60th Reunion Classmate Book








Table of Contents




A Message to the Class from President Elaine Cox Jacoby

A Letter from the Editor (Nancy Selinka White)

Staying in Touch

Classmates' Pages (in alphabetical order by college name)

In Memoriam



____________________ ___________________________________________________

A Message to the Class from
President Elaine Cox Jacoby


Dear Classmates,

It has been my honor and privilege to send you letters from time to time over the past five years.  This message is a kind of culmination, since it is likely to be the last of my class presidency, which will end on Memorial Day weekend with our 60th reunion.  This event marks a huge milestone in our lives both as individuals and as classmates.  It is a happy occasion and yet bittersweet because we have lost so many of our classmates, spouses, partners, and other dear ones.  But it gives us an opportunity to come together and celebrate their lives, as we also celebrate the continuing and growing strength of our beloved Mount Holyoke College. 

Our theme for this reunion is Ever Adapting, Still Evolving, Always Involved.  It speaks clearly to me and I hope to all of you.  To adapt, to evolve, and to remain always involved – these are lessons we learned, whether we realized it or not, as students at Mount Holyoke.  Whatever we studied, it wasn’t so much the subject as it was the learning process, the thinking, and discussing that mattered.  Many of us have changed fields and careers more than once over the years because we knew how to learn, how to think, and we adapted and evolved.  Circumstances in our lives changed, and we changed to adapt to them – or we changed the circumstances. 

Most important, we have always been and we remain involved – with our friends, our families, our communities, Mount Holyoke, and the world.

With fondest regards,



Letter from the Editor, Nancy Selinka White


Dear Class of 1963,

First, thank you to everyone who has made this book possible, especially all those who contributed their memories, reflections, and feelings to its pages. I’m aware that it wasn’t the easiest job, and that for many, it took some guts. So please know that it was worth it. Your letters amazed and inspired me, moved me, and filled me with admiration for your courage, talents, and achievements. They made me laugh and cry. I promise, you are all in for a good read!

As a sort of prologue, here’s some of what I’ve gathered as I’ve read your contributions to this book:

We’ve adapted.
We’ve lived in new places and learned to call them home.
We’ve faced challenges we never thought we would have to face.
We’ve suffered great losses, and yet were not defeated. We prevailed.

We’ve evolved.
We’ve done things we never thought we would do.
We’ve achieved things we never thought we could achieve.
We’ve recognized when things weren’t right and fixed them.

We’ve stayed involved.
We continue to learn.
We keep doing the things that we love in life, and if we can't, we find other things.
We find joy and comfort in family and friends, including our MHC classmates.

This is us. We’ve heard it so many times, but we really are uncommon women.

One last thing: If you read something in this book to which you'd like to respond, or if you just feel like renewing old friendships, it's easy to get in touch. Scroll down to the following page for two ways to locate and reach classmates. We need to stay connected.

Let's have a wonderful reunion!



P.S. To Susie Fickel Kroeger and Luise Mallinger Erdmann, thank you for your expert proofreading and copyediting. And to Susie, thank you, as well, for advising, consulting, trouble-shooting, problem-solving--all huge and hugely appreciated jobs.



Staying in Touch


Here are two ways you can get in touch with classmates, even if you don’t have their email addresses or other contact information.



You can find a classmate’s complete contact information through the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association website: https://alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/      

Open the site, and go to "Alumnae Directory."  Sign in or register. Go to “SEARCH” and then “Alumnae Search.” You will be able to find your classmate’s contact information, including email address, phone number, and mailing address.



Log onto the Class Website https://www.mountholyokecollege1963.org/class_index.cfm

Scroll down to “MEMBER FUNCTIONS” on the left side of the screen. Then select “Message Center.” Under “Select Recipient(s),” type in the name of the classmate you’d like to reach. Then write your message. The message will be “mailed” through the class website, and the person to whom you’ve written will receive an email notification from which she can go directly to the site and retrieve your message.  

Let’s stay in touch!



Classmates' Pages

Here are the pages you wrote and the photographs you sent, in alphabetical order by college last name.


ARLENE ANDERSON JOHNSON                           


Ever Adapting
During our second downsizing move (we're doing this downsizing thing in increments), I came upon my graduate school thesis, typed in triplicate using carbon paper and a Smith Corona manual typewriter. How quaint.

Would it be too self-referential to suggest our generation has navigated more substantive, earth-shifting change than any other? Of course, previous  generations dealt with the Bubonic Plague, and the Reformation, and the Industrial Revolution, but still....

From the micro-perspective of my own life, navigating the times has meant getting a masters degree in theology and then, for good measure, a masters degree in business; shifting from teaching to corporate consulting to politics; moving from NY City to Montreal to the suburbs of New Jersey; and evolving from a frazzled, over-scheduled working mother to a doting grandma.

Mixed with the predictable life stages and phases, there have been delightful surprises. Like exhibiting my prize Dalmatian in the ring at Madison Square Garden; jumping mud puddles with Madeleine Albright at the Beijing Women's Conference; receiving the NJ Governor's award for citizen service, and becoming mayor of the town where my two daughters grew up.

And there were disappointments, too. Especially the realization that I would not in my lifetime see full equality for women in the workplace and in leadership positions and that I had not, after all, changed the world for my grandchildren.

Still Evolving
Because I spent much of my career writing advocacy pieces for research-based publications, upon retirement I wanted to try writing in my own voice. It's been fun to experiment with micro-memoir, flash fiction, and lyric essays, mostly for my own enjoyment but sometimes sharing with family and friends.

Since I ran out of space in my own gardens for new plantings, I joined the Landscape Committee of our condo association and expanded my gardening palette by about 15 acres. I'm on target to finish the Rutgers University Master Gardener certification this spring. God knows why I'd undertake this work at age 82. It just seemed like unfinished business.

Always Involved
I'm gradually weaning myself from boards and committees, in order that I can be available to my family, travel with my adventurous husband, and devote more time to writing, gardening, and my Quaker meeting. Learning to teach the Godly Play/Faith and Play curriculum has sent me circling back to my graduate school thesis on the spirituality of children and to the principle of nurturing children's inborn spirituality by cultivating their questions and wonder.

All stages of life have been wonderful, but none more so than this octogenarian stage that allows for a leisurely second cup of coffee every morning. Best of all, I'm reveling in the comfort of old friendships and the intimate companionship of a long marriage. I remember someone at Mt. Holyoke (a professor? President Gettell? one of you?) saying that the fruit of a liberal arts education is the ability to enjoy being with yourself when you're old. Thank you, MHC.


JANE BACKUS BRAGG                    

Adapting, Evolving, Involved
I’ve led a pretty conventional life so far with few road bumps along the way and am still married to my “first” husband Frank Bragg (Amherst ’63). We have lived in his home town of Bangor, Maine since 1972, and we own a 125-year-old log cabin “camp” 20 minutes from town where we spend about 7 months of the year. We have 4 children and 7 grandchildren, two families in Maine and the others in France and California - lots of opportunity for travel.

After a brief career as a high school French teacher, first in Greenwich, CT, where I roomed for a year with Nancy Towe, and then in Brookline, MA, and 10 years as a stay-at-home mom, I did something that I never could have anticipated back in 1963. In 1983 with my youngest just finishing kindergarten and all four of my children taking dance classes, I bought their dance school from the original founder, who was ready to retire after 57 years. Ten years later I co-founded a pre-professional ballet company. Both the school and company are still in existence, although I am no longer involved. Over the years I produced many performances and organized cultural exchanges to Russia (1988 and 1997) and France (2008). There was definitely adapting and evolving along the way.

Now, as a retiree, I stay involved, both in family activities and in the community. Most recently I have joined the capital campaigns for Maine Public (listener supported public radio, TV, and on-line) and the local combined YW/YM.

Over the years, I’ve managed to stay active. I was a competitive runner for several years, then a recreational runner, and now a daily walker. Fortunately, my health continues to hold up! I try to remain optimistic in the midst of the challenges facing the world today. As we gather for our 60th reunion in May I look forward to spending time with others from our class and sharing thoughts about the many changes we have seen in our 80+ years and what we expect from the future.



My mother's mantra was something like "Flexibility, the key to living a happy life," and the older I get, the more I recognize the wisdom in that sentiment.   And while plans are good--they help me to be organized (sort of!) and give me something to look forward to, trying to be flexible has stood me in good stead. 

When I graduated, I knew only that I wanted to work in New York City.  I ended up staying in South Hadley and traveling for the Admissions Office--a far cry from the Big Apple but a wonderful adventure nonetheless and the place where I met Allan Doyle, beloved husband of 48 years, father of our two wonderful sons and grandfather to four equally wonderful (of course!) grandchildren. 

When we moved to Longmeadow MA soon after we were married--more housing options and better schools for those little beings that we hoped would eventually become part of our lives--I discovered a plethora of volunteer opportunities that eventually morphed into a fulfilling and productive volunteer career.  Ranging from PTA and Head Start classroom volunteering to board chairmanships of theatres, Springfield (MA) Community Council and a home for emotionally disturbed children to becoming a founding member and eventually chair of our adult education program when we moved to NH 30 years ago. 

Evolving and involved,  learning to say "no" occasionally, continuing to say "yes" to learning new things (but glad there are no papers nor exams included!), enjoying book groups where ever we've lived (one I started 30 years ago when we moved to NH and couldn't discover a single one in existence),  subscribing with friends to three professional theatre companies, a lifetime of travel and, most important of all, a loving family and dear friends (many of whom I came to know more than 60 years ago at Mount Holyoke) have sustained me for lo these many years and I am profoundly grateful.  Looking forward to seeing many of you "old" MHC friends in South Hadley in May!



Every now and then I think about the risks I’ve taken.  Some surprise, even shock me.  I went to Mt. Holyoke without visiting it or any other college.  That now seems an extraordinary risk to take, but I’m so glad I did.  I loved my life in California, but I sensed that there was more to life than blue skies and beach parties.  I quickly grew to love New England and the new life I had chosen.  Mt. Holyoke gave stimulation, a love of wooden clapboard houses, dear friends and a space to grow.

After graduation I travelled to England with my close MHC friend, Dotty Davis on the Queen Mary.  I met an Englishman, and it soon became clear that our relationship was serious.  Our families were quick to point out the risk of marrying someone from a different country, a different culture.  Luckily, we took the risk, and John and I have been happily married for almost 60 years.  But no children came.  Should we adopt?  ‘Risky,’ some said.  ‘You don’t know what you’re getting…’


Libby Callard, MHC ’61, encouraged us to apply to adopt our first child.  When Helen was two, we moved to the UK and adopted a second baby.  Then we began to think about hard-to-place children.  ‘Risky,’ people said.  ‘They could be damaged.’ So we proceeded to adopt two two-year-olds, one after the other.    

 Children, books, animals and friends have enhanced our family life in a small Wiltshire village.



Ever Adapting
When I started teaching high school math in September of 1963, I wrote my tests on carbon paper and cranked the copies on a copy machine – not collated, not stapled, and not even legible. Recently I Zoomed with my students during COVID and shared work with them through One Note. Now I can even print from my iPhone with a touch of a button on a laser printer in color which collates, staples, and is even legible – quite a difference.

Still Evolving
My STEM involvement has morphed into STEAM as I now support education in the Arts, as the presenting sponsor of the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards.  Never did I think I would do anything other than be that geek in the math classroom. My family of two in 1963 grew to 4 by 1968 with the births of my son and daughter. They and their spouses blessed us with five grandchildren. Unfortunately, along the way I lost Jerry in 2004 and my son in 2017. My daughter-in-law and three granddaughters moved from Singapore to St. Louis after Dan’s death, so I have the pleasure of being part of the girls’ activities and education; as I do with my two grandsons who live in Bloomington, Indiana. I have especially enjoyed traveling with my extended family to such places as Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and Asia several times.

Always Involved
I am still teaching 60 years later, concentrating on ACT and SAT math prep. Funny that with the standardized tests being optional on many college applications, there seems to be more demand than ever. I have even had 4 of my 5 grandchildren in my classes, the other will be next year. I love being active in the St. Louis community including (past and present) the St. Louis Science Center, Washington University Medical School National Council, the St. Louis Municipal Theatre Association, Missouri Botanical Gardens, FIRST Robotics Judge, the St. Louis Zoo, and Women of Achievement.


Christmas 2019. Standing: Carol, Jeff,
Justin, Ethan, Megan, Lilly Ashley.
Kneeling: Kelly, Teddy, Jenny









With fellows Washington University Medical
School Loeb Symposium 2022





With leading actress and actor awardees,
St. Louis High SchoolMusical Theatre Awards,
Fox Theatre 2022





Ever Adapting
I transferred from Mount Holyoke to Stanford after my sophomore year and graduated from Stanford in 1963. For several decades I lost touch with most of my friends from MHC, but in the early 1990s, after my husband and I had moved to Cambridge from Ann Arbor, I ran into Lilian Kemp (fate!) and we renewed our friendship. She brought me into a circle of local Mount Holyoke classmates, where I renewed friendships and met many new friends.  I now happily think of myself as at least half a member of the class!

Short history: I met my husband to be, Roman Szporluk, at Stanford. We had three children in 4 years (boy/girl/boy), all born in different places: Stanford, Ann Arbor, and Vienna. He taught Soviet and East European history at the University of Michigan, and after our youngest son started school, I became a grad student in Slavic and East European languages. In the 1980s I became an editor at Ardis, a publishing house focused on Russian literature in Russian and in translation, mainly in literature that could not be printed at the time in the USSR because of the censorship. In 1991 we moved to Cambridge and I continued to work online for Ardis until the late 1990s as an editor and translator. In the early years of this century we traveled often to Europe, especially to Poland and Ukraine. We have four dear grandchildren ranging from ages 10 to 26.

I am grateful that owing to Zoom, I have been able to keep in touch with many classmates during these Covid years. And I am grateful to online yoga as well!



By the Numbers

Ever Adapting

1 marriage; 1 divorce; 2 incredible children; 4 amazing grandchildren; 1 MA; 1 Ph.D., 15 volunteer organizations.








Daughter, Hilary, and her family on the left. Son, Christopher,
and his family on the right


Still Evolving
13 homes in 10 states; 4 careers (college professor, state legislator, government relations manager, association executive); 10 mini-triathlons; 9 “major” swim competitions; 5 sailboats (ranging in size from 9 to 28 feet); commodore of 2 yacht clubs (Maine and California).

Always Involved: Future Goals
Continue sailing; participate in activities that keep my life in perspective; stay relevant; preserve the things that have given me the greatest happiness; keep my dear friends!







With great grandchicken,
Nugget, September 2022





Ever Adapting
We have all adapted to many changes in our lives, but I’m finding the necessary recent adaptations more difficult and upsetting than those in my earlier years. They are also more interesting as I work to understand them.

I feel as though we’re being bombarded with horrific situations: the world is a mess, the country is a mess, and aging is tough. I chose to adapt to retiring and moving to D.C. I had to adapt to my husband’s death l5 years ago. And now I must adapt to terrifying political changes and difficult personal physical and mental changes affecting me and most of my friends when I have less energy and capacity to do so.

It seems to me that most people avoid talking about the challenges of aging – keep a stiff upper lip, be optimistic, and all that. “Organ recitals“ are bad form, but we learn from others.

We have always been proud of our many capabilities – how do we adapt as those capabilities fade and friends and family die at a rate we never imagined facing? Who am I and how can I contribute when my memory is slowing and I can’t hear what you’re saying?



After a year of being grounded at my retirement community by a strep infection, a fractured foot, and finally a stroke, I got to visit my sister in Florida at Christmastime and feed a giraffe at the Brevard Zoo.  














Feeding a giraffe at the Brevard Zoo in Florida

I hope knee surgery scheduled for March 1 will allow me to shed the wheelchair and walker and resume traveling to places more than one plane stop from Chapel Hill, North Carolina! 



After graduation, my first job was with the Boston radio station WGBH, where I was hired as a secretary to their publicity group but, because I could read music, I quickly moved to the music production area. That was a great job…mixing with Aaron Copland, Lotte Lenya, etc. I roomed with Diane Demont (Rapp), who introduced me to the man I married, John Bradley Arthaud. As a pathologist to be, he went through all the various learning years, so we moved around. The best time was a two-year stint in Anchorage. I thought we would end up in the Boston area, but a former boss offered a better job in Houston.

So, there I was, a dyed-in-the wool New Englander, stuck in Texas. I quickly joined the League of Women Voters, found the Congregational Church, and we moved to an area near Rice University. By this time, we had three little girls, so I was fairly busy!

After several years, I realized that I was attracted to women (never an issue for me at MHC), and, for obvious reasons, John and I divorced. I kept the girls as long as we lived in our house, which was close to the hospital where Bradley worked. I did not have to work, but, needless to say, became bored, so I went to law school. I was most interested in taxes when I graduated, and the tax professor helped me to get a job in the tax department at Shell Oil (still in Houston).

At one point, I ran into the tax director at Chevron in San Francisco. He was no friend of the tax director in Houston, and when I mentioned how much I liked the Bay Area, he made an offer that I accepted…and off I went with my three girls. I loved it there and was fortunate to send two of my daughters to the University of California colleges at their in-state reduced price. I took sailing lessons, joined hiking groups, and generally just has a great time.

So why am I in the Chicago area? My heart rules my head, and having had no significant other for about ten years, I connected with a state tax person who was joining a new law firm in Chicago. She found a great job for me with Tom Johnson, who had been tax director of Illinois. Johnson had just taken a job overseeing federal and state taxes for clients of Grant Thornton, one of the world’s leading accounting firms. He was looking for an associate who would oversee all the tax groups that handled state and local taxes. He was very easy to work for, as was the next ex-state director, this one from Tennessee. When he moved on, I retired. At that time, I was 64.



Ever Adapting
When I graduated from MHC, I got married to Mike the next Saturday.  My plan was to be a wife and eventually a mother.  I had a teaching job for  the Fall.  I got pregnant a month after I was married and gave birth to our class baby March 17th.  Michael Patrick was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  Later Brian and Sean were born while we lived in West Hartford.  I became a La Leche League Leader and helped to start our childbirth group PACE which eventually got Fathers in the labor and delivery rooms in all the Hartford Area hospitals.

We moved to Michigan, where Maureen was born and then to Illinois.  I had never planned on living in the Midwest.  In Illinois I started selling Real Estate when Maureen was in First Grade.

Another change was moving back East to Falmouth Maine.  That is opposed to moving North from Connecticut. I liked selling but didn’t like the Real Estate hours…and the fact that interest rates when up to 18 % in 1980.  I switched to selling Insurance.  I never would have believed when I was at MHC that I would be selling Insurance.  I soon started my own agency.

In 2001 Mike retired and we moved to Sandy River Plantation, next to Rangeley ME.  Sandy River had a population of 120 and Rangeley had 1,200.  I had never lived in a small town before.  I love it because you end up knowing so many more people.  I sold the property casualty part of my agency and just kept the life and health.  Admittedly, I stopped working so many hours so that I could hike, hunt, fish, boat, play bridge, and ski.  It was an easy adaption.  I became the Harbormaster and Vice President of our homeowner’s association.

Mike died the end of 2015. That was a hard change.  I really miss him.  Again, my activities changed.  I sold the boat, did less hiking, and finally stopped skiing, I started volunteering for the Maine Forestry Museum; started shooting, Trap, Skeet, etc.; found more time to oil paint; and took up snowmobiling.  One of my friends dubbed me the Community Organizer as I get different co-ed groups of friends together for parties and to go out to dinner.   I now have eight wonderful grandchildren.  I am retired but keep busy.  Life is good with all its changes.

P.S.  I forgot the biggest adaption…that was for Covid.  Being a widow, another widow and I decided we were a pod.  We got together a couple of nights a week either cooking dinner or doing take out.  Four of us played bridge on the computer with a four-way conference call two days a week.  We put three or four cars together in a triangle or a square during the winter and had wine parties.  When it warmed up, we brought folding chairs and sat in a circle in a park.  I watched Mass on TV.  Various groups had zoom meeting.  I took the risk of visiting my son, Brian, and his two children for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My daughter and her family were going to join us for Christmas, until one of them was exposed to Covid.  I met her kids at the Liquor store in NH where we moved presents around.  Fourteen of us put together a zoom meeting so we could watch as each of us opened our presents.  Basically, we adapted to what could have been a very lonely time.



