Reunion Letter & Questionnaire

Mount Holyoke College
Class of 1963



                                                                                                May 2018

Dear classmates, 

We are delighted you will be attending our Mount Holyoke 55threunion and hope you will enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed preparing for it. Before you leave home, I, and the rest of the planning committee, want to share a few thoughts that may be helpful. 

Some have asked about transportation from Bradley airport. I have used Valley Transport in the past and it seems to work. To make a reservation, find them at or call (877) 314-7271 during working hours.

ARRIVAL: When you arrive on campus, first go to Mary Woolley Hall (second floor) to sign in and pick up your room key, then come to Mead, our dorm headquarters. If staying off campus, still go to Mary Woolley first to sign in and then come by Mead for a warm welcome from classmates. You will receive a printed schedule so just slide into whatever is going on at the time you arrive. There will be classmates and student helpers to point you in the right direction.

If you arrive during off hours, contact the campus police for your room key.

The Alumnae Association point person for registrations and rooming is Luisa Tavares at (413) 538-2201 and


HELPFUL WEB LINKS: You will receive a paper copy of the weekend schedule when you arrive, but here is a link to the schedule you can access now:  When you open the page, scroll down just a bit and you will see a list of Reunion II classes on the right side of the page. Click on 1963 and you will see our schedule. Hover over an item and you will see more details.

A happy addition to the schedule is that Sonya Stephens, our President Elect, will come by Mead to visit with us Saturday afternoon between 3:30 and 4:15.

Our website reunion page may be helpful. The pictures are from our 50th, but will give you hints about what upcoming events will look like.  Also, I found just browsing through the website helped me recall classmates I’ll be seeing. 

You might also want to access our website In Memoriam page. Our memorial service leader, Nawrie Meigs-Brown, suggests we look through the list of those who have died since our 50thand think about what we might say about our friends at this time of remembrance.  


OH, WHAT TO WEAR: Bring a white casual outfit and comfortable shoes for the Saturday parade and any yellow accessories you want to add--perhaps bits from past reunion parades like Rayna's scarf. The surprise “costume” will not interfere, only enhance.  For dinner at the Carle, you might want to wear something a little special. Pack casual clothes for canoeing if you are planning on gliding across the lake Sunday AM. Generally, wear what you like and be comfortable.


-Bring pictures, photos, written material, creative works that reflect something significant about your last five years and thoughts to post about the next five years. These are meant to be conversation starters that will help us pick up where we left off at our blockbluster 50th. 

-If you have a refillable drinking bottle you especially like, please bring it. We want to be careful about our environmental impact.

-Remember the common bathrooms when we were students? Well, not much has changed so you may want to bring soap, a shampoo you like and a bathrobe. There will be bedding and a serviceable towel in your room. Bring a favorite pillow to fluff up your space? As Alice says, it ain't the Four Seasons. Actually, she said isn’t….

-If you are driving (or have a large suitcase) and you are bothered by the heat, you might bring a fan. Mead isn’t air-conditioned. 

-Help ensure good weather by bringing an umbrella or raincoat.

I am sure there are many more tips we should be passing along… if only I could think of them! But you get the idea—be comfortable and plan on having a great time. 

My best wishes for smooth, safe travels, and we will see you in just a few weeks.

Mary Ann



Mary Ann  Searles Weiss, Reunion Chair

Karen Kayser Benson, Co-chair and Connections conversation space

Alice Godfrey Andrus, Class President 

Stephanie Smith, Treasurer

Hospitality --Karel Mortenson Koenig, Paula Freshman Kaplan and many others 

Food hospitality -- Mary Alice Baisler Doyle and Sally Calder Wittenberg 

Friday evening panel -- Gretchen Luft Harris and Nancy Welker 

Parade -- Suzy Eberson Adams and Mary Jenness Raine

Festive dinner -- Bunny Brown Gramlich, Alice Andrus, Diane Demont Rapp, Sally Donner and Marianne Banning Adey

Saturday dinner transportation -- Lois Wolfe Siegel and Mirja Perkko Muncy

Memorial service-- Nawrie Meigs–Brown, Lucy Carlborg Rosborough and Sally Nunneley 

Connections lunch -- Susie Fickel Kroeger 

Canoeing- Karel Mortenson Koenig and Karen Kayser Benson


PS: I will leave for South Hadley via Philadelphia this Wednesday, May 16thand will check my email when possible along the way. Phone calls may be problematic. Mary Ann 



Gretchen Luft Harris received 54 responses to our class survey. She provided the following rough summary of results for each question. 

