Newsletters

Spring 2022 Class Newsletter
Message From Class Presidents

Dear friends of the Class of 1963:
Thankfully, we find ourselves on the healing side of a pandemic, the likes of which we’ve never seen. May we all enjoy good health, being with family and friends and looking forward to being together for our 60th Reunion in 2023!

Recently we received news that our President, Kathleen McCartney, will be retiring in June 2023 after a decade of dedicated service to the Smith students and her grateful alumnae. We will miss her welcoming smile, her excellent leadership, her careful stewardship of the building of Maya Lin’s renovations to the Neilson Library, her thorough oversight of Smith’s two billion dollar endowment, and her commitment to providing financial assistance for those students receiving institutional need-based aid, replacing those funds with institutional grants from its endowment.

Judy Agor Aydelott and Mollie Curtis Fair
Class Co-Presidents


Reunion Update

Reunion plans are churning! Though we still have not been apprised of the exact weekend in May 2023, our 60th reunion is less than 15 months away! We have been hard at work, updating contacts and securing House Reps for all but a few of the houses. A real joy about living in our modern telecommunication age has been the ability to hold House meetings by Zoom, a practice now underway in a few houses. If you would like to use the Class Zoom account to hold a House meeting for your 1963 housemates, would like to help with Reunion plans, or lived in Albright, Baldwin, Dewey, Morris, Northrup, Tyler or Ziskind and would help us contact housemates, please email us.

Julie Mendlow Conger and Carole Hall Whitehill
Reunion Co-Chairs


Call for Class Notes

We love reading your news! Send your class notes for the SAQ to our class secretaries Mary Trexler Funsch and Susan Lampman Hill. You can also use the Smith Alumnae Quarterly Class Notes formOnline submissions go directly to class secretaries.
Class Spotlight

We plan to include in every newsletter an entry from one of our many classmates who continues to make a difference in her community and beyond. Kudos to Sheila Morrin Humphreys who, at the request of Carol Crist, co-chaired a committee producing a report on 150 Years of Women at Berkeley. Note her link referencing some pioneering Smithies of yore at Berkeley! “In 2019 Carol Christ, Chancellor of UC Berkeley (former President of Smith), initiated a celebration of 150 years of women at Berkeley since their admission in 1870. Carol invited me to co-chair the 150W History Project charging us to chronicle faculty, staff, students and alumnae of UC Berkeley. Now, 2.5 years later we have assembled a permanent digital archive of research on Berkeley women, which will be maintained by The California Digital Library for future scholars.

“At first the scope of the project seemed overwhelming. With no staff, we crowdsourced. We reached out to scores of UCB organizations—alumnae, faculty, emeriti, student groups, museums, institutes, departments, colleges, and professional schools—to research and describe the roles women had played in their separate histories. In response, hundreds of students, alumnae, and faculty generously contributed fascinating histories.

“The Home Page, the main portal to all links is: 150W.berkeley.edu

“Click on this “Changemakers” page to access many categories of histories.

“I especially love this page with portraits of women in widely varied disciplines.

“Smith alumnae appear throughout! Examples include Pauline Sperry (’06) the first female tenure-track professor of mathematics; Elizabeth Hight Smith (’00) the first woman faculty in plant physiology, Lois Slocum (’21) astronomer, Natalie Zemon Davis (’49) second female hired in history, and Laura Tyson (’69) Council of Economic Advisors and professor of business.”

Enjoy browsing the 150W website at your leisure. Questions and comments welcome.

Sheila Morrin Humphreys​​​



Fundraising Update

Another part of “chugging along” is joining the many of us who practice the gift of giving. Smith has been outstandingly intentional about strengthening the voices and successes of women of integrity and intelligence. At the moment, 45% of our class gives to Smith. We’d like to make it 63% in honor of our sixtieth reunion. In these older years and in troubled times, we want to do something to make a significant difference. Smith—with clearly defined priorities—does just that, year after year. Please consider adding your support.

The easiest way I’ve found is becoming a sustaining donor. That is, sign up for a monthly or yearly gift indefinitely. It’s simple. I clicked on this link online and in 2 minutes I was signed up and never have to think about amount or timing again. If you’d rather, you can call the Gift Accounting office directly at 800-526-2023 or 413-585-2036. Or, if you want handholding or reassurance or have questions, contact me directly.

