Mount Holyoke College Class of 1974
May 25, 2019
Class president Diane Claffey called the meeting to order.
Melissa Russell from the class & reunion committee of the Alumnae Association reported:
Nancy Arcieri presented the treasurer’s report:
LaVida Dowdell (reporting for co-class agents, Jane Zimmy and Debby Hall):
The email sent by Denise McCloud Thomas to the class officers was read aloud:
Hi Diane and Class of ’74 Warriors,
I hope our 45th Reunion turns out to be all that our classmates expected and more. Please share with our classmates how sorely I hate not being there with them. Kudoes to Gail and her team for putting together this wonderful Reunion. Congratulations to our entire class board for their 5 years of service to our amazing class. Congratulations to our newly elected class board; know that it is a privilege to serve the class of 1974, the best class that MHC has produced.
It grieves me not to be there, however in order to get out of that traumatic space that Hurricane Florence created for my husband Steven and me–losing our home and enduring 7 weeks of homelessness–we chose to join The Flying Doctors of America in service on their first medical mission to Ethiopia. Our mission was difficult but successful. Our team of 14 treated over 1500 patients in 3 days. We lost count after treating over 600 patients on the third day so the true numbers may never be known. My primary job this time was an attempt at an orderly method by which each patient could get the medical care they needed. I failed so miserably in the massive throng of desperate, hope-filled people with sunken, beseeching eyes that I had to fight back tears. It was just impossible to treat everybody and their desperation created such chaos not only from the people who made their way from the rural areas for treatment, but from the hospital staff as well. There was clearly another 1500 who sought treatment that we could not provide.
Despair is just so hard to watch. Ethiopia, however, is a deeply Christian-based country. My guess is that is how these beautiful people wake up each morning and put one foot in front of the other in their life’s journey. I’m convinced nothing we did here was in vain.
Steven and I lost “things” in the storm, but the storm reinforced the importance of the people in our lives. I’m so grateful to be a member of this class; you have helped make me who I am. As our class looks forward to our 50th Reunion, I make this challenge: TAKE THE TIME TO REWARD YOURSELF WITH A NEW FRIEND FROM OUR CLASS. Within the next 30 days and no later than June 24th, choose 1 or 2 classmates (more if you wish) and invite them into your life as a friend. Cross all the lines you think our American culture creates and REWARD YOURSELF WITH A NEW FRIEND. We all win because we all have the opportunity to choose someone with whom we can share the core of who we are. So, no later than June 24th, contact your soon to be new friend and tell her, “I choose you.” Then, let’s just march on to our 50th Reunion and see how gloriously interesting it will be.
From the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, I am
Denise McLeod Thomas, MHC Class of 1974
The slate of officers for 2019-2024 was presented, and voted upon in the affirmative:
Changes in the bylaws of the Alumnae Association and of the class were voted on in the affirmative. Below is the summary of changes authored by Mary Feeney and the actual updated by-laws.
Summary of Changes by Mary Feeney
President Diane introduced Melissa, President-Elect, who had a few remarks about enhancing connection among classmates during the next five years, as a run-up to a memorable 50th reunion. Then she passed around three tablets to capture classmate’s thoughts about: 1) Ideas to make our 50th Reunion ever better; 2) A list of those willing to host a mini-reunion; and 3) MHC stories to share with classmates.
Melissa asked for a volunteer or a volunteer committee to coordinate mini-reunions. Before the weekend ended, Melissa Thornton and Mary Feeney accepted the challenge as Co-Chairs of the Committee.
In Memoriam: the names of class members who have died since our last reunion was read, and a moment of silence observed:
For more information about and many photographs of our 45th reunion join our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/148070727264/?ref=share
Addenda to the class meeting notes: let it be recorded here that classmates Barbara Dombkowski Desoer and Mary F. Platt each received an Achievement Award at this morning’s Alumnae Association Meeting for their “outstanding achievements and service to society that exemplify the values and virtues set forth by the College.” See certificates below: