55th Reunion Recap

55TH REUNION – MT. HOLYOKE COLLEGE CLASS OF 1963 – May 25-27, 2018 

Notes mostly from one of our scribes, Susie Fickel Kroeger; Pictures mostly from Ken Briers (Mr. Donner)

(Nawrie Meigs-Brown, Sally Donner and Mary Raine in front of Mead, our reunion dorm)

Many arrived on Thursday to set up and enjoy dinner in Food 101. Cheers to all the volunteers who brought the weekend together while enjoying the process throughout. Thanks to everyone-- it was fun!

(Bunny Gramlich, Paula Kaplan and Karel Koenig)

(Alice Andrus, class president, toasts volunteers at Food 101 in South Hadley center)

Most classmates arrived Friday and were welcomed with goodies including hand crafted mugs featuring  sphinxes with swishing hair.

(Paula Bruice, Lois Siegel, Lucy Rosborough, Grace "Bouge" Jones and Karen Benson)

On Friday the Alumnae Association and college offered many opportunities to visit "classes" and lectures, experience a Japanese tea ceremony, have a tour of the renovated Blanchard Hall, visit the art museum, and hear a State of the College talk by President-elect Sonya Stephens.

Late Friday afternoon we, 72 returning classmates and about 20 guests,  gathered after a day of activities at our headquarters, Mead Hall, for wine and conversation before a festive dinner in Blanchard.  A few helpful alumnae were posted there to help us navigate the new dining system – many stations and choices to be made followed by open seating. 

(Marianne Adey, Sally Wittenberg, Mary Doyle, Barbara Pruess, Joan Wicks and Lucy Rosborough)

After dinner we returned to Mead living room for a panel about astronomy, including our own classmate astronomer who has been teaching at the University of Waterloo in Ontario for many years, Gretchen Luft Harris, who was most illuminating on the subject of astrophysics.  Two other speakers joined her – the head of the Astronomy department, Darby Dyer, and Jason Young, a visiting professor.

Saturday morning we lined up for the parade in our whites, wearing long yellow gloves courtesy of Suzy Adams and Mary Raine for a touch of color, along with our class scarves from the 50th reunion worn by those who remembered to bring them.  There were even a few fascinators in evidence.  

Following the parade the Alumnae Meeting for all reunion classes met in Mary Wooley Hall (better than the hot and very sunny amphitheater).

Our classmate Eleanor Rogan was given an Achievement Award for her lifetime of contributions to the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center, where she was the founding chair of the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health. 

It also was announced that Alice Godfrey Andrus was to receive the Loyalty Award (presented at dinner) for her many years of volunteer effort on behalf of our class, including class president for the past five years.  We were honored to receive as a class the Pegasus Award for having raised the most total dollars for immediate use through the Mt. Holyoke Fund in this fiscal year, and also the Lion Award for the highest total giving to all funds for this past five year cycle.  Alice, along with head class agent Ann Kotting Sadowsky (who sadly couldn’t be with us due to poor health) deserve recognition for mobilizing these gifts.   During the very popular reading of class histories section of the meeting, Alice gave a delightful reminiscence of our years on campus, and included our “connection class” of 2013 (they graduated when we had our 50th reunion) represented by Keesha  and Jessie, honorary granddaughters. 

After the meeting we all adjourned to lunch with the class of 2013, mingling informally, sharing experiences over the passage of 50 years.  Susie Fickel Kroeger said a few words of welcome to that class in hopes that over the years ahead we can continue our joint dialogue.

Following lunch and our class picture on the steps of Skinner, 

(Ken Briers(Donner), Don Thomas, Ralph Kohl; Ed Irving; Jack Carlock; Fred Kramer; (behind Bill?), Bill Harris, Mike Friedman, Leigh Smith; Peter Boer)

We moved  to our class tree for a memorial service for departed classmates, beautifully led by Nawrie Meigs-Brown.  Since our last reunion we have lost 18 classmates.  For each one, friends who knew her well stepped forward to say a word or two, and then a yellow rose was placed under the tree and a message tied on the tree. Nawrie's moving remarks are shown at the end of this Recap.

Then president-elect Sonya Stephens met us in Mead to give our class a special welcome and short talk followed by a Q and A.  Although there have been many changes in 55 years, many of our favorite traditions are intact, along with the College’s basic mission of educating women for leadership in the world as well as their communities and families.

A celebration dinner followed at the Eric Carle Museum of illustration of children’s books on the Hampshire campus.  First there was a talk by Marianne Banning Adey, who has spent her career promoting fine children’s literature in the UK where she lives.  At dinner there was a short class meeting where the president of the Alumnae Association, Nancy Perez presented the Loyalty Award to Alice Andrus, new class officers were approved and thanks extended to those many classmates who had worked to make it a fun successful reunion.

Sunday morning after a leisurely buffet breakfast in Blanchard Karel Mortenson Koenig organized canoeing on Upper Lake.  As the day was a bit gray and cool, only four of us participated – Karel, Nancy Selinka White, Swifty Newell Backus and Judy Williams Irving.  No pics, but they enjoyed it. Everyone else was busy visiting and getting in last minute walks around the campus.   After that it was time to pack up and return to our every day worlds, tired but very happy to have been together. 