Abigail Bayles Wiebenson
Class Fund Agent


Planned Giving Update

Most of us are celebrating an 80th birthday and anticipating a 60th Smith College reunion. These are landmarks that should not go unnoticed and uncelebrated. However, as chair of our class’ planned gift committee, I am focused on future gifts, ones that will help the college thrive long after we have passed our 100th birthdays!

This is a time to take a fresh look at your financial assets and ask a few key questions:

  1. Do you have sufficient funds to live comfortably for the rest of your life (with a bit left over)?
  2. If so, how should your estate be distributed? Also, can you make a future gift now?
  3. Should you leave your estate solely to your children or to other family members? Do they really need all of it?

Perhaps you can arrange a long-term charitable gift to Smith College. One of the easiest and most tax-effective ways is to name Smith as a beneficiary of your IRA. But there are many other ways to leave a future gift to Smith. Contact me and I will make sure that you get all the information and guidance you need!

Toni Kestenbaum
Planned Giving Chair

Spring 2021 Class Newsletter
Message from the Class Presidents

Dear Classmates,

This newsletter comes to you with much news about the ongoing excellence of academic life at Smith. The very day we sat down to write, however, the New York Times carried a front page story about issues of race and class in campus life New York Times article. And a few days later Bret Stephens wrote an op-ed piece also in the NYT on the same story. Furthermore, President McCartney had very recently written all alumnae about the resignation of staff member, Jodi Shaw, also an alumna, who had resigned over her discomfort with required racial sensitivity training (Jodi’s video). Given this triple whammy we immediately decided to hold a zoom meeting with our class officers to determine what they were thinking about these issues and whether we might reach consensus on a position to take in communicating with you.

Thirteen of your fifteen class officers participated in the zoom call, on three days’ notice. All were deeply chagrined about both cases and about the highly visible negative publicity they engendered. We are also, however, very aware that at this moment of huge transition in our society these issues are surfacing at colleges and universities all across the country. Our very success in building diversity makes Smith truly a microcosm of our society with the same challenges of navigating a multi-cultural world. We all felt President McCartney had taken some missteps and that some coaching from her peers would be helpful. But we also felt strongly that we should support her at this time. We applaud her success in enhancing access to a Smith education and believe her leadership has helped solidify Smith’s strengths as measured by indicators listed below. At this moment we believe our best role is to be a supportive alumnae group, encouraging her to grow through this period of unrest knowing she has alumnae support as she faces all these internal and external pressures.

Our zoom meeting was a very meaningful and inspiring moment for us all. To re-connect visually and intellectually, to see and hear one another articulate a valuable range of insights on our shared concern was hugely gratifying.

Our second consensus was to create a similar opportunity for all interested classmates. We hope to provide a forum for our classmates to articulate views, perspectives and potentially suggestions to be relayed to the Smith administration.

We have created a “Listserve/Chatroom/Google Group” in which your comments on the situation would be welcomed and shared with your classmates. Sophia1963@googlegroups.com would serve to cover topics relating to the College, even if some consider the issues controversial; it will also be a vehicle by which Reunion plans can be announced and shared. In contrast to previous chat group attempts, you will be a member only if and as long as you wish to participate. While this group will not permit political proselytizing, we hope that it would provide a means by which the prevailing sentiments of our classmates on a number of issues relating to the College can be expressed.

To join the Sophia1963 Google Group, please email either Julie Conger or Carole Whitehill and please encourage the classmates with whom you are in contact to do so also.

Please scroll up and note that this newsletter opens with a magnificent photograph of the new Neilson Library. Here at mid-point in the letter please check out the moving personal story of its design by Maya Lin, in another recent article in the New York Times, this one highly positive. At the end of the newsletter may the video about the library reminds us all of Smith’s great scholastic strength, her enduring vision of the future, and her steadfast will to honor our country’s diversity among her faculty and her students.

Best to you,

Judy Agor Aydelott
Mollie Curtis Fair
Class Co-Presidents


Report from the Fund Team

Toni Trobe Kestenbaum, our chair of Planned Giving, recently had a very positive conversation with Jennifer Smedes in the Development Office. Toni is sharing some bullet points from that conversation to remind us that Smith is about much more than a nexus of social issues.