Dear Classmates,

It is with deep regret that I will not be able to join you at our 60th Reunion in May.  I have such beautiful memories of all our other reunions and will be celebrating with you from home.  I will miss sharing stories and memories and hugs.

In brief, I have had a blessed life since Mount Holyoke days, working in New York, London, and Sydney, in book publishing for almost twenty years.  And then I married Brian Rosborough at 42 and moved to Concord, MA, to produce Annabelle (now 38) and Davis (35).  Our daughter will be married this fall on Cushings Island in Maine.  She lives in Bellingham, WA, and is board administrator for their community food co-op.  Davis and Nina live in Brooklyn and expect their first child minutes before our reunion.  They are creative and have too many talents and interests to list!

Leaving New York was difficult, and I still consider myself a New Yorker after 39 years away! But I have reinvented myself.  Haven’t we all?  I now am deeply involved in running a summer food program for those in need, doing social work and engaging in several other endeavors that keep me busy nonstop.  I couldn’t be happier with all my projects!

Health?  In brief, many surgeries. I’m fine, but am left with Cerebellar Ataxia which is why I can’t join you in person.  The condition leaves me dizzy and unbalanced when standing or walking and it would be too challenging to negotiate our beautiful campus with this condition even with the aid of a golf cart. I can’t imagine climbing stairs in a dorm!

Apart from a loving and happy family, I am blessed with really special friendships from the Class of 1963.  I see several of you regularly and miss those who have gone.  They and all of you are very present in my life even as I sit at my desk writing this reflection.

Please know you and your families are invited to come visit us in Concord, MA. We live in Anne Eastman Yeomans' 1880 house on the Sudbury River.  We have kayaks and guest rooms and meals awaiting.  It would be wonderful to see you again and to show you our town.

Have a joyful reunion.  I look forward to hearing all about it.

Sending love and hugs,

Lucy Carlborg Rosborough
56 Elm Street
Concord MA 01742
Cell 978-394-1642



I have lots of positive memories of MHC, but one that stands out is of a particular professor: Kathleen Lynch.  My first class with her was 19th and 20th Century British Literature freshman year.  I remember the room, the wonderful novels she introduced me to, the time she asked a quiz question about Jane Eyre using the word “wraith” and I had to ask what “wraith" meant.  In addition to classes with her, I did 6 hours of independent work on the novels of Charles Dickens with her as my advisor senior year.  We discussed Dickens over tea in her garden on Jewett Lane, often discussed family (she was the single parent of an adopted daughter), and graduation weekend she invited my parents and me to join her there so she could meet them.

She retired to the island of Madeira and wrote children’s books.  We continued to correspond.  I focused on British Lit. at MHC and on American Lit. at Georgetown years later and taught high school English for many years though I read more widely now.  A student once teased me, “Every book you teach is your favorite!”  Kathleen Lynch was a mentor, a friend, a very important influence on my life.



Today I read a review of a new edition of Samuel Richardson’s “Sir Charles Grandison”. I flashbacked to how much I enjoyed my literary excursion into 18th century English literature at MHC. It had connected me with the grandfather I had never known as I read the life of Samuel Johnson in grandfather’s illustrated version. A few years ago I had the same experience when reading about the kerfuffle over whether Chaucer was a rapist! I say kerfuffle because it seemed such sparse evidence not worth smearing a reputation of almost ancient origin. Apart from that, it brought to my mind those magical moments when I sat in Chaucer class, high in one of the pseudo Gothic towers (a la Hogwarts) listening to our handsome young professor entoning the English of Chaucer. Likewise the afternoons in Baby English when Denis Johnston read to us from James Joyce in all the proper Irish accents. All through my years there have been times when memories of sharp happiness experienced at MHC enliven my present life. Now I sit in my book-over-flowing room and immerse myself in that joy of traveling by book in space, time, and place, and thank MHC for providing me with the credo that education never stops, it is only the next book away!  



Ever Adapting, Still Evolving, Always Involved 
My life has been a series of adaptations, which is probably true for most of us.  But the past several years have been particularly challenging. Like everyone else, I had to adapt to life during the pandemic. Fortunately, I was able to keep up many of my activities through the help of Zoom: my book club, planning our mini-reunion in Washington (a two-year project), teaching my annual course for our local lifelong learning program online and leading Princeton University Art Museum tours virtually. 

The most difficult part was adapting to a single life, after the death from cancer of my husband of 58 years on April 7, 2021. This came after almost two months of hospice care in our home, which may have been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and in which I was totally involved.

I grew up with my husband, Gordon, starting when I met him at age 19. A lot of who I am is the result of our life together. So over the first several months after losing him, I began to realize that to be happy and fulfilled, I had to adapt to being single. This is not just adapting, but evolving. After almost two years, I’m doing it, gradually and sometimes reluctantly, but doing it: shopping and cooking for one, finding friends with whom to go to concerts or out to dinner, talking to my children on the telephone frequently, planning to live with my son and daughter-in-law when they move to New Jersey.

Being involved with the activities that I’ve done for years has also helped me evolve. Immersing myself in my annual course on politics and legal issues for our local lifelong learning program keeps my mind active and involved. Learning to present art online has stretched my imagination, and taking a leading role in the art museum’s docent association committee to learn the architecture of Princeton University has expanded my horizons.



Dear Classmates,

I wrote something that was undoubtedly brilliant and thoughtful several months ago in time for the print deadline. Apparently, the computer gremlins made it disappear as it was never received and I can't find it anywhere on my computer. Nor did I print a copy.  Hence, this far less brilliant and less thoughtful contribution—online only.

In keeping with the reunion theme, I think Ever Adapting describes my life.  I expected to get married, have children, and be a stay-at-home mother, like mine.  And I did all that for a while, but found I needed something more, plus it was nice to have some income of my own.  I found interesting part-time work with the federal government and worked hours that accommodated my children's schedules.  My little part-time job ended up being full-time when the children were in high school and lasted 20 years. Needless to say, lots of adapting happens when you're a working mother.  

The biggest change in my life and the one that required the most adaptation was my husband's death in 1994 when he was just 52 years old.  Of course, one never expects to be widowed at such a young age and it was a huge adjustment.  However, as many of you have also experienced by now, life goes on and you adapt to your new life.  Several years later, I met my current husband who had also been widowed. 

We've been married 20 years now and I love our blended
family of his 5 children and their families, my 2 children and their families, plus 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.Fortunately, we're both in good health and keep active in spite of the usual stiff knees and sore backs.  We play golf together, and I also do Pilates.  However, travel these days seems daunting and risky due to Covid lingering.  So, I'm sorry to miss attending our 60th, but will always cherish the memories made during those special years at MHC.

With husband, Walter, at my
niece's wedding, July, 2022




                                          Our family in Hancock summer 2021

I know I am lucky in living in two beautiful places, in a state that has been mercifully free from most natural disasters and also relatively safe and sane. In 2015 my husband Bruce and I moved into Maine’s only lifecare facility, Piper Shores in Scarborough outside of Portland. We love it here. It’s non-profit, run by a local and accessible board with much input from residents. It’s so good to know that our kids won’t have to drop everything to try to care for us, and we enjoy living with the good friends we’ve made, and all the amenities at PS and in the Portland area.

In the summers we still return to our home in Hancock Point where all members of both of our family return each year. We still have a big veggie and flower garden. Bruce has many butterfly gardens and raises monarchs from the tiny caterpillar stage to the butterfly stage, then tags and the releases them. We are active in both communities in working for environmental sustainability.

I got a fine education at MHC, but it is the exceptional friends whom I made there that have meant the most to me. My dear roommate Janet Pippitt Winkler died last July, and I will mourn her for the rest of my days. One group of our friends stays in touch often and sometimes zooms, and I am deeply grateful for their sense of humor and kindness. My Buddhist practice and sanghas in both Ellsworth and Portland are also an ongoing blessing. Children and grandchildren are fine. Despite old age and all the troubles of the world, it’s still good to be alive.




I transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, after two years at MHC.

I am still active (more than 50 years) as a programmer/analyst.

What interests me, at this stage in life, is if my classmates are UNCOMFORTABLE with their Mental Health and/or their Physical Health.

I have been trying to initiate a survey for my high school class of ’59 from Mount Vernon, NY.  Here we are….  At this ripe old age…And do we really feel UNCOMFORTABLE?

At the age of 35, I was diagnosed with CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Disease), which affects the nerves going to the hands and feet. The deteriorating nerves cause the leg muscles to atrophy. So, for most of my life, I have lived with these weak feet, wearing plastic orthoses, outside the home. In the early years, the emotional toll was heavy. Now, with the aging process, arthritis has hit both hips, making it very difficult for me to stand, unassisted, for any period of time. Yes, this depresses me. 

Professionally, I have worked for myself, as a programmer/analyst, for more than  50 years (started out at IBM, after U of P.) Fortunately, I am still active mentally.

The question I posed, is something I think about daily. And, as a math person, I would love to tally responses to those questions about mental and physical comfortability.



Should I say "girls"?  Nope.  I grew up with "you guys", which became, of course, "y'all" after I moved South forever, now living in Auburn, AL, in the very house my husband grew up in.
I have no idea if anyone remembers me, but probably a few classmates do.  I certainly would not recognize anyone at a class reunion, but not because we have all changed so durn much.  I don't even recognize pictures of anyone when I look through the yearbook.  I haven't read any class notes by people with my very bizarre genetic condition, so I'll put it out there right now, because it's fascinating, and because somebody else out there HAS THIS TOO!
I think I was in my mid-forties when my husband and I discovered that I have prosopagnosia, sometimes called "face blindness."  Two percent of people have this, and at least half of them never learn that they have it.  My girls learned to whisper, in public, "MOM! You KNOW that woman/man!"  I have nicknamed it "facial dyslexia", but that's misleading, because I am totally capable of reading emotions on faces.  My two living siblings have it, one of them as bad as mine.  It's a recessive disorder -- both parents must have the gene in order for it to be expressed in their child.  Neither of my parents had it. 
It makes watching movies and many TV shows useless and baffling, because I simply CANNOT remember the faces of the characters from one scene to the next.  I have had many embarrassing moments because of this. But my condition is NOT the worst -- some people do not even recognize their own face when they look in the mirror.  
I finally realized, BIG DUUUH, after age 80, that I need to tell new people, when we are introduced, that I have this face recognition problem, that I will NOT recognize them in the local grocery store, and that they must come up to me and tell me who they are and where we last met!  It was such a revelation to discover this in myself, because I realized that it was the reason why I have been very shy all my life.  I can't begin to tell you how embarrassing this has been in my professional life, before retirement, and what a gigantic relief it was to discover that this is not a personality defect!  I'm not a "bad person."
So there is my huge news.  Other than that, I couldn't be luckier, because all my kin are fine: our two daughters and their marriages, and their children, my husband (4 years younger than I!), and my two brothers and their families.  Every month, I test local stream sites for various chemical qualities, and for E.coli; I drive elderly or disabled people to appointments; and I help battle invasive plant forms in a nearby state park.  I walk and cycle daily, and I do yoga 3 times a week.  We have a cat.
I look forward to learning if any other classmate has prosop!



Ever Adapting, Still Evolving, Always Involved….

If someone had told me 60 years ago that I would be a parent not once, but twice, I would have laughed. But it has happened, and it means I am “ever adapting” on an almost daily basis. Almost two years ago my daughter, her husband and their three children (ages 6,13, and 15) moved in with my husband and me “for a few weeks” while they found a house nearby. They are still here and are no longer looking for a house. Our house is their house.

This makes a lot of sense financially and in terms of child care. Multi-generational families have been the norm throughout history and in most parts of the world. Grandparents, yes many of us have wisdom and patience (most of the time) that are important for families, especially in these troubled times.

 My MHC education means I can help the kids with their homework (maybe not today’s math) and stress to them the importance of lifelong friendships.

I am also still running my business of finding boarding schools for other people’s children so you could say I am “always involved” with young people, which hopefully is keeping me young, at least in mind and spirit. Fortunately, I am blessed with good genes and am healthy and fit, although this requires time and effort. My personal trainer and Fitbit help.

I am “still evolving” as every week seems to bring new challenges along with the great joy of being so intimately involved in raising three out of my seven grandkids. What often keeps me going and connected is my friendships with my MHC classmates, one of whom I talk with almost every day. In May, four of us will spend a week in Paris together so we will have lots to share when we meet in South Hadley. I look forward very much to those times together, listening, laughing, remembering those who are no longer with us, and celebrating the place and times that brought us together and keeps us connected 60 years later. 



How to comprehend that 60 years have passed since we received our diplomas on Memorial Day weekend in 1963? Our familiar ivory tower world was pushing us out the door to our next adventures, whatever they were to be, and separating us from each other as we would go to our different futures.

I think what I didn’t know then, but do now, is that the life you plan isn’t actually what you get to live. I had at most a vague idea that life would be marriage, which was going to happen a few months after graduation to my college sweetheart,  and getting an MAT degree at NYU. After that, a job/career, or “real life”, would begin.

So now I look back with 60 years of perspective. The MAT degree still sits in the drawer, never used. First Daniel, then Emily, then Kenny appeared, and I learned to be the traditional suburban wife and mother and lead that life. All the while, I wondered what I would be in the “real life” I had planned.

I started writing for a local magazine. Always interested in medicine, I was assigned to write a long article on services for handicapped children in suburban NYC. From that, I learned about a graduate program at Sarah Lawrence College for returning liberal arts majors who wished to enter a new field in science: genetic counseling. Since going medical school in my 30’s was not a realistic possibility, this seemed a viable alternative career.

And it was. Here, at 81 years old, I am grateful for the chance to have had a career I didn’t know about in 1963, and which didn’t even exist then. I have been married for almost 60 years to Roger. We are fortunate to have experienced lots of interesting travel, have watched our children grow up and our grandchildren, too. We have also faced our kids’ and grandkids’ difficult times and challenges: a child’s divorce, one grandchild emerging as trans, assorted illnesses and disappointments.

So now we look toward a future of a different sort. Facing it together with my MHC classmates gives comfort to the full circle of the surprises in our lives and journeys.

With Roger in India, 2005  

Thanksgiving 2019

Always involved/Extending the Legacy
Following our 50th Reunion and its record-breaking Mount Holyoke Fund gift, I needed a new project.  Thinking that the College needed to find a way to sustain the giving generated by the 50th reunion classes, I suggested the creation of a “Beyond the Fiftieth Committee” composed of representatives of classes which had completed their fiftieth reunions.  The College took my suggestion, created the committee, and appointed me chair.  Subsequently the Development office asked me to join Jane Zimmy, ’74, and Casey Aicardi, ’15, in co-chairing the Mount Holyoke Fund.  Also, I had been approached by the Development Office to join a committee of former Vicky Schuck interns created to increase funding for the Endowment Fund in her name.  After a symposium on campus, and in consultation with and the support of the late Dean of the Faculty Jon Western, the committee’s focus shifted to the creation of the MHC in DC Semester program.  Since its inception the program, 25 juniors and seniors have participated in the program.  Another six students will come to DC to participate in the program in the Fall of 2023.  While in DC, the students take courses at American University, participate in an internship, and produce an independent project under the supervision of an MHC faculty member.  A group of accomplished Mount Holyoke alumnae serve as their mentors.  After having relinquished my service on the Mount Holyoke Fund and Beyond the 50th Committees (succession planning is essential for the success of any volunteer organization), I was looking for another project.  Our 60th Reunion provided a perfect opportunity to continue to be “always involved.”


Professor Sohail Hashme, Faculty Advisor, alumnae mentors, and Mount Holyoke students celebrating the completion of the 2021 semester (photo by Ken Briers)



Had I followed my mother, Eleanor Ritter, Smith College ‘39, and spent four years in Northampton, I would have graduated with my better half’s’ ex-wife, Beth! She is from Hawaii, Claude is from Switzerland, and I have lived in Texas for more years than elsewhere.  Go figure. 

Mom told me that on my application I should include my wish to study the liberal arts at Mount Holyoke because it would “teach me to think.” At 81, in my home, in my profession, my clubs, philanthropy, and in politics, I DO know how to think. 

 Thinking skills developed from professors like R. Lawson, V. Schuck, D. Morgan, J. Grossholtz, C. Haywood, D. Cogswell, M. Hayes, V Galbraith, B. Smith, A.P. Potter, M. Lemaire, P. Viereck, R. Holmes, and R. Sedgewick. 

 On a more personal level, Beatrice Woodward, Head of Buckland Hall,  as well as many Mount Holyoke friends invited me to their homes for weekends and holidays. Though my parents wrote me some wonderful letters, they came ten days after they had composed them because they came from Rio de Janeiro.

Family-wise, my dad, a mining engineer, took us to Mexico in 1943 with a company obtaining essential metals to end the war against the Nazis. In the 1940s, it was not easy to travel and to be with family in New York and the eastern part of the United States. Then, during my years at Mount Holyoke, my nuclear family moved to Brazil. Mount Holyoke’s location was the reason I was able to establish close and loving ties with others in the family. My grandmother Janet Avery Dulles and I went to museums. She appreciated and admired my observations of artists like Reubens and other favorites of hers. I felt comfortable talking to her about her preferred author, Samuel Pepys. My great Aunt Clover spoke of Carl Jung and other psychoanalysts with me. She picked me up at dawn to give me the experience of a solitary walk around the Tidal Basin when the cherry trees were in bloom. I learned about them, and about Aunt Clover’s free-thinking inquiring mind. My Uncle Avery and I talked about his startling conversion from the Presbyterian church to the Roman Catholic church, and his views on theology. I experienced the importance to my family that many of my ancestors were Presbyterian ministers. Uncle Avery gave me the highest praise I have ever received when he said, “Edith, your comment about how your time at Mount Holyoke has led you to learn how little you know, tells me you are an educated person”.   I literally almost fell out of my seat at the formal dining room table at my grandmother’s home! I had splendid visits at the home in McLean, Virginia of my Great Aunt Eleanor Dulles. She and my other aunts worked driving trucks in Europe. After the war ended, Aunt Eleanor was influential in Germany and Berlin and that fascinated me. Ironically, Aunt Eleanor was with Miss Lawson at Bryn Mawr. In later years, Miss Schuck and she became friends in an apartment building in Washington D.C. Both the ideas of my Mount Holyoke education and the proximity of the college to these people and others made it possible to make and remain friends with many other family members.

Of course, Joyce Chaikin Ahrens (‘62), Sally Kelly Bierhaus and other wonderful students still laugh about our efforts on team projects in classes as well as our adventures in Washington, D.C. as interns. Judy Williams Irving and others on our website have re-established friendships. Again, thank you, Mount Holyoke.

 I race like I did to be on time to Miss Lawson’s Saturday 8:00 am Baby Poli Sci class. My children, Claude and I use and replace cloth napkins. I make grocery lists that have a lot of asparagus (I never tire of it), and not much chicken during those years, when Grandmother asked, I said “Please, no chicken!”. The food lists have balanced meals like those at Mount Holyoke.  My entertainment often resembles Gracious Living. 

Our Mount Holyoke Book Club here in Dallas is reading Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Gamus.The books we read vary from the serious to the humorous. A member’s revelation made quite an impression on me. She told us that MHC’s chemistry department was established with no objections because it was entitled “Cooking Department".

Thus far, I have not had a terrible fall. Thanks, Miss Elvedt. I have kept my knees flexible and valued sports thanks to the superb Physical Education department. I do pray the invasive posture pictures have been disposed of.

Lastly and crucially to me, remarkable people all over call me "friend”.   I would recommend each of us reread the 50th Reunion Yearbook, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1963 with the striking drawing on the front, and without skipping Judy Austin’s “Letter from the Editor” telling us which members compiled the yearbook. The journeys in that spiral-bound soft cover book remind me why Mount Holyoke was a valuable place to study, and make friends and acquaintances. I laugh, I love, I gape, I clap at those stories! The book, as well as my own development, make me feel close to each member of our class, and sad about each person gone. Classmates and Mount Holyoke, you have made a difference. Thank You!