1. Major subject: Most common were political science, English and history - all with about the same number in those who replied.  Together they make up just over half (~55%).  Science majors IN TOTAL make up fewer than any of the three most numerous and come in at ~15%; most common was chemistry.  After that, but way down the list were French, economics and sociology, philosophy; again their total numbers are less than any one of the most common.

2. Was later education related to work you did (paid or volunteer)?  Yes: 31 (57%)  No: 5 (9%)   Yes and No: 18 (33%)   I think this is interesting because fully a third responding answered instead of either Y or N.

3. If you switched how did MHC help?  Three general answers here: language, writing and thinking skills; ability to learn and continue learning; self-discipline and organizational skills.

4.    What did you do after - I'll summarize both education and career.  

    a. ~2/3 identified that they took some sort of degree or extra training after graduation.

    b. Most common careers: teaching: 21 (~39%); scholarship/research (either university etc. or institutes or businesses): 14 (~29%); editor/writer: 9 (~17%).  Others included: business/insurance/real estate: 11 (20%); government related: 5 (~9%); social work: 4 (~7%); health related: 4 (7%); arts and computer related ~5%.  Note that these numbers/percentages add up to much more than the total.  This is because many people had more than one type of job in their careers.

5. Favourite courses for science majors: There were many and no single one dominated - chemistry, economics, art, history, English lit, philosophy, ornithology.

6. What science courses did non-science majors take?  Physiology (named 21 times), chemistry (14), and zoology (12) dominated - possibly because many identified them as pre-med.  Next were astronomy (9), geology (8), math (7), geography and biology (both at 5), and physics (3). Others named were ornithology, psychology, ecology and nutrition.

7. Course wish list: The answers here were dominated by baby art/art history, (named 17 times) and baby music (16); then history (9); English Lit (6); economics and poli sci (5 each); philosophy (4); then (3 each) astronomy, physics, math, spanish, anthropology, geology, cryptography; and finally (with 1 each) biology, golf, horticulture, psychology, creative writing, religion, geography, botany, zoology.  

8. Current Activities: Most popular were time with family (especially grandkids) and friends (named 32 times) and volunteering (30).  After that came travel (21); exercise/sports (20); still working full or part time (15); reading and cultural activities (concerts, museums etc.) (both at 12 each); book groups (11); doing music (instrumental or vocal) (7); gardening (6); doing arts/crafts (5); church related activities (4); writing (3), plus other bits and pieces.

Gretchen’s comment: I think it's clear that this is an interesting group of women who have done a wide variety of things with their lives. 


On Mar 19, 2018, at 8:00 AM, MHC Class of 1963 <> wrote:


View this email in a web page

Greetings dear ’63 classmates, 

Don't forget to register for our 55th reunion. Here is the letter we sent you earlier in March. Note that you may register online through the Alumnae Association website. 

Our 55th Mount Holyoke reunion is less than three months away (May 25–27) and we want you with us! Your official registration form is enclosed in the letter mailed to you earlier—please complete and return it to the Alumnae Association as soon as possible. Our responses will decide the best location for our reunion headquarters and help us fine tune plans. 

This is going to be a delightful classmate gathering—just the right combination of new twists, traditional reunion activities, and “free time” to visit with classmates, explore campus in the splendor of spring, or even nap. You choose from planned activities as fully as you wish. 

The key ingredient for the rest of us is you. And by extension we would love to have your friends come as well. A call from you may be all they need. Search for classmates’ contact info under “Alumna Search” on the Alumnae Directory.

For the latest news, we have two important reunion websites.  
Visit the Alumnae Association's website for up-to-date reunion information and the option of online registration.  
Our class website will have current info on specific class plans and a list of whom we expect to attend. Actually, we have two websites. The Alumnae Association '63 site is not helpful. is the one we are keeping up to date. 

A WARM WELCOME: Organized by Karel Mortenson Koenig, Paula Freshman Kaplan, and others. 

BACK TO CLASS: If you arrive before Friday afternoon (May 25), plan to attend a class or two. This program is one of the most popular programs of the weekend, and this year’s class assortment promises to be the best yet.

FRIDAY EVENING INFORMAL DISCUSSION in our dorm living room focused on Astronomy: Then, Now and into the Future. Recommended reading: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Leaders include classmates Gretchen Luft Harris and Nancy Welker and MHC astronomy professor Darby Dyar. (Gretchen asks that we all complete the fun attached questionnaire and return it to her (in Canada!) as soon as possible.)

SATURDAY AM PARADE: Our parade leader, Suzy Eberson Adams, reminds us to bring white for the parade (dress, pants, skirt, whatever feels comfortable), walking shoes, and yellow accessories, perhaps from previous reunions. She will add something special. If you prefer, there will be golf carts for riding in the parade. Practice your Queen wave—it will be fun. 

