and chase their dreams,” Meck said. W
AROUND THE GREEN I knew what I'd be giving back to the College and that other students would benefit, and I figured it was worth paying back.
PHOTO BY KENDRA TIDD
â€” Jessica Meck '15
winter 2014 31
PHOTO BY BEN FORD
AROUND THE GREEN
32 wilson magazine
LIVING WITH A
SMILE Professor Credits Cancer for Positive Changes in His Life By Ben Ford
teven Schmidt’s interest in psychology grew as his own psychological makeup changed from his experience with cancer. At 28, Schmidt was on his way up in the business world with a good-paying information technology job and a sought-after title of manager when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1997. “Fixing computers for a manufacturing plant was no longer meaningful to me,” Schmidt said. In 1999, after he received a bone marrow transplant and was in recovery, Schmidt, who had taken a couple of psychology courses at a local community college, decided he wanted to study the psychological changes that he and other cancer survivors experienced afterward.
“For lack of a better term, the spiritual things are much more important,” Schmidt, now 44, said of cancer’s influence on his life. He developed a greater level of compassion and placed a stronger value on personal relationships because of his illness, he said. “One of the things I really learned is the power of—– this is going to sound really corny—–but the power of smiling,” Schmidt said. After a 15-year career in information technology, he received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and then received his master’s and doctorate in May in human development and family studies from the University of Connecticut. His doctoral dissertation was on “Posttraumatic Growth Reported by Emerging Adults: A Multigroup Analysis of the Roles of Attachment, Support, Coping, and Life Satisfaction.”
While working on his master’s degree, Schmidt—–a two-time Jack Kent Cooke scholar—–worked as a teaching assistant. “I fell in love with teaching,” he said. While Schmidt continues to do research, he said he likes that Wilson emphasizes teaching students while other schools push instead for professors to have their research published. Schmidt also researched the development of gender-role traits and behaviors. After giving up the corporate world himself, he was interested in how many in corporate America could be so “cutthroat” in how they behaved with other people personally and professionally. “That didn’t make them likeable, but it did make them successful.”
tral Pennsylvania chapter in Harrisburg. While Chambersburg is much different from Connecticut, Schmidt said he likes his new town. “People around here are much friendlier and laid-back,” he said. Schmidt, who is single, also has decided to add to his family since moving to Wilson. “I’m adopting a cat from VMT,” he said of the College’s veterinary medical technology program. Schmidt’s resurrection of the Psychology Club and the vigor he has brought his courses are good for the department, said Associate Professor of Psychology Carl Lar-
He's not doing it because he loves his office. He does it because he loves Wilson and wants to benefit others. —Carl Larson, Associate Professor of Psychology Wilson’s low student-to-teacher ratio is what sold him on moving from Connecticut to Pennsylvania. “It was a dream fit for me,” he said of Wilson. Since moving to Chambersburg in July, Schmidt has taken an active role outside of the classroom as well as inside it. He re-established the College’s Psychology Club. He has volunteered with the cancer fundraising event Relay for Life in Chambersburg and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Cen-
son. Schmidt also has established servicelearning and internship opportunities for students, Larson said. “He’s not doing it because he loves his office,” Larson said. “He does it because he loves Wilson and wants to benefit others.” “The personal rewards I’ve experienced have far exceeded my expectations,” Schmidt said. “I’ve really been blessed to have the opportunities I have here.” W
winter 2014 33
WRITING BERNECKER INTO THE
RECORD BOOKS Soccer Co-Captain Leads On and Off the Field By Laura B. Hans ’13
enior and center midfielder Courtney Bernecker ’14 of St. Thomas, Pa., became Wilson’s all-time leading scorer when the Phoenix defeated Trinity University 6-0 in October. In the game’s 63rd minute, with the Phoenix maintaining a 2-0 lead, Bernecker received the ball via a throw-in by Brittney Poff ’15. She turned and from about 18 yards scored her 32nd career goal into the goal’s upper corner. Bernecker said later she felt “really happy and it was a very fulfilling experience.” Her goal broke the previous college record of 31 goals set by Mary Miller ’08 of Chambersburg, Pa., in 2008.