Dear Classmates,

How has my life been different than what I expected in 1963?

My life has completely surprised me. Things have happened that I couldn’t have dreamed of, and which have stretched me, and brought me both challenges and joys. Here are some of the surprises:  

1. I have been married 57 years. The relationship has been rich, challenging and always evolving. I never expected to find a true companion on life’s journey, and I did.I just wrote a chapter about our life together for a new book called Willing to Love: Stories of the Couple's Journey as a Path of Transformation.  (willingtolovebook.com) That’s me holding the book in the photo above.

2. In the early 70’s, both Tom and I were living in California where there was such an awakening of consciousness, and an explosion of new dimensions of psychology.It was at that time we came across psychosynthesis, an approach to psychological growth and development that included the spiritual dimension.It was a good fit for us and the questions that we were asking.We trained in that work, studied with Roberto Assagioli, the founder, in Florence in 1972, and began to work with individuals and groups.Eventually I found myself drawn to women’s groups, and created, with several other women, programs on women’s spirituality. I experienced for myself the healing possibilities of women’s circles, which we began to refer to as women’s sacred circles. That story is on the website womenswell.com

The facilitation of women’s circles eventually took me to Russia and in 2015, I began to teach the women’s circle work there.   (All of it was translated as I was not a Russian speaker). I traveled to Russia seven times in the four and half years before Covid, and most recently I have been teaching on Zoom.  This has been the most rewarding work I have ever done in my life. The war going on now is heartbreaking to all those I know there.

3. And the last big surprise that I want to mention is that I am writing poetry and have been in a monthly poetry seminar now for 15 years. We live now in the country in Western Mass.It was there, when I had more time and a garden, that poems began to come to me.Last year to my complete surprise, I won first prize in the Greenfield Poet’s Seat Contest, an annual contest for all of Franklin County. I will attach the two poems that were selected for the top 10.  I won for my poem Whippoorwill. I love both poems.

Tom and I have two sons and five grandchildren.  I am so proud of our sons, now both fathers, and I have no adequate words to describe the joys of being a grandmother.  Like all of us I am sure, I ache for our planet and hope we will find or are finding a new way forward based on care for each other and for our earth.  I have been deeply moved by the writing of Robin Wall Kimmerer and the wisdom she offers to us at this time.  If you haven’t read Braiding Sweetgrass please do.

I can see now that all along I have been following a thread, a thread I didn’t even know was there.  It has brought all these surprises and I feel both blessed and deeply grateful.



Here are the two poems mentioned above:

Caste, circa 1950

I was a white girl in Ohio. Aunt Jemima was on the pancake mix box, and we believed we were a happy family. In school we read about Dick and Jane. Jane helped Mother. Dick helped Dad. Spot was their dog, and the policeman at the corner was always friendly. The only trouble was, in my house, Dad yelled a lot except when he was asleep on the couch, a smelly glass of Scotch on the table beside him. One day Mom locked herself in the bathroom and wouldn’t come out. We sat on the stairs and could hear her crying. No one knew what to do, so we held our breath. On the nights when we didn’t finish our dinner we were told about the Chinese children on the other side of the world who had no dinner at all. We tried hard to imagine them. When a real Chinese family put an offer on a house on our block all the neighbors had a meeting. The family never moved in. The only black person I knew came once a week to iron in the basement. I wish I could remember her name. Years later I learned that in Georgia there were drinking fountains for whites and drinking fountains for coloreds. I was a white girl in Ohio. Aunt Jemima was on the pancake mix box, and I didn’t yet know about the lynchings.



The number of birds in the United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent over the past half-century, scientists find.
…The New York Times

I met the green bittern
by an Ohio pond when I was ten,
he on a dead tree, I on the shore.
Both of us froze, pretending
we were invisible to each other.

I heard the rattle of the kingfisher
as it flew from branch to branch
all day back and forth across the pond.
It sounds in my chest even still.

Those were the summers
when the whippoorwills
sang us to sleep every night.
Whippoorwill, whippoorwill, whippoorwill.
I could hear them from my bed
by the open window.

And that next winter
my brothers and sister and I ran in and out, in and out

with the legions of sandpipers
when Nana took us to Florida.

In the evening, we all went back to the beach
and stood on the shore as the sun set.

Ancient pelicans in long lines flew across the sky.
We could hear the beat of their wings.

Anne Yeomans



With grandchildren Erik and Susanna



Crazy and Memorable Life Experiences
Being held up at gun and knife point in New York City while working for my father at his office, just off Fifth Avenue. Made to remove our clothes and hand over our valuables. Survived unscathed, but embarrassed.

Teaching quarter horses to jump so we could ride them in a fox hunt.  Falling off while doing so and breaking my leg, which I set myself instantly so that it would not hurt so much later. Tally Ho! It means you have spied a fox.

Downhill ski racing in Switzerland with my 007 boyfriend who had doubled as the lead in the movie “Downhill Racer.”

Learning how to road bike so we could participate in RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register’s Great American Bike Ride Across Iowa. It was 500 miles and you had to camp out with thousands of people. Many other bike trips followed.

Scuba diving, which was very difficult for me at first. Fear of breathing underwater was something I had to overcome. I learned to love it.

Motorized hang gliding (visualize a two-seater motorcycle with wings and a big propeller in the rear.) I first did this in Africa along the Zambezi River and then in Oahu over the ocean, gazing at whales.

In Africa, jumping off a rock into Devil’s Pool at the very top of Victoria Falls, surrounded by hundreds of rainbows and the deafening roar of the water.

Eating a fried slug in the Amazon rainforest and swimming with turtles the size of small cars in the Galapagos.

Being a widow.

Traveling the world alone.


Bigger Challenges

My life’s biggest challenges were not physical ones, like, climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza. They were making difficult decisions, and staying strong emotionally. I could not have survived without my faith in God.

My first difficult decision was divorcing my husband of seven years. We had a small son and a big farm and I had nowhere to go. It was the right decision in hind sight. It also forced me to begin a new career as a futures trader.

My second husband, Peter, was a divorced dad with three children, and an alcohol problem. At the time I was unaware how difficult a disease this was to deal with. He lapsed into alcoholism about a year after our marriage. I could not bear to live with him in this state so I asked him to leave the house, which he did, eventually going into recovery. We agreed to give our marriage another try, which was a good decision as we stayed happily married for 31 years until his death.

The deep decline of my mother’s mental health was one of the biggest and hardest challenges I had to cope with. As an only child I was the only one available to deal with her deep depression and psychotic actions. My older step father was part of the cause. They lived together and he was dependent on her, calling her by ringing a big school bell.

I took her for therapy and the doctor prescribed medications. She avoided taking them. I adored my beautiful mother but could not figure out what to do. It seemed too big a challenge for me. After at least a year of struggle to find a cure, a friend suggested Carrier Clinic in New Jersey. I took her there and they succeeded in persuading her to undergo electro shock therapy. When I went to pick her up after her stay, she was completely sane, whereas she had been at the point of death when I left her there. It seemed miraculous, and it was.

After retiring from business, my husband Peter, who had never been sick in his life, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cell cancer for which no one has found a cure. He bravely struggled for four years, and I was his nurse. I became adept at bandaging open wounds. After trying every treatment the medical profession recommended, he succumbed and died. He fought a good fight.

As most of you know I reconnected with my freshman year boyfriend, Dan Adams. He came to our 50th reunion. He was a prince and I adored him. We had seven of the happiest years of our lives together until he succumbed to another form of blood cancer and quickly passed away. My heart was completely broken.

There is one more chapter to this story, but I don’t know how it will end and it makes me too sad to tell it, so I end here. What have I learned? We have to overcome or we will be overcome. Finding joy in small things, having good friends, traveling, these, and my belief in God keep me going.



Continually Adapting: An Appropriate Topic for Our Time

Even though we had parents and grandparents, no one told us what marriage really meant, what joy it would bring, what price it would exact, what the vows--"in sickness and health”--really entailed after more than half a century.

Even though we had younger siblings--sisters and brothers—no one told us what it would be like to bear our own children, rear them, guide them through high school, college, marriage, having children of their own, even through disliking their choice of spouse, divorce, breaking our hearts when their dreams failed… and making us swell with pride at their successes.

Even though we had an outstanding education, no one told us that despite our brains, schooling, and good looks, the world was still going to be run by men, some of whom would want to carry guns and ban abortion in half the United States and many of whom would want to start useless wars.

I have had a wonderful life as a wife, mother, friend, and grandmother; and a checkered yet satisfying career, adapting over 60 years to being a teacher, saleswoman, head of a company, traveler, painter, reader, and cook.

Since the world is changing more quickly than anyone could have imagined in 1963, we ourselves will have to keep on adapting so that we can have a remote clue to what our grandchildren are talking about.



Sixty years and still evolving! Jack and I have now been married 10 years (just as lucky second time around), and we’re happily settled in Tryon, North Carolina, in the foothills about 50 miles southeast of Asheville. Tryon is a lovely small town (no big box stores — hurray!), with an excellent Fine Arts Center, a charming private library, a very active garden club, and most importantly very friendly and interesting people. We’re quite involved in local activities, and we also enjoy venturing out to sip a glass of wine at the Biltmore and explore nature in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Like I’m sure so many of us, I’ve recently had to deal with some major health issues — metastatic breast cancer that recurred after nearly 20 years, and a twisted colon that resulted in 4 surgeries, 20 days in the hospital, and a loss of 30 lbs! Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with excellent health care only 15 minutes from home, and a wonderfully supportive husband and family. AND I’m determined to return to my previous strong and active self as soon as possible.  I’m definitely planning to walk in the Reunion Parade.

It’s a joy to see all the developments at MHC, and I’m filled with admiration for the accomplishments of today’s students. Life today is so different from what we faced in 1963, but the challenges, different though they may be, are being met with the same enthusiasm and excellent preparation we put forth.



My Middle Name
Adapting has always been my middle name, since I grew up as an Air Force daughter who moved eight times by the fall we entered college.  Actually it is probably something most women do instinctively, given their evolutionary roles

With Keith and a friend who lives in our front yard

I have certainly adapted to both my husbands, both my children, and both my stepdaughters by focusing on their immediate needs.  In my various studies/occupations/jobs/career moves it was always necessary to adapt to the requirements of the organization - MLLE Magazine, Harvard University GSE, the Atlantic Monthly Press, Dansk Designs, Columbia Business School, International Paper Company, maybe especially my husband’s architecture practice.

As I evolved into a typical multi-tasking, multi-career American college-educated woman of our generation with aspirations for a career of some sort I found every situation interesting in its own way, and also controlling.  I’m not alone in noticing that the organization owned my time.  Fair enough, I’ve always said.

But that said, now that my husband and I have closed our architectural firm and retired, I must say that my adaptation and evolution into a retired person is going well.  My time is my own and I’m loving it.  I can get involved selectively--the local museum, our church, Mt. Holyoke.  I have evolved into an active grandmother, enjoying the seven of them and their explorations of life’s potentials.  Or I can say “no” to involvements. 

However, my major adaptation now is taking the form of being companion to my very dear husband Keith, who has cognitive challenges.  This is the trickiest adaptation I have yet had to achieve.  I have a feeling many of our classmates are figuring this one out too.

I wish us all luck.


The best thing that happened to me since graduation was meeting and marrying Jack and raising our family. It was great good fortune that our paths crossed in New York the September after graduation and that we have experienced a fulfilling life together for almost 60 years.

It would take way more than 700 words (and an overwhelming slew of emotions) to try to share that story right now. Instead I'll pivot to the second-best thing: finding an unexpected profession that kept me engaged and rooted in a close-knit community. 

As a political science major, I expected to find work in a relevant field. My first job was at a small publishing group affiliated with the UN. It only lasted a short while because a position at CBS News opened up in their research library and I grabbed it. I moved on from the library to work as an assistant to a producer in one of their documentary units for a couple of years. I left CBS shortly before our first child was born. It wasn’t until two more children were in the picture and our youngest was six years old that I went back to work and started on a totally new path in my late thirties. I had spent ten years as a parent in a cooperative nursery school in Greenwich Village that my children attended. I had fallen in love with 3 and 4-year-olds and with the West Village Nursery School. I admired the two women who shared teaching and directing responsibilities and they encouraged me to go to graduate school and to join the staff. I did both. I got a master’s degree in early childhood education at Bank Street College and started at West Village as an assistant teacher. Before long, I became a head teacher and then the director, following in the footsteps of my mentors. 

Teaching in my neighborhood and having the same schedule as my children enabled me to balance work and family life. I taught a class of 3-year-olds in the mornings and did administrative and supervisory work in the afternoons. The most fun was shepherding a lively group of preschoolers and their parents through the co-op each year. I also learned how to navigate a wide range of challenges in a non-profit organization where management decisions were shared with a parent board of trustees.

A number of the parents of my children’s classmates became my good friends and over the years that I was a staff member, I developed strong relationships with my colleagues. I became part of a group of caring people who were always ready to lend a hand when needed. 

After I retired in 2008, I maintained connections with many of the nursery school women. Now during Jack’s long illness, a few of them have become a wonderful source of support. Just as I am grateful to have these neighborhood friends, I am grateful to have long-standing friends from our MHC class. I appreciate being able to share life’s joys and sorrows with understanding women both near and far. 

With my family



Joan in Rome

The happiest memory from my Mt Holyoke days:  sitting on the big window seat on the landing of the library staircase for hours with Susie Fickel philosophizing when we had both intended to prepare for a history test.  Another was catching Carol Hoffmann hiding in a closet outside my room with a glass pressed against the wall, eavesdropping to find out whether David had proposed to me. Then there was taking a class with John Teall, who taught me how to think.

If I could turn back the clock:                                       
I would let my daughters watch more television. I was too strict!                     

How have I changed?                                                                                
In every way except for my values and principles.  Isn’t that what a liberal arts education is all about?

The greatest challenge in my life:
Certainly coming to terms with the unexpected death of my husband from a hospital infection following “successful” heart surgery wins the prize.  He was 70.  After I recovered from the shock, I decided that (1) I had not died, and I was going to live my life to the fullest, and (2) that showing up for him was the best way to honor him.  I attended all the engagements we had on our calendars, including his 50th college reunion alone, and then stayed busy by going to lectures and the theater, spending time with family and friends, continuing in my volunteer positions, and traveling so the time would pass.  What I learned was that time eventually does heal on its own no matter how you spend it, so I chose to spend it staying involved in my world.  Also, along with the constant support of my nearby daughters, living in a sunny apartment in NYC where there is so much positive energy was hugely important to my state of mind.

Daughters Sara and Perin                   Granddaughters Lila, Eva, and Molly









                                                                                                       At my 80th birthday lunch, 2021

What didn’t I expect after graduation in 1963? I didn’t expect it would be so much fun living and working for 4 years as an analytical chemist for ADL (Arthur D. Little, an international consulting firm) in Cambridge; I didn’t expect to take a freighter to Europe with my new husband in 1969, to end up living in Switzerland for the next 50+ years. I didn’t expect to thus regret burning all my French notes from M. Saintonge’s class on 18th c. French lit in a fit of pique. I didn’t expect to get heavily involved in amateur (anglophone)
theatre and choral singing for the same 50+ years! I didn’t expect to take up painting (acrylic – 5 yrs ago).

In a chorus of geriatric mini-show "Sinbad the Sailor," 2015

Life has been an adventure, and a good one. Fifty years of marriage to a mad scientist (who now unfortunately has Parkinson’s); two lovely kids both born in Switz, and now two gorgeous granddaughters; housewife for 25 years, learning about Switzerland, converting a Swiss farmhouse, keeping laying hens, building a chalet in the Swiss Alps; meeting and becoming friends with fascinating people from around the world; learning and loving dance (folk, tap, jazz, aerobics) and theatre (direction, choreography, makeup). And there was taking advantage of centrally located Switz to travel around the world-- USA, Europe , (all of it), N. Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Botswana, S. Africa. Never made it to China or S. America). In 1992 I went back to work full-time as a technical editor/program manager for International Standards. I loved my job. After mandatory retirement at age 63, I worked as a consultant until age 78 when I decided that was enough! 

I am forever grateful to MHC, not only for wonderful friends made there, but for providing a solid liberal arts background which (as you can tell) gave me a jump start in my career and a positive attitude adapting to new situations. Still happy to have visitors, if you are in the Geneva (Switz) area!

Sadly I won’t be joining you for the 60th Reunion – we had already booked and paid for a barge canal trip in the Alsace-Lorraine area of France before the date was announced. I’ll be thinking of you all – have a wonderful time!


Summer 2022 hike in Swiss Alps
with hubby, Jungfrau peak in background                              















60 years. Fortunately spent with Colby Andrus until 2022. Here we are at Bretton Woods.

Life has been good. I've been lucky to have wonderful friends, different places to live, and an open mind that appreciates simple as well as ornate beauty. Today the mountains inspire me. Yet there is only one Rome.

Amici miei: Tanti belle cose a tutti!



On the Road to Adapting, Evolving, Etc.….
I remember it as a warm mid-September day.  Dad and I had travelled from West Lafayette, Indiana, to Mount Holyoke College.  What we both knew about the place was what we had read in the catalog I had come across in my high school library and took home solely because the college was located in South Hadley and my last name was Hadley.

My father was a professor at Purdue University, and I had grown up in the heart of Big Ten country.  I wanted to go away to college, and if I wasn’t to become a Boilermaker, surely Northwestern, Wisconsin, or even the hated Indiana could satisfy both my desire to study away from home and my interest in English, journalism, and the liberal arts.  I had never heard of Mount Holyoke or the “Seven Sisters,” and the catalog was not a “view book” with lots of pictures of a beautiful campus or girls in classrooms or the library.  It was just a catalog of course and degree offerings, faculty lists, and admission requirements, but somehow bringing that little booklet home started me thinking about attending an all-girls' school in far-away New England.  It led me to check out some other colleges for women. I ended up sending applications to Wellesley and Pembroke as well as Mount Holyoke, but I had made up my mind that if I wasn’t accepted at MHC, the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri was my backup plan.  

Then in the Fall of 1959, there we were for the very first time in South Hadley on the Mount Holyoke College campus.  A helpful student, who said she was a member of my “sister class,” greeted us and said she would escort us to my dorm.  For a few awkward moments she looked intently at a slip of paper in her hand, then said she needed to confer with someone back at the check-in table. She returned to say I had been assigned to a room in an "off-campus facility."  She said she had never been there, but had directions and could go with us in our car.  We left the main campus and drove past the Village Green and the South Hadley Post Office, continuing on Woodbridge Street to a yellow three-story house known as The Sycamores.

Once inside, Mrs. Knowlton, the housemother, told me I was one of 15 incoming freshman who would be spending the 1959-1960 academic year living in this unexpected place.  Later we learned that Sycamores, used for years by sophomore groups moving together, was to be retired as a dorm after the end of the previous term,  but  when the number of accepted applicants deciding to join the class of 1963 could not be accommodated on campus, Sycamores was pressed back into service. For whatever reason, I was one of the lucky ones “chosen” to live there, in the best room in the house with the best roommate I could have ever hoped to have.

In that location, we were on our own with no upperclassmen to look up to, set examples for us, or provide advice.  We had to figure out lots of things by ourselves, including what it meant to be an “Uncommon Woman” and what was expected of us as such.  It wasn’t long before we got some help from an unexpected source.  A few weeks into the semester Richard Glenn Gettell came to Sycamores for gracious living dinner.  Some of my fellow Sycamores residents took advantage of the opportunity to tell the MHC president how hard their studies were turning out to be and what a difficult time they were having just trying to keep up.

 He listened carefully, then said, “Girls, if Mount Holyoke is too hard for you, you should leave and make room for someone who can do the work and succeed here.” Those might not have been his exact words, but that was definitely the gist of his reply.  That night we were reminded, in no uncertain terms, that the opportunity to study at Mount Holyoke was afforded only to a limited number of women, and no one was going to feel sorry for us if it was difficult.

