Post 50+2 Reunion news: A letter from our president, Ann Richardson Berkey; minutes from our Class Meeting; and the ’70/’20 combined Class Histories . See reunion photos under the heading Reunion 50 Plus 2 (above)

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August 2022

WOW!  What a terrific 50th (+2) year reunion we had just over 2 short months ago!  It was absolutely amazing to see close to 100 of you in South Hadley, and I remain grateful to our reunion chairs and reunion committee members for their seven years of commitment and engagement… with a few challenges tossed in.    Cheers to all of you and to a class that is truly “still uncommon after all these years”.

A few highlights from our weekend on campus:

  • Pegasus Perspectives: entertaining, instructive and engrossing insights on issues that ranged from writing to life experiences and wellness.   
  • Class memorial service: beautiful and very moving with red roses, candles, an eloquent and personalized litany and the reading of the names of our 49 classmates who have died
  • Parade: memorable (and some still relevant!) signs from our era, red visors, Pegasus masks AND enthusiastic cheering support from the class of 2020, who understand delayed milestones and with whom we share a special 50 year bond
  • Reception with faculty honoraries: inspiring comments from Lynn Pasquerella on civic engagement, Darby Dyar on missions to Mars and Venus, Valerie Barr on data science and AI, and Anthony Lee on old cameras, photography and art
  • All meals… whether at the Commons or our Saturday night banquet: lots of laughter, conversation, sharing of stories, and reconnections
  • Special events: guided walk on the Sustainability Boardwalk, tour of the Art Museum, reception with MHC President Sonya Stephens as she concludes her tenure, and dance party on Saturday night, with some special class of 2020 visitors!
  • Swag bags, beverages, comfy chairs/sofas, reunion books and our class chronology in a timeline: all conducive to sharing memories and renewing bonds in the Torrey living room
  • Photos!  Many many thanks to Bill Farran (Jane’s husband) and Jim Goodwin (Linda’s husband) who were our official photographers and who captured so many important and special moments of classmates together again.  More than 400 photos can be found on our class Facebook page. If you need help accessing them, please contact Jill Volmer Blackwood at jblackwood48@gmail.com 

Rock the 55th!…from Libby Tucker Gould

Would you like to help plan our 55th reunion, which will take place in May of 2025? Co-chairs Libby Tucker Gould, Barb Cooke Monks, Jean Olson, and Karen Muller would love to hear from you. We are starting to plan programs and choose a class of 1970 tree in the center of campus. Special events under consideration include a reception hosted by our class faculty honorary Darby Dyer at the Observatory and a wine tasting. We want to include faculty members as much as possible and to make this reunion both memorable and fun. If you’d like to volunteer to help, especially with program planning or hospitality, please email Libby:  ltucker@binghamton.edu 

In response to the sign-up sheets circulated at reunion by Helen Disenhaus, Karen Muller will host a book group on Zoom this fall.  Many of you expressed interest in staying in touch and sharing ideas about common areas of interest, including downsizing, relocation, continuing care.  Since those issues can integrate with many that those of us who have been widowed have experienced, we are considering a Zoom session on life changes and some of the practical aspects of surviving widowhood.  More details to follow, but please email Libby or Ann Berkey (ann.berkey@gmail.com) if you want to share thoughts or collaborate.  We really need your help to plan programs that appeal to YOU!

MHFundfrom Beth Kofron and Toni Tschann

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  We generously supported the college in fiscal year 2021-2022 with 152 (45%) of us donating $240,939 to the Mount Holyoke Fund for scholarships and immediate needs. 

Most impressive is our total for 2015-2022, usually tallied over 5 years but with 2 years added due to our reunion delay. Here’s the news: 76% of us gave $2.38 million to the MHFund plus $3.79 million for academic programs, named scholarships, etc. In 7 years, the Class of ‘70 gave $6.17 million! Thanks to all who gave and to the class agents, major gift committee members and professionals in the development office who helped make this happen. MHC depends on us to advance its mission and to create opportunities for its amazing students. Keep up the GREAT work!

