CLASS OF 1958  MINI REUNION                                                                             September 23-25, 2019

              At the end of September thirteen classmates gathered on campus for a wonderful three day mini-reunion. Two of our group attended for the first time, but sadly, five others, who had planned to come, were sidelined due to health and other issues.

One of the “first timers” described the mini as “a memorable and flawless event.”

The event encompassed the total Holyoke experience. On Monday afternoon the Director of the Art Museum, Tricia Paik, presented a special program, focusing on our classmate, Joan Edwards Jonas’s groundbreaking work, “The Promise of the Infinite: Joan Jonas and the Mirror.” Through video and lecture, we were exposed to Joan’s creativity, based on the concept of the mirror to show us that images are not facts but reflections of our individual imaginations and assumptions.

Our evening dinner guest was John Western, Dean of Faculty. He brought us up to date on the strengths of the College – its philosophy and mission, financial status, admissions, and academics. He noted that due to retirements the College will be hiring many new tenure track faculty over the next few years, giving the College the opportunity to broaden and implement new programs. Interestingly, he said his priority in hiring was finding faculty who primarily wanted to teach. Four students also joined us for dinner, and their conversations provided insights into student life. With the College’s commitment to diversity, we were pleased to learn that two of our students were “first generation” college attendees, and both planned to go to graduate school. They have a very bright future!

On Tuesday we toured the new Fimbel Maker and Innovation Lab where we saw an amazing array of computerized sewing machines, woodworking, electrical, and engineering tools and high tech 3D  and laser printing machines. Courses for academic credit were offered, and we saw several complex student projects. Kathy Aidala, Director of the Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab and Professor of Physics, joined us for dinner and spoke about the opportunities and dimensions of the Lab. She shared ideas for integrating various academic courses with “hands on “ creative projects.

We were assigned this year’s Common Read book, There, There by Tommy Orange. The Chair of the English Department, Elizabeth Young, met with us and facilitated a discussion of the book and the challenges its characters faced.

In the afternoon we observed an Intermediate Musical Jazz/Theater class, led by Debra Vega. Students from  U Mass, Hampshire and Smith joined with MHC students to choreograph a scene from “A Chorus Line.” As you may recall, when we were on campus, the five college cooperation was in its infancy and taking classes off campus was very restricted and difficult.

On Wednesday morning, Tom Clark, the Director of the Botanic Gardens, gave us a very interesting tour of the important trees on campus.

For three days we visited a variety of classes and were welcomed and included by faculty and students to participate in class discussions. The small classes and interchange of ideas between faculty and students continues to be the basis of a Mount Holyoke education. It was exciting to see in many courses greater integration and collaboration between the academic departments.

As Anne Ensworth Whitney said, the mini-reunion reminds us that,                          “Mount Holyoke is not a four year experience, it is an experience for a lifetime.”

The Planning and Mini-Reunion Report Committee included:                                    Betty(Koch)Baker, Chair, Smudge(Heyman)Rosen, Joyce(Bernstein)Klein, Ginny(Lueth)Keith, Ann(Jones)Dolbear, Cindy (Carpenter)McFadden, Bonnie(Machson)Cohen, and Bobbie Bohman Travis