 As it turned out, living in Sycamores that year turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me at Mount Holyoke. The 15 of us assigned to live there shared a unique experience, as I believe we were the only MHC students to live there as freshmen. Years later, the property was turned over to the South Hadley Historical Society, where it has been undergoing a slow restoration as a South Hadley landmark with the third-floor bedrooms being set up as student rooms representing the various decades it served as an MHC dormitory.


The Sycamores



Married immediately after graduation, I followed my husband around to his graduate school and his assignments in London, Milan, Philadelphia, while I took opportunistic jobs - high school English teacher, Planned Parenthood volunteer, then employee. (I love Mary Ann’s husband’s description of her as a “utility player”), First time in Milan, unable to speak much Italian, I gave birth to two children while not being able to understand the mid-wife’s instructions. In Milan time #2, knowing there was no systematic way to find an apartment to rent, I created a little business to find homes for expatriates. The job changed my life, alerting me to entrepreneurial talents I hadn’t known I had. At the same time my husband’s job gave us the opportunity to travel to places that no longer exist: Czechoslovakia under Russian domination, (I was glad during the 90 minutes it took the guards to inspect our car at the border that my children didn’t see the men with machine guns in turrets hidden in the trees), Iran under the Shah, (our friend held a finger to his lips when, in his car, I asked about the Savak). Recently, long divorced from my first husband, I had the chance to thank him for those opportunities.

Back in the US and a single mother (although what does that mean if a father is nearby and supportive?) I took a job because of its proximity to my children’s school. My boss turned out to be a bully, so I soon transferred the real estate license I’d earned there down the road to a new branch of a large New York City-based commercial real estate company. Six weeks after I joined the company, they fired the manager and left me in charge. I faked it long enough to figure what the job required and spent the next 13 years in commercial real estate, first as a broker and then in-house with a commercial real estate developer. Just days before I turned 50 I was laid off from my job, at that point in my life the worst thing that had ever happened to me. After I cried for a month, I started another small business in my basement, this time helping start-up bio-tech companies create laboratories, a niche I exploited before others realized it was a need. I had good fun with that until…...

The lovely man, Taylor Woodward, with whom I had lived for many years and eventually married, persuaded me to move with him to Santa Barbara. He’d fallen in love with the city when he’d taken his older son to look at UCSB. I wasn’t ready to retire but figured I’d find yet another niche to fill in my new home. Any plans I had for working in Santa Barbara, however, got upended by my daughter’s news that she’d been placed on bedrest in month five of her pregnancy with twins. I went to Boston to help her and have been going back and forth ever since.

Not having a full-time job allowed me, for the first time, to make a major contribution to volunteer work. In 2008 I joined the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, a relatively new women’s collective giving organization concentrating on the needs of women, children, and families in the greater Santa Barbara area. Over the next 15 years I served on the research, site visit, and membership committees, as the organization grew from its initial 68 members, functioning under the umbrella of the local community fund, to 1200 members with its own 501(c)3 designation but still all volunteer-led. I left my official role in the Women’s Fund in 2022 but continue my involvement by serving on a task force creating a plan to increase the organization’s endowment. Fund-raising: yet another new experience for me.

Here’s the part I hate to write. In late 2002 my father died unexpectedly; six weeks later my daughter gave birth to a second set of twin boys; a week after their birth, my 34-year-old son was killed, and my step-son’s wife had a baby girl.  How could I leave those days out of the story, and yet how little do I want to relive them now or indeed share them. We made it through that horrible time, in part with the knowledge that my new daughter-in-law was newly pregnant. To our great joy she was able to hang on to the pregnancy, and she gave birth to a little girl eight and half months later.

Nothing is ever the same after the death of a child but we nevertheless had great joy in Santa Barbara for 25 years before Taylor’s death three years ago. That was another time, during the early days of Covid, I don’t want to linger over. Our Holyoke classmates were a wonderful support to me then and continue to be.

Now, never having lived on my own, I’m learning it suits me.

As I approached my 80th birthday with no one to throw me a party I came up with an inspired idea: I asked three friends with 80th birthdays last spring to join me in a 320th celebration. Here is a photo of us all, grateful for friendship and life.

Four happy friends



Much has happened in the last 60 years! Children (2), grands (3), many homes, fascinating travel, interesting work both paid and volunteer — none of which had much connection to my college experience. The very best gift from my time at Mount Holyoke was the formation of a wonderful lasting friendship with my roommate, Madeline Cass Estin. We have not lived in the same state since college, but have shared many important delights, sorrows, adventures, and ideas over the years. I’m very grateful for Maddie!




I didn’t come to MHC fully prepared: I only knew two Christmas carols, didn’t know the New Testament and had no idea what the Garden of Gethsemane referred to (learned soon enough from T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” required reading for baby English). 

I didn’t know how to separate text into paragraphs. Ms. Ridley always wrote the word “Transition? Transition?” in the space between graphs. Later I learned, as Robert Bly so ably put it, I have a “leaping” mind, typical of a poet, jumping from one thought to another, making connections not obvious to others.    

I came to Mount Holyoke with two of what I considered disabling characteristics: indecisiveness and ambivalence. I would learn later that these qualities are good for poetry:  they enable a poem to stay “open” longer, leaving time for accidents and mistakes, which can be fortuitous.

A Few Things I Learned at MHC, 1959-1963

  1. The combination on a new suitcase is usually 0000. Learned that when I was away at Dartmouth on a blind date.
  2. There was a “music” room near the entrance to Skinner Hall. Inside was a turntable and a few records.You could sign out the key, lock the door and have utter privacy. There you could make out undisturbed. This room was a closely guarded secret. You just had to make sure the blinds were drawn.
  3. You could wear jeans to class all four years and still be considered appropriately dressed.
  4. Waiting for a phone to free up in the dorms was torture. iPhones would have been a life-changer.
  5. That I hated tea and by association, gracious living.
  6. That I could play 10 games of bridge and smoke 10 cigarettes in the smoker in those 10 minutes before mealtime.
  7. That I value the friendships I made and just wish I would have studied less and made more.
    I’ll end this missive with a poem:



May the Lord of Death pass over
this house, may the Lord of Envy
not curdle our whey.  May the Lord
of Greed release us from craving.
Great Lord of Time, grant us a stay



Editor’s note: Barbara has authored six prize-winning books of poetry, including her latest, "Breaking & Entering." Her poems appear in Best American Poetry, Paris Review, Poetry, andelsewhere, and her work has been praised by highly acclaimed poets, such as Lucille Clifton, Stanley Kunitz, and Naomi Shihab Nye. Barbara has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as awards in translation, fiction, and speechwriting.



Carol Hoffman Collins reporting in for our 60th

My husband Paul and I live in Sheffield MA, mid-Florida, and London.  The first two are for family and weather, the last for the occasional cultural overdose. 

We enjoy our friends, two children, five grandchildren and various efforts at being socially useful.

So far, the human experience has been gentle and we are trying not to tip the boat.



Corrvallis, Oregon

Has my life been different from what I expected in 1963?

For some years after graduation, my expectations of marriage, children, and career slid along paths expected and predictable. Along the way, as I explored the world outside those paths, I found a political voice, expressed in direct participation in elections, and an environmental voice, expressed as membership in and volunteerism for local and national organizations.

In the past decade, however, I have more and more questioned if my contributions have made any significant ripples in the rising storms. Foremost are the coming catastrophes caused by worldwide climate change: human migration pressures, lack of water resources for billions of people, continuing weather disasters, and so on. Population growth of us Homo sapiens can only continue to cause the extinction of more and more plant and animal species. The worldwide wealth and income gaps, coupled with rising political populism fed by ignorance of science and spread of misinformation on many fronts, seems to me nearly insolvable. The right-wing conservatism of the US Supreme Court bodes terribly ill for our country. Now, on top of all these nightmares is the unknown, probably unpredictable, technology of Artificial Intelligence.

Did I expect any of this when I graduated in 1963? My occasional forays into reading science fiction were fun, but they didn’t inspire dread of the future. I understood that the changes in our knowledge and understanding of science, technology, medicine, and other areas of research do gain in geometric progressions, that is, faster and faster each year. But I did not expect, at age 82, living in a lovely community with wonderful family members and friends, with financial security, and with excellent health, to feel the despair that I do feel for the future of the lives that these family and friends hope for. I hope I am wrong. To feed that hope, I continue to be active politically and environmentally, but at day’s end, there’s often a but, but, but, but………




Who am I now?

I love my life!  Basically, I am a happy, optimistic, content, confident person doing what I love to do.  As everyone seems to say, life seems busier in retirement than it ever was before!  There are of course a few more doctor’s appointments and a bit of PT here and there but most of the time we are doing what we love to do.  My husband and I like to walk - especially on the beach.  We like to go to plays, musicals, concerts of all types, and movies.  Spectator sports—both high school  and college—are high on our list.  We are avid U of Hawaii fans and have season tickets for men's and women’s volleyball and men's basketball.  Doing school pick-ups and spending afternoon times with our twin 8-year-old granddaughters is particularly joyful.  And I love having the time to volunteer.  I volunteer once a week at a hospital and am an occasional usher at two local theaters.  And last but certainly not least, we love to travel.  Since we retired, we have been fortunate enough to travel more frequently than in our working years - usually one “out of the country” trip per year, as well as two or three trips to the mainland to see family and friends.  COVID slowed us down for a while but now we are back on track.

So, after MHC….

How did I get here?

 Family - I met my husband Fred, my best friend and soulmate, 3+ years after MHC graduation.  We have three children, two spouses of children, and four grandchildren all of whom we try to see as often as possible, including our weekly Sunday dinners with the ones who live near by.  I loved being a stay at home mother for the first few years, then a mother who worked, and now a Tutu for our grandchildren. 

Friends - I believe friendship is so important for all of us at all stages of life.  Some people are forever friends and some are temporary. I treasure all of them.  For me, the internet and all that goes with it, has been life changing in supporting our ability to keep in touch with those far away. 

Paid Working Life - Fortunately, I loved all of my adult working experiences, but my passion was and still is early childhood education.  Several of my working years were spent as director of centers and programs on military bases which was particularly fulfilling.  Military families who are  stationed in Hawaii are usually far from home and lack an extended family and friends support system.  Also many military parents (and sometimes both in one family) deploy,  so childcare and family support is crucial.  I was happy to be able to play a part of in that support.  A fun highlight in my career was being able to work with architects to design and customize a large child development center to meet the specific needs of young children.

 Hawaii - During and after college, I visited my brother and his family in Hawaii as often I could, and fell in love with the island style of life.  When Fred and I visited together, he loved it too, so we made the decision to move to Hawaii as soon as possible. We chose to do so because of the climate, the beauty, the vegetation, the beaches, the relaxed life, the Aloha spirit, the sense of Ohana, (family), and the multi-ethnic community. We have now lived here 52+ years, and we still love it so very much!  We never get tired of sunshine or the peaceful life here.

And now….
What’s Next?

As we grow older I think we realize that time spent with family and friends is more and more precious, so this has become even more of a priority in our travel plans.  We are working to stay healthy so that we can continue to travel.  We would like to stay in our own home as long as possible so we have moved to an all on one floor condo with an elevator to help save my somewhat arthritic knees.  Basically, I hope to continue doing what we do, for as long as possible, making needed modifications along the way.  LIFE IS GOOD!

A hui hou,



My 80th birthday, in COVID times, with immediate family in no particular order: Fred and me, 3 children, 2 spouses of children, a parent each for 2 spouses, and 4 grandchildren

In the 60 years post-graduation (OMG), I have been blessed on many fronts: friends scattered throughout the U.S. and abroad, and most of all, my dear "significant other" of 17 years, Mark Calabro. He and I shared our precious ShihTzu, Shadow, for 14 of those years. We grieve daily for our gifted, brilliant "dog-child" during the last 12 months we have been without him, claimed by a vicious, aggressive brain tumor. My prior ten-year marriage to a corporate executive resulted in multiple relocations, travel to Europe and Mexico, and a daughter who is now married and living in the Chicago area with two daughters, both college graduates who are gainfully employed.
Initial employment was as a teacher of "exceptional" students in the fifth and third grades, but after enrollment in graduate school (Boston College) where I earned a Masters degree in 1976 and a Ph.D. in 1995, both degrees in counseling and clinical psychology (little sleep! as a single parent who also juggled a full-time job), I worked for almost 30 years in the correctional (medium and maximum security) and court systems in Massachusetts. My post-doctoral training in forensics qualified me to provide expert witness testimony to judges as to the competency and criminal responsibility of defendants.
Upon my retirement, I sold my condominium in Brookline, Massachusetts, where I had resided for forty years, and moved to Venice, Florida, just south of Sarasota. It required adjustment politically and ecologically, especially with respect to armadillos, alligators, insects, and bats. After four years there, with Mark visiting the doggie and me every six weeks—-he is not yet retired (younger than I!)--I was t-boned by a ‘typical’ Florida driver, thus demolishing my car, and injuring my back. I then sold my Florida house (just before Hurricane Ian in 2022, thank goodness) in order to receive treatment upon return to the Boston area, where I remain. I am finishing 6 weeks of dental treatment, also.
I look forward to the next leg of my "journey" and, during which I will rescue from storage  the contents of my Venice house. I miss my art collection, which calms me, as well as some unusual furniture pieces. I have taken art lessons through the years (drawing and painting) and have several of my own renderings to which I am attached. I would like to revisit sculpting (from Henry Rox and Leonard Baskin days at MHC).
I am trying to determine which arena is most suitable socially and economically. Not Florida any more, thank you. NO snow please, though!! Any ideas?


My Greatest Challenge  

2022, The Annus Horribilis. This past year has been that for me. In retrospect, it is clear that in some ways I became a Covid casualty, although I never got Covid.

During the last eight years, since moving to Stamford, I had constructed a balanced mobile of a life. I volunteered at the hospital pediatric ER and was an active member of the Ethics Committee there; continued to ice dance and be a judge; played singles tennis regularly; went to the gym; took classes at the music conservatory; took piano lessons; enjoyed spending time with friends and Wil, the man in my life;  traveled to Russia; visited my second home on Lake Placid. Life was good.

Covid isolation brought a sudden halt to so much of that.  Many old, good friends moved away or socialized only with family. At first, I adapted, like many others, assuming the virus would soon fade away. It didn’t. Wil’s medical problems intensified, and he moved away to live with his son and his family. Meanwhile, I experienced wave after wave of unexpected, unavoidable stressful events, with no time for recovery. The result was major depression (am allergic to all antidepressants, cannot tolerate alternatives). I slept poorly, had zero appetite, lost 20 lbs., and was always exhausted. Other medical issues emerged. Isolation ensued. I found myself suddenly catapulted into a lonely old age!

As someone who once headed the social services department of a large nursing home, a combined SNF/HRF, I had looked ahead. I have long term insurance, have investigated congregate care settings, and downsized 9 years ago to a new townhouse. But right now I have neither the energy nor inclination to make any huge move.

Fortunately, due to time, an excellent therapist, basic good health, good friends, and sheer grit, I realize I am in fact recovering. Recovery is not linear, not fast, not predictable. I plan to be at Reunion, and so look forward to seeing you all. Please know that, as I deliberately do when I am with friends now, I will not wish to talk about all this, but rather what interests and occupies you these days.


With my stepson, Evan, at the U.S. Open


With Genya Currens Hopkins
in front of the Peterhof Palace,
Russia, September 2019



Evolving and moving on are the certainly the themes of my life. I left Mt. Holyoke headed for Yale Divinity School and ordination in the Methodist Church. Ordination of women was a new thing in the church and I encountered more opposition than I could handle. I chose to pursue a degree preparing me for a career in Christian Education. Along the way, I became an Episcopalian.

I graduated from Yale in 1965 and took a job in West Hartford, CT. There I met Allan Bell. We married in 1966, and I continued to work in churches there. In 1969, he accepted a position with State Farm Insurance and we moved to Normal, IL. I was involved in various volunteer activities there including the League of Women Voters. We adopted our daughter, Amy, in 1971; our son, James, was born in 1972.

My League of Women Voters experience led me to run for a seat on the Normal Town Council, and I served two terms.

I decided to return to the work force as the children became older. There were no jobs in my field, so I re-trained and became a computer programmer and later a systems analyst working for the county government.

Once again, I heard the call to ordination. The process to get there was long and difficult (including a divorce), but in 1993, I was ordained a deacon, and in 1994, a priest.

I spent about 5 years as the pastor of a small congregation in Kirksville, MO, and in 1999, became rector of Christ Church in Chattanooga, TN. I retired from there at the end of 2010.

My son moved to Chattanooga after I did. He met his wife and they married in 2009. She brought two sons to the marriage, and I spent many years doing the things that retired grandmothers do. The grandchildren are grown, and I am moving to the next phase of life, whatever that may be.


When I look back from the vantage point of an almost 82-year-old raised on a college campus in Maine, I see a line that makes some odd zigzags.  At first, my life was predictable, from one campus to another first as student and then employee.  The blip in the line occurred when I made a very unusual decision to marry Oliver, a faculty member.  Then the line smooths out as I acquire another degree, have two children, and hold various administrative positions in the College and Alumnae Association.  But then came a big zag when Oliver retired - a move to Sarasota, Florida, a distant place so far from my New England experience that I now wonder how I agreed.  I do know that we were cheered on by former MHC president and wife, David and Ellie Truman (Tracy’s in-laws), who had retired to Sarasota.  Where once I shivered and shoveled, I now sweat and walk the sand.  My daughter and granddaughter maintain their MHC ties and help keep mine strong, daughter Emily with MHC Admissions, and granddaughter Hannah, MHC ’15, who is an involved alum.  And while I had not expected to thrive in Sarasota, the opposite has been true until recently when distressing political changes have impacted so many of us.  Now there are new challenges to meet.  But at MHC we were taught to meet them.



I continue to work helping refugees get settled in their new country.

In the past 2 years, I have helped settle almost 50 Afghan families with the help of volunteers and donors.

In addition, I am one of the leads at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas settling our first Ukranian family. They are so happy to be here away from all the bombs and chaos of their former home. We are hoping to bring over another Ukrainian family in the next few months.

Age is catching up with me. Somehow, I no longer have the energy to do everything so I have taken on a much younger partner (she is only 75) who is a tremendous help. And I try to find younger volunteers to do the heavy lifting.

It is rewarding work seeing our new residents thrive.



Until I went to Mt. Holyoke, I thought school was all about memorization and returning information given by teachers in as exact and detailed a way as possible.

Then there was my freshman year at Holyoke with “baby” chemistry, a basic political science course, and English. My world quickly began to change.

I definitely knew I was in a different learning situation when the philosophy course required us to write two papers, one on “What is Justice?” and the second, “My Philosophy of Life.”

By my junior year, I was a political science major and had Miss Lawson for International Relations. One of the first assignments was to write a paper concerning “Sovereignty.” The reading list for the paper provided a variety of opinions from a number of sources. I wrote the paper and believed I had given the definition plenty of thought. It was only after all the student papers had been turned in and we were gathered to discuss “sovereignty” that Miss Lawson declared that there was no such thing as sovereignty!!!


During the rest of my junior and senior years, I heard Miss Lawson exhort us many times, “Define your terms!” and learned  she was willing to listen to about any definition so long as we were willing to define the word and engage in a defense of our definition.

There was the challenge.

Taking Miss Schuck’s Parties and Politics course during a national election was especially relevant.  In fact, a group of us from her class were observers during a recount of a local election in the city of Holyoke!

She encouraged us not only to know the governmental process, but also to read between the lines: “Who was talking to whom?” “Who was going to lunch with whom?”  “Who or what organizations were making campaign contributions?” and more.

 For us to learn the process better, she established the Summer Internship Program in Washington, DC. The Mt. Holyoke/Amherst program provided a variety of opportunities to work on the Hill or in agencies.

I chose to work at the Peace Corps. I wanted to see how this new agency was being set up. How does something so new begin in an environment so bound by tradition? In addition, I was attracted by its international focus.

That summer, I worked in the Field Support Services of the Peace Corps. A relatively small group of people at the Washington headquarters handled requests from Peace Corps volunteers throughout the world for things they needed. No cell phones or Internet to make things easy! Many times their requests were for more books if they were teachers, or small equipment if they worked in agriculture. It was fascinating! I felt so lucky to be there and learn about the variety of challenges the volunteers were facing and contributions they were making and hoping to make.

