Class President’s Year-End Letter 2023

Dear Mount Holyoke College Class of 1974, 

Once again, it’s time for my year-end letter to you…the summary of what your class leaders have been doing to promote our class mission of getting and staying connected during 2023..and some sneak peeks into our next four months. Things are really cooking, so please read this longer missive to the end…and add the various dates to your personal calendar.

Communications will continue:
‘winter letter’ in mid-February, from our Reunion Chair, Gail L. and I…all about the exciting developments in Reunion planning.

late February and early March, you’ll hear from Jane Z. and Debby H. all about our March4MHC campaign to make a major difference in the future of Mount Holyoke.

April’s missives will be about our Connections Class and Reunion, answering the questions that arise at our March Zoomtails, which will include Reunion planning updates.

And then we’ll meet and talk in person at our glorious 50th!!!

Zoomtails Committee
Gail LaRocca and Nan Ward

While many of us have gone back to full schedules that take us away from our computers in the evening, the pre-covid zooms are still popular, alternating months between MHC staff and classmates with a specialty topic.  Since the fall Zoomtails resumed in October we have had:

  • October 2023– Cerise Jalelian-Keim (’81): Vespers: Tales from the Crypt and classmate Piete Avrahami–  Personal Reflections on the Terrorist Attacks in Israel  
  • November 2023 – Cynthia Polk-Allen, Barbara Hoff, and Sue Ruotolo Dorsey: Seven Essentials for Self-Care While Supporting Others in Need 
  • December 2023– Angie Gregory, MHC Sustainability Program Manager:Breaking Ground for Geothermal Project: Global Responsibility Signaled through Campus Action 
  • January 2024– Sarah Morrison and Classmates: Junior Show 1973: We’re Glad You’re Here!  What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing In a Place Like This?

Save another date:  Monday, February 26, 7:00p EST when Professor Andrea Lawlor will talk about the renowned Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Competition which just celebrated its centennial. 

And March will be the Zoomtails meeting that orients us all to the Reunion opportunities and activities and answers all our questions, so don’t miss this event!

Development Committee
Jane Zimmy, Debby Hall, LaVida Dowdell and Leslie Bowen

Since July 1, 2019 and through December 31, 2023, the Class of 1974 has raised $1.566 million dollars toward our 50th Reunion. Nearly 70% of our classmates have made a gift or a pledge to the Mount Holyoke Fund (MHF).

Our goals are to raise $2 million dollars, and to reach 74% participation from the class. We can do it with your help!

This fiscal year we have raised $286,886 with 33% of our class making a gift so far, including 53 classmates contributing at the Cornerstone Level ($1,837+).

March4MHC, Mount Holyoke’s annual week of giving, will launch on Monday, March 4th and run through Friday, March 8th. In addition to making a gift for this fiscal year, you can also pledge forward for 5 years. Pledges through June 2028 count toward our Reunion gift totals.

This is the event where we can access many additional dollars to be added to our class gift by winning various awards. Be on the lookout for details about the March4MHC challenge, which will be another opportunity to show our strong class spirit.

The Mini-Reunion Committee
Denise McLeod Thomas, Melissa Thornton, Cynthia Polk-Allen, Mary Feeney

The big news in 2023 was that there were several mini-reunions where we met in person!

  1. One was held here at the Bold Colorful Life estate in Boothbay, Maine in early June of this year.  
  2. A small mini-reunion developed at the September inauguration of our illustrious new President, Danielle R. Holley, (whom we will join for a reception at our 5oth in May!)
  3. Another mini happened at our Volunteer weekend in October.  
  4. The Vespers mini-reunion also included a reception with Danielle Holley and major contributors.
  5. And the year end was celebrated at our last mini-reunion in Wilmington, N.C., designed by Denise McLeod Thomas and hosted by Denise and Cynthia Polk-Allen.

Our regional mini-mini reunions continued around the country.