SMITH REMAINS STRONG: Powerful Brand

  • Forbes magazine: Smith as one of America’s 20 most entrepreneurial colleges.
  • Smith is among the top 5 colleges in the country for Fulbright award success.
  • Smith has broken its own record of applications for an entering class, exceeding 6,000 applications for 600 places in the Class of 2025! This speaks volumes about Smith’s reputation as a “hot school” among prospective female college students, even in a pandemic!

SMITH IS IN A STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION, despite the challenges of the pandemic.

  • Smith’s strong financial position is retained thanks to three key factors: the endowment, prudent financial planning, and generous philanthropy.
  • Smith has grown its endowment principal to $2 billion, thanks to generations of generous alumnae donors. This generates a full ⅓ of the college’s annual operating revenue.

ACCESS AND FINANCIAL AID

  • Thanks to that strong financial base, Smith is a recognized leader in educational access and opportunity among elite liberal arts colleges.
    • 22% federal Pell grants (meaning their family contribution is $0)
    • 67% receive financial aid
    • 18% first generation (meaning their parents are not college graduates, a high priority for President McCartney who is first generation)

Obviously alumnae support is a critical player in this strong financial profile. On behalf of your FundTeam we urge you to make an annual gift to the Smith Fund and to include Smith in your estate plans. These are THE keys to the strength of the College as described above.

Fall Newsletter 2018
Message from the Class Presidents

 

Dear Classmates:

Hoping everyone is well into a glorious fall season!

This newsletter is the first in our new five-year cycle running up to our 60th reunion. It comes to you from your co-presidents, Mollie Curtis Fair and Judy Agor Aydelott. Judy is one of several new class officers elected at our class reunion. Mollie is writing this first part of the newsletter and I am thrilled to have Judy on board!!! The college is encouraging us to have co-chairs for all positions, as a general policy not just directed at we older alums!

Please welcome several more newly elected class officers:Vice-presidents: Julie Mendlow Conger and Carole Hall Whitehill (who will co-chair our 60th reunion in 2023 – hooray!)

Fund Team Co-coordinators: Barbara Massey and Mollie Curtis Fair
Memorial Chairs: Karen Bass Torop and Sheila Morrin Humphrys

Equal kudos and thanks to continuing class officers:

Treasurer: Elaine Osborn
Secretaries: Susan Lampman Hill and Mary Trexler Funsch
Fund Agent: Abigail Bayliss
Special Gifts Agents: Eleanor Cook Nolan and Carol Rice Bowditch
Web Chair: Rosalie Kerr Oster
House Reps Chair: Liz Raisbeck
Planned Giving Chair: Toni Trobe Kestenbaum

I want to give special recognition to our outgoing memorial chairs, Kathy Sanderson Zwick and Eileen Yencik Sheldon. They have served for ten years and have been incredibly diligent in executing their duties. Tracking down next of kin is a challenging job, now facilitated by the fact than many of you provided names in the 50th reunion book. Karen and Sheila are eager to continue giving this role the thoughtful attention it deserves. Blessings on all four of you! You are hugely appreciated.

55th Reunion Summary:
Sixty-three cheers to our stellar co-chairs Nancy Tipton Myers and Elaine Osborn! With lots of spirit, energy and creativity, they pulled together a great team to lead us through the eleventh of our five-year reunions. They ask that their thanks be added to ours to their reunion committee chairs:

Julia Coale, Communication; Michael Alexander Morton and Lee Weider Bridegam, Headquarters; Lucy Wallace Rankin and Debbie Dutcher Bump, Parade signs and organization; Liz Raisbeck, House Reps; Marilyn Miller Crocker, Rep. at large; Barbara Massey, Entertainment; Clare Rosenfeld, Class Authors Event; Abigail Bayliss Wiebenson and Julia Coale, Fund Agents; Eleanor Cook Nolan and Carol Rice Bowditch, Special Gifts; Toni Trobe Kestenbaum, Planned Giving; Kathy Sanderson Zwick and Eileen Yencik Sheldon, Memorial Chairs.

