60th Reunion



First row: Polly Dix Schaafsma, Katie Butler Jones, Carol Brickett Freeman, Ann Florance Ries, Frieda Schoenborn O’Hanlon, Peggy Brumfield Bruton
Second row: Jan Koehler Lehrman, Jane Weisbart Nusbaum, Claire Burgoyne Brouwer, Carolyn Anderson McGuckin, Nancy Towner
Butterworth, Fran Needham Roethgen, Ann Muhl Saul, Minxie Jensvold Fannin, Elisabeth Krabisch Sandler
Third row: Jane Tilton Shull, Molly Fudge Mastrangelo, Gail Fenbert Paige-Bowman, Carolyn Jobes Kiradjieff, Susan Long Quainton,
Franny Ward Weller, Mary Frances Kern Knox
Fourth row: Audrey Taylor MacLean, Val Lytle Gunning
Fifth row: Perrin Enyart Hardy, Dorothy McMurphy Stage, Sue Scherr Lloyd, Nug Nighswander Larson, Carol Johnson Olson, Laura Porter Ascari, Lynne Owen Penczer
Sixth row: Kieko Okubo Hirano, Candy Nichols Reynolds, Miriam Stone Holland, Stephanie Grinnell Beling, Pat Gross Cautilli, Doris Sloan Nicodemus
Back row: Lin Ramseyer Clayberg, Nancy Bigelow Mackay, Phyllis Gould Johnson, Rosalind Wallander Renouard, Alicia Elliott, Althea Hersey Shirley
* Absent from photo Stephanie Bunzl Cohen and Robin Bovard Huck


There were 48 of us along with 22 guests, mostly spouses.

Most of us arrived Thursday night, May 25th, checked in at Abbey and either went to our dorm rooms or a nearby motel, or visited with friends in the Abbey lounge after picking up our parade favors, a green tote bag with a griffin and our class numerals emblazoned in white. Staying in a dorm room at our 60th was an adventure! Traipsing down the hall to a communal bathroom in the middle of the night is best saved for the young! Plan to come to the 65th; we’ll be a loyalty class and have the privilege of staying at Willits-Hallowell, the hotel/conference center on campus.

Thursday night we all enjoyed an Italian buffet at the Orchards Golf Club to the accompaniment of the sounds of torrential rain. One of the best parts of the evening, in fact of the whole weekend, was beginning to catch up with old friends and making new acquaintances.

A buffet breakfast, including scrambled eggs and bacon, was first thing on the schedule for Friday morning. After that, the first scheduled activity was a speech by Acting President, Sonya Stephens, on the state of the College in Gamble Auditorium in the Art Building. Most of us were transported from Abbey to the art building by a van, which took us by an immense construction which is to be an addition to Blanchard. It’s going to be the new dining commons, with all dining, including breakfast, centralized there. We’ve been assured that there will be small dining rooms within the larger one in order to keep the feel of the MHC experience. The building will also house meeting rooms and offices. The speech started with a power point presentation on how the College is doing and its plan for the future. Many of us had lunch in Blanchard, after which we took advantage of being there and visited the college bookstore. The bookstore in Blanchard is closing and eventually will be moved to the Odyssey Bookstore in town. Since the bookstore is closing, there were many bargains to be had!

The formal afternoon’s activities consisted of several sessions of “back to class,” taught by professors, including a class on the state of liberal education in a changing world, an introduction to the Mt Holyoke College archives, a site tour and overview of the MHC restoration ecology program, among others.

At 4:00 our class was treated to our own tour of the Art Building. Actually it was more of an introduction to the interdepartmental nature of the current art program. It started with a power point presentation, again in the Gamble auditorium and moved on to three objects in the College’s collection, two paintings and a hope chest. Two of the curators led us in a sustained observation of the objects, much as would be done by students. Interestingly, the hope chest belonged to Mary Lyon’s great-grandmother. Incidentally, our art museum ranks 11th in excellence among college art museums.

On the schedule for the evening was a social hour at Willits-Hallowell, which is just across the stream from the Art Building, followed by a fish dinner. The program for the evening was a presentation by Elisabeth Krabisch Sandler about our Frances Perkins Scholar program and a very impressive speech by Zandra Davis, a Frances Perkins Scholar who had graduated the previous week. Our class of 1957 scholar was unable to attend since she was at a job interview.

Saturday morning, Hallelujah! It stopped raining and was nice enough to parade, always a highlight of Reunion. Most of our class was transported by van to Mary Lyon’s grave which was still garlanded by the laurel chain placed there by the class of 2017 the previous week. While waiting for the “festivities” to start we were entertained by the College mascot, a lion romping about and shaking hands or hugging us. We also continued to catch up with our classmates. Then the youngest classes placed roses on Mary Lyon’s grave, we sang “Bread and Roses,” a song from the early 20th century and paraded, younger classes first. It was quite emotional to walk through lines of applauding younger graduates. We paraded past Skinner, Acting President Stephens and the president of the Alumnae Association, to the tune of a local bagpipe company and into Chapin Auditorium.