Social Media
Laurie Averill

Our Social Media chair reminds us that she publicizes information about mini-reunions, 50th reunion preparation, Zoomtails and articles about MHC excellence.
The Facebook page gives classmates a place to share their experiences and connect with others. The Website provides messages from the board, publicizes events, and reports on Giving as well as listing current MHC events. 

Laurie is working on adding more details and photos of all mini-reunions and other class events to our Facebook page and our class website page

Check out our Mount Holyoke College Class of 74 Facebook page for the full stories, as well as our own Class of 1974, college-sponsored website. And do send your news and invitations for class-related events to Laurie at

Reunion    May 16-19, 2024
Gail LaRocca

During the summer months, planning for the 50th Reunion ramped up.  After two surveys, volunteers have been assigned to fulfill tasks to ensure that we all have a good time sharing past experiences and new challenges.  Your feedback has helped us finetune many aspects of a large celebration and we look forward to sharing more details later this winter. 

At our 50th Reunion, a new committee will set an adventure in motion with a 1974/2024 Time Capsule. And three of our committees will see their hard work come to fruition: Connections, Memorial and Nominating committees.

Time Capsule Committee
Beth Connor Gibson, Chair and Laurie Averill, Gail LaRocca, Melissa Thornton,
Karen Weston

The idea to create a Time Capsule first originated with our Connections Class, 2024, and was put into action recently. We will collect items from each class which epitomize the challenges and opportunities unique to our time and which leave a signature of our MHC legacy. The capsule will be sealed in the MHC Archives and we are in the process of deciding when the Time Capsule will be opened, when both classes are at MHC.

The list includes such items as a yearbook, freshman handbook, class directory, newspaper articles that capture the context of our college experience, Commencement program, Alumnae Quarterly from September 1974, tickets and programs from theatre and Chapin events at MHC, class ring or pins, reunion paraphernalia, a paper version of Bonnie Panson’s presentation about our times, Doris’s reunion photo collection, etc.

These are the ‘staples’ on the list and we have several, but would like your ideas and your offers of unusual or unique additional items. They must be relatively small (all items must fit into a 12x15x10 fireproof and waterproof box) and may not include food or anything organic or liquid, no clothing, dishware, batteries, etc.. The items will be inventoried, with name of the contributor, history, etc.

If you have an item that you’d like to contribute, please find it, dust it off, photograph it and send the photo and history of the item to Beth Connor Gibson at by January 31st.

The committee will choose the items to be included and if yours is chosen, Beth will send her home address and directions to mail the item, to reach her no later than March 10.Many thanks to Debbie Richards from the MHC Archive Department for sharing her experience and knowledge with us.

Connections Committee
Laurie Averill and Melissa Thornton

As you know, a time-honored tradition at Mount Holyoke is that our 50threunion class makes a special connection with the class that graduates when we gather for reunion, the class of 2024.
Last year, we had several members of the Class of 2024 join 1974 classmates at the March Zoomtails when Bonnie Panson presented her engaging slide show about MHC in the 70s, several of us were interviewed about the meaning of our class rings in a video that the ‘24s used to sell more rings and Debra Orgera and Doris O’Keefe attended the Rings and Roses event in April.

This year, several ‘74s and ‘24s met, talked and learned about each other and Mount Holyoke through different perspectives at both the September President Holley inauguration and the October Volunteer weekend.

Then, Laurie Averill, Kate Pappas and one other classmate (please let us know who you are) were warmly welcomed at the December Berries and Bubbly event, celebrating the December graduation of 90 members of the Class of 2024. Brightened by festive attire, happiness and a giant glass of champagne (that was hoisted in toast by President Holley), the new alums talked with the ‘74s about their aspirations, challenges and excitement as they leave campus.
There will be another Berries and Bubbly event for the rest of the Class of 2024 in April. I’ll share the date when it’s locked in and would love to know who else can attend.