For those of you who couldn’t attend, we missed you and hope to see you at our 60threunion.  It was a truly wonderful reunion, a tribute to its organizers.

Below is a list of the 55th reunion committee heads.   

Mary Ann Weiss - Reunion Chair

Karen Kayser Benson - Co-Chair and Connections Space

Karel Mortenson Koenig and Paula Freshman Kaplan- Hospitality

Mary Baisler Doyle and Sally Calder Wittenberg - Friday Refreshments 

Gretchen Luft Harris and Nancy Welker- Friday Science Panel and Survey

Suzy Eberson Adams and Mary Jenness Raine - Parade

Nawrie Meigs-Brown, Lucy Carlborg Rosborough, Sally Nunneley - Memorial Service

Alice Godfrey Andrus, Ruth Brown Gramlich and Sally Donner - Saturday Dinner

Mary Ann Banning Adey - Saturday Children's Literature Program 

Susie Fickel Kroeger-- Lunch with Connections class

Ann Sadowsky, Sally Donner and Alice Andrus - Class Gift

Steph Smith - Treasurer

Alice Godfry Andrus - Class President


Who attended our 55th?

Suzy Eberson Adams

Marianne Banning Adey

Mary "Kam" Kamerling Allyn

Alice Godfrey Andrus and Colby

Ann "Swifty" Newell Backus

Karen Kayser Benson

Ellen Strauss Boer and Peter

Jane Backus Bragg

Paula Yurkanis Bruice

Bev Brown Bryant

Betty Burton

Judy Mills Courter

Cindy Rapp Curry

Jane "GeeGee" Engstrom Darby and Jack Carlock

Emily Miller d'Aulaire

Suzanne Emerson DiSabato

Jennifer Macdonald DeWolf

Sally Donner and Ken Briers

Mary Alice Baisler Doyle

Sandra Perrott Drew

Edith "Edie" Dulles

Sara Panks Garretson

Ruth "Bunny" Brown Gramlich

Eugenia Norris Gregory

Gretchen Luft Harris and Bill

Robin Hauter

Judy Williams Irving and Ed 

Elaine Cox Jacoby and Gordon

Midge Hulnick and Mark Calabro

Anne Sutton Kahn and Greg 

Paula Freshman Kaplan

Lil Kemp

Elaine Langen Kessler

Karel Mortenson Koenig

Marcia Gruhn Kohl and Ralph

Coralie Horne Kramer and Fred

Susie Fickel Kroeger and Keith

Carol Bodenheimer Loeb

Cynthia Curtis Longstaff

Nawrie Meigs-Brown

Margot Solleveld Moomaw and Bill

Mary Ellen "Melon" Carey Moroney

Marjorie "Margy" Muecke

Mirja Perkko Muncy

Sally Nunneley

Barbara Sanders Patrick

Barbara Randall Preuss

Mary Jenness Raine

Diane Demont Rapp

Judy Reeve

Eleanor Groeniger Rogan

Lucy Carlborg Rosborough

Linda Pearce Rosensweig

(Ann Sadowsky)

Libby Meehan Short and Mike Friedman

Lois Wolfe Siegel

Doris Mortenson Sisley

Rebecca Poor Smith and Leigh 

Stephanie Smith

Betty Jean Spitze and Jim

Marge Plante Steinberg

Pat Matson Thomas and Don

Tracy Philbrick Truman

Pat Pickett Wecker and Rich 

Helen Weinland

Mary Ann Searles Weiss and Ted

Nancy Welker

Nancy Selinka White

Joan Gagnebin Wicks

Judy Dolger Widmann

Sally Calder Wittenberg and Steve

Anne Eastman Yeomans and Thomas

Nawrie provided the following copy of her remarks at the Memoial Ceremony:


Memorial Gathering

MHC  55th Reunion



I welcome each of you to this gathering to honor, celebrate and give thanksgiving for the lives of our deceased classmates, each one of whom had her own unique qualities and gifts. During this time together those of you who have chosen to do so will have an opportunity to say a few words about each of our friends. Why was she special to you? What do you remember most about her? What is her legacy? As I look around me today I see reflected in your faces not only the love you have for the friends whom you have lost but also the love they gave to you and the love we feel for one another –here and now. If you watched the royal wedding a week ago, you heard Michael Curry speak with passion about the power of love to change the world. Each of the women whose memory we are honoring today had an impact on her world and changed it because of those things that she loved and which were her passion. We are grateful for the lives of all of these remarkable women. 

Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

When I die

Give what’s left of me away

To children

And those that wait to die.

And if you need to cry,

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms

Around anyone

And give them 

What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something

Something better 

Than words

Or sounds.

Look for me 

In the people I’ve known

Or loved,

And if you cannot give me away,

At least let me live on in your eyes

And not in your mind.

You can love me most

By letting

Hands touch hands,

By letting bodies touch bodies,

And by letting go 

Of children

That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,

People do.


When all that’s left of me 

Is love,

Give me away.

Moment of Silence



 I close with these words from Frederick Buechner:

When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.

And now:

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

Thank you.