We’re of the age to think seriously about naming the college as a beneficiary in our wills, trusts, insurance policies, retirement plans, annuities, and other financial vehicles. In the coming months, we will ask the college to share information with us on planned giving – watch for details.

Dues

Please check the class website if you believe you have paid your dues for this period between our 50th and 55th reunions.  If your name is not listed, please help us stay connected by sending a check payable to the Class of 1970 MHC to our Treasurer, Marjorie Gross, 400 West End Ave, #9-B, New York, NY 10024.  Our dues remain at the same level: $20/year or $100 for 5 years.  Marj can also accept funds electronically through Zelle.  Contact her at marjgross@verizon.net.  As you know from past communication, the funds will provide seed money for our next reunion, for virtual programming (a Zoom business account), for snail mail domestic and international postage.  

Staying Connected

Minutes from our class meeting are posted on our class website, along with the In Memoriam list of those who have left this earth too soon.  Also on our class website is our class history which I presented, in tandem with the president of the class of 2020, at the Alumnae Association annual meeting during our reunion weekend. 

  • Please consider joining our class Facebook page: Mount Holyoke Class of 70 or by contacting Jill Vollmer Blackwood at jblackwood48@gmail.com
  • Mini-reunions?  Shared travel and adventures?  Several classmates have expressed interest in a possible trip to New Orleans in the spring of 2024.  We have several classmates living in that area and I grew up there, so I am confident we could develop an interesting and fun itinerary.  Your ideas and interest are both welcome and necessary for success!  Please email me at ann.berkey@gmail.com with thoughts or your tentative interest in joining us.

As we enjoy the end of this summer and think ahead to the fall, I will take a page out of Lynn Pasquerella’s talk with us at reunion about the importance of civic engagement.  We cherish both the right and privilege we have to vote and, again, can best honor the courageous women leaders of yesterday and today by taking the time to vote this fall, whether in person or by mail.  There are critical issues facing this country, our families and all of us as women, and our continuing engagement is needed to “change the world”!

I wish for each of you times of relaxation and adventure as well as the joys of family and friendship.  Please stay safe!  

Ann 

Ann Richardson Berkey

Class President

Directions to update your e-mail information on the Alumnae Association online directory:  go to https://alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/ and either log on or register.  Proceed to your profile to EDIT information.  Please note that you can choose to have your e-mail address public or hidden from view.  The next important step is to scroll down to edit e-mail preferences i.e., select which types of college e-mails you want to receive.  Then SAVE and you are done!

Mount Holyoke College
Class of 1970
Class Meeting

May 28, 2022

Class President Ann Berkey called the meeting to order at 4:15 p.m. reporting that the minutes of the June 6, 2020 meeting were posted on the bulletin board in Torrey Hall, the reunion dorm.

Report from Head Class Agents
Beth Kofron reported that fundraising goals for the Class of 1970 have been exceeded in all categories:

2015-20202015-2022(total)

MH Fund $1.94M $2.38M
All Gifts $5.5 M $6.17M
Rate of participation     75%   76.7%

2021-2022  Outcomes  exceeded goals with more than $221K raised at a rate of participation of more than 41%
In the Class of 1970 there are:

111 Laurel Chain Members -consistent donors
  33 Mary Lyon Members – MHC named as part of estate, annuity or trust
   85 Cornerstone- $1837 or more annual donation

Ann Berkey made the following suggestion for donations:

  • in honor or memory of an individual 
  • planting a tree as a memorial

55th Reunion
Libby Tucker Gould 55th Reunion Chair invited classmates to volunteer for the reunion committee and welcomes ideas for the next reunion.

Program
Helen Disenhaus thanked the reunion weekend program participants and solicited ideas for continuing conversations

Treasurer’s Report
Marjorie Gross reported a total of $10, 496.37 in the treasury. The funds are used for class expenses and to support reunion scholarships. The class will give $2020 to our Connections class, the Class of 2020, once the latter establishes a bank account.