We will salute the entire graduating class at the Scarfing Ceremony on Thursday afternoon of our 50Th Reunion, May 16 at 3:30. More details to follow.

Memorial Committee
Marylloyd Claytor, Chair, and Debra Orgera, Theresa Salerno, Sarah Morrison, and Laurie Averill share their update with you:

At Reunion we gather to celebrate our community and while we are looking forward to the fun of the weekend, we will be pausing to celebrate those who have passed and remain in our hearts. The Memorial Ceremony will be at the conclusion of the Class Meeting when most of the class will be assembled.

Our committee is continuing research and refining the presentation of each of our lost classmates. We are finalizing the logistics of the Memorial Ceremony where volunteers will place a flower in a vase and recite the name of the classmate. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey and offered to be a volunteer for the Memorial Ceremony. If anyone else wants to volunteer to participate, please contact Marylloyd at

Nominating Committee
Carole LaMond, Chair and Nancy Marks Arcieri, Beth Connor Gibson, Susan Moch, Cynthia Polk-Allen, Melissa Thornton, ex officio

The Nominating Committee will present the following slate of officers for election by a vote of the class members at our 50th Reunion Class Meeting in May 2024.  

President                                          Gail LaBroad LaRocca 
Vice President                                 Kathe Munz Shinham 
Secretary                                          Robynn Bosler Eisley 
Treasurer                                          Mary Grantham 
Reunion Co-Chairs                         Debbie Hinchey Vernon
                                                            Melissa Thornton 
Scribe                                                Nan Ward 
Social Media                                    Laurie Averill 
Head Class Agents                          Jane Zimmy
                                                            Debbie Hall 
Nominating Committee                Judy Johnson
                                                           Kate Murphy Pappas 
                                                           Heather Barlow Sheldon

Many thanks to the Nominating committee for their insightful and collaborative work…and to those classmates willing to be nominated to run for office at our 50th.

 This is my last year-end letter to you and, in a quick word, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to be in touch with you all regularly over these past 4+ years…and it has also been an honor to work with the remarkable, energetic and productive committee members and project volunteers who give their time and energy to the magnificent Class of 1974!

With great excitement and anticipation to see many of you at our 5oth Reunion,  

Melissa L. Thornton
President, Class of 1974

P.S.   Photos, Photos, Photos.
Doris O’Keefe is creating the looping slide show in our dorm and she is looking for more images from 1970 through today. She is looking for pictures that are high quality originals scanned individually.  For more details about the photos needed, please see past letters or our class website page. Don’t forget to try to identify WHO is in the picture and WHEN and WHERE it was taken. 

Doris’ address:

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Invitations to Opportunities to Connect with Each Other


Dear Mount Holyoke College Class of 1974,

This letter is overflowing with invitations for opportunities to connect with each other, with current MHC students including the Vespers Chorus and our Connections Classmates and with the college campus.

I. Mini-Reunion Committee, in order of event date:

A. Boston Vespers Mini-Reunion December 1-2

This mini-reunion is coming together and we’re getting excited! Among the hundreds of Mount Holyoke Alums who will attend the Vespers concert at the Old South Church on Friday evening, December 1st at 8pm, will be a dozen of our classmates. The full list of attending classmates can be found on our Class of 1974 website. Those who can arrive before the concert (doors open at 7pm) will either attend a reception given by our new College President, Danielle R. Holley, at The Lenox Hotel, or are gathering in smaller groups for dinner nearby. We hope that all who are interested will gather again after the concert for drinks in the area. Location TBD. 

Several classmates are staying at the Copley Square Hotel, the Westin Copley and the Back Bay Hilton.