The Phoenix honored Bernecker at a home game against State University of New York’s Institute of Technology. She was acknowledged at the start of play and presented with a ball for her achievements on the field. Bernecker, a team co-captain, is “passionate, a hard worker and an overall great young lady,” said women’s soccer head coach Beth Weixel. “She is one of the biggest leaders in terms of her play and her efforts. She shows her heart on the field and her teammates respond to that.” Bernecker displayed a remarkable work ethic on the field. “She is the hardest- working person I have ever played with,” said team co-captain Poff. “We could be down in a game and she never stops trying. Obviously her skill level is off the charts, but I think that is only emphasized by the
34 wilson magazine
composure she carries herself with while playing. As a leader and a captain, she is great. When you see Courtney's determination, it makes you want to play harder.” Bernecker and her teammates concluded their season with an overall record of 6-11, their best record in five years. Throughout her four years at Wilson, Bernecker refined her skills as an athlete and exhibited growth as a leader. When she first came to Wilson,” I barely talked and I was shy,” Bernecker said. Her coach helped her to show her true colors. “I eventually became more outgoing and coach pushed
her Athlete of the Week on four different occasions. Bernecker was also selected as a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference Second Team All-Conference. She was selected for the conference her sophomore year as well. Off the field, Bernecker majors in veterinary medical technology. She is also vice president of the Wilson College Athletic Association and a member of the VMT Club and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Bernecker is scheduled to graduate this spring and hopes to get a job at a veterinary practice in the area. With her soccer career at Wilson behind her, she would like
She shows her heart on the field and her teammates respond to that. — Beth Weixel, women’s soccer head coach me to be that … just by telling me flat out, ‘You know how to play and you need to be a leader.’ She was supportive and helped me adapt to that,” Bernecker said. Weixel agreed. “She was very quiet at first,” she said. “We had to pull that out of her. By the time she was a junior, she really stepped up. You could see that where she took control of the team as a leader and elevated her play. Seeing that growth is the most rewarding thing as a coach.” The College recognized Bernecker’s hard work and leadership skills by naming
to play in local leagues and possibly coach younger players. The leadership skills Bernecker gained from soccer help her off the field too. Many techniques learned through sports leadership are critical for motivating teams and improving performance in different environments. “You have to learn how other people play or their personalities and how to best encourage them,” she said. “Soccer really helped me with my people skills.” W
AROUND THE GREEN
PHOTO BY CAILEIGH OLIVER ’14
Courtney Bernecker ’14 controls the ball in a September match against Christendom College. Berneker set a new Wilson record for career goals scored.
PHOENIX SPORTS WRAP Wilson’s inaugural season of cross country wrapped up with signs of significant improvement as the season progressed. Led by EMMA MILLER ’17, the women’s cross country team recorded one of its best performances of the season at the North Eastern Athletic Conference championships on Nov. 2, when all Wilson runners finished in the top 35 out of 84 runners. Miller, who completed the race in 6th place, was named to the NEAC First Team All-Conference. The Wilson women's soccer team 6-11 record was its best in five seasons. The team recorded four nonconference wins and added NEAC wins against the College of St. Elizabeth and Gallaudet University. Overall the team totaled 30 goals for the season.
Field hockey concluded its 2013 season 7-9 overall. The roster included a significant number of upperclassmen, with MEGAN SCHNECK ’14, VICTORIA WHITBRED ’14, BRITTANY SMITH ’14 and KATIE OMORI ’14 providing the Phoenix with leadership through a tough schedule this season. HILLARY SWARTZ ’15 led the team in scoring with nine goals, three assists and 21 points with Schneck contributing seven goals and 16 points for the season. GINA WEIGOLD ’16 played every game in net as the Phoenix goalkeeper and totaled over 1,120 minutes and 95 saves. The team launches its nontraditional season this spring with an alumnae scrimmage at 2 p.m. April 27 at Wilson.
winter 2014 35
Students help remove invasive species as part of an environmental studies class.
