Class News

We list the members of our class who have died on the “In Memoriam” page.  With the Coronna Virus pandemic such a monumental event in our lives, we will post the names of those who have died from the disease in this special tribute.

Rosa Balfe Babcock

Mimi Foyette Bull has published Celibacy: Memoirs of a Catholic Priest’s Daughter.   Click here to read an extensive interview with Mimi at the time of the book’s publication.

The Alumnae Quarterly reports that Louisa Stude Sarofim has established the Isabel Brown Wilson ’53 Scholarship Fund in honor of her cousin.  The endowed fund will generate annual income equal to the average financial aid grant for 10 students each year.  The generous grant is one of the largest ever given to a woman’s college.

As Haiti has experienced such devastating natural disasters, here is encouraging news from Jenifer Rawson Grant:  For the past several years I have been deeply involved here in Essex,CT in the creation of a Sister Cities relationship with the town of Deschapelles, Haiti, a place I know well because my parents founded HôpitalAlbert Schweitzer here. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a group of us, most of whom I had taken to Haiti to visit the hospital, created Sister Cities Essex Haiti, partnering with a local all-volunteer organization, ODES. Our goals were to address projects requested by the community of Deschapelles for their benefit.

The first request was for a community Library. It became more complicated than we anticipated, but on January 8, 2016, the Deschapelles Community Library was inaugurated. Its design (pro bono) by an architect from Essex fits the site beautifully. The spacious front half is a screened, well-lit area for youth to study at night, rather than their usual place under the occasional street lights. There is a central circulation desk, a computer area that will have some internet access, an adult section, and a children’s section with small painted chairs and low tables. We are planning to provide servers loaded with academic information in French and Kreyol that will enable students to access information through tablets with wi-fi to avoid a crush on internet usage. There are educational and cultural activities to appeal to all ages. We have over 1000 books now for all ages with about 1500 more on the way. We have many children¹s books in Kreyol as well as French; the rest are in French. There are five librarians, some part-time; the library is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. 

While the library was being designed and built, we initiated three other projects: a Music Project, a Tennis Project, and an Early Education Teacher Training Project.  The Music Project supplies instruments, skill books, stands, and visiting musicians. There are now two bands. We have been able to send three students to summer music camp in Haiti. One of our musicians, who prefers classical music, is continuing his studies in Port au Prince and has opportunities to play with the Haiti Ste. Trinité Philharmonic. 

The Tennis Project grew from an existing tennis club. We hired a talented tennis coach who spent three weeks coaching the youth and training the coaches.  Today we have a robust team that competes successfully in tournaments in Port au Prince. One of our first participants is now on the Haitian Junior Davis Cup team. 

Our Early Education Teacher Training Project focuses on the schools with preschool programs. We brought to Haiti manipulatives, books, and expertise to introduce the value of reading to children in a classroom setting and of manipulatives for “discovery” as well as educational tools. Some of our talented teachers continue to grow in their teaching skills, and they also assist a Swiss educator who holds teacher training workshops for an area beyond Deschapelles.

This has been a wonderful experience, and it would never have been possible without the support of a great team here in Essex, many donors to support the construction of the library, and the team in Haiti who oversaw and actually did about 99% of the construction. We have support from the Digicel Foundation in Haiti as well as FOKAL, the Soros-funded library in Port au Prince that supports a group of rural libraries.

I often reflect on the value of my Smith College education, which gave me a great education, and perhaps most importantly, learning how to learn. I certainly have learned a great deal over these past six years! You can google us at SisterCitiesEssexHaiti.org

Congratulations…The Smith College website lists “Notable Alumnae”; 21 of our classmates are honored!  On the College website, click on “About Smith,” then “Notable Alumnae,” then enter “1958” in the Search box.

Classmates would like to read your news.  Send material to 2legato@comcast.net.

Nancy Reynolds Bartlit

Nancy writes: ” I am setting up my own publishing firm and updating and republishing my history book on World War II.  For several years I have been trying to get back my printing rights!  Fortunately, the publisher went into Chapter 11 so I prevailed with the widow of my co-author!”  Check Nancy’s extensive website at www.NancyBartlit.com  for information about her many activities and accomplishments.

Sophy Doub Burnham

Sophy’s novel Love, Heavy black heart️Alba was published by River Sanctuary Press in California in 2014 — and in 2016 was named a FINALIST in the Indiefab BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD  for books published by small press, university, and independent publishers.  This is her fourteenth book, fifth novel, and first romance novel (the heroine is over 60).  Sophy was honored at a ceremony in June in Orlando Florida at the American Library Association convention.  Her books include both fiction and nonfiction, essays, plays, children’s radio plays,  articles, short stories, films and  investigative journalism.  Her work has been translated into 26 languages and three were New York Times bestsellers.  In June 2016 her book of poetry FALLING: LOVE-STRUCK, the God Poems was published by Finishing Line Press.  A earlier essay was included in the volume, SMITH VOICES, that English Prof Pat Scarda published in 1995.

 

Barbara Ehrlich White

Barbara, a prominent art historian, was inducted as a Knight into the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in recognition of her contribution to French culture.  Congratulations, Barbara, on such a prestigious award, one of the highest orders that France bestows!  Barbara’s contribution to France is her study of Impressionism.  As a professor emeritus at Tufts University, her work includes two highly regarded books on art history:  Renoir: His Life, Art and Letters, and Impressionists Side by Side: Their Lives, Friendships, Rivalries and Artistic Exchanges.  (Both books are available from Amazon.)

Untitled‘Lyn Brown Follett

‘Lyn has a new book of poems, Noah’s Boat; a previous book was Duet, with photographs by Ginna Fleming ’52.  Click here for the flyer introducing this book.

Houses and One Bird Falling both came out in 2011, a banner year.  A beautifully designed little chapbook,  5″ x 5″, is four ‘historic’ poems with the title Compass Points.  Subjects are Eleanor of Aquitaine,  Genghis Khan, Malinche (Cortez’ mistress/wife/interpreter), and Tycho Brahe, a well known astronomer (of his times) who discovered several fixed stars and a supernova and was a mentor to Kepler.

Click here for more information about ‘Lyn and to read one of her poems.

Annis Vilas Pratt

ANNISPICAnnis has just published Fly Out of the Darkness, a sequel to The Marshlanders in her Marshlanders Trilogy, as an ebook for your Kindle or Nook or iPad.  Only $3! Just go through www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com for a fun summer read.

Click here for more information about Annis and The Marshlanders.

Marcia Woodruff Dalton

We have received word that Marcia published The Ice Margin, her first novel, in April 2010.  We are sad also to report that Marcia died in June 2010.  Click here for a review of her novel and for her obituary from “The Boston Globe.”

SusanSElliottPortrait-LowRez%2012_2010Susan Spoehrer Elliott

Susan has published Across the Divide: Navigating the Digital Revolution as a Woman, Entrepreneur, and CEO, her account of her early entry into the digital revolution and her subsequent leadership roles.  Susan presented a program at Reunion. Click here for more information.

Lucy Lippard

Real%20Lives%20DSC_0027Lucy was featured in the October 8, 2012 “New Yorker;” The Brooklyn Museum has transposed Lucy’s “cult classic” on conceptual art into an exhibition on view through February 3, 2013.  Click here for the “New Yorker” citation.

Ann Stebbins Sidles

Bart Sidles, Ann’s son, donated a kidney to a lifelong friend.  Click here to read the inspiring account.