Plans are coalescing for breakfast Saturday morning at around 9am, followed by a wander through the Museum of Fine Arts and particularly the John Singer Sargent exhibit. Lunch may follow…all is evolving as I write this note. We would still benefit from a ‘point-person’ coming forward to oversee this event…someone who is familiar with Boston and the attractions in the area near the Old South Church particularly. In the meantime, please reach out to me for more information:

Participant list, to date:

Nancy Arcieri  NY                             Rhonda Bennon ‘73
Pam Broadley  NH
LaVida Dowdell  NY
Suzi Farrell Peck
Barbara Lemperly Grant MA
Debby Hall  NH
Debbie Hinchey-Vernon  CT
Judith Johnson  MA
Jamie Kotch
Ann Molloy
“Cynthia Polk-Allen  NY
Deb Steele NY
Melissa Thornton ME
Nancy Wood NY
Jane Zimmy  NY

Wilmington, N.C. New Year’s Mini-Reunion
December 29
, 2023-January 1, 2024

Denise McLeod Thomas and Cynthia Polk-Allen are putting the finishing touches on the Wilmington mini-reunion. Eight classmates, several significant others, a member each of the Class of 1972 and 1977 will be in attendance.  The full list can be found on our Class of 1974 website.Reservations are still open as the excitement builds. Please contact Denise at (678) 570-1878 if you’d like to attend.

Planned activities include an historic tour of Wilmington on Saturday, the free Gullah-Geechee Freedom’s Eve performance at noon on Sunday (Warner Temple AME Zion Church, 620 Nixon St) and a chef-prepared meal on New Year’s Eve at a friend’s residence. Suggested accommodations include the Embassy Suites Riverfront, the Marriott Downtown, Springhill Suites Mayfaire and Cindy has reserved a B&B in the historic district which has 5 rooms. More details about getting to and around Wilmington, as well as restaurant and entertainment suggestions can also be found on our Class of 1974 website and from Denise or Cindy.

A non-refundable payment of $100 is due now, with your reservation, to secure
your place on the tour and at the chef-prepared meal. Please make check payable to Denise and send to 968 Millard Road, Stone Mountain, GA 300882415. For electronic payments, please reach out to Cindy at or (917) 549-3672.

Participant list, to date:

Nancy Arcieri +1                               Stephanie McGregor ’72 +2
Faith Johnson Bonecutter +1        Lynn R. Holmes ’77 +1
Barbara Bull 
Joyce Bohannon Lott +1          
Florence Chichester                 
Cynthia Polk Allen
Lynette Pickett +3
Lorraine Milio Marshall +1 
Denise McLeod Thomas +1 

C. Berries and Bubbly at MHC on December 12.

The Connections Class Committee and the 2024 Class Board invite us to attend their “Berries and Bubbly” (formerly Strawberries and Champagne) ceremony on campus in Willits on December 12, 2023 from 7-8:30pm. An annual tradition, the Alumnae Association and the Development Office host graduates from the senior class for an event where we all toast their accomplishments and welcome them into the worldwide alum community. The AA President will speak and President Holley is expected as well. Please put this on your calendar if possible! We hope to have 6-8 local 1974 classmates witness this momentous event as our Connections Class prepares to depart Mount Holyoke in May, 2024 and make their marks on the world!

The Mini-Reunion Committee is not planning any other minis between January and May, 2024, preferring to put all our energy into the magnificent 50th. If, however, you are planning a mini-mini, please let us know and share photos! Thanks!

II. Development Committee: 

Pam Broadley has accepted the position of Mary Lyon Society chair for our class. The Mary Lyon Society—founded in 1974—honors those who have named the College as the beneficiary of a will, trust, retirement plan, or life insurance policy, or have established a life income gift with the College.  Please note that all documented bequests are included in our comprehensive fundraising total at Reunionand consider this an invitation to become a member of the Mary Lyon Society! 

III. Slide Show at Reunion:

As momentum builds, a new project is underway for our 50th, with Doris O’Keefe and Barbara Lemperly at the helm.