After that experience, it didn’t take any persuasion to attend a service in the chapel at Mt. Holyoke, during which William Sloane Coffin, the chaplain at Yale spoke. He came to encourage us to apply for a summer program called Crossroads Africa, which was a forerunner of the Peace Corps. I enthusiastically applied for the summer after graduation.

A summer later, I was in the Gambia, a small country surrounded by Senegal in West Africa. The Gambia was to receive independence from Britain in about three years, so there was preparation for change.

Our Crossroads Group in the Gambia was made of 10 college age students from across the U.S. and Canada paired with approximately the same number of students living in the Gambia who were studying to be teachers. We lived at Yundum Teacher Training College fairly close to the capital, Bathurst, now called Banjul. Our main work project was to fix up and paint a cinderblock building so that it could become a classroom.

Living and working together, there was plenty of opportunity to discuss just about everything!!

One of the subjects that came up in many ways among the Gambian students was what independence from Britain would mean on a personal level.

In addition, there was discussion within the U.S./Canada group. We were a racially diverse group from a variety of economic backgrounds. Living together created many informal situations in which we talked about our lives. It was a natural progression to think and talk about what the Civil Rights Movement meant to each. The March on Washington was about to take place at the end of the summer, as we traveled back to the U.S. from the Gambia.

The summer was probably one of the hardest and best in my life! It changed my life. I could not have been there, if it hadn’t FIRST been for my four years at Mt. Holyoke.



Graduated without much sense of what came next, kind of knocked
about from Cambridge to NYC and back. Kept studying the piano,
gave a few recitals, started teaching piano, while also  getting fascinated
by photography.  A friend built me a darkroom in my bathroom in the
mid-sixties.  I wanted more and more equipment and decided that this
new passion had to pay for itself.  Which it did.  Harvard gave me a
part-time job on its alumni magazine writing and taking pictures.   That
led to many freelance jobs, taking pictures of professors, famous visiting
writers, musicians, artists - all needing pictures for doing something
remarkable at a particularly interesting time in their lives.  Radcliffe’s
decision to hire mostly women led to more interesting work.  I worked
for many other colleges, businesses and schools too.

I kept teaching piano to young students, but also adults, Harvard professors
among them.  One thing led to another and I had a very stimulating
work life that kept expanding. There were five work trips to China, a
show with other photographers (a group of 7 of us in Cambridge) in
Tokyo. On assignment at MIT I met my husband David Marks 35 years
ago. We’ve been married for 24.  He travelled constantly all over
the world for work and I came along with him.  Some of my favorite places are
Chile, Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Abu Dhabi.

I miss the kaleidoscopic life of all the changing characters and landscapes
now that we have retired.  But there have been many quiet satisfactions. We
sold our Cambridge condo two years ago to move full-time into our country
home in South Dartmouth MA. It’s near the sea.  We have a meadow,
a pond, woods, gardens.  I garden, we enjoy the wildlife (8 deer yesterday)
and a constant parade of turkeys.

I read read read, we enjoy the lively music scene here, and new friendships, as well as the older strong friendships with classmates.

Life is full, and best of all—fun!

8 Plains Field Drive
South Dartmouth MA 02748
D’s cell:  617-710-1247



I have had the most wonderful life!  A good graduate school experience followed by about 5 years as a carefree career woman, then marriage and two children—one of each sex. Always trying to continue with some sort of paid employment. Then years as half of an empty-nester team with our two children living across the country from us—both married sometimes. Finally, I became a grandmother, but only once.  Now I’ve adapted again—to living with my husband, a fixture of my life for over 50 years, in a retirement residence in Bethesda, MD.  We have a two-bedroom condo to which I have had to adapt, having never lived in an apartment except for a year or so after grad school. 

I have evolved from a low-energy administrator to an almost no-energy retired person.  If I had my way, I would spend my time sitting and reading.  For me, the best part of living in a retirement community is that I don’t have to plan meals and cook.  But I know the importance of staying involved, both in some type of physical exercise and in my community.  I try to do my 150 minutes of active fitness each week, and I belong to two book groups—one here and one on Zoom—and chair the library committee here.  I also join trips to museums and plays, a wonderful perk of living so close to D.C. 



With Don on our 55th wedding
anniversary, 2020 (before cataract
surgery--now I don't wear glasses)

Two themes have dominated my life from the time I left Mt. Holyoke until now: skiing and making a difference.

Fall of 1962 I became a ski patroller at Mt. Tom Ski Area in Holyoke, the year it opened. I graduated with a double major in religion and sociology and a desire to make a difference in the world. My ski patrol involvement took a hiatus while I got an MSW in Community Organization, worked for the City of Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, and then retired to motherhood in 1968.

Having been traumatized by anti-Semitism as a teenager, I wanted to raise non-racist kids in a racist world, so my husband Don and I bought a house in a predominantly black neighborhood where our kids were the only white kids in their elementary school. There I was a very involved parent, got elected as one of the parent representatives from our school, and represented our group of schools at a monthly meeting with the school superintendent.

In the mid 70’s, I became both a ski instructor and a professional ski patroller at Boyce Park Ski Area northeast of Pittsburgh, vertical 175’, (they don’t come any smaller.)

In 1979, I moved to Harrisburg, PA, to follow my husband’s career as he became Deputy Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For skiing, I became a professional ski patroller at Ski Roundtop, vertical 550’. Professionally, I enrolled in a two-year post-master’s program in social work to become a psychotherapist. I was also elected to our local school board, where I made significant contributions to the quality of education.

In 1987, I followed my husband’s next professional move to Boulder, CO. By then, my daughter, following my skiing passion, had become a junior ski patroller. Our reaction to this move was to tell people we got to go to heaven without dying first. Our first job was to find a ski area where we could patrol:  first Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park, vertical 2000’, and then Berthoud Pass Ski Area, vertical 993’, with the most amazing powder. When Berthoud closed, I went to Copper Mountain where for 19 years I was an Over the Hill Gang guide for skiers over 50, after which I retired to recreational skiing.

Professionally I ran a DUI program, worked in a couple of psychiatric hospitals, got a job in an elementary school doing outreach to families to support them so their kids could be successful in school, and started a private psychotherapy practice. After a tragedy in which three kids died graduation night in a drunk driving car accident, I decided to teach parenting classes and become a parent coach so I could help parents raise kids who could think, problem-solve, and know that the quality of their lives depended upon the quality of their thinking and decision-making.

My son, whose formative years was as a minority in an all-black school, has been living in Japan as a minority for the majority of his life. He’s self-employed, doing a variety of things, one of which is managing a property he has owned https://rokkonomad.org/en/ where he raised his kids for 16 years. It’s now a shared office space in the woods in Mt. Rokko National Park, with rental cabins, in case anyone is interested.

My daughter has been a ski patroller for more than 30 years at Loveland Ski Area, vertical 2210’. She recently built a home in Georgetown CO, 12 miles from Loveland. Her ski patrolling led to her becoming a physician’s assistant, so she is both professionally and personally in the medical field.

Fast forward to today. I am grateful that my husband of 57 years was able to support us so I could be a stay-at-home parent for 15 years. While many of my peers who had worked while raising kids were burning out and retiring, I felt fresh and enthusiastic. I still feel that way. Since Covid I have stopped teaching parenting classes and have developed a virtual psychotherapy and parent coaching practice www.realparenting.com . This past fall, I got a total knee replacement. 18 weeks 3 days later I returned to skiing!

With daughter and granddaughter in 2005 (granddaughter now 20!)



Daphne Lange Rosenzweig, Ph.D, ISA CAPP
Certified Appraiser of Personal Property
International Society of Appraisers
Rosenzweig Associates, Inc.
rosetwig@aol.com     941-371-4643

PhD Asian Art and Archaeology, East Asian Languages and Literature, Columbia Univ.
Fulbright, two years, National Palace Museum Taiwan

University professor 50+ years, Univ. of New Mexico, Oberlin, Univ. of South FL, Ringling College of Art and Design
Professor Emerita, Ringling College of Art and Design
Asian art appraiser since early 70's;  Certified Member (highest level), International Society of Appraisers (past Board member, active on two committees)
Active art appraiser, international clients,, Rosenzweig Associates, Inc., my S-Corp

Engaged several times, married once, married 36+ years
Married in Taipei Law Court, 1969, auspicious day chosen by Director of National Palace Museum

Husband university professor of mineralogy, died 2005, Alzheimers
One daughter, one step-daughter, one step-son, two grandchildren (one now in Marines)
College roommate Madeline Muecke (marvelous) god-mother of granddaughter
Over two-three decades, responsible for seven older relatives
Presently selling house of 22 years, finding another here in Sarasota to rent (hopeful); daughter and granddaughter live with me
Nightmare of going through my own and old family papers, must read before throwing out, all interesting, but enough is enough!
Two hurricanes in one month this last fall; something like 17+ volunteers (faith-based and vets) from all over the country coming to my house and others to help remove yard debris; heartening in an otherwise politically negative era

MHC memories
Two great roommates, Marlene Mosher ('62), died young; Madeline Muecke
Wonderful autumn foliage

Dorothy Cogswell,  who began my interest in art history; Dean Cameron, who began my interest in Asia; Dorothy ?, Prof. of Geography, from New Zealand, purveyor of homemade dandelion wine as well as doughnts; 8 A.M. geography class, to which students could wear pajamas, college then not into co-ed classes
Gracious Living nights, wearing those awful seamed stockings



I majored in French, with no plan nor goal in mind at the time.  I just liked it.  The end result was that French and France became the center and focus of my personal and work life.

I lived and worked in France in the mid 1960's.  In the US, I worked for many years with French speaking companies.  I return often to France.  Two French friends with whom I visit regularly I have known since 1962.  I lived with their family, in the summer between my junior and senior years, as part of The Experiment in International Living.  I will always be grateful to Mount Holyoke and my French professors for encouraging me to take part in this program.      

More recently I also visit with Carolyn Geisler Hornfeld ('63) in Geneva where she and Howard have lived for many, many years.  I stop in Paris on each trip.  I always spend one week alone in Paris, I guess just to do it my way. I like to explore different neighborhoods, search out new parks, small museums, and stop frequently at cafes all along the way.  Speaking the language, I feel at home. 

I've lived in Strasbourg, France; in Manhattan, Washington DC, Boston, Schenectady NY and now (in retirement) in Portland Maine.  I was determined to live by the ocean when I retired and I am so happy to be here.

I have one child, my son, Adam.  My daughter-in-law, Kate, and our young grandchildren, Gabriella 10 years and Ezra 8 years are all very special to me.

I have mentored at Portland High School, which has a high percentage of immigrant students.  Quite a few are from French speaking Africa, making my work even more fun.  The city of Portland is very culturally diverse, unlike much of the State of Maine.  It is a small city but has an outstanding symphony, theater, art museum and other cultural activities all which belie its size.  I particularly enjoy the symphony.

I belong to a French book club.  We primarily read recent French novels, and discuss in French.  I gather regularly with a group of Boston Mount Holyoke Class of 1963.  There are a few of us from out of state.  We have thoughtful and inspiring conversations.  It has been a delight to renew friendships and make new ones.  

I have been to many of our reunions and always enjoy reconnecting with friends.  I'm looking forward to our 60th.



After graduating from Mt. Holyoke, I studied at NYU and received a Master’s Degree in Art Education. I was able to learn from people who were part of the New York Art World. My first real job was teaching art at the secondary schools in Glen Cove, New York. When I applied for the position, the high school principal was most impressed with my qualifications: his daughter had not been accepted at Mt. Holyoke when she had applied for college.

In recent years I had been doing pastel work at a local studio, but during the pandemic I have returned to watercolor and collage.

I am very active in local government and have served on the Board of Trustees of Livingston, New Jersey Library for at least 25 years.

Through the years my husband and I have both been through serious illnesses. I am thankful for our present good health, and for our two wonderful sons and their families.

Below are photos of four of my paintings:

                            The Cabbage

                                                                                               The Artichoke

     New Year's Morning Breakfast                                      Still Life with Lemons



Ever Adapting The “Arrow of Time” always points to the future, never the past – no matter how much we might wish it were otherwise.  Who of us has not wished to see and hold a loved one just one more time, to say something missed or ask a question forgotten?  No matter how much I wish I could fix something I did that still bothers me today, big or small, I can’t go back. Think of the chaos that would be created if we could all do that even once!  And if I focus on my regrets, things I cannot change…  my life is stuck.  So I try and live with my mistakes and missed opportunities, moving on and hoping to have learned from them and do better as I live my life.

Still Evolving In our home are paintings and linoleum cuts made by my father when he was a young man.  There are sketches, paintings, pottery and collages done by my daughters when they were younger.  But I have never tried to put pencil to paper to create an image… until recently.  This spring a friend offered drawing classes to a few people and I decided to give them a try.  We met weekly for two hours as Flora introduced us to how to “see” and put what we see on paper.  This was a new experience for me and I loved it, in spite of my insecurities and frustrations.  Flora created a “safe place” where we could try out her suggestions.  It was both fun and absorbing and I learned a lot over those five classes.  I can’t wait to try more.  My brain and my eyes are different now and the difference feels good.

Always Involved This is a hard one for me to tackle because I don’t think of myself as an “involved” person.  You know: those people who volunteer in community organizations or hospitals or politics or class activities.  But, as I think about it, of course I am involved, if not at the championship level of some.  I sang in the church choir and in in a community choir.  I volunteered with my girls’ Girl Guide groups.  In my work I served on lots of boards and committees, both locally and nationally.  Even after retirement 10 years ago I have continued to do some committee work, though on a much smaller scale.  Research has also continued in a modest way and led me into topics I never thought I’d explore.   But ALWAYS involved?  I guess so.  I am in a couple of small groups and make an effort to connect regularly with friends.  But committees?  Oops – I seem to have been drawn into MHC 1963 reunion planning for the 55th and 60th.  So I guess I am involved, just not so much.



To my classmates as we approach our 60th(!) reunion.

As I write this, I have been living in Bristol, RI, for 23 years.  I have three children, Mark who lives in Hopedale MA, with his wife Renee and two sons Ethan and Eric; Lisa who lives in Los Angeles with her wife Neelam and their two children, Asha and Ishan; and Paul who lives in Warren RI, with his wife Sage and their three children, Tucker, Abby and Parker.  Seven wonderful, bright and talented grandchildren.

When I graduated from Mount Holyoke, I was scheduled to go to Columbia University School of Social Work, but I spent the summer after graduation in London as a Winant Volunteer assistant youth club leader, and that August I was offered the opportunity to stay on for the year in a paid position. Columbia agreed to defer my matriculation to the following year, and I returned home in time to start my graduate studies in 1964.  It was that year that I met my husband, an Episcopal priest, who was also working in East London, and we became engaged.  We were married in June 1965 after I had completed my first year at Columbia and lived in Brooklyn NY.  

I received my masters’ degree in social work in 1966, and after a year and a half, Mark accepted a position in Amityville, LI, where both our sons were born, and our adopted daughter arrived from Vietnam.  We lived there until 1975 when Mark accepted a call to St. Andrews, Stamford, CT, where we lived until his retirement in 1997.   In Stamford, I worked as a school social worker, and after moving to RI  I worked at Newport County Community Mental Health Center for 13 years before going into private practice.  I loved my work which provided variety, challenge and fulfillment.

We moved to RI after Mark’s retirement in 1997.  I worked at Newport County Community Mental Health Center for 13 years and Mark worked as a hospice chaplain part-time until his full retirement.  Following my retirement, I ran a parenting support group for seven years. Mark died in April 2018 after a short illness.

I live in a condominium community and enjoy a weekly yoga class, a monthly book group, a Zoom meeting with my Boston area classmates, and frequent dinners and lunches with friends.  We continue to enjoy several weeks on Martha’s Vineyard in July. Other trips have included a boat trip up the coast of Norway in 2010 and to Alaska in 2012. I volunteer with a group called Thrive by Five and Beyond which deals with the challenges of young children and their families.

I had knee replacement surgery in February of last year and continue in physical therapy as part of my recovery.  I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at our 60th reunion in May.



I've had a fairly uneventful life, with none of the outstanding achievements of many of my classmates. My first job was at Harvard's Houghton Library (rare books and mss.), then I moved on to publishing at Sunset Magazine, Little, Brown, the Boston Globe (briefly), and freelancing, largely for Houghton Mifflin, to the present day (my most impressive author was Arthur M. Schlesinger). I probably should have become a librarian. 

Personally, I was married to a cardiac surgeon for ten years, separated, then widowed. We had no children, but I do have a strong in-law family and have loved being an aunt and great-aunt. They've all brought me a lot of humor and perspective. An only child, I've gradually learned about families and their complications. It's probably never too late!

I've lived in Cambridge with rare exceptions since college, and am very involved with the library. Luckily, my sister-in-law and her family (an exceptional Dutch husband, two nieces, and a nephew) have opened the doors to many in the community over the years.

Right now, abortion rights, guns, and antisemitism (and racism in general) are my main concerns. I've been blessed with pretty good health (a few broken bones here and there). Perhaps it's good genes? I'm not an exerciser! 

Thanks to Helen Weinland, a number of classmates (now extending well beyond Boston) have met every few months over the past 25 years, a source of strength for us all. We look forward to gathering in person again after three years on Zoom! 


The best thing that Mt. Holyoke College has given me are the Boston classmates with whom I have been meeting since 1997.  Many of them were barely acquaintances during college days.  One of whom was Helen Weinland, who became my sister.  Helen’s love of travel meshed with mine and my husband’s and we did many many trips together over the last 25 years. 

So, I have had to adapt not only to the death of my husband Edwin in 2018, after 45 years of marriage, but the sudden death of Helen in December of 2021.   It was such a comfort to be able to work with Helen’s Boston church, Trinity, to help prepare a memorial service for her which took place this past October.  There were 17 of us in attendance---classmates and spouses---and the choir of Trinity Church sang for their former member.  There were 20 of them who still remembered her and cared enough to call off work that day to come sing.  A very beautiful way to say good-bye.

I have been able to participate in raising a grandson who is now in high school and  find pride in watching both my children make lives for themselves and do it their way. 

I now live in a senior living facility in Jamaica Plain, MA, that has been home to me for the last 6 years.  I am still driving although not so very far.  I am still meeting my 90-year- old sister (class of 1955) in Florida every February for two or three weeks, where we laugh and talk the days away.  

I have a friend who says that she is grateful for every day that she is alive----I am working on feeling just like that!! 



This is going to be tough! I can barely remember the last five years. With Covid, it all seemed a continuum of nothing until I started writing this bio.  Slowly I realized that I had adapted and evolved--and had some incredible experiences in my own home. Although housebound, we rediscovered the pleasures of ‘living small’ and enjoying our natural surroundings.

The Metropolitan Opera played an opera tape from their vast stash every night for the first two years of Covid. They became the inspiration for our dinners. (“It’s Bellini tonight...let’s have Pasta Norma.”) Mike became the Master Chef for our house and it turned out he had the gift!

During Covid, the natural cycles of the years went by and we deeply appreciated our quiet mountain. This winter it was time to repot my bonsai. I currently have 28 bonsai, some perennial, but most deciduous, because, when we moved back to CA in 2003, I knew one of the things I would miss was the turning of the leaves. So, we had marathon repotting days in early winter to reduce roots, renew drainage, trim and manage tree shape. Now, I have my own Fall leaf viewing, right on our deck.  In this prolonged isolation, I am very grateful we live 1,500 ft up 5,500 ft Mt. Wilson, sharing our yard with the Angeles National Forest. Our nearest neighbors are wild!  As in wildlife. The mammals have two routes around our house: the little guys—gray foxes, bobcats, (rare coyote) use the western route —down the mountain, through their tunnel under the fence, down the stairs to our deck (whose fence admits no larger animals), a 13 ft jump down onto our front yard, down to the flood catchment area for great rabbit hunting, then uphill home.