36 wilson magazine
PHOTO BY MATTHEW LESTER
AROUND THE GREEN
PLANTING SEEDS FOR THE
FUTURE Project to plant trees and shrubs will help environment By Ben Ford
n preparation for an ambitious native tree-planting project, several Wilson students spent their class time this fall outside clearing out invasive trees and bushes along the Conococheague Creek. Under a partnership with the College and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Pennsylvania office, volunteers will plant more than 350 trees and shrubs native to the area on the Wilson campus in April. Some of the invasive species—honeysuckle, privet, Oriental bittersweet, multi-floral rose and Norway maples—were introduced to the region as early as the 1700s, but are still considered invasive species, said Edward Wells, director of Wilson’s Environmental Studies Program, whose students did the removal work. The invasive species tend to spread rapidly and choke out native plants. ”They’re taking space that native species could occupy,” he said. “Invasive species typically don’t provide great habitat for animals and can cover a whole landscape.” Clearing the trees and brush along the creek on campus was done as part of a course for upper-level students. The students have done similar work at state parks. At the April 26 tree-planting event, volunteers from the alliance, the College and the community will plant more than 350 native trees. The group hopes to have about 100 volunteers for the event, said Margaret Light, director of corporate and foundation relations and a member of the college committee organizing the event. The tree planting was approved by the college Board of Trustees in October. “We would like it to be a festival with environmental groups pres-
ent and educational activities,” Light said. “We’d like to work with student groups to have a presence as well.” The plantings will help reduce erosion on the steep embankment and also help improve water quality in the creek, Light said. “We’re modeling a best practice and we want to use it in our academic programs,” she said. The trees to be planted include red maple, river birch, persimmon, sycamore, swamp white oak, pawpaw, American elder, crabapple, and shrubs like fragrant sumac—all native to the area. In all, 27 different species will be planted. Trees and gifts that were given to the College as gifts were marked and incorporated into the project’s design plan. Alumnae/i memorium plaques that were with dying trees will be relocated to newly planted trees and the planned promenade will be dedicated to the College’s alumnae/i. The park-like setting also will be useful as an outdoor classroom, particularly for students in environmental programs. “We want to have a native landscape here and planting trees would be a part of it,” Wells said. “We’re trying to make a model ecosystem. We’re trying to repair the vegetative zones along the creek. “It’s great because it’ll filter the pollutants so we have cleaner water in the creek,” he said. “It will help shade the creek so we have greener water. It’ll provide habitat for animals.” The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has a goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2016 along the Conococheague Creek watershed area in partnership with the Franklin County Planning Department in a project
called Trees for Tomorrow, said Donna Morelli, director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Pennsylvania office. The creek is a tributary of the Potomac River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Trees help reduce sediment and nutrient runoff into the Conococheague Creek and Potomac, the source of drinking water for many communities downstream. Pollution also has harmed the fishing industry in the bay, decreasing the oyster, crab and fish populations. The Wilson event will kick off the Trees for Tomorrow program. The trees will be planted on the College’s McKee Green, a 7.6-acre area that runs adjacent to the creek from behind Lortz Hall to the physical plant building. McKee Green is used by Wilson’s students and staff—as well as Chambersburg residents—for recreation, including fishing. The site plan includes making certain there is still access to the creek and that the designated grassy areas will be maintained so the wooded area does not look unkempt. For the tree planting, Wilson is planning a barbecue, as well as environmental presentations for the volunteers who help plant trees. Maintenance workers will mark the locations and dig holes with machinery in advance of the volunteers planting the trees.W
A CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS To volunteer for the Trees for Tomorrow planting event or more information about the tree program or to volunteer, contact Morelli at 717-737-8622 or email@example.com.
winter 2014 37
PHOTO BY MATTHEW LESTER
ast year, Congress passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act, the first major overhaul of our nation's food safety practices since 1938. The act was necessary in part due to the increasing number of sickness outbreaks from contaminated food. Developing this act was surely no easy task. Our food system is as complex as it is large. We buy food harvested from multinational, industrial-sized farms that ship their food thousands of miles before it arrives at supermarkets. Big and small farms may fundamentally differ, depending on whether conventional or sustainable and organic practices are followed. Their distribution outlets also could not be more different. The act that passed Congress included a number of mandates to ensure, as much as possible, appropriately scaled regulations for farms and businesses. A key component was an amendment that allows modified requirements — Sarah Bay for farms annually grossing under a certain amount and selling produce directly to a consumer, restaurant or retail-food store within 275 miles. The Fulton Farm at Wilson College qualifies for these modifications. The act takes into consideration conservation and organic practices already in place on farms. These are great victories, and the act represents a bipartisan piece of legislation, a rarity in Washington today.