“Wanted: photos of you and your friends in the Class of 1974 from 1970-2023 for a slide show to be shown in the dorm at our 50th reunion. I’m looking for photos that show our lasting friendships and connections. Ideas: do you have photos from Mountain Day, hanging around the dorm, graduation, reunions, mini-reunions and/or small unofficial get-togethers with your besties.

You will
need to scan film era photos. Please aim for larger rather than smaller files. The same is true for digital images. I’m looking for images with 2MB or more. Anything measured in KB will not fill the TV screen. If you’re sending images directly from your phone, please click on ‘actual size’when prompted before sending, so that your phone does not compress the file. A resolution of 200 should be fine. If it’s a very special image that we might want to print, a resolution of 600 is required.

Please send all images to Doris at the following email address:”

You’ll be hearing from our other active committees soon.

I hope to see you at one of these gatherings.

Wishing you all a most memorable holiday season,

Melissa Thornton

President, MHC Class of 1974

PS Don’t miss our very important November 14th Zoomtails at 7pm EST: “Seven Essentials for Self-Care While Supporting Others in Need”

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Mini-Reunion in Wilmington, North Carolina December 29, 2023-January 1, 2024

Dear Mount Holyoke College Class of 1974, 

Here’s more information about the upcoming Mini-Reunion in Wilmington, North Carolina December 29, 2023-January 1, 2024 in a letter from Denise McLeod Thomas:

The historic port city of Wilmington, NC, nestled between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, is the site of ‘74’s next mini reunion scheduled for December 29, 2023, through January 1, 2024.  For those classmates who venture to this vibrant city to bring in the new year, you are in for a treat.  Wilmington’s legendary history dates back to the 1500’s and includes key moments in American history from the American Revolution to the Civil War to WWII to the Civil Rights era.  Your host, Denise McLeod Thomas, invites you to see the sights, hear the history and embark on an adventure unlike any we have experienced.

The main focus of this mini reunion is for us to connect and spend time together before we travel to South Hadley for our grand 50th reunion.  There are two planned activities that will be enlightening, enriching and enthralling.  On Saturday, December 30th, our plan is to take an interactive tour of Wilmington with a renowned, award-winning tour guide who is a native son.  We will need to work fast to secure both the bus and this tour guide.  At noon on Sunday, December 31st, we will attend an annual performance by the Gullah Geechee people at a local church.  For centuries, the Gullah Geechee people have occupied the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, a region beginning just north of Wilmington and runs all the way south to northern Florida.  This glorious, acclaimed performance will feature music, dancing, singing, and storytelling and has its genesis dating back to December 31, 1862, when the Gullah Geechee people gathered in praise houses and churches to await the new year that would mark the end of slavery as the Emancipation Proclamation took effect.  This historic date was remembered as Freedom’s Eve and is commemorated in many churches across the corridor at Watch Night Services, though now held at noon.  The pastor at Warner Temple AME Zion Church has agreed to reserve seats for us.  We need to let him know how many of us will be in attendance as soon as possible so we can be comfortably seated.  There will be time for other less structured events during our time together in Wilmington.

Wilmington has many attractions that may be of interest to you during your leisure time.  The city’s National Register District spans 230-plus blocks of churches, moss-draped live oaks, brick-lined streets and historic homes including colonial structures and Victorian era architectural delights.  In the downtown Historic District, you can stroll along the pedestrian-friendly Riverwalk lined with cafes, shops and galleries or hitch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage about town. Take advantage of the craft beer and epicurean tours  If weather permits, there arecruises along the Cape Fear waterfront as well as to the outlying Island Beaches where vintage boardwalks offer swings, souvenir shops, ocean view restaurants, and legendary glazed donuts.  Visit Airlie Gardens, the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, the Cameron Art Museum, and the Museum of the Bizarre or the Wilmington Aquarium.  Journey into the depths of old Wilmington to its cryptic alleyways, haunted nooks, homes and burial grounds to get up close and personal with the spirits and hear eerie tales of ghostly occurrences and actual encounters if that suits you.  Take time to visit the Battleship North Carolina which is moored on the Cape Fear River or Fort Fisher where the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War occurred.  In short, Wilmington has something for everyone. Come and join us and witness a history like no other in a place like no other where legends and lore live on.