Nominating Committee
Charlotte Church asked those present to consider volunteering on the Class board.

New Business
Jane Hiller Farran stated that she was soliciting greetings and messages of encouragement to send to absent reunion chair Barb Cooke Monks.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:37 p.m.

COMBINED CLASS HISTORIES (1970 & 2020)

When we arrived on campus:

(Ann)

We arrived in the fall of 1966 and the Vietnam War, civil rights, Black Power, and the sexual revolution were headline news. At Convocation we heard that now familiar expression “uncommon women.”

(Olivia)

It was sticky and humid out, and we were excited for what Mount Holyoke held for us. Fresh off the success of the U.S. in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, we packed into the amphitheater decked out in blue for our first convocation. At the ceremony, President Sonya Stephens transitioned from acting president to president of the college and Mount Holyoke introduced the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer for the school.

What we did in college:

(Ann)

As freshmen, we had classes 6 days a week, housemothers in every dorm and a curfew! We spent hours studying and wrote papers on typewriters in the dorm dining rooms, often all night. For fun, we played bridge, knitted, did the NYT crossword puzzle together, and listened to popular music: the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, and others. We met for burgers at the CI or ice cream at Glessie’s, and raced to our dorms by 9pm for M&Cs, and maybe leftover desserts.

In the fall, we were often entertained by the spontaneous appearance of men’s college sports teams. We hitchhiked to bars and events in the Valley and danced barefoot on Skinner Green to the music of “The Age of Aquarius.” Our junior show was We Can Save the World or Lighten Up, Get Your Act Together, and that is what many of us are still doing!

(Olivia)

We were the last class to experience a full year of decentralized dining and ate on the Prospect Patio. We knew the stress of the lunch rush inside old Blanch as we filled out those paper slips and counted up the prices of our food until we hit the magical $7.50. We experienced Waka Flocka Flame at our first (and only) spring concert, and stayed in contact with our friends and class through Facetime on our phones and social medica through apps that were becoming increasingly popular like Instagram and Snapchat.

During our time on campus, we experienced these historical, international and domestic events:

(Ann)

The historic events of the late ‘60s were our current events: the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Freedom Riders in the South, the moon landing, the first Earth Day. Many of us joined the new feminist movement; some embraced Gay Pride.

In February 1970, Black students occupied seven campus buildings demanding better representation. By May, opposition to the Vietnam War had intensified. Fueled by the Cambodian bombings and the Kent State shootings, many of us joined a nationwide student strike. Some departments waived the comprehensive exam. Commencement was almost canceled; the Laurel Parade did not happen and many classmates wore black armbands to graduation. Some disagreed and were activists in a different way, the true measure of a liberal arts education and critical thinking

(Olivia)

2016 was a leap year which started a period of tumultuous and unpredictable events for our class. In November, our class voted in the 2016 presidential election and witnessed the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States. Shortly afterwards, Mount Holyoke students marched in the largest single-day protest in U,S. history at the 2017 Women’s March in January. In 2019, we experienced the fourth impeachment of a U.S. president in American history. Finally, in our last year of college, the world was infected by a deadly global pandemic, officially ending our senior year far too early.

Conclusion: (Ann)

The intellectual discipline of our years at Mount Holyoke taught us to be engaged and to listen…and today we are continuing to leave our mark on the world. The bond we formed 50 years ago continues to make us the thoughtful, discerning, articulate …and, yes, uncommon…women we are today.

(Olivia)

No matter how much our two classes may be different, we know that Mount Holyoke is always what brings us together, no matter how far we are apart. Mount Holyoke forever shall be!

