Spring 2021 Class Newsletter
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
SMITH IS IN A STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
ACCESS AND FINANCIAL AID
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
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.
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
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a truly glorious fall. I will be writing again this winter.
Mollie Fair, Class President
Winter Newsletter 2016
Message from the Class President
“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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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