Please let Denise know if you will be in attendance at this wonderful mini reunion by sending a text to (678) 570-1878 or email to by September 5, 2023. We need to secure the tour bus and tour guide, set up reserve seating at the church and make suggestions for accommodations.

With great anticipation to hear back from many of you,



The MHC 1974 Mini-Reunion Committee: Denise McLeod Thomas, Cynthia Polk-Allen, Mary Feeney and Melissa Thornton

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Class President’s Fall Letter 2023

Dear Mount Holyoke College Class of 1974,

Welcome to a plump Fall schedule!

I have a few committee updates that require your action: please make time to share your suggested nominations for our next leadership team…time to make reservations for our various mini-reunions…and time to note our first couple of Zoom dates and topics.


The Class of 1974 Nominating Committee is beginning the task of assembling a slate of officers to lead the class for five years from our 50th Reunion in May 2024 to our 55th Reunion in 2029. The slate consists of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reunion Chair, Scribe, Social Media Chair (tech management of class website, FaceBook, Instagram, etc.), Head Class Agent(s) and Nominating Committee (3 members on the slate, with an additional 2 members appointed by the class president before our 55th reunion).

Detailed job descriptions:

The slate of officers will be presented to our class for voting at the Class Meeting at Reunion in May 2024.

We welcome nominations from the class! Please submit your nominations to: Carole LaMond, Chair, at by September 22, 2023.

Nominating Committee:

Carole LaMond, Chair, Nancy Marks Arcieri, Beth Connor Gibson, Susan Moch, Cynthia Polk-Allen, Melissa Thornton, Class President, ex officio

MINI-REUNION COMMITTEE wants you to know about several upcoming mini-reunions. In order:

  1. Mini-Reunion at MHC for Danielle R. Holley’s Inauguration ceremony on September 21, 2023. A half dozen classmates are already signed up to gather for lunch at 1pm(on Skinner Green or nearby) after the processional at 10:30am and the investiture in Chapin auditorium which begins at 11am. Please reach out to Jane Zimmyor Melissa Thornton if interested.
  2. Mini-Reunion in Boston for Vespers on December 12023. A group of classmates have already purchased tickets and are in the midst of putting together plans to gather for this historic and delightful holiday event. We’ll have a point-person to contact soon.
  3. Mini-Reunion in Wilmington, North Carolina (note the state please)

December 29/23-January 1/24  The deadline to reserve a space at the Wilmington mini-reunion has been extended toSeptember 20. The invitation is to classmates and family members and our host, Denise has added a new twist to enhance the experience:

    In addition to the planned tour of this historic city and the Gullah Geechee performance, we ask that classmate participants come prepared to ring in the New Year with song, dance, poetry, a reading of works in progress, humor, or bits of wisdom.  A different experience and a good time is sure to be had by all.
More detail can be found on this link on our MHC Class of 1974 website.

Please fill out the attached form (thank you, Cindy Polk-Allen) and send it to Denise McLeod Thomas at Questions: (678) 570-1878



Monday, 10/23/23  Cerise Jalelian-Keim ’81 speaking on Vespers: Tales from the Crypt.

November Panel discussion on elder affairs and support, hosted by Cindy Polk-Allen.  More details to follow.

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR: Our Facebook page and Class of 1974 Website page are updated regularly. Do tune in to both these sites to keep up to date on opportunities!

Wishing you days filled with crisp breezes and scintillating Autumn colors,

Melissa L. Thornton
President, Class of 1974


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Class President’s Letter, August 2023

Dear Mount Holyoke College Class of 1974, 

I hope you’ve noticed that I have kept my word about no more than 3 Presidential email blasts per year…thus far. 😊 But now, things are cooking within the MHC Class of 1974, as we reach our 9 month countdown to our grand 50th Reunion next May 16-19, 2024…and you’ll hear from me more often!!

