Class of ’76: Message from the Class President

Dear Beloved Classmates,

I have always felt lucky to have been at Smith from 1972-1976. As Andrea Feld wrote in our 1976 yearbook, it was a time of “four turbulent years of protest and revolutionary change on an international, national and local level – changes which stretched from Vietnam, to the White House, to Northampton, MA. Our class entered Smith College in September of 1972, in the wake of massive campus demonstrations which occurred all over the country and climaxed at Kent State University, in protest of the Vietnam War and the bombing of Cambodia by the Nixon regime.” We began our junior year less than a month after the resignation of Nixon. The fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam war followed in the spring term. I felt that we at Smith were able to experience the conflicts and changes of those years in a relatively safe environment that encouraged learning, arguing, and experimentation.

Fast forward to today as we approach our 45th Reunion and we find ourselves in the midst of a deadly global pandemic, a national civil rights crisis, and deepening political and social divisions. My favorite sign from the Women’s Marches of 2017 was, “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this shit,” reminding me of similarities between our years at Smith and now.

In these challenging times, now is the time to reconnect with old friends, forge new relationships, and assist one another to thrive. Suddenly, we are meeting on Zoom, trying to imagine a world where in-person gatherings, as they start to happen, might look very different. But with a wonderful Reunion committee, we are planning a Zoom-based Reunion that will both remind us of our shared experiences at Smith and celebrate who we all have become.

Which brings me to the theme of this year’s Reunion: Women of Wonder. Where are we at this moment in time, in 2021 and approaching our 45th Reunion? As our Reunion Co-chairs have asked, how is it that our lives took the twists and turns they have and taken us to places we could never have anticipated?  What are we seeing or experiencing in the world around us that we never paid attention to before?  Maybe we are ending a long-term career and taking up a new cause or endeavor that we find ourselves passionate about. And many are wondering, what’s next in this interesting journey called “Life”?

So please share your thoughts, reflections, and journeys, as you did for our 25th Reunion book “A Day in the Life.”  We would like each of you to consider writing a page or two about your own Time of Wonder, Place of Wonder, or Journey of Wonder. Describe a project that has piqued your curiosity, a passion that has driven your path, or perhaps a “life lesson learned.” Please send them to me in PDF, Pages or Word/docx formats to, and I will assemble them into a book and make it available to you as a PDF download during Reunion. Please include your name in your submission. It will be an authentic and thought-provoking reflection of our lives at this moment in time!

Mary Ann Denton, President, Class of 1976