This is a good
example of how
one action, no
matter how small,
really can make a difference.
38 wilson magazine
Powers of enforcement for the act were given to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and it has lumped provisions into a category for producers, generally meaning produce farms. Meat, poultry, and egg farms, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, do not fall under the act. The regulations that the FDA drafted to enforce the act ignored some of the mandates made by Congress and committed a grave disservice to some of the very practices that promote and ensure food safety today. The proposed regulations might have meant that small businesses in local communities like local food distribution centers, roadside stands, farmers markets and even farms that do minimal processing and packaging would be subjected to the same regulations as corporate, industrial manufacturing facilities. In addition, businesses and farms that make low-risk processed goods with their produce, such as pickles and salsas, might have been subjected to the same regulations as high-risk processed goods made by industrial manufacturers. Thanks to the thousands upon thousands of concerned citizens who voiced their opinions, the FDA has agreed to revise its regulations. This country is currently in a great awakening about food choices, and much significant and positive progress has been made. People are seeking out and choosing local, fresh, organic and sustainably grown food because they strongly believe that it is safer and healthier for them, for the environment and for the generations to come. Every day more people, especially younger generations, turn to the vocation of farming and gardening, creating innovative business models and farming techniques. The local food movement is assisting in community revitalization all across the country. The decision by the FDA to reconsider its proposed regulations is very encouraging news. All who sent comments to the FDA in support of thousands of farms like the Fulton Farm at Wilson College have helped small farmers. This is a good example of how one action, no matter how small, really can make a difference. — Sarah Bay, Fulton Farm Manager
— from the —
WHO WAS TILLIE WILSON?
he C. Elizabeth Boyd ’33 Archives receives a steady stream of donations from alumnae and alumnae family members. Packages are eagerly opened to see what new gems will be added to the collection. A box arrived last summer that brought smiles and delight—–a wooden clothespin doll dressed in a knitted “W” sweater and sporting a Wilson-blue felt skirt. This was a Collegiate Emily doll manufactured by the O. Schoenhut Toy Co. of Philadelphia. The doll was a gift from Robin Jean Bitterlich Moll, whose mother was Jean Henning Bitterlich ’41. Robin wrote that she found the doll among her mother’s box of treasures that she kept with her until her death in 2008. The Collegiate Emily doll was the design of Emily T. Myers who, in addition to supplying dolls to the Schoenhut company, sold them at the Minnesota State Fair and through her own mail-order business. Girls could order the doll in their own school’s colors and insignia. The doll became the model for a character known on campus as Tillie Wilson during the 1940-41 school year. Tillie first appears in the Billboard as a tiny sketch atop a column called And Another Thing on Oct. 18, 1940. A Jan. 10, 1941, The Billboard story features Tillie Wilson’s “Three Big After-Vacation Wishes—–Sleep, Sleep and a Longer Vacation.” The design of the 1941 Conococheague was kept secret until its publication in May, as was the custom. The first page of the new yearbook featured a bright pink illustration called “Introducing Tillie” with an arrow pointing to the doll being held up by two Wilson students with the empty box between them. Instead of the usual informal photographs that accompany the formal portraits of each member of the Class of 1941, there were 80 tiny sketches of Tillie in all sorts of poses and activities; each representing the interests of one student. The artist was Juliet “Judy” Ward Griffin ’41, who served as the Conococheague art editor. Her own sketch showed Tillie quickly walking away, with a long “To Do” list in one hand and a Tillie sketch in the other. Jean