Category Archives: Reunions

Class History

Read by Class President Mary Ginn Weinland at the Meeting of the Alumnae Association on May 22, 2021.

Draft 1961 Class History

  • When we arrived on campus, the Soviet Union had launched Sputknik, Orval Faubus had called the National Guard to prevent 9 African-American students from integrating Little Rock Central High School and we were shortly to facethe Asian flu and quarantine in the gym. We were welcomed by our Big sisters, learned the required songs which we had to sing on demand, and learned to live for milk and cookies. We were President Gettell’s first class-i.e. the original class of “Uncommon Women.” We experienced gracious living,  and pay phones down” down the hall.”  “Sitting Bells” was an important part of all this.
  • During our time on campus, Fidel Castro launched a revolution and NASA is founded to start the Mercury Project to take the first Americans in space.  Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th  We were luck to hear in person; Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Updike, and Justice William Douglass(as graduation speaker). We celebrated 4 lovely Mountain Days, played bridge in the smoker, and met new professors and new friends every year.  We experienced the first Father’s Day Weekend with our own Diana as “May Queen”.  It was a time of travel and opening up our horizons.
  • We spent our free time on campus navigating strict parietals and curfews, enjoying relaxing at the CI and Glessies, in the smoker watching the Nixon-Kennedy debates and organizing protests against Chapel and assembly requirements. We were agitating to let seniors have dorm keys (gasp!) which nearly produced a heart attack with the Dean! We were the first class to experience graduation in the brandnew Amphitheater.
  • Finally the submergence in the traditions of Mount Holyoke produced four hundred young women to spread widely the dignity and idealism of their alma mater.

Videos at last!

At last I’ve won the battle.  The videos are ready for your viewing enjoyment in the 55th Reunion area.

Only Judy could wear this!

How marvelous!


President’s Message

May 2016, Sherry Welles Urner

My ‘61 classmates arrived on campus in the compliant ‘50’s, – as girls – ready for challenges and fun, wearing Bermuda shorts (or kilts) and knee socks, (soon to be replaced with the utilitarian green gym suits, boots if needed.)  We were President Gettell’s first class, i.e. the original class, of “Uncommon Women.” During our Freshman year we discovered or experienced Asian flu and the gym for quarantine; the first MHC Father’s Weekend with our own Diana as “May Queen”; gracious living, sometimes in a hastily borrowed skirt; unexpectedly strict parietals and curfews; the CI and Glessies and Romeo (who became a class honorary); pay phones “down the hall” which maybe someone would answer; and developed mastery of multi-tasking in lecture class, that is, note-taking and knitting.  For years we worked hard at our studies: in the classroom, in the lab, in the library, in Glessies, in the smoker – and we changed our ideas, courses and majors, politics, roommates, boyfriends and plans for the future.  We were fortunate to hear, in person, Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Updike, Odetta and Justice William Douglas. We were privileged to learn from our (mostly) revered Mt Holyoke professors: a favorite class was Dr. Giammatti’s Dante course, taught in the greenhouse! We still laugh about the “Sisters-Sisters” song and all the Jr. Show shenanigans. Many of us treasure the memories of a junior year abroad – some distant memory of the academics, many vivid memories of the travels and special new friends. The uncommon women of 1961 had 9 members of the V-8’s, successfully protested Chapel and assembly requirements, and watched the Nixon-Kennedy debate on TV (TV’s installed for the first time in our dorm living rooms.)  And finally we were Mount Holyoke’s first class to take a newly inaugurated 4-college course, (and bus!) and to graduate in the new amphitheater. We tossed our caps into a new decade, embroiled in Civil Rights and on the brink of feminism, AND WE WERE READY!

Loyalty Awards

Sue Wheatley Carr, Sherry Welles Urner and Liz Hottel Barret (that’s me, aka Liz Webfoot!) all received Loyalty Awards from the Alumnae Association.  I wasn’t at reunion to receive it but boy, was I delighted when it arrived by UPS.  I had no idea what it was all about and was simply flabbergasted.  We are all beyond grateful for this recognition even though it would have been nice if the Alumnae Association had researched our MHC work before the computer age and checked with someone in our class for errors.  There was a lot of stuff left out, especially in Sherry’s case.  No matter, thank you, Alumnae Association.  It is always nice to be recognized.

Reunion Information…


THIS IS THE PLACE TO WATCH!  Our 55th Reunion in 2016 is just around the corner.  This will be an off-year, not on the weekend of commencement, so we’ll have more of the campus for our use.  Sue Wheatley Carr and Marian Strong Moore are our able Co-Chairwomen. If you have ideas for our reunion that you’d like to share with them, you can contact them by clicking on an email link below.  They’d love to hear from you.