Dear Members of the Class of 1974,
It’s time for my year-end class letter–to report on all that we’ve been doingduring the year, despite challenges, limitations and loss…to happily say goodbye to 2020, which will most certainly go down in history as a turning point for the planet…and to say hello to 2021, which will be filled with exciting and challenging new beginnings of every kind.
It gives me joy to write this letter, because this class has shown its courage, its commitment to staying connected, its creativity and its refusal to bow to limitation. We have been in touch with as many as 130 of our classmates at a time, seven times this year! We have laughed together, talked together, brought each other up to date on our lives, shared recipes for great food…and recipes for keeping our sanity. And we have even sung ‘together’ at theholiday meeting December 15th!
Here’s how we’re going to keep up the connection in 2021.
I. VIRTUAL GATHERINGS
A. ZOOMTAILS: We will kick off 2021 with our Wednesday, January 27 gathering at 6:30pm. Please note the varying EDT times, as we are attempting to make it easier for all classmates to attend as often as possible.
Upcoming formats will include classmate travelogues, classmate presentations on topics of interest (see below) and MHC trivia games. Other ideas are welcome.
Here are the upcoming dates of our next three evening and our new ‘EarlyBird’ morning Zoomtail Gatherings:
January 27, 6:30-8:00pm Wednesday
February 24, 8:00-9:00am Early Bird Zoom, Wednesday: Mary Lyon’s Birthday Celebration
February 25, 7:00-8:30pm Thursday: Mary Lyon’s Birthday Celebration
March 30, 7:30-9:00pm Tuesday
As you know, we have our own class Zoom ‘Pro’ account, and we do need to have your RSVP to let our Co-Hosts know whether to buy an add-on for any specific meeting. We DO NOT want to turn anyone away. This is our major means of gathering, until there’s a real transition in containing the spread of COVID-19.
Also, as you know, we have our own MHC Class of 1974 email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make a note of this, as this is the email address to which you’ll RSVP if you can join us for Zoomtails.
CLASS PRESENTATIONS: I haven’t had any response over the last 18 months to my requests to have someone start up a “Story Corps” type video project, mirroring the “Farm to Fashion” event at our 45th Reunion. BUT NO WORRIES! We’re going to ask for classmate volunteers to make 15-20 minute presentations at future Zoomtails on a topic within their area of expertise, and of interest to our class. And then we’ll break into smaller groups to discuss each topic. Please reach out to our class email address with topics you’d either like to present, or you’d like to hear about.
B. MHC WEBINARS: We plan to organize some simultaneous attendance at MHC webinars, followed by Zoom meetings to discuss.
C. MAKE A NEW FRIEND: Just a reminder of our Class VP’s suggestion to reach out during these next years to make a new friend of a classmate that you didn’t know before…we’ll hear more from DeniseMcLeod Thomas about this in the new year.
II. LOCAL GATHERINGS: When traveling becomes part of the ‘new norm’, we will be looking for classmates to suggest short, local gatherings throughout the country (and world), such as walks/hikes, museum and historical site visits, botanical garden explorations, etc. with safe, distanced enjoyment and perhaps outside food options. Please be thinking about what might be planned in your area.
III. LONG WEEKEND MINIS: And we haven’t given up on the idea to hold MHC minis in wonderful places, attended in person with overnight stays, when the world is safe.
IV. KEEPING OUR CLASS SCRIBE UP TO DATE: Marylloyd Claytor, our Class Scribe, has the challenge of keeping us up-to-date on a quarterly basis. Please reach out regularly to her with updates about you and classmates you know. (email@example.com ) And please help her with the difficult job of finding class friends to write tributes to our classmates who have died. Please take a moment to read the attached list of classmates who are no longer with us, and to hold them in your thoughts. Hopefully, none of our deceased classmates died due to COVID-19!
V. OUR CONNECTION CLASS, 2024: As you may know, each 50thReunion class connects with the class that will be graduating when we are holding our 50th Reunion. Ours is, of course, the Class of 2024. In Spring, 2021, their Class Board will be elected and our Alumnae Association representative will introduce me to them, after which we will connect in whatever manner is safely possible. Your Class Board will be putting together a plan to support them in their last three years at MHC.
And a final topic of importance, MONEY:
First, DUES. If you haven’t yet paid your Class Dues–$50 for 5 years—please send a check to Mary Grantham-Sleet at 8710 Cameron St #407, Silver Spring, MD 20910. It’s easy to forget whether you did pay dues, so the list of paid classmates is attached to this email. Please let us add your name, if it’s not already there.
Second, DEVELOPMENT: Here’s the fund-raising update from our Co-Chairs, Jane Zimmy and Debby Hall: Through mid-December, our class has raised more than $350,000 toward our 50th Reunion Gift, with 52% of us participating. Since July 1, 2020, 104 classmates have made gifts amounting to nearly $184K. Please support scholarship aid at Mount Holyoke www.mtholyoke.edu/go/mhcgive
And there’s always a big push to gather larger-than-normal amounts of money to commemorate our 5oth Reunion. To that end, the Co-Chairs are looking for additional help and they have designated Leslie Bowen as Vice Chair. If you think you’d be a good fit for this project, please reach out to Jane Zimmy at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that your holidays have been filled with joy and that you join me in great anticipation for the New Year.
With gratitude to be part of this remarkable class,
Melissa Thornton, Class President