Class of 1958
65th Mount Holyoke College Reunion
May 26-28, 2023
It was a glorious spring day as BETTY KOCH BAKER and MARCIA (MUFFIE) TAYLOR SEIFERT met at Willits-Hallowell Conference Center on Thursday, May 25, 2023 to go over reunion plans. The campus glistened under the sunlit skies, lush with spring foliage
Twenty-five classmates plus seven guests arrived for reunion weekend. As a LOYALTY Class, we were guests of the Alumnae Association and were welcomed, fed and housed at Willits and not in a dorm! We had comfy beds and private bathrooms. It helps, on occasion, to reach our age!!
The weekend kicked off with a Friday luncheon for the class at Willits. The afternoon schedule gave us time to visit the Archives, Development, and the Alumnae Office, as well as to venture into town. The College bookstore is now a part of the Odyssey Bookshop, and trust me, going there can be dangerous for one’s budget!!!
Interim President Beverly Tatum gave an excellent presentation on the state of the College and where MHC is today. She discussed the long-term plans for 2032, which will be expanded and implemented by the incoming President Danielle Ren Holley. The proposed plans include increasing the number of tenure-track faculty, consolidating the number of majors and minors (currently at 47 majors), reducing MHC’s carbon footprint by 80%, and increasing the endowment. She noted the endowment is just over $1 billion, the lowest endowment among our competing colleges that have endowments of $3-5 billion.
At Friday’s social hour, it was nice to meet our incoming President, Danielle Ren Holley. President Tatum came to the Saturday social hour, giving us a good opportunity to talk with her and thank her for her leadership during the presidential search. You can learn more about President-elect Holley on the College’s website.
Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful – a perfect day for the Alumnae Parade! Our class at Reunion 2 was the oldest returning class and so, we led the way! A number of classmates rode in antique cars, but many of us walked.
After the parade, we attended the Alumnae Association meeting. BETTY BAKER was honored with the Loyalty Award. Our class received two Development Office awards, the Sphinx for the reunion class with the highest total participation in giving during the reunion fiscal year, and the Griffin for the reunion class with the highest percentage of Laurel Chain Society members, of which we had 111 classmates.
During Saturday lunch, Aaron Miller, Associate Curator of Visual and Materiel Culture at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, spoke to us about the Art Museum looking backward and forward. He provided many examples of how pieces from the museum are integrated into academic classes.
After lunch, BETTY BAKER conducted the Class meeting. The minutes of our 60th Reunion were approved, with reports from class members following. After VIRGINIA LUETH KEITH presented the Treasurer’s Report, a major decision, regarding the disposition of our class treasury was made. At the 65th reunion, as required by the by-laws, the balance of the Class treasury must be distributed and the bank accounts closed.
Those present unanimously decided to donate the balance of the treasury, in the amount of $13,000 after expenses, to the Harriet and Paul Weissman Center for Leadership.
We heard from ANN JONES DOLBEAR, Co-class Agent. She reported that this year the class raised $157,574 with 75% participation and again exceeded both its financial and participation goals. For the five-year period since 2018, the class raised $1,429,831.
ANNE ENSWORTH WHITNEY reported on the Mary Lyon Society of which we have 34 members.
MARY (EDGY) EDGERTON SLOAT, Nominating Chair, presented the slate of officers for five year terms. BETTY BAKER will continue as Co-Class President, together with JOYCE BERNSTEIN KLEIN as Co-President. JOAN (SMUDGE) HEYMAN ROSEN our class scribe, will continue in that job – thank you, Smudge, as will BONNIE MACHSON COHEN, as class webmistress. Absent a class treasury, we no longer need a Treasurer or a Vice-President. The roles of the officers will primarily be communication and class connections.
The Class meeting ended with a Memorial remembrance for the classmates whom we have lost. MUFFIE SEIFERT read a responsive poem in our classmates’ honor. LYNNE JONES OSBORN has worked for years on putting together our Memorial Book. It has been a prodigious job and is a superb tribute to our classmates. Thank you to Lynn who has agreed to keep the book up-to-date. The Memorial Book will ultimately go to the College Archives.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner Saturday evening and enjoyed being together for breakfast on Sunday. Parting was wistful – who knows how many of us will be attending our 70th in 2028.
It was a wonderful weekend – basking in the joy of being together again and back on campus.
Mount Holyoke forever shall be.
Marcia Taylor Seifert
Marcia Taylor Seifert