Henning’s sketch showed Tillie examining a flower under a magnifying glass, indicating her interest in botany and gardening. In addition to the individual sketches in the yearbook, there were seven more detailed drawings of Tillie in bright pink, representing a variety of student scenarios such as performing on stage and studying. These nostalgic drawings could easily have served as models for the movie Toy Story. A related Tillie treasure was donated to the archives in 1999 by Beatrice “Betty” Fenner Blackadar ’42—–a miniature Tillie pin created by Barbara Wetzel Smith ’41. The pin, made of painted wood, is an exact replica of the original doll. Interpretations of Tillie provide a charming vision of college life at Wilson in the early 1940s. They perfectly capture the variety of interests of the students, from athletics, music, clubs and studying to dating, traveling and the universal wish for more sleep—–not very different from today. — Amy Ensley
winter 2014 39
Winter Greetings from Chambersburg and Wilson College, The Alumnae Association of Wilson College and the alumnae/i relations office have promoted opportunities to support students through increased participation in the Aunt Sarah Program, the daisy chain collection that is now near the post office, activities with the Career Development Center, student gifts and Food for Finals. In addition, we also support students by raising funds through our Amazon link, Cash for Causes gift cards and private donations that support the student internship gift program, Public Leadership Education Network and other academic conferences. None of these activities would be possible without the generosity of time, talent and funds provided by you, our alumnae/i. Since the announcement of the new Ring It Forward Program, four Wilson rings have been donated to us and we have begun our next steps to promote the program to students. Please note that we routinely post announcements, event updates, volunteer opportunities, meeting minutes and access to program forms online to the Wilson alumnae/i and AAWC webpages. We also send the monthly e-news to all those we have an email address on file. Reunion 2014, which will be held June 6 to 8, seems far away yet the planning is in full swing, with class officers working in collaboration with the alumnae/i relations office. We are excited to share the brochure in this issue of the magazine, as well as online at www.wilson.edu/alumnae/reunion. — Mary F. Cramer ’91 President , Alumnae Association of Wilson College — Marybeth Famulare Director of Alumnae/i Relations
40 wilson magazine
None of these activities would be possible without the generosity of time, talent and funds provided by you, our alumnae/i. — Mary Cramer '91
EXPLORING VILLAGE LIFE
IN THE DORDOGNE September in southwest France is beautiful. That’s when nine Wilson alumnae, two Wilson husbands and some 28 alumnae/i from other colleges journeyed to Bordeaux and then to the Dordogne Valley area. Our home became Sarlet-le-Canéda, a beautiful village established in medieval times and full of charming streets and buildings. Every day we explored its narrow, cobblestone streets as well as other nearby attractive villages such as Beynac, where much of the movie Chocolat was filmed. Among the highlights of our daily jaunts were visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites: Rocamadour, a pilgrimage site overlooking a deep valley where hot air balloons rose as we watched; the famous Lascaux II cave paintings; Rouffignac Cave, entered only by riding a small electric train; and L’Abri du Cap-Blanc, a cave with a large frieze of bison, deer and horses. Although immersed in prehistoric art and architecture, we also thoroughly savored the area’s culinary delights, such as foie gras, truffles, walnuts and wine in many fine restaurants.
PHOTO BY ANNA KENNEDY WENTWORTH '69
There were morning lectures by an architectural expert or a retired Bryn Mawr French professor; an evening forum to ask a local resi-
Left to right: Cynthia “Cindy” Reid Armbruster '61; Marge Musil '61; Nancy “Nan” Calahan Beckley '66; Linda Collenberg Bisaccia-Ammerman '68; Betty Lou Leedom Thompson '60; Renee Shields '72; Sara “Sally” Sanderson Thomson '62; Ann Kennedy Wentworth '69 and Mary Ann “Mimi” Ashcraft '62.