So what did we DO at our 55th?
Besides the usual schedule of fun dinners, an uplifting parade, and remarkable faculty presentations, we had TWO programs of our own. On Friday afternoon, we were treated to a fine one-person play by Smith alumna Elaine Bromka ’72, entitled “Tea for Three.” Its subject was an imaginary tea between First Ladies Pat Nixon, Betty Ford and Roslyn Carter. We lived through all three of these periods, and could relate strongly with the events, styles, and challenges each First Lady faced.

The script and performance were outstanding and we loved this innovative approach to class programming. That evening we experienced another fine program, coordinated by Clare Stein Rosenfield. Realizing that we had honored our artists at our 50th reunion, we encouraged Clare to develop her idea to honor our authors at our 55th. Here is a list she developed of nearly all our class authors and the books already published. Many of these she collected for display at our HQ at Chase House. Several attending authors talked about their work and Clare treated us to a wonderful reading from two out of six of her poetry collections: Roll On Great Earth, and Tall Grasses of Woods Hole & Other Summery Poems.

Click here for a strong, wide-ranging report from Clare about the evening, including a segue into an account of Clare’s remarkable connection to Malala Yousafzai, the brave Pakistani girl attacked by the Taliban for her commitment to girls’ education.

Report on Volunteer Leadership Conference – September 2018
Neilson Library Smith College

From Judy: So, is this a photo of a Roman ruin? Well, no, it’s the current state of our wonderful Neilson Library! I went to the conference in September at Smith and found the experience better than I ever expected. Under the leadership of our President Kathy McCartney, who is as personable and friendly as anyone could be, I learned that Smith is in excellent shape financially; that the acceptance rate went from 45% when Kathy came to Smith to 31%; that Neilson Library, now being re-imagined by architect Maya Lin, is already being noticed by many universities and colleges, including UVA; and that the student body is engaging, vibrant and committed to Smith.

Click here for a full review of the above, including a fascinating profile of a Student Ambassador from Mongolia.

The alumnae panels relating to Class Presidents all pushed the idea of starting a class Facebook page to better stay in touch with the class, and to make the entries informal with photos and short, pithy comments from our classmates about their lives today. The panelists had much more to say, but the bottom line was to keep in touch, to encourage participation from ALL our classmates; not an easy task, but certainly worth a try. We are giving this idea close consideration.

As we close this letter, we urge you as always to give generously to The Smith Fund. Now more than ever is our opportunity to make an impact on the futures of today’s Smithies: Let’s do them proud!

Mollie Curtis Fair and Judy Agor Aydelott


Fall Newsletter 2017
Message from the Class President

Dear Classmates:

It’s REUNION PLANNING time! That means time for you to plan now to come to Smith on May 24-27, 2018. Remember that YOU are what makes a reunion zing: no amount of programming can equal the opportunity to connect with old and new Smith friends, whom we value today more than ever.

Others have been doing reunion planning for two years now: our co-chairs, NANCY TIPTON MYERS and ELAINE OSBORN, are making sure we will have a good time this coming May! Nancy and Marilyn Crocker attended 1962’s 25th reunion this past May and came back with great plans for us. The most important takeaway is that we really need to get there Thursday night. The meatiest programming takes place on Friday. Here are some highlights:1. ALUMNAE COLLEGE. Remember when we used to have to pay to attend excellent faculty lectures on Friday? They dropped that program for a number of years and now have re-instated it – for free. Very popular, very inspiring. Choose one of four lectures.

2. RENEWING NEILSON FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. Also on Friday is a panel discussion about the New Neilson and how it will re-shape the academic experience at Smith come 2020. This is another reason to be sure to get to Smith by Friday. I have heard this presentation and it is remarkable and essential to our understanding of a Smith education in the future.

3. ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT MCCARTNEY. Our president brings great energy to her role and to hear her articulate her vision for Smith is to set a high tone for our fun weekend.

4. STUDENT PANEL. Always a highlight, this year’s panel will revolve around the interplay of off-campus and on-campus experience in a Smith education today.

5. FRIDAY AFTERNOON PROGRAM. Still another reason to be there Friday is that Nancy and Marilyn are repeating for us a very successful program offered by the class of 1962. It is a former off-Broadway play by a Smith Alumna of the 70s, Elaine Bromka, titled “Tea for Three,” which imagines a gathering for tea of Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford.