1970: Ann Richardson Berkey, Class President 2020: Olivia Vejcik, Class President March 2022

Oct. 2021 letter from our class President

(IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE THIS LETTER BY E MAIL, PLEASE LET Jill Vollmer Blackwood KNOW. jblackwood48@gmail.com)

Dear Classmates:

With the beginning of fall, I hear the Mary Lyon chimes in my memory and remember the fresh start of a new school year.  Thankfully, almost 2300 students are back in South Hadley this fall…and, for more than half of them, this is their very first year on campus!

Other Campus News:

•  Due to the fire this past summer at Mead Hall, about 150 students are temporarily living at Hampshire College for this semester.  They should be able to return to Mead in the spring.

•  Mount Holyoke’s ratings have risen! In US News and World Reportrankings, the College has gone from 34th to 30th, with the increase due predominantly to the reputation of the faculty and our continuing high graduation rate.  We are 23rd in terms of Alumnae giving rates among a group of similar colleges. 

•  Covid 19:  By mid-September more than 95% of students and 97% of faculty and staff had been vaccinated and more are in process.Since the beginning of the semester, there have been 12 new cases on campus.  MHC is apparently doing much better statistically than Hampshire County

There is a light at the end of this long pandemic tunnel for us too as we look forward to our delayed 50th class reunion next May.  I hope you have saved the dates on your calendar, are reaching out to friends you want to meet in South Hadley and are planning to reabsorb the beauty of the MHC campus from noon on Friday, May 27 until noon on Sunday, May 29.  This is Reunion II weekend, and we will share it with our “grandchild” class of 2020, who will finally celebrate their commencement on Sunday. 

We have all led different lives since our own graduation almost 52 years ago and this reunion affords us a rare opportunity to gather again and share our experiences and life stories.  I expect that we will find surprising similarities, but also amazing and unique differences.  Please plan to be there with all of us.  It has been almost 7 years since we were last together on campus…and we all deserve this time to see each other again and to celebrate!

Still Uncommon After All These Years: 50th Reunion Updates from Jane Hiller Farran, Barbara Cooke Monks and Yvonne Watford-McKinney

Our 50+Reunion is a mere seven months away – May 27 – 29, 2022!  Hooray!  Mark your calendars, make travel arrangements, pack your whites, and let’s get together in South Hadley for that three-day weekend. The class reunion committee has reconvened to resurrect some plans and to develop new ideas for activities and, especially, more Pegasus Perspectives.  There are now 52 Reasons to Attend Reunion, instead of just 50!  Watch for all 52 to be unveiled on the class Facebook page.  Now that you know the basics, get ready for a festive weekend at Mount Holyoke at our class base of operations in Buckland Hall.  Know that there’s no reunion without you!

 HELP WANTED!

(1)    Are you a photo slideshow expert? The reunion committee would like to create a spectacular presentation that celebrates the class of 1970. We will provide the digital images. You will develop a slideshow that will be on view in our headquarters dorm.  If you’re interested, please contact Ellen Cochran Hirzy (ellenhirzy@gmail.com).

(2)   Our 50th Reunion Memorial Service is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, May 28, 2022. If you are a vocal or instrumental musician and would like to offer a musical selection as part of the service, please email Patricia Sobers Mitchell at prsmitchell@gmail.com 

A Message from our Head Class Agents, Toni Tschann, Beth Kofronand Susan Ellis

We are often reminded that our financial support is essential to Mount Holyoke.  Currently, 73% of students receive direct support from the College which means that a gift to one of the scholarship funds will make an immediate impact.  I hope you will join me in showing our support to these students with generous gifts in our “50+” reunion year.