dent all kinds of questions; an afternoon gabare (19th-century-style local boat) cruise on the Dordogne River; and an evening presentation by a folk group of 19th-century song and dance that had almost everyone up and dancing. Travelers who chose the two-day pre-program in Bordeaux also explored UNESCO World Heritage sites. We saw many areas of this beautiful city and learned of its prehistoric founding and Roman history. The program included a visit to the beautiful village of St. Emilion, a stop along the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela, and wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. In addition to showing us many of the prehistoric areas of France, the Village Life in Dordogne trip allowed us to reconnect with
some Wilson alums after many years and to meet others for the first time. What fantastic experiences! Do join a Wilson trip soon! Visit the Alumnae Tours and Travel page of www.wilson.edu under the Alumnae Association tab to see more photos of the trip. Wilson participants were Betty Lou Leedom Thompson ’60, Marjorie Musil ’61, Cynthia Reid Armbruster’61 and husband Tim, Mary “Mimi” Ashcraft ’62, Sara “Sally” Sanderson Thomson ’62, Nancy Calahan Beckley ’66, Linda Collenberg Bisaccia-Ammerman ’68 and husband Fred, Ann Kennedy Wentworth ’69 and Renee Shields ’72. —Marge Musil ’61 and Betty Lou Leedom Thompson ’60
A RHINE RIVER VALLEY TRIP I traveled from Oct. 12 to Oct. 20 with the Wilson College group to the Rhine River Valley, a trip begun in Amsterdam, continuing to Cologne, Germany, and then visiting enchanting Rüdesheim, Germany. Then went on to Heidelberg, Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Breisach, Germany, ending the trip in Basel, Switzerland. I was pleased with the professionalism of tour group company Orbridge. When I contacted the company, they were efficient and helpful.
Orbridge provided a superb guide/speaker from London. He was warm, attentive to group needs and passionate about history and the arts. My experience with the Avalon cruise line was excellent. The boat was new. The staff was professional and worked well as a team. The food was good, varied and attractively presented. The Alumnae Association provided us with an interesting travel opportunity. —Nancy Ann Colbaugh ’64
winter 2014 41
2012-13 ANNUAL DONOR RECOGNITION REPORT WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE FOLLOWING ERRORS/OMISSIONS IN THE Nancy Evans Bruhns ’58 should have been listed in bold under the “Phoenix Club” in her class listing on page 23.
Sally Bogert Hemsen ’70 should have been listed in bold under the “Charter Club” in her class listing on page 27.
The Rev. Elizabeth Hanning Diely ’64, former Trustee, should have been listed in bold under the “Charter Club” on page 25, under the “Charter Club” under “Current and Former Trustees” on page 31 and under the “Charter Club” in Reimagining the John Stewart Memorial Library on page 44.
Lucinda Sandford Landreth ’69, former Trustee, should have been listed under the “President’s Club” under “Current and Former Trustees” on page 31.
Joan Hoover Hellwege ’56 should have been listed in bold under the “Phoenix Club” in her class listing on page 23.
ALUMNAE REPRESENT WILSON AT EVENTS
Dianna Heim, alumnae/i programs manager, has contacted alumnae/i around the country and abroad, asking them to represent Wilson at the presidential inaugurations of other colleges and universities. Many have stepped forward and we would like to thank our most recent volunteers for their time and efforts on behalf of Wilson: • Mary Jane Fischer ’69–Temple University, Philadelphia, on Oct. 17. • Marsha Haley Lamson ’66–Babson College, Wellesley, Mass., on Oct. 18. • Elaine Corrie Bagley ’63–Smith College, Northampton, Mass., on Oct. 19. • Mary Snider Boldt ’84–York College, York, Pa., on Oct. 19. • Susan Freeman Matiejunas ’58–Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J., on Oct. 23. • Pamela Francis Kiehl ’66–Millersville University, Millersville, Pa., on Oct. 25. • Margaret Guilmette Turgeon ’64–Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, on Oct. 26. • Betty Lou Leedom Thompson ’60–Haverford College, Lower Merion, Pa., on Oct. 26. • Kizzie Anna Wraase Easton ’58–Blackburn College, Carlinville, Ill., on Nov. 2. • Rhona Applebaum ’76–University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., on Nov. 19.
42 wilson magazine
Class of 1958 should have been listed on page 43 under the “President’s Club” for its 50th reunion gift to the Reimagining the John Stewart Memorial Library effort, as well as the “Double the Impact” initiative on page 45 signifying that the class gift was matched by the Lenfest Match.
PHOTO BY SAMANTHA BURMEISTER
Nancy Horton Heefner ’63 should have been listed with a † on page 9 under the “Honor Club” signifying that she is deceased.
Anne Pearce Lehman ’49 should have been listed in bold under the “President’s Club” in her class listing on page 21.