REUNION PLANNING WORKSHOP: August 15th, Class Volunteer Leaders will be attending a virtual Reunion Planning Workshop from 7 to 8:30p. If you were thinking of volunteering for anything related to the Reunion, please join us! Reach out to me at and I’ll send you the registration link. Reach out to Gail LaRocca for further information after the workshop at and I are already in regular contact and all sorts of exciting things are being planned. More information along the way….

ACTIVE NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Our full Nominating Committee (Class elected representatives–Chair Carole LaMond, Nancy Marks Arcieri, Beth Connor Gibson…joined by new Presidential appointees Cynthia Polk-Allen and Susan Moch) will meet for the first time on August 21st to begin to put together a ballot for our leadership team for 2024-2029.

DEVELOPMENT TEAM: Our full Development Team (over 50 classmates) are invited to attend 1974’s 50th reunion Gift Committee Meeting in South Hadley at our beautiful Alma Mater…or virtually…on October 4-6. If you were thinking of joining the development team, please reach out to Jane Zimmy at  

This industrious team brought in awesome results this past fiscal year:
FY’23 Results: Participation: 56%  
Dollars Raised:  $314,129 (including $25,000 in challenge funds)
54 Cornerstone Donors (an increase from last year!)

88% of those who made gifts in fiscal ’22 also made a gift in ’23. Slightly below our goal of >90% repeating.

50th Reunion Results Total 5-Year Participation Rate as of 06/30/2023: 68.4%

Dollars raised for the Mount Holyoke Fund: $1,298,342 (including pledges through 6/28)

Comprehensive total (Mount Holyoke Fund + gifts to Endowments, Capital Projects and Documented Bequests): $3,324,003


ACTIVE MINI-REUNION COMMITTEE: The Mini-Reunion committee has been meeting to help bring Denise McLeod Thomas’s vision to reality.
The  Wilmington, North Carolina Mini-Reunion is happening!

REPLY NOW with this form if you are interested in attending by sending a text to our host, Denise McLeod Thomas (678) 570-1878 or email to Deadline: September 5

WHO is invited: all MHC 1974 classmates and loved ones

WHEN: December 29, 2023-January 1, 2024

WHERE: The historic port city of Wilmington, NC, nestled between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean

WHAT: the perfect way to end 2023 and welcome 2024 withbeloved classmates at your side

A.   Saturday, December 30th, an interactive bus tour of Wilmington with a renowned, award-winning tour guide who is a native son

B.    Sunday, December 31st, an annual noon performance of music, dancing, singing and storytelling, celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation, by the Gullah Geechee people at a local church

C.    New Year’s Eve dinner together is in the works, as well as contiguous lodging options for the long weekend

D.   Open time can include: Wilmington’s National Register Historic District; Riverwalk lined with cafes, shops and galleries; horse-drawn carriage rides; cruise along Cape Fear waterfront; visits to the Airlie gardens or many museums, etc.

More detail can be found on this link on our MHC Class of 1974 website:

ACTIVE MEMORIAM COMMITTEE: The Memoriam Committee has developed a template for slides for the presentation and booklet and gathered the information about each deceased classmate in a folder accessible to committee members.  The group is preparing the slides, the booklet, and soliciting estimates for materials for the rose ceremony during which classmates will be remembered at our reunion.

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR: Our Facebook page and Class of 1974 Website page would love to post events in which classmates are involved to encourage participation by other classmates and recognition of all the great things that we are doing.  Please send along notices to Many thanks to Laurie Averill for pursuing the techies who finally fixed the links to our class website! Do tune in to both these sites regularly, as things WILL emerge regularly.

Wishing you the luscious last moments and memories of summer,

Melissa L. Thornton
President, Class of 1974

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