Category Archives: Class News

This will include Class President letters to the class
and other general announcements to or about the class.

Alumnae Quarterly 2020

Alumnae Quarterly  Summer 2020

From Barbara Douglass, August 2020

  It has become tradition that MHC ’61 classmates who are in northern New England during late summer enjoy a ”mini-reunion” in VT – a gathering for lunch and conversation and connection. Covid-19 interfered with plans for 2020. Judy Marshall Kennedy and Barbara Freeman Douglas decided to host a Zoom mini-reunion combined with a reunion-planning meeting. Everyone on the Chat line was invited to join the gathering. It was a successful and fun 1&1/2 hours of good discussion, conversation and “catching up”; 24 of us were on-line on Zoom last Thursday. One of the major themes was “staying in touch” with each other, building interest in reunion, and sharing news via the chat line, the web page and /or the Alumnae Quarterly class column. To that end, this email summary is written for you!

    The following notes are from Barbara who acted as scribe for the “meeting.” After Judy Marshall Kennedy welcomed us to our Zoom reunion, Barbara Freeman Douglass, Reunion co-chair, announced that Janet Glick of the Alumnae Assoc. had not returned her email asking about the decision to hold our Reunion on campus. But most committee positions have been filled, and the positive energy is inspiring. Sherry Welles Urner, nominating committee, along with Frannie Blair, made a plea for volunteers, suggestions and recommendations for class positions as of 2021. > Rocki Hill Hughes has been our scribe for the last four years and would like to give someone else a chance. She said it was enjoyable to have the chance to “wrap around our family”. Nancy Desmond Cox, on-line with us, volunteered–thank you, Nancy. > Liz Hottell Barrett, our class webmaster, said about 80 of us are on the Chat List, 30 of whom contribute frequently. She would like to reach out to the quiet members. Dottie Smith Mann suggested we write letters to those we know to encourage them to join in. Liz urged us to send items to the web site. 

     The 60th reunion in 2021 is the final reunion that the college plans for our class. Elsa Anderson van Bergen, our treasurer, reported that there is $10,000 in our treasury and in 5 years it will be turned over to the College. She would like to see us use it on Reunion, particularly helping people attend. Christina Hollister Hila thought we could use funds for yearly reunions because there may not be many left. Rocki thought having further reunions would help involvement. Kim Kimball Holmquist said renting Willets-Hallowell might be an option.      Coping with Covid was the next topic. Dottie is particularly worried because Florida is so out of control and her grandchildren will be attending school as well as learning remotely. Tina said her life centers around her grandkids and has been able to see them while practicing social distancing; However, the return to school will be a problem..Elsa Anderson van Bergen’s young grandchildren felt anxious because they couldn’t see their friends; the mental health aspect of the isolation is very real .Dee deFerranti Abrahamse reported that CA was basically closed down and she has been unable to see her MI and MA sons and families. Both Betsy Karch Wilson and Barbara Hart Hise have daughters who are teachers and are concerned about the start of school. Barbara said there has been an explosion of cases in NW WI because people do not take the virus seriously. This attitude and blatant non-compliance with CDC recommendations was particularly upsetting to Sherry whose daughter and son-in-law were very sick and hospitalized with COVID; “this virus is a serious threat to all of us.and we must protect one another.”.Myra Small reported on conditions in Israel (“never a dull moment”) and Ann Merchant Boesgaard rose early to join us from Hawaii. She said they have had a surge in Covid due to lack of leadership and summer meetings. > It was sad to hear Kim tell us that singing has been curtailed; Dottie sings in a virtual choir. Cindy Dennett Yee expressed concern for her family members, an ER nurse and a First Responder. She has been staying in her community but gardening keeps her going. She also phones shut-ins, which has been a blessing for both her and the recipients. She spoke for us all when she said she yearned to capture her old freedom. 

     There was a call for another Zoom next month. It is open to all and we hope you will join the group. We will ask for agenda items (Sue Wheatley Carr suggested book recommendations) and will schedule it for 2 p.m. to be more considerate of other time zones, e.g. HI. 

     Many thanks to Judy Marshall Kennedy for hosting the meeting and to Sherry Welles Urner for co-writing this letter.

News from the Alumnae Office: new date for our Reunion, May 28-30, and no  decision has been made whether we will be on campus or virtual. But seeing the positive energy of our Zoom, I am so excited about the chance for more connections and gathering as many of ’61 as possible.  The invitation to the next Zoom will be sent to everyone via this Hub.  Gentle reminder to send your news to Rocki Hill Hughes ( and to web maven Liz Hottel Barrett (  The Chat list is fun and informative. Contact Carol Sweeney Benson (

Many have mentioned the pain of isolation caused by Covid.  These Zooms and then the Reunion are the best antidote.  I am so glad to be part of the Class of 1961!

Best wishes,

Barbara Freeman Douglass