Dues

Thank you for sending in your class dues which will help us stay connected!  Dues for the five years ending with our 55th reunion are $20 annually or $100 for five years.  Checks made out to Class of 1970 MHC may be sent to our Treasurer, Marjorie Gross, at 400 W. End Ave. 9B, New York, NY 10024.  To pay electronically, click on your bank’s app and on “funds transfer with Zelle.”  The recipient is classof1970MHC@gmail.com.  If they ask for the name of the recipient, use Class of 1970 of Mount Holyoke College.  If they ask for a first and last name, the last name is “College” and the first name is the rest of the recipient name.  If you don’t remember if you’ve already paid, check on our class page on the Alumnae Association website: https://new.alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/1970/

Staying Connected

We are always looking for Quarterly Class Notes about what you and your college friends are doing, any mini-reunions you are squeezing into this year or special adventures on which you have embarked.  Please send your updates to Diane Mayer Murphy (dmurphy@cminc.com) or Ellen Cochran Hirzy (ellenhirzy@gmail.com). 

•  Our class website can be accessed through alumnae.mtholyoke.edu or by clicking directly on https://new.alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/1970.  Check for dues updates plus copies of class newsletters.  Reunion information will also be posted here.

•  Please consider joining our class Facebook page: Mount Holyoke Class of 70 or by contacting Jill Vollmer Blackwood at jblackwood48@gmail.com

•  If you plan far ahead and would like to get involved with our 55threunion in May 2025, please reach out to Libby Tucker Gould (ltucker@binghamton.edu).  We will only have 3 years to organize after our rescheduled 50th reunion next year, so no time to waste!

 

•  As our reunion approaches, I hope you will take the time to find other college friends and to be sure your own information is updated through the Alumnae Association website.  To update your e-mail information on the Alumnae Association online directory:  go to https://alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/ and either log on or register.  Proceed to your profile to EDIT information.  Please note that you can choose to have your e-mail address public or hidden from view.  The next important step is to scroll down to edit e-mail preferences i.e., select which types of college e-mails you want to receive.  Then SAVE and you are done!

 

Like many of you, I am gradually resuming my own personal travel.  I hope to visit cities in the next six months close to where some of you might live and I will try to let you know with an email notice in advance.  It would be wonderful to meet you for coffee, to share a meal or a quick chat.  I look forward to seeing you “where you are” and especially at our 50th

In the meantime, please stay safe.  I know the passing years have brought new challenges to many of us.  As I write this newsletter, I am sending you every good wish for strength, resilience and optimism, along with good health, precious moments with family and friends, the joys of every season, new books to be read and new roads to be taken.   

Ann

Ann Richardson Berkey

Class President

ann.berkey@gmail.com

 

50+ Reunion dates have been announced: FRIDAY, MAY 27 until SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022!

Your 50th+ Reunion Committee is thrilled to send you this link to our Reunion book: http://bit.ly/MHC70-book
Data from our 50th Reunion Survey are available here: https://bit.ly/MHC70-surveydata (a report is featured in the book),
Ellen Cochran Hirzy did a splendid job of editing and designing the book as well as carrying the project to completion. Thank you so much, Ellen, for your completion of this huge task.
Ellen was assisted by this team of classmates:
 
Robin Collins VanLear
Reunion chairs Barbara Cooke Monks, Yvonne Watford McKinney, and Jane Hiller Farran
Katy Hart
Ginger Macomber
Linda Morehous Goodwin
Nancy Berry Tanner
Louise Hayes Booth
Everyone who contributed personal statements
survey
Ellie Sullivan Beth
Libby Tucker Gould
Yvonne Watford McKinney
Barbara Cooke Monks
Mary Stanley
Directions on obtaining a hard copy will be sent out early in the new year!
We wish you the best of holidays that we can manage under these difficult circumstances and hopes for a time in the near future when we can gather in person on campus! Until then, please continue to enjoy our on-line programming that, thanks to our wonderful Program Committee led by Arleen McGrath Heiss and Helen Disenhaus, will continue in 2021. Watch your e-mail for more announcements!

1970’s “Reunion in the Cloud” Programming is Starting Soon!

To join the meeting and receive a Zoom link, please register by emailing our administrative assistant, Alicia, at mountholyoke70@gmail.com.