The other route developed when we left the eastern gate up the mountain open.  Deer, California brown bears and mountain lions strut right down our driveway.…the bears harvest our fruit trees, the deer crop our lawn and one of the mountain lions once thanked us with a rabbit on the door mat. There are no small fry on this route--rabbits, possum, golden squirrels--are lunch meat, as are stray cats. Did I mention the red-tailed hawks and Great Horned Owls with 12-foot wingspan?  One spring we had an owl courtship--he sat on our chimney, she in the CA oak across the driveway and they hooted down our library fireplace night after night.

But there were also forest fires. The 2009 ‘Station Fire’ came from the west, swept 30 miles through the Angeles National Forest, burned 160,00 acres, and was stopped 2 miles above us on Mt Wilson. The 2022 Bobcat Fire started 3 towns east of us on Mt. Wilson’s slopes and burned west until it reached the Station Fire’s burn lines above us. Driven over Mt. Wilson, it raged deep into the forest, consumed 115,000 acres, reached the Central Valley, and burned out over 6 weeks. We retreated for two weeks to a long- stay hotel that allowed cats.

As the 2009 fire moved rapidly toward us, one morning I awoke to hear chainsaws. I rushed out the door and there stood a cluster of 15 young men, covered in fire retardant suits. A short young man covered in so much equipment he looked like a Collector Sea Urchin, answered my tense questions.  ‘No, you don’t need to evacuate now, Ma’am.” he said, in a thick southern accent. “You see, we’re cuttin’ a fire brake two miles from the top of Mt. Wilson with bulldozers. Did you know that you have a fire road a quarter mile up behind you, and in case that doesn’t hold it, we’re here to cut your large brush so we’re ready to backburn your yard.”  Needless to say, we evacuated immediately to our cat-friendly motel.

Adapted and evolved…what’s next?



With granddaughters Penelope and Ella, Christmas 2022

Having a terrible time with this year’s submission, I turned to past reunion books to see what I had written there.  What I found confirmed what I suspected.  The recurring theme in my entries was friendship, which would be, without doubt, my answer to the question “What part of your MHC experience are you most thankful for?”

So, the friendships.  Since our 50th reunion ten of us who were together in Mead our sophomore year have met for 5-day mini reunions. We travelled (from Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Nebraska, Washington and the Virgin Islands) to the Outer Banks, Maine, Palm Beach.  In between we Zoomed.

Locally four other classmates and I meet often for lunch and the occasional three-day “field trip” to explore nearby historic houses, museums and gardens while eating, drinking and making merry.  My college roommate Bobbi Everton (one of the Mead pals) and I meet in NYC, or at my house, when she comes up from Virginia to visit her grandchildren.

In May Judy Mills Courter, Diane Demont Rapp, Jill Edmonds Meyer and I will spend a week together in Paris—60 years after Diane, Judy and I traveled there right after graduation.   We’re not quite as spry as we were then (but don’t anyone dare tell us that) but we’re still a merry band.

If memory serves (no longer a guarantee), the sign I chose to lead off our 50th reunion parade read “Friendship: The Glue that Holds us Together.” I don’t know what I would do without that glue.

P.S.  I can’t wait to ask Bev Bryant what 10 body parts she has had removed.  I  didn’t know there were that many we could do without.


Life is an adventure, and I do believe Mount Holyoke gave me confidence and strength. A good education combined with good friends has helped me deal with whatever comes along. I am also empowered to make audacious choices. I wrote a book although I’m not a writer, and I learned to sail a sunfish and tried to stand up paddle boarding although I am not an athlete.

I now find that being thrown to the winds at age 81 by a broken marriage and soon a divorce, I can try new things and do them alone. And even be excited about the process.

Lucky me and lucky all of us who now have the opportunity to return for our 60th class reunion. We are a group of caring, intelligent, and creative women—in other words, uncommon!

Love to all.

With daughter Amanda in Hawaii

With my son                        



For me, adapting, evolving, and being always involved describe my life since Mt. Holyoke. All three work as a team to shape my days and whatever could be defined as the various stages of my life. Evolving is the most dominant feature of who I am today.  I began my freshman year at MHC as an incredibly naïve frightened, and submissive teenager with a rebellious streak (however slight).

Adapting to the demand of making my own decisions and using my own judgement was a long road. I chose to continue schooling after graduation from Mt Holyoke—I  felt I needed the protection of a structured life style, and curriculum. I also sought a profession that would prepare me for usefulness if or when WW III and nuclear devastation engulfed us. Pretty fearful I was in so many ways. Eventually, as a nurse practitioner and a mother, I developed much better judgment and have been able to make decisions for myself and others in life- saving situations both acute and chronic. Fast forward: many adaptations and resulting evolutions later, I am different, yet still similarly finding adaptation and personal evolution a constant state of being.

Being involved helps and has helped keep me alive. Being concerned about the future in constructive ways, enjoying the possibilities I see in young people – my children and grandchildren, for example--guides my current outlook on life. This includes trying to learn, in some depth, other people’s perspectives of the world, from intimate personal understandings to bigger social circles and global outlooks.  I am fortunate to have quality time with my family, and good friends as well.  Being involved for me is also about how I can continue to make a difference – I do think we all, now 80 years old plus, have wonderful and helpful thoughts and hopes to share. We are living history. 

  I am grateful to have seen the world from my angle and love being connected to many of you.



Ever Adapting, Always Evolving, Still involved
My biggest challenge in life has been being the daughter of Swedish immigrants who were frugal, hard-working and wanted the best for me and my sister. 
I went to two colleges before transferring to MHC, basically because my parents didn’t understand the American education system.  At some point my mother realized that I might have been eligible for a stipend to attend a private school within walking distance of my house. My high school guidance counselor recommended I apply to Pembroke /Brown because of its proximity to RSD (Rhode Island School of Design)—I am artistic.  She never told my parents that I might be eligible for financial aid.  Others of my classmates suffered the same lack of knowledge.

I ended up going to a church college in MN my first year, and Hartford College for Women, a two-year college started by the Seven Sisters during the Depression, my second.  Cost was the major consideration.  I transferred to MHC as a Junior and received financial aid as a Senior.  (I’m unsure if my parents applied for aid Junior year). When my parents grew up, Swedish university education was not free. They were bright and undereducated.  My Dad was a carpenter, my Mom ironed and did housework for wealthy families.  They left Sweden in the 1920s but moved back there in the early 30s.  In 1940, as Europe began to unravel, they returned to the US.

Growing up I had to be alert.  At a young age, I corrected my parents when they thought I should be sitting with them in church on Easter and not marching in with my Sunday School class.  In school, I did busy work for the teachers - copying knitting instructions, doing grocery errands (the principal intercepted me in 5th grade and intervened).   I spent my time painting a huge mural in 4th grade. In 3d I was told to memorize the vowels when I finished my work!   No more challenging work for me.  It was the 1940s and 50s.  There was a small satellite library near the school. When I ran out of age-appropriate books and began checking out adult novels, a librarian began stocking more appropriate books for me.  My mom let me stay in bed and read on summer mornings.  Heaven.

I adapted to living in the city of Hartford and attending a very diverse, large, city high school with more than 600 students in my class.  It was the second oldest school, with a huge student body.  Founded in 1636, only Boston Latin was older.

We lived 3 blocks from the suburb of West Hartford, which had a more capable school population and better education, but our house was in Hartford. At Hartford High, many of the students, like me, were children of immigrants—Italian, Greek, Irish, Ukrainian, and more—who were also navigating the American system. At class reunions, we have finally begun to share our childhood stories.

One of the most gratifying things in my life has been connecting with my MHC classmates, especially after attending our mini reunion in DC in 2021.  I moved to CO in 2020.  My two kids and my granddaughter are here.  I am adapting, evolving, and involved with new friends and nurturing ties to my life friends from the East Coast.



Evolving Since MHC
by Margy Muecke ‘63 in ‘23

To be read across columns from left to right:

In our senior year, I decided I needed 10 years after graduation to explore the world through its people before settling down

Turned out I spent my adult life doing so

In those 10 years, I thought I’d find out what life can be, and what I wanted to be  

What I wanted to be changed as opportunities luring my interest changed.  So I kept exploring through career shifts: from German lit & mysticism at MHC, to visiting nurse & public health nurse at home & abroad, to university instructor in child psychiatric nursing, to cultural anthropology researcher, to Thai & mainland SE Asian areal specialist, to professor of both community health & anthropology, to philanthropy in AIDS and reproductive health worldwide, to assistant dean of global health, to retirement foci on family and friends, research, and community work.

I was sure while at MHC and even as one decade melted into the next, that I would be married for most of my adulthood

While I came very close to being so several times, it didn’t happen

I never expected or aimed to be a university academic

But for most of my career I was – over time in 3 universities, UCLA, U Washington, & U Pennsylvania

When a senior at MHC, I couldn’t fathom how I could earn enough money to support myself

But I did & doing so felt effortless -- perhaps because whatever it was, it was always enough to be growing through and enjoying what I was doing.

What I learned through experience, aside from languages & driving, was different from academic learning

E.g.,1) it’s useful to be like an octopus: always have an arm or two ready to grasp at opportunities.
2) Having options is empowering – so look for mine, and help people who think they don’t have any find theirs.
3) Be truthful and kind even to adversaries as they, like me, are fallible; and they might be of help at some later time.
4) Music nourishes my bone marrow. heart, spirit & mind.  So do family, friends, being outdoors, and exercise.
5) You can have a lot of fun and friends without being a comedian.

6) I am much more self-centered than I like to admit.



Still Evolving
Change can be frightening and undesirable. I’ve rarely embraced it. But it is inevitable. The challenge is to use change for my benefit. New jobs, new homes, new friends, new church, new marriage. My Mount Holyoke experience gave me the tools and the confidence to evolve through these changes. Knowledge in the arts and sciences and role modeling in the form of faculty and classmates provided the foundation for me to recognize that I could do anything

 As a nurse educator, I’ve taught in a variety of institutions to a wide variety of students; each one rewarded me when a light bulb went off to indicate when a student got it.  I was able to design new courses and to help transition a school from a diploma to a baccalaureate curriculum. While these activities were not earthshaking, they allowed me to grow as a nurse and an educator. I’m blessed to have loved my career choice.

These jobs took me to NYC, Nashville, Chicago, DC, Springfield IL and Bradenton FL. I have lived in dorms, married student housing, big city apartments, military housing, split-level and ranch homes and condos. While the window coverings may have changed, I have kept a few pieces of furniture and many memories from each space. Each new space offered new possibilities for trying to incorporate the old with something new.  Friends, family, resale stores and garage sales all benefited from the discards. Our latest move from Anna Maria Island to a condo in Bradenton was facilitated by friends who helped weed and pack/unpack;  new possibilities and a new community for potential friendships.  Tom and I still split our time between Springfield and Florida.

Friendships have evolved in number and distances apart. Strong bonds still exist with some high school and MHC friends. These are long-lasting because they were built on shared experiences, values and intermittent face-to-face visits. As I moved, new relationships were built with neighbors and co-workers. Some survived, some fell away as we evolved with different interests. Change happens.

My faith journey has involved membership in several Protestant denominations. Each move was motivated by my search for connection to a living God and, often, through connection with an inspired pastor. I became a Stephen Minister and Leader through the urging of such a faithful pastor; I find this connection to helping others through their life crises has provided me with a strong faith not necessarily within a specific doctrine. The knowledge gained through Stephen Ministry has helped me navigate this changing world, particularly as I age.

I have been blessed in my second marriage with a loving, understanding and interesting partner. Tom and I met at a Rotary meeting.   We married in 1995 and have had many adventures, including travel, a medical crisis with a miraculous recovery, and the birth and growth of 3 grandchildren. Tom introduced me to new friends as he and I had travelled in different circles in Springfield. He also added furniture to our home.  After retirement we changed our focus to enjoy our homes, friends, books, hobbies and more travel. I think France will forever be our favorite destination; Tom had a close family friend who was a cloistered nun in Annecy, opening my eyes to a new culture and her community. Like many of our generation, we now spend lots of time with various members of the medical profession.  My nursing background has helped me monitor medications, do dressing changes, and interpret what the medical professional is trying to tell us.

My experience and education at MHC have been central to my ability to evolve through change.  I learned how to write a cogent paragraph/thesis. Psychology and sociology helped me navigate my profession. Relationships with classmates and roles I assumed while a student gave me confidence to assume leadership roles in my community. But most important, Mount Holyoke taught me that I can do change in whatever form I find it. I gained self-confidence as a woman; an uncommon one.

Above is a picture of our family in December at our daughter's New Glarus WI farmhouse, enjoying the snow and each other. Our oldest grand, Sam, has just enrolled at Emory. That transition brings back so many memories of my start of college life at Prospect Hall. The future would gift me with dear and interesting friends and many academic challenges. I wish the same for him.



With Bob on our 57th anniversary last summer


Writing something for our class book has really caused me to stop and think. What do I want to say?  What best describes me – who am I and where am I in the winter of my life?

I have to admit as I read the Class Notes in each Quarterly, I often can’t identify.  I have had jobs, not a career; I haven’t traveled extensively; I haven’t served on various boards, etc.  However, I still feel Mount Holyoke helped form me and make me the person I am today.                     

In our lives we make choices, the best we can at the time at what we later realize were crossroads in our lives.  We then live out those choices- “for better or worse…” wherever they take us.

Bob and I have been married for 57+ years.  When we got married I chose not to continue teaching.  The only time I would be free would have been weekends, the only time he, as an Episcopal priest, was not.  So I found myself in the role then expected of me, the minister’s wife, and all it then entailed.  And then Bob, burned out, left parish ministry…

 We’ve managed, but it hasn’t always been easy.  More adapting, more evolving…  And now changes in our world, our country, and in us (some caused by the pandemic, some by our aging bodies), make some things we once did and enjoyed no longer possible.  Yet more adapting and evolving in order to be still involved.  For example, we no longer feel in person Road Scholar trips are possible for us, but are learning a lot and are being stimulated by on-line lectures they now offer.  We’ve also attended great plays and concerts on-line.  We’ve been able to weather the death of some very close friends.

For the most part, my life is still focused around my family, and trying to live out my faith.  I still knit (something I learned to do at MHC – remember each professor having their own rules about whether it was allowed in class?).   I enjoy feeding and watching the birds (remembering fondly Bessie Boyd’s ornithology class);  reading and walking when my health and time permit, are also important to me.  I facilitate a group at our church which seeks to learn from the Rule of Benedict, and thus seek to grow in my faith with others.  I feel blessed to be living year-round in Maine.

What further adapting and evolving will be required of me in the years ahead so that I may still be actively involved in my life and the lives of those around me whom I love and care for?  I hope that with God’s help I will continue to be up to the task.                                     

Our family: daughter-in-law Irma (from Indonesia),
son Rob, son Alan and his son, Nathan



Ever Adapting
Perhaps you remember that I was a music major and human physiology minor. I have pulled on these two threads over the past 60 years. After MHC I worked in auditory neurophysiology research at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Boston) and then adapted to life in Kaduna, Nigeria, where I worked in a maternity hospital and was the show accompanist for “The Fantastics” with a Nigerian cast.

After coming home early from Nigeria because of the 1965 coup, I taught high school biology in New Hampshire. Ah, the beauty of a liberal arts education! We are prepared to adapt.

Always evolving
After raising Gillian Swift Backus, MHC ’91, a Ph.D. toxicologist and full professor at North Virginia Community College, and Bradford Backus, Dartmouth ’95, a Ph.D.  graduate of the Harvard/MIT Program in Health Sciences (speech and hearing), I evolved to become an instructor of occupational health after receiving an MS in Organization and Management. In 1995, with children out of the house, I took a position as Director of Outreach and Community Engagement in occupational health and safety and environmental health sciences at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. This evolution to public health was really prompted by my experience in Nigeria. What about the music?  I taught piano while my kids were growing up and “adapted” to teaching via ZOOM during COVID. …Still have a few adult piano students.

Still involved
With three delightful grandchildren, one in Virginia and two in London, travel to these locations is frequent, and we all get together in Maine in the summer to kayak and enjoy the ocean.  Thanks to our excellent mentoring in writing at MHC, I love writing bimonthly FISH SAFE articles for Commercial Fisheries News. In terms of hearing science, I join nurses from the University of Southern Maine for health screenings on the islands in Casco Bay; my role is hearing screenings.  The music thread?  I am on the board of Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Boston.  When to retire? No date as yet. At Harvard Chan, a new five-year grant from NIOSH (
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) will allow me to work on rural health care access in Maine, and a colleague and I have just launched a new graduate-level course on community engagement. Although I haven’t seen as many classmates as I would like to have seen, I do get to see Jane Backus Bragg and Frank at their 125- year-old cabin on a lake in Maine and MHC roommate, Sally Calder Wittenberg and Steve, at their summer lake location near Tanglewood. Cyndy Curry Rapp and I enjoyed several Bach Festivals in Carmel until COVID intervened.

Personally, trying to remove plastics from my life and the environment - even bought a yellow cotton sweater rather than an acrylic one for reunion.  I look forward to seeing and talking with many of you for our 60th in May.  We are certainly fortunate to be able to gather again to see our special friends and the beautiful MHC campus.



In front of the "Treasury" at Petra. The area is packed with caves and structures dating from prehistoric times to Roman occupation and later

This started out as a reflection on Mount Holyoke and the benefits of a liberal arts education, but I was seized by the wish to convey thoughts from a recent three-week visit to the Middle East. A small group of curious Americans of a certain age, together with an excellent guide, explored the physical and social aspects of cultures in Jordan and along the Nile, from 3000 BCE to modern times. I am not a spiritual person, nor do I believe in ghosts, but that trip affected my view of the human condition.

The temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, built in 1300 BCE. It is paired with an equally fantastic edifice for his wire, Nefertari.


The shift started when I was standing nearly alone deep inside the giant temple built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel. The magnificent complex was carved into the native stone 3600 years ago but more recently had to be cut into blocks and reconstructed at sufficient elevation to escape the dammed rising waters of Lake Nasser. So our presence there depended on its original construction (using methods we still don’t fully understand), the near-miracle of the successful international effort to raise the edifice, and the mixed blessing of long-distance jet transport for tourists. Facing a wall covered with colorful images of the pharaoh, I sensed a kind of power projected to us from that ancient civilization.


A week later and more than 700 miles north in Cairo, we visited the exhibit of royal mummies in the new Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The hall was dark and quiet, displaying one-by-one the sarcophagus and mummy for each of 18 rulers, Ramses II among them. An engraved plaque described the individual’s accomplishments. As a physician, I have seen death; now I was looking at the remains of rulers who were apparently focused lifelong on preserving their bodies and surrounding them with elaborate and costly furnishings for the afterlife. And now they were lying in glass cases to be stared at by unbelievers. I was struck by the irony of people with great power and an elaborate belief system that consumed the resources of a major civilization for thousands of years, but is now just a curiosity for visitors.

The remains of Tutankhamun, who ruled Egypt for ten years, but was still a teenager when he died more than 3,000 years ago


“And what about King Tut?” you ask. Tutankhamun’s treasures are on display in another Cairo museum, but his mummy lies alone in his now-barren tomb in the Valley of Kings.

What might the ancient Egyptians have done if their treasure and engineering skills had been devoted to more practical work? Our civilization has far different goals and is much more pluralistic, but we have been similarly blind to the long-term consequences of our way of life: the human population explosion and our search for comfort without regard to the way we have disrupted the finely tuned, ecological mechanisms of life on Earth.

Being able to articulate these thoughts outside my area of expertise is surely a product of liberal education for women, a very recent phenomenon. In fact, I have benefitted from two Mount Holyoke educations, first as a student and then twenty years later during my term as an Alumna Trustee. I am most grateful for the opportunities and pleasures opened to me by Mount Holyoke, which is why I have devoted some effort to raising funds — especially endowment — to support future students at our alma mater. The human race needs the creativity and know-how they will gain at Mount Holyoke and take out into the world.



When I graduated as a math major, I never envisioned how my life would evolve into computers and the tech industry.  I started with Shell Oil and main frames and evolved with tech innovation into other companies focusing on bar codes/RFID. I retired last year. I’m now living in Melville, New York (on Long Island) My greatest pleasures are, of course, my children and grandchildren.