Current Wilson basketball players (white jerseys) posted a 54-43 victory over alumnae players in November before the start of the regular basketball season. Players in the alumnae basketball game were: (back row, from left) Madeleine Chausse ’17, Audrae Westurn ’17, Vanessa Whitfield ’14, Monica Lyons ’13, Alaina Hofer ’11, Morgan Wonders ’16, Doris Zimmerman ’03, Angela Grove ’01, Sarah Tackling Keebaugh ’05, Celia Whitcomb ’17, Alexis Ankro ’16; (front row, from left) Nana Ama Ohene-Manu ’17, Jennifer Liggett ’07, Lindsey Trace ’06, Sarah Engelsman ’08 and Teniera Enjoli Prioleau ’17.
ASSOCIATION NEWS ONLINE JOB HELP AVAILABLE FOR ALUMNAE/I
The Office of Career Development offers an online job posting and resume database system at no cost to alumnae/i. Once registered with College Central Network, alumnae/i are able to search for jobs at any time and from any computer, as well as get access to more than 100,000 national and regional job postings. Alumnae/i also can use this site to post their resumes for employers to view. If you are an employer and are currently hiring at your company, you can use College Central Network to post the job listings for Wilson students and alumnae/i to view and apply online. Visit www.collegecentral.com/wilson to register for the site. For more information, contact Kristin Guthrie, director of Career Development, by email at career@ wilson.edu or call 717-262-2006 ext. 3314.
REWARDS PROGRAM BENEFITS WILSON COLLEGE ALUMNAE/I STUDENT ACTIVITIES Do you order from Amazon? Use our link http://www.tinyurl.com/wilsoncollege and Amazon will provide 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.
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 20â€“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 ahitravel.com/content/schoolweb/WILSON_savings.html. SOUTHWEST NATIONAL PARKS: SEPT. 19â€“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 www.wilson.edu/aatours. Craggy coastline of Kerry, Ireland
Window Rock, Arizona
winter 2014 43
ASSOCIATION NEWS FORMER PROFESSOR AUTHORS BOOK ON INFLUENTIAL MINISTER An American Scholar Recalls Karl Barth’s Golden Years as a Teacher (1958-1964) By The Rev. Dr. Raymond Kemp Anderson. Lewiston, NY/Queenston, Ontario/ Lampeter, Wales: The Edwin Mellen Press. 2013. The Rev. Dr. Raymond Kemp Anderson is known to many alumnae/i as the former professor and chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Wilson and as an influential minister and leader in the Presbytery of Carlisle as well as his home church, Central Presbyterian in Chambersburg. What you may not know about this esteemed scholar is that he received his theology doctorate from the University of Basel in Switzerland. As such, he was one of the last American doctoral candidates of world-renowned Reformed theologian Karl Barth.
In this fond and moving memoir, biography and treatise, Anderson recalls the instrumental and life-changing education he gained through his studies with the mature Calvinist professor during the 1960s. As Anderson describes him, Barth was considered the “most significant theologian since St. Thomas Aquinas.” Religious studies scholar and the book’s publisher, Herbert Richardson of the Edwin Mellen Press, wrote the foreword and describes Anderson’s work as a “mixed genre narrative … [that] weaves together contemporary church history, constructive theology, and the autobiographical quest for the meaning of life.” An American Scholar is an enlightening discussion of Protestant intellectual thought over the last half of the 20th century. The book is available in hard cover or paperback editions by calling 716-754-2789 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAISY CHAIN GROUP Alumnae who donated and/or participated in hanging the daisy chain, were, from left: Joanne Shaffer ’83, Judy Coen Grove ’74, Kristina Sweval Peters ’67 (she also crocheted the leaf chain), Mary Cramer ’91, Adrienne Holley ’94 and Lori Fedorczyk ’94.
ALUMNAE/I ART SHOW
FUNDS SOUGHT TO
The Office of Alumnae/i Relations, Wilson’s Department of Fine Arts and Dance and the C. Elizabeth Boyd ’33 Archives greatly appreciated the loan of works and/or donations to the Alumnae/i Art Show this past fall. The following alumnae/i had their art displayed at the the Hankey Center for Education and the Advancement of Women: Brenda Ashton Aiken ’57, Janet Chamberlain Flinchbaugh ’69, Nicandra Abruzzi Galper ’82, Maureen G. Gillmeyer ’77, Margaret E. Harris ’62, Margaret E. Herod ’74, Rebekkah G. Linder ’03, Kichung Lee Lizee ’67, Elizabeth Ashby Mitchell ’69, Kristina Sweval Peters ’67, Rachel L. Gaston-Pifer ’02, Sarah Bonham Robinson ’61, Nanette Rich Sebring ’71, Susan Rice Shaffer ’10, Anna Sheaffer ’83, Thomas Shively ’94, the late Patricia Winton ’63 and Sharleen Henry Zenoble ’74.
