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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to share thoughts or collaborate. We really need your help to plan programs that appeal to YOU!
MHFund …from 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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
- Our class website can be accessed through alumnae.mtholyoke.edu or by clicking directly on https://new.alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/1970.
- Please consider joining our class Facebook page: Mount Holyoke Class of 70 or by contacting Jill Vollmer Blackwood at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Notes for the Quarterly? Please send to Diane Mayer Murphy at email@example.com or Ellen Cochran Hirzy at firstname.lastname@example.org . Class news continues to be important to all of us!
- 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 email@example.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 Richardson Berkey
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
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:
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
Libby Tucker Gould 55th Reunion Chair invited classmates to volunteer for the reunion committee and welcomes ideas for the next reunion.
Helen Disenhaus thanked the reunion weekend program participants and solicited ideas for continuing conversations
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.
Charlotte Church asked those present to consider volunteering on the Class board.
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:
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.”
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:
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!
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:
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
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.
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.
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