Ever Adapting
1 Marriage
1 Divorce
2 sons
3 grandchildren
2 degrees

Still Evolving
2 homes1 career over 3 major companies (6 companies, if you count the takeovers)
Volunteer organizations

Always involved 
Enjoy my grandchildren
Volunteer organizations, especially the American Cancer Society
Research my family’s genealogy
Visit Vienna where one of my granddaughters is studying on a Fulbright scholarship



The Gift of Mt. Holyoke College
I think what I treasure most about my MHC education from 60 years out is the possibility of combining a philosophy major with becoming a registered nurse.   One of the primary reasons I chose MHC and applied under early admission was because I knew I would be able to choose more liberal arts courses as a nursing student than at the mid-western universities where most of my high school friends were applying.  However, in the spring of my freshman year, I realized that I could major in only one of the subjects I had taken that year because of the difficulty of fitting in all the requirements in three years before the nursing part began.  While I was struggling with this decision, Ms. Rose of the philosophy department became the temporary house mother at Woodbridge, where my chosen roommate for sophomore year resided (Pat Pickett Wecker).  Ms. Rose must have known of our friendship because she casually asked Pat what I planned to major in.  When Pat answered honestly, “chemistry,” Ms. Rose responded, “Oh, I had hoped she would major in philosophy”  because I had done well in her “101” class.  That did it for me.  I immediately figured out how I could get all the required courses in for a philosophy major, nursing, and the general education requirements without going to summer school—something I would have had to do for a chemistry major. 

That one decision made a big difference in other decisions that followed.  Going to India right out of Hartford Hospital School of Nursing to work in a Presbyterian Mission Hospital in the Punjab put me in an environment of Hinduism and Sikhism.  My major gave me a lot of good questions to ask of my own faith, as well as the new ones I was learning about.   Eventually, these questions sent me back to the USA to graduate school at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University to try to “straighten out my head.”   In the process of getting an MA in Sociology of Religion, though, I was exposed to community organizing (Saul Alinsky gave 6-8 lectures at Union during my first year).  That led to four years of organizing around health issues (mainly the lack of services) in Appalachian communities in five states.   In 1971, I stopped driving 40,000 miles/year, settled in one of the remote counties in North Carolina, and used the experience I had gained to found a rural health program that is still going strong 50 years later, serving everyone in Madison County.

The big gift from MHC is I think the confidence that one can learn whatever one needs to function well in whatever life situation one finds oneself.  This means learning enough Hindi to care for patients in India or bookkeeping and cost accounting to make sure one can survive a HEW audit.  I also learned a great deal about home construction while an officer of a Habitat affiliate for fifteen years, because after marrying and having children, I worked full time again only after they were in college.  We now live in a very modest retirement community that my husband and I helped found in Abingdon, VA, called ElderSpirit.  Again, it combines my philosophy degree with nursing because the community looks to me for health and medical advice, and we are a “spirit” community, welcoming all spiritual paths.   The photo at the top of the page shows our three children, spouses for two, and our grandchildren.  One more boy has been born since the photo was taken about three years ago. 



 I suppose entering into my eighties now would entitle me to indulge in all the things I would have changed in my life (of which there would have been almost an infinite number starting at age 17), but I find that is something I wish to avoid.  What’s done is done, and all that.

The one skill that I would teach young people today is to take time out periodically to reflect on their life as it is happening and decide if it is working well for them.  Barreling through life on impulse really isn’t a terrific idea.  Of course, it was the 70’s and that needs to be taken into account….

The greatest challenge I have faced is providing for my own living.  MHC and my living in my early years in New Mexico did not prepare or allow me much in the way of career choices, except for the usual secretary, teacher, nurse thing.  In addition, I had absolutely NO idea on how to look for jobs or other opportunities.  I once applied for a job as a jail matron not quite understanding what that even was.  Fortunately, I have been able to be moderately successful in assembling resources and am able to provide for myself now in my old age sufficiently, for which I am grateful.

I believe women our age have certainly had to adjust to a lot of different cultural changes and that wasn’t particularly easy for most of us.  Who knew in 1963 what revolutions were to come?  Certainly not me.



 Reflections on being 81 in 2023 AD
I am now enjoying retired life after 50 years of working. The “working” involved a decade of for profit and a decade in the nonprofit cultural sector and two decades in economic development and manufacturing.  Five years ago, Jamie and I moved from NYC into a CCRC in Greenport, NY (end of the North Fork of Long Island). I am getting plenty of exercise (golf, pickleball, yoga, sailing, exercise classes etc.) trying new things (drawing class, improv class) and returning to some of my past priorities (art and finance): Co-chair of the PL Art Club, Vice Chair of Member Finance Committee, and the Vice Chair of the PL Community Fund.  I am also a member of the Town of Southold Economic Development Committee, wrestling with business challenges in a second home community. So, I am still working –just not paid for it. My son and his family live five miles away and so we are also blessed with opportunities for spur of the moment lunches, holiday celebrations, attendance at school concerts, and just hanging out.

As I look back on the last sixty years, I realize that while there were many benefits from my MHC education, there are several that I am particularly grateful for.

The first is that a woman’s college education gave me the space to grow in confidence, interests and competencies while protected from the realities of misogyny in the larger world. By the time I got there, I felt I could deal with it, and did so.

The second was the importance of continuously learning – which was needed, as I moved from communications to international finance to cultural affairs, to economic development to manufacturing extension. In each situation, I was able to apply my administrative and financial skills to very different sets of problems, but I could not have done this without the ability to use my liberal arts training to understand how my skills could benefit a new situation.

Thirdly, I learned to research (oh those index cards). Now I use the research skills to do Google searches that help me manage my technology, figure out how to stay healthy, find out what is going on in the North Fork, or plan our next trip.

Coming to a CCRC is a lot like arriving at MHC – a big rural campus, lots of opportunities for learning, knew nobody, complaints about the food – sounds familiar. But after five years, we have adjusted, learned how to navigate the organization, made lots of new friends, stepped up to leadership in areas of interest, and took risks in learning new skills (drawing, improv etc.). Incidentally, within my immediate vicinity are two other MHC graduates (classes of 1960 and 1968) who have become good friends.

In addition to the many Seven Sister alums here, we have found both women and men who are close to or over 100 – socially, physically and emotionally active – and examples to follow. I just told our financial advisor to adjust the planning parameters to 100 years – hopefully happy and healthy ones.



Linda and Norton


Travel and orthopedic adventures—these are the some of the themes of my ten years since our 50th Reunion!

Most of our travels have been wonderful family trips with all 13 of us—five grandkids, our three kids and their spouses, and Norton and me.  June, 2014, had us in Annecy, France, hiking in the Alps, exploring French villages and OD’ing on French baguettes and patisserie.  In June,  2016, we were at a ranch in Montana galloping over the prairie, sleeping under the stars and wrangling horses.  We rented a villa in June 2019 on the Italian Riviera to celebrate Norton’s 85th birthday. We hiked the Cinque Terre and biked to the beach finishing each day with gelati. A highlight was going to Israel in July 2022 for the Maccabiah Games (the Jewish Olympics) where our granddaughter Abby played on the women’s soccer team and won a gold medal in a hard-fought final against Israel.  Our daughter Laurie competed in women’s Masters tennis and earned a silver medal in doubles. 

Covid interrupted everything—like everyone, we hunkered down, fortunately stayed healthy and even had family Thanksgiving in 2020 outdoors like the Pilgrims of yore. We felt sad for our grandkids who all had missed so many special events.

Sprinkled in between all this were one shoulder and two knee replacements.  Lots of rehab and I am back to biking, hiking, golf, and tennis teaching and coaching. 

Most of the winter months find us at our home in Savannah, where the weather is warm and sunny and we can enjoy outdoor activities to our hearts’ content.  Definitely not a hardship tour.

We continue our various philanthropic commitments as Board members of the American Jewish Committee, the Washington Institute for Near East Affairs, JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aging), and I continue my involvement with Democratic politics locally and nationally.

Top row: Abby, Norton, Linda, and Harrison;
Bottom row: Dani, Carly, and Jessie



Mirja and John with daughters Nikki and Maija


On the Move

Immigrated to U.S.
Learned English
Graduated from MHC
Made lifelong friends there (Barb, Becky, Gretchen, Lois, Polly)
Married California boy John
Both went to grad school
Moved to San Francisco
Daughter Maija born
Moved into international life

Asian adventures began with move to Philippines, 1976; loved the people & lifestyle
Got certified in scuba diving
Daughter #2 Annikki born
Moved to Bangkok, Thailand; studied Thai; loved the food
Next move, Singapore on the equator; most efficient Asian country; rained every afternoon--steamy and hot!
Final Asian move - Hong Kong
Dream job at B International magazine; editor for 8 years, talented gals on staff
MHC rep to Seven Sisters organization
Our family loved Hong Kong food & lifestyle

1998 - Return to USA, settled in Sonoma, CA, population 10,000
ASAP got involved in community: Museum board, membership & publicity;  Was founding member of Impact100 Sonoma, a women’s organization helping local non-profits
Walking mornings with 8 friends for 23 years now
Pilates class, bocce league, Mah Jongg, book group
Love that daughters and 4 grandsons live in the same area
Celebrated 82nd birthday & 55th anniversary
Plan to continue being active and involved…Walking and talking for many more years!



Informed by Dr. Harrison that I didn’t have the math chops to make it in chemistry
Mesmerized by Peter Viereck; majored in Modern European History, minor in Poli Sci
Spent summer before senior year at the U.N. in Geneva on SGA scholarship
Decided not to save the world at the U.N.; too slow, too bureaucratic

Became affirmative action (women) hire at IBM without a scintilla of STEM
Loved the work, learned math!
Married Dick Drew, became mother of three sons: Chris, Rob and Ben.  Moved to Colorado.  Assured families we’d return to the East Coast after a few years
Joined the wave of women juggling professional career, spouse, children
Encouraged to serve on several nonprofit boards; liked mission driven work
Earned MPA as bridge back to saving the world.  Became Development Director at a nonprofit supporting Hispanic students in public schools
Raised $$ for Federico Pena, first Hispanic mayor of Denver; served in the Mayor’s Office for 4 years
Decided not to save the world in the trenches of city government; too much hand-to-hand combat.
After 22 years in CO, moved to the Bay Area; continued fundraising career for 3 decades, even though admonished by my mother never to talk with people about money because it was disrespectful

Continue pro bono work for a few nonprofits and volunteer in political campaigns
Discovered three 1963 classmates: Mirja, Marged, and Gunda, while living in Sonoma, a small town in the Wine Country, population 10K. We are everywhere.
Moved from Sonoma to San Francisco two years ago against the swarm fleeing the city
Loving urban life, with three sons, three daughters in law, and eight grandchildren living in the Bay Area
Last week a grandson and I got tattoos because we wanted to!
Four grandchildren graduate from high school at the end of May, so can’t attend the 60th to show you the tattoo

The world needs saving more than ever. We are the uncommon women who are up to the challenge!



Ever adapting
By choice: making a new life in 9 communities (13 homes)
By circumstance: meeting on-going health challenges since 2017

Still Evolving
Learning to live in the moment
Continuing to step outside my comfort zone

Always Involved
Accepting limitations on my ability to make time sensitive commitments
Grateful for the opportunity to support our daughter in home-schooling our grandchildren

Looking forward to reunion!!



After graduation, a government job in DC led to meeting a Californian and a move to Los Angeles. I never expected that I would leave the East Coast.

My career started in computer programming. But as a mom of two young children, full time work was not for me. I started working part time with a small organization, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and helped it grow over the next 25 years to a much larger, successful non-profit serving hundreds of children each year. I never expected to work for an arts non-profit.

Leigh and I are still in our home of 49 years in Pasadena. We enjoy traveling with our family and spent our annual week in Hawaii in April with our older daughter Jennifer, her husband Steve, and grandchildren Alice 11 and Robert 8. We also traveled to our cottage in Brewster MA in June with Jennifer’s family as well as our younger daughter Valerie (Smith 2003), wife Kenzie and their child Riley, 3. Their second Cameron was born in November.

In August Leigh had a major stroke, so all our current energy and effort are directed on his recovery. I expected to attend reunion, but that looks doubtful.



Surprises along Paths Taken

PhD program in Italian Renaissance art:  I loved the academics, but during my third year I felt increasingly isolated at Harvard. I postponed a fellowship for thesis in Italy to marry David Mack, my love of three years, when he was a Foreign Service Officer in Jordan. I saw nothing but sand below as the plane descended to the airport outside Amman. What had I done?

Twenty-five years in the Arab world: My Fulbright was withdrawn because of my marriage to a State Department employee (anti-nepotism rule). David became a patron of the arts during my thesis research in Italy and his rapid reassignments in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Libya. His success as an Arabist kept us in the Middle East and North Africa.  Fortunately, Islamic history and art proved fascinating.

Parenting a multi-racial daughter:  Our most difficult and rewarding challenge. Unimaginable when we adopted her as an infant that she would become a nationally competitive gymnast. And finally we are grandparents.

 A settled life in Washnington D.C.:  What did I want to do?  While a volunteer assisting curatorial research at the National Gallery of Art, I was asked if I could give a lecture on possible connections between Italian and Islamic art. After a month of exploratory research, I agreed. The subject and the lecture’s reception re-energized me, leading to publications. They in turn led to speaking invitations across the US and internationally from London and Florence to Istanbul and Dubai.

David and I are blessed to remain sufficiently healthy and energetic to pursue our interests and discover new ones.    





With Chuck, Yosemite 2022


Best Things about Mt. Holyoke
Lifetime friendships.  Even though I majored in History, my wonderful Art History classes have enriched my travel experiences and prepared me to be a docent at the Stanford University Art Museum.

Best Lifetime Decisions
Spending a year in Italy, exploring and living independently before marriage.

Marriage to Chuck Preuss in 1969. 


Departing from our wedding reception, June 15, 1969


Staying Engaged and, Hopefully, Still Evolving
Book clubs, garden club (studying both horticulture and environmental issues), Contemporary Art Collectors group, photography, bridge, travel, art education in schools and, most of all, right now, family activities.  We managed to be together even through Covid, with family meals outside at separate tables during holidays.

Greatest Challenge
Watching my husband deal with Parkinson's/Lewy Body dementia, with admiration for his positive outlook and stoicism. 

With Chuck and the 8 grandchildren on my 80th birthday, July 2021



Ever Adapting

  • Lost a lab and 9 genetic counselors and lived to fight another day
  • Survived divorce; happily married to Bjorn for 28 years
  • Raised 3 successful kids
  • Survived the loss of secretaries
  • Endured 100+ staff and administrative changes
  • Mastered PowerPoint and Epic
  • Utilized Zoom for patient care
  • Learned interpretation of gene sequencing results
  • Sold a “forever” house and settled in beautiful Carmel

Still Evolving

  • Seeking new friends in Carmel
  • Exploring possible hobbies if I ever retire
  • Learning to be a more informed investor (discipline seems a reach)
  • Watching birds from the house instead of the woods
  • Planning new places to visit where endurance is not required
  • Treasuring time with kids and grandkids
  • Planting new varieties of tomatoes

Always involved

  • Listening to patients to hear what is not on a checklist
  • Pursuing diagnoses and getting them!
  • Participating in clinical research
  • Learning something new every day
  • Being a friend; in-person or on Zoom



Goose Pond, Hanover, NH


Upon reflecting upon the richness of my 81 years of life, one primary
word keeps emerging–


Family. Friends. Experiences. Life.

Judy Reeve

Class of 1963 60th Reunion

Mount Holyoke College



I was born and grew up in Ames, Iowa.  My Dad taught engineering to Seabees at Iowa State College during WWII, founded an engineering firm in Ames, traveled all week and sang the tenor solos at the Methodist church on Sundays.  My mother played piano and taught organ; my brothers played various instruments.  I was the only girl, a middle child, and despite 12 years of piano lessons, the only non-gifted musician in the family.

2 ½ years at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., dropped out to marry husband #1; finished Bachelor of Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; 1 year immersion course, Arabic, Defense Language Institute, Monterey California; 2 years, Franciscan Language School, Tokyo, Japan.

US Department of Labor, Wage Hour Investigator, Bronx and Manhattan, New York, 1967 – 1969; Wage specialist, Cost of Living Program, Region 9,  1970-1972; Federal Energy Office; Regional Director, Allocations, 1973; Regional Director, FEO Appeals, San Francisco, 1973-74; Director, Natural Gas Liquids Allocation, Washington DC, 1975 -76, US Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Agency, Director of Natural Gas Pipeline Regulations, 1977-78. Vicky Schuck would have been proud.

Every time I got bored I found a new emergency to work on.  I traveled a lot.   Somewhere along the way the first marriage ended and I met Jay, the love of my life and his two adorable little boys. I got married again, had my  first child the day after my 37th birthday, and never worked for money again. 

Volunteer and freelance highlights
Sidwell Friends School Auction, Washington DC, Catalogue writer, 1983-1985, Auction co-chair 1986; Best job I ever had.  My co-chair and I figured out how to digitize the Auction, but we couldn’t persuade the Headmaster to let us accept a racehorse to sell.  He thought it was a bit unseemly for a Quaker school.

In 1989, we moved to beautiful, woodsy Anchorage, KY, near Louisville, where Jay had taken a job as General Counsel of GE Appliances.   A friend and I organized the first annual auction for the Anchorage School, which was lots of fun, and I wound up running for and serving on the Anchorage School Board, which was not fun at all.  I also helped rewrite the City of Anchorage tree conservation regulations and wrote an occasional smart aleck column for a Louisville alternative newspaper.  I was getting bored again. 

In the nick of time, GE sent us all to Japan for the next 6 years.  I joined The College Women’s Association of Japan (founded by a group of MHC graduates after WWI), eventually co-chairing the Scholarship Committee, which awarded graduate scholarships for Japanese Women to study abroad and for non-resident, non-Japanese students to study in Japan.  I also studied Japanese at the Franciscan Language School in Tokyo for 2 years. Jay retired in 2001 and we moved to Seattle, near his oldest son Matt and our daughter Heather. 

Kids, Step kids, and Grandkids (Our only job now)
Matthew Lapin, Princeton basketball star in the late 1980’s; King County criminal prosecutor, then defense attorney and now a Superior Court judge in Seattle. His daughter Anna is a sophomore at
Boston College.

Christopher Lapin: BA University of Colorado; MA, Antioch University, Los Angeles. Independent licensed therapy practice in LA.   Married, children: Charlotte and Jacob.

Anna (Annie) C. Lapin:  BA Yale University, MFA UCLA, Artist working in LA.  Google Annie Lapin to see her work.  Married, children: Rosalie, and Cormac 

Heather Lapin Hewitt, BA Dartmouth College, MA University of Washington; currently Permit Manager for Seattle Sound Transit’s North Corridor. Married, children: Coraline, Geordi, and Beverly.

And here’s an MHC story, for your entertainment…
In the fall of 1961, I organized blind dates with some Wesleyan guys for a picnic on Mount Tom. Some friends came along. (You know who you are.) A lovely time was had by all, but we got a flat on the way back and missed curfew. The following Monday morning I was called in to see Dean Robinson. I responded to her question about how all of us were crammed into one car by explaining that we had sat on the guys’ laps. Growing larger in her chair, Miss Robinson fixed me with a steely eye, told me that this was terrible, and advised me that if I ever found myself in a similar situation, I should be sure to have a thick book or magazine available to place between me and the masculine lap. Then she campused me for two weeks.

Once again, I am the least accomplished member of the family, but I’m still studying, never bored.




Cliff notes:  I have had and am having the most wonderful, lucky life.