In Marilyn’s words: “‘Tea for Three’ is a moving, one-woman biography theater presentation that both entertained and informed me. The show offers humor, history and pathos and speaks to every woman’s journey, especially those of us who lived through the mid- twentieth century years. Well worth seeing once, twice or more times!”

It will be presented at 3:30 in the Sage basement theater-in-the-round and has been a sought-after feature of several reunions. Nancy and Marilyn decided it was time to think “out of the box” for our class program. I agree!

6.SATURDAY AFTERNOON. From 12-1:30 we will have lunch, our class meeting, and some free time. We will not do another class program and will focus instead on what’s happening on campus. From 1:30-4:30 we have the opportunity to discover Smith today through departmental programs and open houses, programs of the various Friends groups (Museum, Botanic Garden, Libraries, Athletics) and more faculty presentations.

The above events are highlights. To see the full reunion schedule online Thursday – Sunday click here.

Moving on to other class business: MARY TREXLER FUNSCH is our new co-secretary, replacing our dear Sue Kingsbury. She and Susan Lampman Hill will serve through our 60th reunion. Thank you, Trex and Susan. Send them some news! You’re a valued classmate: we want to hear from you! Write to bobsushill@cs.com or funschs@aol.com.

And don’t forget our GOOGLE GROUP as a fun, spontaneous way to share news, thoughts, ideas. As you know, the Quarterly is a slow-moving train, where the news you submit does not reach our mailboxes for a couple of months. The Google group operates in real time and we’ve been having some interesting discussions this year. If you are not already receiving emails form the Smith63 Google Group info and would like to, fire a quick email to our communications chair carolehwhitehill@gmail.com . She will put your name in the group and will tell you how to post on it. Don’t worry: you can opt out any time.

UPDATING YOUR CONTACT INFO! This is so important, for all of us. You have a few options:1. Email any changes to Carole and let her send the updates to the college. This way she knows immediately of any changes.

2. Log into the Online Alumnae Community by visiting https://smith.force.com/alumnae/login and clicking on the “Profile” tab. Once you update your information, click “Save”” at the bottom of the page and the college will be updated.
3. Email your info directly to Alumnae Records at alumnaerecords@smith.edu.

Have a truly glorious fall. I will be writing again this winter.

Mollie Fair, Class President


Winter Newsletter 2016
Message from the Class President

Dear Classmates:

“Smithiness is real!” This is my favorite quote picked up on campus a few weekends ago at a student panel. This riff on Stephen Colbert was a student’s culminating remark after an array of student presentations, all great testimonials to talent, energy and enthusiasm about Smith and Smithies.

Lest you hit the delete button too fast: I have an urgent message about a chance to make a huge difference for students like these right now. Not only gifts but also PLEDGES MADE BY DECEMBER 31, 2016 will go towards completing the $450 million Campaign for Smith which concludes that day. The pledges will need to be paid by June 30, 2017.

So let’s do something very different this year. In addition to making an annual gift, please PLEDGE YOUR REUNION GIFT NOW, rather than a year from now. Annual gifts can be made online at www.smith.edu. Pledges must be called in at 1-800-241-2056.

Moving on to the strong state of the college as seen two weeks ago at the Volunteer Leadership conference, I urge you to read Julia Bowers Coale’s report here. Note her summary of Maya Lin’s stunning plans for Neilson Library.

You might also like to read some stats about activity on our class GoogleGroup, as reported by our communications chair, Carole Hall Whitehill. You can view her report here.

Now here is a teaser for our upcoming 55th in May of 2018: our theme is “EVERGREEN.” I love this theme and slogan for who we are. Our co-chairs, Nancy Tipton Myers and Elaine Osborn, are issuing a challenge to all creative minds to design the logo for this theme. Time is of the essence! Contact grancy@mac.com or elaineosborn@yahoo.com.

I part with another student vignette. A student presenter from Zambia discussed her two summer internships at Goldman Sachs with tremendous skill and enthusiasm. Asked about her future plans she exulted: “To be Finance Minister of Zambia!” Wow! I felt she had all the personal and intellectual skills necessary to get there. Let us remember: WE are critical players empowering her and many others to realize such dreams. WE truly are behind the women leaders for tomorrow’s world.

Wishing you the very best for the holidays ahead,
Mollie Curtis Fair, Class President