REMEMBRANCE: Nawrie Meigs-Brown will lead a memorial for recently deceased classmates. 

SATURDAY EVENING FESTIVE FETE at the beautiful Eric Carle Museum in Amherst. This will include Marianne Banning Adey’s children’s literature presentation, cocktails, dinner catered by Blue Heron, a class report and recognitions organized by class president, Alice Godfrey Andrus. (Lois Wolfe Siegel, with Mirja Perkko Muncy, has arranged optional bus transportation from and back to campus. Please indicate on your registration form if you plan to ride the bus. Dinner organizer Bunny Brown Gramlich asks that you indicate your dinner entrée choice and other food requests on the registration form as well.)

COMING TOGETHER/CATCHING UP SPACE: Karen Kayser Benson is putting together a drop-in area featuring pictures and artifacts and she asks your help: “We have built in free time for us to just BE TOGETHER and ENJOY EACH OTHER, to create and recreate friendships. And to facilitate that we’d love to see your photos, paintings, awards, writings and other goodies. Bring them with you to reunion and display them in our special space—set up to be “The Wonder Woman Club.” We want to see your accomplishments, what fascinates you, what pleases you! We’re also planning an adjacent board called “What’s Next?” Where do we go from here? Post your thoughts about living past 75 years. We’d love to see your ideas for a future that brings fulfillment, joy and well being into our lives, our families, our communities and the world.” —KKB 

* Plan to come to campus May 25–27 and reach out to a classmate to join you
* Send in the enclosed reunion registration either by mail or online ASAP 
* Fill out and return the attached questionnaire to Gretchen
* Make your travel plans. Bring pictures. We can’t wait to see you!
Remember—come as you are! Our reunion will not be the same without you.

Our love to you all,
Mary Ann Weiss, 55th reunion chair and Alice Godrey Andrus, class president

Please make your gift to The Mount Holyoke Fund: Our gifts to The Mount Holyoke Fund provide critical support for the college. Our class goal for this reunion year is $225,000 with 70 percent class participation. Gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated; your participation is what’s most important. Make your gift online anytime at Many thanks to those of you who have already contributed.

Class Scholarship: Our class will offer financial help for classmates who may find it difficult to attend Reunion this year. For confidential assistance, please contact Luisa Tavares in the Alumnae Association, 413-538-2201 or

Hotel information: To stay off-campus, you will need to make your own reservations as soon as possible. The Hampton Inn (code EMH) and Comfort Inn (code 3012837), both in Hadley, may still have rooms reserved for our class.

Cancellation/Refund Policy
: A full refund will be issued provided notification is made by email or by phone at 413-538-2201 to registration staff by April 29, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EST; this applies to entire reunion package(s) and on-campus housing. Cancellations or changes to your registration and/or on-campus housing are non-refundable after April 29, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EST. By this date we have given firm commitments 
and guarantees to off-campus vendors and other partners in your name that generate non-refundable expenses to the Alumnae Association.

A Short Questionnaire from Gretchen:
In planning for our 55th reunion in May 2018, we have realized that there are questions we would like to ask of you. A summary of responses would be part of the Friday evening program. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions attached here and send your reply to Gretchen Luft Harris at 11 Hillcrest Court, Hamilton, ON L8P 2X7, Canada, or and send your reply to Gretchen Luft Harris at 11 Hillcrest Court, Hamilton, ON L8P 2X7, Canada, or


Mo u n t  H o l y o k e  C o l l e g e Cl a s s  o f  1 9 6 3

A Short Questionnaire from Gretchen:

In planning for our 55th reunion in May 2018, we have realized that there are questions we would like to ask of you. A summary of responses would be part of the Friday evening program. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions below and send your reply to Gretchen Luft Harris at 11 Hillcrest Court, Hamilton, ON L8P 2X7, Canada, or

What was your major at Mount Holyoke?

Was your later education or paid/volunteer work based on/related to your undergrad major?

If yes, briefly what did you do?If no, what did you switch to and how did your MHC experience help?

If you were a science or math major, what was your favorite course (science or non- science)?

If you were not a science or math major, what science course did you take as part of the distribution requirements?

What course/courses that you didn't take as an undergrad do you wish you had taken? (Why?)E.g.) Gretchen’s answer: for sure baby art history and baby music (also cryptography). I have spent a lot of time going to art museums around the world and would have loved to know more beforehand. Similarly, I have spent lots of time going to concerts and singing in choirs; some music knowledge would have been great.

< >What are major activities in your life now?

Signed (Optional)                                   


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