Spring semester will bring us several students applying to attend Public Leadership Education Network seminars and inquiries for assistance to attend other professional conferences/seminars. There are also requests from students for internship assistance from the AAWC Internship Gift Program. Funds for this assistance come from generous donations to the Alumnae Association of Wilson College with restrictions to support these student efforts. To donate, make checks payable to AAWC with “Restricted to student support” in the memo line. Additional information may be found at www.wilson.edu/ alumnae/internship-gift and plen.org.
44 wilson magazine
— last —
am considered a traditional student at Wilson College, but there is most certainly nothing traditional about going to college at 33 with two children in tow. There is nothing traditional about packing your kids into the car, all your belongings into a U-Haul and leaving your home to take up residence on a college campus eight hours away. Nothing traditional about it at all, and yet, that is exactly what I did this past August. My journey to Wilson College was the culmination of one too many days spent trapped behind a desk at a job that barely paid the bills, but that left me with no shortage of stress and my children with an overly frustrated mother. After one particularly bad day at work, I returned home determined to change my family’s future. I am a firm believer that we write our own life stories. Though life as a single parent is often fraught with uphill battles and financial insecurity, I knew I could alter the course of our lives once I determined what I wanted our future to look like. My children and I are explorers at heart. A life of travel, discovery and unique experiences was what I envisioned for us. After much self-reflection and exploration, I saw that the possibilities were not limitless, but there was one that was exactly what we needed. Wilson College’s Women with Children program was like nothing I had ever heard of before. From accommodating housing to childcare, it was a program truly designed to support and foster the dreams of mothers looking to better themselves for their families. Most of us left behind friends, possessions and jobs to forge a better future for our families. From submitting my application to driving our U-Haul onto the lawn in front of Prentis Hall, my children and I approached our move to Wilson as a big adventure that would lead to new, wonderful experiences. We have not been disappointed. Our first days at Wilson were spent making new friends and exploring the campus and surrounding areas. Hours were spent in the creek catching turtles, fish and crayfish. Gettysburg and Caledonia State Park quickly became favorite destinations and numerous other destinations have been added to our “must see” list. The kids have become close with more traditional students, who they look forward to seeing and who have taken genuine interest in them. My daughter has become The Billboard’s kid correspondent and writes her own feature article for each edition of the paper. This has been an amazing opportunity for her that she would not have had otherwise. My son and I braved zombies alongside another mom in the Women with
Children program during Wilson’s Zombie Apocalypse and we won. And the campus ghost walk made us more interested in the history of our new home. From bingo and movie nights to cheering on Wilson athletes, we have immersed ourselves in campus life and our lives are being enriched for having done so. Although the transition to life on a college campus required a leap of faith, it never occurred to me to be nervous or unsure of my decision to take this step with my children. We came to Wilson to learn, live and grow. We are learning more than just what we are taught in school, we are also learning more about who we are and where we fit in the world. We are living like we have never lived before. The children now have a mom who, aside from the days of midterms and finals, is not burdened with the weight of the world on her shoulders. They have a mom who is there with them not just physically, but mentally as well. Our little family, already close, is growing closer and stronger with each passing day as we work toward a bigger and brighter future for all of us. Wilson has been an adventure indeed, one that we look forward to facing.
We came to
Stephanie Marshall ’17
— Stephanie Marshall '17
Wilson to learn, live and grow. We are learning more than just what we are taught in school, we are also learning more about who we are and where we fit in the world.
winter 2014 65
1015 Philadelphia Ave. Chambersburg, PA 17201-1285
An autobiography and a discipline folder in Wilson's archives tell a story of a remarkable friendship. Story on Page 16.