55th Reunion     May 24-26, 2013

So from east and from west now we gathered.  Our reunion chairs, Betty Koch Baker and Bobbie Bohman Travis had worked long and hard to make all this happen.  Those staying on campus came to Abbey.  Others, choosing a bit more luxury than dorm living, stayed off campus.  Our numbers were 47 plus 18 “guests”, mostly spouses.  Two class members came from California and one, by train, from the state of Washington.  Those who arrived on Thursday, or early on Friday were offered a plethora of classes and other opportunities to pursue – from a self-guided tour of the Equestrian Center to a Japanese Tea Ceremony.  People wanting more academic challenge could attend:   “Quantifying the Little Ice Age:  New Climate Change Research from the Norwegian Arctic” or “The Future of American Foreign Policy:  The Burdens of a Reluctant Hegemon”.

Our “Friday Social and Dinner” began at 6 p.m. as we gathered at Abbey Bell Desk to board our bus to the gracious South Hadley home of Carolyn Czaja Topor who hosted us once again for cocktails and an elegant dinner. Many, but by no means all of us, are gray-haired and wrinkled but the years fell away as we compared generations of experiences,  grandchildren, spouses with us and those no longer here, travels and long-ago memories.  “Were we together in Mead junior or senior year?”  “Were you with us when we didn’t sign out and met our boyfriends off campus?”  Who knew that such things actually happened?  Weren’t we on the honor code?

Saturday dawned bleak and rainy but our spirit was not dampened.  With the parade cancelled, we assembled in Chapin Auditorium , all in white, with definite red accents, to participate in the morning program.  Our signs, resting against the walls during the morning program declared:

We are the original – and still – “Uncommon Women”.

From bluebooks to MAC books.  Baby Lit to Learning in Retirement.   From Posture pictures to yoga poses.  I Love Lucy to The Good Wife.

The Class of 1958 is proud to acknowledge the lifetime achievements of our classmate, Maryanne Trump Barry. She served as First Assistant Attorney General of the State of New Jersey and for many years she has been a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She personifies the personal and intellectual qualities that make an outstanding judge. The sustained high quality of her work reflects the lasting values she received from her education at Mount Holyoke.
Therefore, we urge the College to grant her appropriate recognition for her outstanding professional accomplishments

Three members of our class received the Loyalty Award , “awarded to an alumna who has demonstrated consistent effort and active involvement in one area of service over  an extended period of time.”  They are:  Gail Thompson Hesse,,  Lynne Jones Osborne and Sonya Peterson Reutelhuber.

When it came time to recognize financial giving to the college our class was at the top.  Under the capable leadership of Misty Gideonse Turino and Sue Fresh Anderson our class was off to a great start.  Following Sue’s untimely death, Annzie Ensworth Whitney stepped up to continue in Sue’s footsteps.  Setting a goal of $100,000 we raised  $123,310  and surpassed our goal of 85% participation.  During the past 5 years, we raised $2,834,060.   A new group, the Laurel Chain Society which, recognizes consistent giving includes 138 members of our class,  including 75 lifetime givers who have contributed for 50 years or more.  We have 11 classmates who have given every year since graduation.

We were awarded the Sphinx Award for highest participation in the Alumnae Fund, the Lion Award for the class raising the most dollars during the reunion year and the Legacy Award for the highest total giving to all funds since our last reunion.   Our class number will be inscribed on silver cups which, filled with beautiful flowers, graced the Abbey living room while we were there.

Following our assembly in Chapin, we gathered in Abbey for our class meeting ably conducted by Class President Di Marston Wood.

What a pleasant surprise when Lynn Pasquerella quietly slipped into the back of the room, and remained there, standing throughout our meeting.  For me it was very special to have her there.  I (Sandra Klamkin Schocket) was asked to talk about the endowed scholarship fund that I have donated to Mount Holyoke.  Lynn, from Connecticut as I was, was the inspiration for this fund which will provide annual money  for a girl from that state.  I was very moved that she was there to hear me talk about it.

Muffie Taylor Seifert, chair of the nom com presented the Class officers:  2013 – 2018

President:  Diana Marston Wood

Vice President:  Joyce Klein Bernstein

Secretary:  Barbara Bohman Travis

Treasurer:  Ann Lyster Hinchcliff

Scribe:  Joan Heyman Rosen

Webmistress:  Bonnie Machson Cohen

Head Class Agents:  Ann Jones Dolbear, Any Herz Juviler

Nominating committee is:

Mary Edgerton Sloat, Amy Weadock Bahr, Mary P. Cameron Nugent, Liz Bailey Benzinger and Carolyn Matheson Hirsch

Liz Bailey Benzinger

A very moving tribute to class members who have died since our last reunion was conducted by Lynne Jones Osborne.  Our deceased members are:   Margaret Fullerton, Leslie Martin, Susan Connell, Linda Boon, Joan Rae, Barbara Vaterlaus, Gretchen Smith, Carol Sherman, Judy Parker, Pat Wismer, Mary Quilling, Sue Anderson, Sandra Holmes, Tryntje Hasbrouck, Joanna Snyder, Nancy McLean, Barbara Lofblad, Kay MCahan.

Our final banquet, on Saturday night at Willets-Hallowell was a festive affair.  In addition to a lovely meal, Kate Myrick Diamond (whom we knew as Prilly) spoke about her husband’s award of a Nobel Peace Prize.  It was a team presentation with Pete Diamond focusing on the business details of their trip to Scandinavia alternating with Prilly’s dry humor.

Many of us made our fond farewells on Saturday night or early Sunday morning as we prepared to leave for places near and far to resume our post-Mount Holyoke life.

Thank you to all who worked long and hard to make this reunion so pleasurable and meaningful.

Submitted by:  Sandra Klamkin Schocket

Reunion photos are posted on our website and more will be added: