60th recap


CLASS OF 1963   60th REUNION    May 26-28, 2023

The sun shone brightly on our 60th Reunion, something the planning committee could not control. Perhaps Mother Nature is an alumna. We came prepared for heat, cold, and rain, but did not need extra blankets, coats, fans, or umbrellas, thankfully. The weather was perfect and the campus looked even more beautiful than we remembered it.

Our reunion check-in was at Abbey Hall, our class headquarters. Class officials and reunion chairs arrived on Thursday, the 25th, and the rest of us streamed in on Friday. We found our dorm rooms and reunited with classmates, claimed our reunion name tags, our “goodie bags” filled with useful stuff, including warm socks.

Yellow flowers were everywhere in the dorm and on the tables at the Willets-Hallowell Conference Center, where we ate our meals. There were coffee and snacks in the dorm for those who needed a quick pick-me-up, and we could pick up the 60th Reunion Year Book, lovingly assembled by Nancy Selinka White. It contains the essays from classmates expressing their memories, reflections, and feelings. Our theme, “Ever Adapting, Still Evolving, Always Involved,” was prominent in many of the submissions. The book is a treasure.

Sixty classmates returned for reunion. Three had to cancel at the last minute. There were 15 spouses and guests. Everyone was excited to see their classmates and reconnect with some long-lost class members whom they had not seen since the sixties. Many exclaimed on the beauty of the campus. It looked spectacular.

Classmates circulated around campus, attending “back-to-class” events, visiting the restored Sycamores, a former dorm, attending a State of the College presentation by Interim President Beverly Daniel Tatum, and enjoying a special ’63 class tour of the Art Museum.

It was a perfect time to chat with good friends. There was a lovely class reception and dinner at Willets- Hallowell Friday evening. The food was deemed excellent by all, and served by charming MHC students. Later Friday evening, some attended the reception for the Cornerstone Society and Mary Lyon Society members at the President’s house, a delightful gathering of staunch MHC supporters and a chance to meet MHC’s new President-Elect Danielle Holley.

Saturday, after a night of experiencing dorm living, spartan rooms and baths down the hall, we walked or rode to breakfast under sparkling skies. Returning to Abbey headquarters, we donned our white cowboy hats with yellow flowers, thanks to Diane Demont Rapp, and prepared to march in the Laurel Parade clad in our white outfits. No rain ponchos were needed.

Because the class of 2021 had their commencement cancelled due to Covid, they formed the bulk of the parade, weaving the laurel chain around Mary Lyon’s grave and singing “Bread and Roses” and our Alma Mater. 

Interim President Tatum and President of the Alumnae Association

The Association meeting was next on the agenda. The reunion classes ’58, ’63, ’71, ’78’, ’93, ’08, ’18, and some of the class of 2021 attended the meeting and business reports were read and cup awards announced, interspersed with class histories read by class presidents.

Two of our classmates won Alumnae Association awards for outstanding achievements and service to society, Barbara Heymann Goldberg and Nancy Welker. (Nancy Welker was also awarded an honorary degree at commencement by the college, conferred for extraordinary contributions to science.)

Nancy Welker after receiving Honorary Doctorate of Science at Commencement

Stephanie Smith was one of two hard-working alumnae to win the Loyalty Award, an award given to an alum “who has demonstrated exceptional loyalty to the Alumnae Association and/ or College through consistent effort and active involvement over an extended period of time.” She more than deserves this award. The great class of 1963 won The Pegasus Award, which is given to the reunion class that raises the most total dollars for immediate use through the Mount Holyoke Fund during the reunion fiscal year. Our dollar class gifts to the college this year as of reunion was $475,000. The five year comprehensive total dollars was $2,861,557, and we achieved 60% participation rate. Way to go, class of ’63! Of course, we sang “Oh Mount Holyoke we pay thee devotion” with gusto.

After enjoying a delicious lunch at Willets-Hallowell and electing our new class officers, we headed back up to Skinner to pose for our class photo.


Hopefully some meandered through the Botanic Garden Greenhouse on the way, to experience the exotic flora including many orchids, then up through the garden, abloom with colorful trees and flowers.

At three on Saturday afternoon our class held a memorial service under a tent adjacent to our class tree. The names of deceased class members who had passed since our last reunion were read, and a class member who had known each woman spoke about her, then laid a long-stemmed yellow rose next to the tree in remembrance. It was a deeply moving experience to hear the heartfelt tributes to, and memories of, these classmates.

After this beautiful and touching event, we moved back to Abbey to hear Barbara Heymann Goldberg read her prize-winning poetry, a perfect segue to raise our spirits.

Winding down, we were happy to meet at Willets-Hallowell again for a gala reception and dinner and another chance to mix with classmates and class honorees. I know I felt privileged to be part of such an intelligent and active group of achieving women, as did everyone, I am certain. I also felt sad for those who could not come to reunion, for whatever reason. We missed you.


The final event of this spectacular weekend was held in Abbey’s living room. Gretchen Harris led the program based on our reunion theme, “Ever Adapting, Still Evolving, Always Involved.” Chosen classmates spoke about their changing lives and family histories and how these affected their journeys through life. It was fascinating and one of the high points of the weekend for me. 

Sunday morning, after another sustaining breakfast, we began to depart. Many had come from around the country—California,  Colorado, Texas, and Hawaii, and their journeys home would be long ones. Others were able to pack up their cars and head for route 91 and beyond, taking treasured memories of their reunion with them. 

We all know how much time and effort went into the planning and execution of this reunion. Sally Donner, the chair, stressed that chairing the reunion committee was, and continues to be, a team effort.

So thank you to everyone involved. But, a special thanks goes to you, Sally—you did a great job! It should be satisfying to know that the result was a huge success.

Suzanne Eberson Adams

And more pics....

Margy and Maddie Muecke from Alice Andrus


Laine Kessler 

Alice Andrus and Luise Erdmann

Thursday evening dinner at 101

Alice Andrus and Mary Ann Weiss

North Rocky


"Downtown" South Hadley

More pics from Ken:

Mary Jeness Raine and Margot Solleveld Moomaw

Stephanie Bryan and Barbara Heymann Goldberg

Jane Bragg and husband Frank

Arlene Anderson and Eli Rogan

Sally Donner, Elizabeth Burton and Paula Freshman Kaplan and registration helpers

Ruth "Bunny" Gramlich with student dorm helpers

Sally Donner and husband Ken Briers (who took that picture?!)

Listening to President's report

Thank you to Elaine Cox Jacoby, our outgoing class president

Thank you to Alice Andrus and Sally Nunneley who so successfully led our class fund raising activities the last five years.

Congratulations to our new class president, Karel Koenig. And thanks to the hard working nomininating committee, Sally Nunneley, Ann Sadowsky and chair, Libby Short for their excellent work.

Meeting our interim and incoming Mount Holyoke College presidents

Isn't this a Taylor Swift concert? We are ready!


Mirja Perkko Muncy

Class honoree, Kavita Koury being introduced by Carol Hoffman

Class honoree Romeo's daughter and her husband being introduced by Elaine Cox Jacoby

Class honoree, Christopher Benfey

Mary Ann Searles Weiss, Lois Wolfe Siegel, Karel Mortenson Koenig and Stephanie Smith carrying our class banner by reviewing stand

Anne Swifty Newell Backus carries a memory....