 

Please mark your calendars and join us on Thursday, September 24 at 7PM EDT (details below) for our first virtual reunion program session, featuring Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. Nancy had been scheduled to moderate our Reunion panel discussion on writers and writing at MHC the day after her new book, Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs, was published in NY. As the Reunion has been indefinitely postponed, Nancy has graciously agreed instead to inaugurate the Zoom series of “Reunion in the Cloud” programs we will be having until we can re-schedule our on-campus event.
Our second program, on Thursday, October 22 at 7PM EDT (in time for Hallowe’en), features Libby Tucker Gould presenting a discussion of her book, Haunted Halls, on the folklore of American college campuses.
Registration Notifications for these and future events will be sent by e-mail. Please also check our class website, https://new.alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/1970 (also reachable indirectly through http://alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/) for more information on these and upcoming programs. We hope you will also consider joining the class page on Facebook, Mount Holyoke Class of 70, through Facebook or by contacting Jill Vollmer Blackwood at jblackwood48@gmail.com. Please be sure we have your current email address by checking the on-line alumnae directory at https://alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/ so that you won’t miss out on any of our program announcements.
We look forward to seeing you again at these and other programs, and we welcome your suggestions for and offers to volunteer your participation in future sessions.
Barbara Cooke Monks (mailto:bcmonks@gmail.com)
Helen Disenhaus (helen.disenhaus@gmail.com) .
 
Exactly 75 years ago, on the evening of July 24, 1945, during the Potsdam conference, Truman approached Stalin without an interpreter and as casually as he could, told him that the United States had a “new weapon of unusual destructive force.” To his utter surprise, Stalin showed little interest, replying only that he hoped the United States would make “good use of it against the Japanese.” In the first salvo of the undeclared Cold War, a top British nuclear physicist had provided the Soviets with invaluable intelligence about the atomic bomb program. It would take even more years before the United States knew the trajectory of the post-war order had forever been altered.
Nancy’s book explores the remarkably complex life of Klaus Fuchs. German by birth, British by naturalization, Communist by conviction, Klaus Fuchs was a fearless Nazi resister, a brilliant scientist, and an infamous spy. He was convicted of espionage by Britain in 1950 for handing over the designs of the plutonium bomb to the Soviets, and he has gone down in history as one of the most dangerous agents in American and British history. He put an end to America’s nuclear hegemony and single-handedly heated up the Cold War. But, was Klaus Fuchs really evil?
 
FROM SOME REVIEWS
One of USA Today’s “Books Not to Miss”
One of the New York Times’s Top-Ten recommended books
An Editors’ pick from the New York Times
“Enthralling and riveting” … “particularly thorough and revealing.” The New York Times Sunday Book Review
“Well told, [spy] stories combine the drama of a police procedural (how did they do it?) with the ambiguities of a psychological thriller (why did they do it?). Nancy Thorndike Greenspan seeks to answer both those questions in the very well told Atomic Spy…a deeply nuanced and sympathetic portrait of a scientist-spy.” Nature
“Nancy Thorndike Greenspan’s biography offers a new look at Fuchs’s story, all the more fascinating for its deviations from typical spy-movie script.” The New Criterion
“Greenspan reconstructs the life and career of Fuchs through detailed research and a riveting narrative. The Wire
“Greenspan gives us fresh and fascinating insights.” The Wall Street Journal
“This richly detailed work . . . blurs the lines between courage and treachery in thought-provoking ways.” Publisher’s Weekly
A three-dimensional portrait of Fuchs … more nuanced than previously presented.” Digital PW
“A detailed and authoritative yet equally interesting and readable study . . . From student to scientist to spy, Fuchs is portrayed as a careful and quiet yet passionate man who nevertheless persisted.” Library Journal
Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'NESN ATOMIC SPY The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs Presentation & Discussion with Nancy Greenspan, Author & Biographer Thursday, September 24, 2020 7:00-8:30pm This meeting will be conducted on Zoom Log-In Instructions will be provided upon registration NANCY THORNDIKE GREENSPAN Viking, May 2020. More at: www.AtomicSpyTheBook.com'