Letter From the President

December 2020

Dear Classmates,

This has been a year that will make the history books! Between the controversy over the election and the boredom, worry, fear and sadness from COVID 19, 2020 is one year we will want to, but we will, never be able to forget.

One bright spot was the exceptionally beautiful New England foliage season – a benefit of living in Vermont!, It is also, as we enter the holiday season,  the time to keep in touch with a class letter.

Several resilient, clever and creative classmates wrote about how they are coping during the pandemic.

Cindy Carpenter McFadden summed it up for many of us. She wrote,  Actually, nothing is different from my usual life and routine, except for not being able to socialize with anyone, enjoy an occasional dinner in a nice restaurant, or attend our summer musicals and theater. Life has become drudgery, and I’m becoming crabbier day by day!  It has definitely made it difficult at times to remain sane!”

Anne Ensworth Whitney wrote, Her pastor suggested, get up every morning, make the bed and get dressed! Once that was accomplished, I started making my own bread and yogurt! With all of the musical outlets cut off – no choral society, church choir or concerts of any kind – the mainstay of my day has been streaming the Met Opera every afternoon at 2 pm.

Hilda Brody Greenbaum turned to Mother Nature. She said the winter brought a greater than ever variety of birds to her feeders, which helped mitigate all those hours alone. There were several pairs of orioles, pairs of rose-breasted grosbeaks, along with the usual nest full of cardinal babies. All this activity was topped off by Veronica Vixen, who gave birth to seven kits in a foxhole not forty feet from her window. What fun it was watching these babies grow over the two months and then emerge from the foxhole until they were all weaned, and left home permanently for life in the wild. When not watching nature unfold, I’ve read newspapers, books and completed about twenty quilts for charities selected by the Hands Across the Valley quilt guild.

Joan Miller Moran wrote the BEST thing happened in September. Our entire Allentown Band (about 45 members) came to my house and played a concert on our lawn. Everyone, except the players, wore masks. The weather was perfect. We had about the same number listening as playing. The Band director wants to do it again for a veteran’s concert. It was wonderful and a huge success, especially,since the band members had not seen each other in six months.

Laird Trowbridge White wrote, How about 40 NY Times crosswords every day, 2 small separate loads in washing machine every day, 5 old NCIS shows every day  and tweaking 80 unpublished poems, hoping for another published book when people finally can turn pages without wearing rubber gloves. I have found that anything that makes people smile is the only way to get through all of this hell. I wrote a silly, nasty little ditty about Pestilent Trump, and it got printed in The Berkshire Eagle (It should have been in the Washington Post!) Oh, I forgot: A couple of friends on the big back porch having a drink definitely helps!!!

Many thanks for all of your wonderful comments and ideas.

Sadly, since the Spring class letter, we’ve lost two classmates:                                   Nancy Heald Landers – May 31, 2020                                                                   Audrey Davis Trowbridge – June 10, 2020

 It is with deep sadness and condolences to Harriet Levine Weissman that I inform you of the passing on September 30, 2020 of her husband and our honorary classmate, Paul Weissman. The Weissmans’ extraordinary loyalty and generosity to the College have been recognized through their creation of the Weissman Leadership Center and the Weissman Student Commons – permanent legacies to both Harriet and Paul. If you would like additional information, the obituary or contact information, please email me at elisabethkbaker@comcast.net.

As a reminder, The Mount Holyoke Fund drive is underway. Ann Jones Dolbear and Betsy Roos Beuthel, Co-Head Class Agents, report that last year we exceeded both our dollar amount, and participation goals. Our goal of $100,000 came in at $107,405, and the participation goal of 70% reached 74%.  

Our Class has a remarkable history of loyalty and generosity

We encourage you to consider a gift to the College when planning your year-end charitable giving. 

Our Class goals are $125,000 with 70% participation.

Alumnae support is crucial to Mount Holyoke’s financial health and provides critical support to ensure excellence in the education and leadership of exceptional young women.

Thank you for ensuring that Mount Holyoke forever shall be

With all good wishes for Happy Holidays, a Blessed Christmas, and all the best with good health in 2021.

Betty Koch Baker,   President, Class of 1958


November, 2019

Dear Classmates,

After a beautiful foliage season in New England, it’s now chillier, as the holidays fast Fall is also the time for a class letter with news and recent events.

In late September thirteen classmates returned to campus for a mini-reunion. The weather was wonderful and the campus beautiful. We had three days of fun, friendship, classes and activities, all while staying at Willits-Hallowell – always a treat! The group especially enjoyed an extensive tour of the new Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab, located on the first floor of Prospect Hall – a lab where students can implement, adapt and expand diverse concepts of creation. It was amazing! The full post mini reunion report is on the back side of this letter. 

Sadly, we’ve lost two classmates since the Spring class letter. Condolence letters, on behalf of the Class, were sent to the families of:

Sandra Mathers Johnson – July 25, 2019

Evangeline (Jill) Senior Gates – September 5, 2019

If you would like additional information, the obituary or contact information, please email me at elisabeth.baker@comcast.net.

Co-Class Agents Ann Jones Dolbear and Betsy Roos Beuthel remind us the Mount Holyoke Fund drive is in high gear.

Our class has a history of loyalty and generosity.  Last year we exceeded both our dollar and percentage goals with 77% class participation and a total class donation of $108,730. We encourage you to remember the College in planning your year-end charitable giving.

Please consider a gift to The Mount Holyoke Fund. Your support will help the College maintain excellence in the education of exceptional young women while preparing them for leadership roles in the future

With all good wishes for a Happy and Blessed  Holiday Season, 

Betty Koch Baker