During the Alumnae Association meeting we were welcomed both by the Association president and by the acting president of the College. There was a report on Alumnae Association business and the reading of class histories. Ours was read by Peggy Brumfield Bruton in counterpoint with the president of the class of ’82. During the meeting, Alumnae Association awards were also presented. Our class received the Alumnae Association cup (which arrived during our class meeting in the afternoon, filled with flowers) for being the reunion class at Reunion II with the highest percentage of attendees. Two of our classmates received an Alumnae Achievement award, Katherine Butler Jones and Polly Dix Schaafsma. The meeting concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater.

While we were in the Alumnae meeting the men were treated to a discussion with Tony Quainton, Susan Long Quainton’s husband, a career US ambassador, who led a discussion on foreign policy.

A buffet lunch in the Abbey-Buckland dining room followed. It was crowded since not only were the two reunion classes occupying Abbey-Buckland present, but several additional classes. However, it was a wonderful opportunity for interaction with some of the more recent MHC alumnae. After lunch we convened on Skinner steps for our class picture, then returned to Abbey for the class meeting during which the men had a discussion in the small lounge in Abbey on technology in architecture led by Nug Nighswander Larson’s husband, Brian, who is an architect.

In our class meeting we listened to the usual reports and decided to retain our class funds until our 65th reunion, at which time we will consider whether to turn them over to the Alumnae Association. We also voted for the slate of officers presented by our outgoing vice-president and chair of the nominating committee, Frieda Schoenborn O’Hanlon. Our officers are: Mildred (Nug) Nighswander Larson, president, Beth Florence Ries, vice-president, Stephanie Bunzl Cohen, secretary (continuing), Suzie Ellis Stoyer, treasurer (continuing), Ruth Gutekunst Lohrer, scribe, and Fran Needham Roethgen, web coordinator (continuing).

Nug Larson reported that the class of 1957 donated $135,525 to the Mount Holyoke fund in fiscal 2017, with 69% participation. The five year cumulative total of all gifts to all funds is $1,921,510. Laurel Chain Society members (consistent annual donors) total 111. Nug thanked nineteen classmates who helped raise funds this Reunion year.

Our outgoing president, Peggy Brumfield Bruton, recognized the Reunion chairs, Carolyn Jobes Kiradjieff and Susan Long Quainton, continuing class officers and outgoing class officers, Frieda Schoenborn O’Hanlon, vice president, and Franny Ward Weller, scribe. On behalf of the class Frieda presented Peggy an MHC throw to thank her for her work during her term as president. After the meeting was over we had a very thoughtful, emotional memorial service for our departed classmates, led by Miriam Stone Howland, a minister in the UCC and Gail Fenbert Paige-Bowman, an Anglican Episcopal priest. In addition to the readings, we had a memorial DVD, beautifully prepared by our web coordinator, Fran Needham Roethgen, showing of the faces and names of our classmates who have passed.

Just before the social hour in the Abbey lounge began, the Acting Director of the Alumnae Association, Nancy Perez, presented Loyalty Awards to Susan Long Quainton, Elisabeth Krabisch Sandler and Robin Rolfe Bagley. Kathy Bronner, our class honorary, joined us for a festive dinner featuring chicken marsala and yummy chocolate shells filled with white chocolate mousse for dessert followed in the Abbey-Buckland dining room. Our reunion chairs, Susan and Carolyn, gave tokens of appreciation and thanked their various committees as well as the telephoning committee whose diligent work led to our good attendance. The lovely flower arrangements on each table were awarded to the person at that table whose birthday was closest to Mary Lyon’s. The evening concluded back in the Abbey lounge with a singalong of the songs that were popular during our tenure at MHC. It was led by Jack Craig who played the piano and introduced each song with comments about the composer, lyricist and how the song fit into our time period. We have Fran Ward Weller to thank for making the arrangements for this last wonderful evening, which we all felt was over too soon.

Those of us who stayed in the dorm had breakfast there on Sunday and then departed for home. Some of us stayed longer for a multifaith gathering in Abbey Chapel and a Sunday brunch in Willits-Hallowell.

The best part of the weekend was that in planning our reunion, the aim was to give us time to visit with classmates and reconnect with old friends and make new ones. We hope that those classmates who were unable to attend the 60th will be able to attend the 65th. We missed you!

Stephanie Bunzl Cohen,

Class Scribe