That being said, being a bold Uncommon Woman, I admit my days at MHC were not my finest hour.  I had little confidence (what would you expect when your HS dean of students calls you in April of senior year and says you are not going to be accepted at college because of your awful French achievement tests and then you are advised to take French freshman year - dah) and in addition, I, as a mid-west girl, was fish out of water.  Looking back, I wish that I had taken advantage of more of the things MHC had to offer, gotten help when I needed it and gotten to know more of you and developed more lasting friendships. (I do read the 1963 Forum Posts with a little envy…) Would I have gone to MHC again – absolutely; would I have done things differently-absolutely.                                               With Don, Iceland June,2022--still traveling


That being said, MHC, in spite of or because of, became the bridge to the woman I am today - strong, confident, feisty, caring, and with an enormous energy, a lot of curiosity, and a broad variety of interests.  Being a “rule follower,” unlike many of you, after college I followed the dictum of the times – (1) to find mister right and get married (Don Horwitz going on 59 years), (2) have children bingo, bingo, bingo (three great daughters, each with their own terrific spouse - no divorce- producing five very special grandchildren- aren’t they all - ages 26-17 but not yet launched) and (3) not work out of the home for pay.  After a couple of years in advertising, I did stay home, but have had a career, for which I worked very hard, as an unpaid activist and volunteer that I have found fulfilling, gratifying, challenging and interesting. You name a cause and I probably raise money for it, dispensed money to it or did hands-on for it.  Not being tied down, I have been fortunate to travel the world and pursue hobbies. Except for losing both of my parents in my late 30’s and a couple of serious health issues that Donny and I have faced straight on and openly and so far have won the battle, I have been lucky.

After living my whole life in the tiny suburb of Chicago, Glencoe IL (amazingly, I lived in only two homes – the one I grew up in and one Donny and I had for 45 years), we decided to pick up entirely and retire to our ski condo in Park City, Utah.  A new adventure and a perfect decision.  The mountains, the outdoor lifestyle have kept us young.

If you are ever in Park City or the Salt Lake City area, I would love for you to call so we can connect and catch-up. (Cell 847-370-6688  judyhorwitzparkcity@gmail.com) You will find me on the hills either skiing, hiking, golfing, or doing good deeds around town.

Life is good – to many more years for all of us.




My life since graduation from MHC has been very different from what I expected in those long-ago days of the 1960s.  I went on to graduate school because I wanted to know a lot about something. I expected to get married, raise a family and gradually work into teaching at the college level once the kids were grown.  Everything proceeded with my plan for a few years.  I got married to a fellow graduate student at Johns Hopkins while I was working on my PhD, and our daughter arrived less than a year later. 

Unfortunately, it became apparent that my husband had a number of emotional problems that he was trying to drown in alcohol.  In retrospect, many years later, I’ve concluded that he began subconsciously trying to make our toddler feel as bad about herself as he felt about himself.  In any case, I felt I had to get us out of the situation and divorced him after five years.  Suddenly, I was a single parent needing to support the two of us – something I’d never contemplated.  A few years later I accepted a job offer at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where I’ve been ever since – 50 years this coming July.  At that point I didn’t actually know where Omaha was.

What’s been so different?  I’ve been a wife, mother and very involved grandmother – all things in my plan.  I’m working at a university, although I never expected to work fulltime outside the home my entire adulthood.  I certainly never expected to be married only 5 years and to be alone for the next 50+ years.  On a professional level, I think I chose science not only because I found it interesting, but because I was pretty sure I wasn’t much of a “people” person.  While no one would ever confuse me with an enthusiastic extrovert, it has turned out that I’m actually a good administrator – the people who work for me trust me and look to me for leadership (amazing).  I had no idea the university was going to form a College of Public Health in 2007 or that I’d be asked to form and chair a new department therein.  That’s been really exciting and satisfying.  These experiences have allowed me (and in some cases forced me) to develop new skills or improve those I have.  I’m doing things now that I never imagined.

When I look back at my 1960s self, I tend to cringe – because I was so naïve and so complacent in thinking that others were experiencing things the same way I was.  Many things I thought were really important in life then, I couldn’t care less about now.  I also cringe because of things I took for granted and things I never said or asked.

When I think of the roads not taken in my life, I wonder sometimes what might have been if I’d made different choices at certain key points.  What I know with certainty, though, is that I wouldn’t change where I am now and many of the experiences I have had for anything.  There have been people and events in my life that I can’t imagine not having.  Perhaps, that means that fundamentally my life hasn’t been so different from my expectations in 1963, even though it feels like it’s been very different.



When I left Mount Holyoke, I expected to become a teacher and get married to my Dartmouth beau. And I did those things, but they were only the beginning of the story. The teaching and the marriage came apart at the same time, and while nothing in my previous life had prepared me for either unraveling, I pulled myself together, moved out of the suburbs (where all my friends were having babies), found a new job, and rented the most beautiful parlor floor apartment on the West Side of New York City, where I lived alone for the first time in my life. Mount Holyoke had made me brave.

I went on to work as a writer, an editor, and a Unitarian Universalist minister. I was most famous in 2004 when I was arrested, tried, and acquitted for officiating at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples in New Paltz, New York. Thirteen years later my husband, Paul Fargis, and I retired to Woodland Pond, a fabulous CCRC in that same town. Our children and grandchildren are all nearby. I am singing, writing, gardening, hiking, and working for a more sustainable Earth. I salute my sisters in the class of '63 and wish you all long and happy lives.




Ever Adapting
In June of 1963 I expected to live a life much like my mom’s—wife, mother, community volunteer, but soon after my marriage that September, I realized that I wanted something different and fortunately my husband was open minded and supportive. I soon was working at a community center in East Harlem. I thought I was marrying a future lawyer, but Ted decided to go back to graduate school and became a Geography professor, requiring moves from NYC to Massachusetts and Kentucky where a new university was being established. Wherever we lived, there seemed to be an interesting job for me, but never one I had planned on.  I never felt prepared, but somehow managed to figure out what needed to be done and enjoyed my professional life. Ted called me a utility player, like in baseball. One aspect of my work that required serious adapting was technology. Fortunately, I was teaching at a university when personal computers and the World Wide Web became important. I found it fun and could always call upon the IT student workers to bail me out when in a jam. Because of that experience, I have been happily coordinating our class website.

Still Evolving
After retiring from NKU, I refocused on art, something I had enjoyed at Mount Holyoke but had never seen as central to my life after that. I am so pleased I finally “found” or rediscovered my love of art and started taking painting lessons at a nearby cultural center, a photography prize, and chairing the Women’s Committee of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Always Involved
This is challenging…. Involved in what? I would like to be more involved with my children and grandchildren, but they, fortunately, are wonderfully involved in their exciting, busy lives. I am involved in getting ready for everyone to come to Cincinnati at the end of July—for one day. In the meantime, our grands are in South Dakota on a mission trip, teaching in London, studying in Berlin, coaching in New Orleans, etc. I am involved in my mind and on Zoom, but not so much physically with my family. Involved in our church? For many years I was an active leader in our church, but there came a time when I intentionally passed on responsibilities to the next generations. Now I often feel like making suggestions but try to keep my mouth shut. I am with my husband a lot, but we are wary of couple isolation. I do seek out opportunities to make relationships happen like book groups, a women’s lunch group, the museum board, art lessons. I love reunion planning with our classmates. But somehow it all feels more challenging than when the kids and friends were built into our everyday lives. But yes, I am still involved.

What has been happening in our lives these last five years? Our lives have slowed down in a good way. I love having lunch with friends, reading, painting and working in my garden.  Most of all, I enjoy being with my family and hearing what is going on in their lives. I miss my MHC roommate, Karen Kayser Benson more than I ever imagined. I am so grateful for my many other Mount Holyoke friends and their active part in my life. The COVID pandemic put a halt to our travel and then my husband fell. Things are different now, but it is not all bad. There is a rhythm to this thing called life and each phase has been filled with adventures and blessings.

With children and grands in Cincinnati, Ohio

         Celebrating 80th with sibs in Wisconsin (including an informal harp concert!)



Two Stories

Story one begins sixty years ago. Graduation is over, my possessions are packed, I am in the back seat of my parents’ car, and the car is driving out through the campus gates. I’m thinking about a 15th-century painting by Masaccio I’d seen projected on the wall in Miss Cogswell’s art history class. It’s “The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.” An angel, brandishing a flaming sword, hovers above the anguished pair, signaling that they will never return.

This may sound funny, but think of it. Here I am, leaving the beautiful Mount Holyoke campus, where I’ve been accepted, protected, nurtured, befriended, and educated, and where all my needs have been met. And now I’m off to a big city university in New York, where I won’t know anyone, and I will be living in my parents’ apartment. Things are not looking good.

Still, life turned out pretty well. Not all of it, but mostly. My life in a bulleted list:

  • Started graduate school in philosophy at City University of New York.
  • Dropped out because I NEEDED to get out of my parents’ apartment, which meant I needed a job to pay for my own apartment.
  • Started teaching 8th-grade English in New York and got my apartment.
  • Got married for all the wrong reasons.
  • After three years of teaching, began my publishing career at the best possible place—Scholastic. It was a dream job.
  • My son, Daniel, was born—the best possible son! We called him Danny then.
  • Got divorced after ten years of marriage.
  • Got married again, this time for the right reasons, to the smart, funny, and totally lovable Robert Hirschfeld,whom I had met long ago at Wesleyan. The best possible husband!
  • In 2009, at the age of 67, Bob died.I was utterly lost.
  • Danny grew up and became “Dan,” graduated from Wesleyan, acquired a PhD in English lit., and has forged a successful academic career. He is now a happy, healthy man with a lovely wife, Ginny, and two delightful step daughters, Nora and Camilla.
  • I finally came to know that, while I would miss Bob for the rest of my life, I needed to build a new life for myself. I needed to evolve into a strong single woman again, and stay involved with the things I loved.
  • To my amazement, a man came into my life quite unexpectedly—my present wonderful life partner, Mark Cohen.
  • We adopted a puppy!
  • I turned 80. OMG! Life is good now, and I’m so thankful.






On the Hudson River with Camilla, Nora, Ginny, Dan, and Mark






Story two begins twenty-one years ago, when I became the official mentor of an adorable, gifted, spirited 8-year-old boy named Darian. Darian, Bob, and I fell in love with one another—we had such good times together for two years. The bonds we formed remained, even when Darian moved to Georgia with his family. We texted, emailed, phoned, and sometimes visited. When he was 17, he came to stay with me for a week after Bob died. After graduating from high school, Darian joined the Marines. He found his life partner, Jackie, and they had two sweet daughters, Aubrey and Adelynn. Now he was Super Dad! And he worked so hard to support his family. He was proud of that, but he had missed the opportunity to go to college and forge a career that he would find meaningful. While continuing to work full time and often overtime, he enrolled at Clayton State University in Georgia. In December, 2022, he graduated with a bachelors’ degree, cum laude, and I was at his graduation. We had a wonderful, proud, celebratory weekend. Now Darian is busy working on his resume.  I know he will go far.

I went back to visit in April, and this summer Aubrey will come to spend a week with us. We’re excited.

One thing I must add. Friends remark on how much I’ve helped Darian. I tell them the truth—that he helps me as much as I help him. My life would not be the same –or as good—without him and his family.

Back row: Sisters, Darian, Charlie (mom) Jackie; front row:
Aubrey, age 8, Aunt Kaya age 5, Adelynn, age 6 (hiding)










                                                                                           With Darian, Aubrey and Adelynn



One of my favorite memories from MHC is a lunch at the Bookshop Inn during my sophomore year. We were a foursome. In addition to myself there were another student, Barbara Kramer; our English Professor, Sydney McLean; and John Updike.   Professor McLean was teaching a short story class, and not only had she invited him to lunch with us, she had chosen our two stories for Mr. Updike to read beforehand so that he could critique them for us in person. After the meal, he did critique both stories, quite extensively. Looking back, I’m impressed that he had taken the preparation time to be so meticulous in his analyses, and so gracious in his explanations. Just to be there was a privilege.

On a more personal note, I also remember Ms. McLean, when she and I were discussing my story right after she had first read it . . . I remember her asking me what I wanted to be in life (or something like that). My response was, “to  be happy”—to which she replied, gesturing toward the manuscript, “Do you think you’ll ever be happy, with that?” Shrewd woman—she knew me better than I did. But then who does know herself at age nineteen or twenty? Here I am, a month shy of eighty-two, and still learning.

Regards to all.



Ever Adapting
I have been single my whole life, which meant that I threw myself into my working life, often to the detriment of relationships.  Living a distance from family, parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews, I often missed out on family events.  My way of dealing with that was to invite them to visit me as often as possible.  When I retired, there was no job to take up my time, but I moved back to Maine to be close to family.  Now I am at most family events and have filled what was my work life with volunteer activities.  I have become very involved with conservation groups within my community and have established a good working relationship with many in the land conservation community.  If, as I age, these commitments become more difficult, I will search out different way of contributing.

Still Evolving
I volunteer with two organizations which require that I continue to learn new skills and broaden my knowledge of the environment and how to protect it. My Mount Holyoke liberal arts background has helped me tremendously in learning new skills, both while I was working in an engineering/manufacturing environment for most of my career and with my volunteer work since retired.  I’ve learned a great deal about the science of conserving, and protecting the largest salt marsh in the state of Maine and becoming a resource for those with whom I volunteer.  I also spent some time volunteering with the AARP tax assistance program, becoming a team leader (Oh that MHC education!)

Always Involved
Family (extended in my case) has always been important to me.  What this has meant is that upon retirement, I moved back to Maine to be close to aged parents, siblings and nieces, nephews, great- nieces and great-nephews. I have become more involved with their lives than I could have been while living some distance away. What does involvement mean to me in this instance?  Making sure that I see them often, attend as many family functions as possible, meet them one-on-one as often as possible and make sure that I am part of their lives, in whatever ways they will let me.

I am now the oldest member of my extended family and enjoy being the sister, sister-in-law, aunt, great aunt and great, great aunt.  I have five nephews and their wives, ten grandnieces and grandnephews and one (soon to be two in April) great grandnephew.

I also have one 7-year-old female cat called Eleanor. She belonged to classmate Helen Weinland.  I adopted her when Helen could no longer care for her. Eleanor is the latest in a series of cats over the years, including, Kit, Dusty, Patches, and Max (the killer cat).

With the youngest family member 











I am fortunate to have lived at a time of changing expectations and opportunities for women. I was able to complete my MHC and graduate degrees, and to establish a professional identity before childbearing. The birth of my second child, a child with severe disabilities, required me and my family to create a new worklife balance. I transitioned from classroom teaching, to advocacy work and ultimately, with loving support from my husband Bill, to a graduate degree in public health and working in hospital/health systems management for about 25 years. Meanwhile, Bill’s career path as a professor evolved from teaching physical chemistry to environmental studies, a field that he helped create. Ultimately his work on climate change led us to move to the Boston area.

With Bill in the Adirondacks, looking for old growth trees. They store
lots of carbon. Letting mature trees grow ("pro-forestation") naturally
mitigates climate change and is more effective than tree-planting or
other managed forestry effort.


Still Evolving
About 20 years ago, and in anticipation of retirement, Bill and I built a net-zero energy house in Williamstown, MA, the town to which we moved as newly-weds and where we launched our careers in 1964. In 2003, I embarked on a steep learning curve, working with architect, engineer and builder to achieve the goal of living in a house where we produce more energy than we consume (presentation at our 50th reunion). This led to opportunities to consult with others who were eager to reduce their carbon footprint, a kind of third career for me that has fostered
relationships with wonderful people, as well as an opportunity to be useful when building and zoning issues come up in town.  The empty-nest, pre-Covid years were also filled with international travel to Europe, Asia and Africa, including beautiful natural areas far and near. This photo of son David and me was taken at our local Farmer’s Market, where we were enjoying the live music.








Always Involved
Covid caused a reset of my life. Numerous trips were cancelled. Writing class, book group and periodic gatherings with MHC classmates went online, and have not fully recovered. I miss personal engagement with friends, before and after meetings, over coffee or lunch.

I am fortunate to be a member of a hiking group in western Massachusetts, where there are opportunities to be in Nature with friends. I was able to resume weekly hiking by May 2020. I am a hike leader about every 8 weeks. In this photo, I am leading a hiking group up a trail to the Taconic Crest, which divides western MA from eastern NY state. We are wearing orange because it is hunting season.

 While slowing down, I am filled with gratitude that I am still able to be very active. In the past year we have hiked in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, sea kayaked in Maine with our grandson Keagan, and x-country-skied in the Adirondacks.

My granddaughter Keira has been admitted to Williams College, and hopefully our home will be a gathering place for her and her friends. We have already hosted Keira and three other early decision admits soon after they got the news! We have considered downsizing, but at the rate we are going that is unlikely to happen over the next few years.

Always Involved!



I came to Mt. Holyoke from a small town. Many of us did. The college was a gateway to endless wonders. My mind feasted on books and ideas and grew stronger. I met women who have grown old with me. 

I arrive at this late chapter of my life more or less intact. I am deeply happy with someone new. There is much I can no longer do, places I will never see, but myriad pleasures await me. Knowing there is a time limit makes them precious. Every rose matters.

Some people I love continue active lives. Some live on in memory, still vital. Some face the dying of the light. One spends his days in a wheelchair, his mind scrambled, brightening when our son calls or I show him a picture of our grandchildren. Our paths having taken radically different turns. He would not have chosen the life he lives now, but he seems content. I hope so.



With Peter in Spain, 2022

Mount Holyoke after 60 Years: Broken Hearted
The 60 years flew by. When Peter asked me to marry him, I asked him what our life would be like.  He answered, “All I can promise you is that I will show you the world."  And he did. There were lots of celebrations and very little drama or trauma. Peter and I traveled to more than 180 countries.   We wrote three books on travel together.  I built five houses and practiced law as a trial attorney in Federal Court representing Greenwich Ct.  I participated in numerous philanthropic organizations including the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association in various capacities. I was President of local MHC organizations several times and also assisted Peter with his duties as Vice President and Treasurer of Princeton class of 1961

 Most recently I have become very active at Mount Vernon, where I am a Founder supporting its educational mission.  It is especially meaningful to me since I live on the Potomac River on property owned by George Washington. I also serve on the Women’s Committee of The National Opera and am active in the Trust for the National Mall. One of my favorite philanthropies is the Danby Vermont Historical Society, the town of my grandparents and where my grandfather built a house for me to come to visit in the summers so I would have Vermont roots. One of my grandson’s middle name is Danby and he is a life time member of the historical society.  I still maintain the house my grandfather built for me in 1941 in this town famous for its pure white marble used to construct the Supreme Court and currently 250, 000 headstones for our national cemeteries

Participating with Peter was both an honor and a pleasure. Having received a PhD from Harvard in Chemical Physics, he had been named as a contributor to a Nobel Prize and served as Executive Vice President of W.R. Grace & Co. He had a remarkable number of affiliations including participation on the advisory boards of eight colleges and universities including Princeton, Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, Georgia Tech, and Texas A and M, and membership on advisory boards for the government including Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos. He also served on eight different corporate boards including W.R. Grace and Ensco.  He served as Chairman of the National Medals of Technology under both Bush and Clinton and was President of the Industrial Research Institute, an organization of 250 research directors and vice-presidential officers of corporations. He also authored eleven books.  All of these affiliations were part of our social life and our teamwork.

Together we raised two spectacular children both of whom went to Princeton and have Harvard degrees and who married people who had also gone to Princeton and Harvard. We have four very special grandchildren, including a granddaughter who is a freshman at Princeton. Life was seemingly a very smooth ride.

We had just returned from a trip to Spain where we had a lot of celebrations and special visits. On Monday we had a private audience with the King of Spain.  Then on Saturday, after almost 60 years of marriage, on October 2, 2022 , Peter went to sleep and never woke up!

Two weeks later the Princeton Class of 1961 named me Class Treasurer.

Peter with King Felipe VI of Spain

First Thanksgiving without Peter, 2022



Wait….what??  How the heck did “82” get here?  Aren’t I still running headlong down the dark, snowy hill between the library and my South Rocky home, throwing myself into the star-filled sky with wild tour jetés while whistling, badly, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” into the freezing air?

Well, no.  Few tour jetés anymore--although I’ve unexpectedly become a total pickleball fanatic this past year.  Who knew elderhood could be this much fun!

And other less-enjoyable adjustments to “normal life” have occurred since hitting The Big 8-0: in mid-2021, husband Art faced serious health challenges that led to the fast-paced sale of our beloved house in R.I., and an equally speedy purchase of a condo in a—gulp—55 and older community northwest of Boston.  We’re now not far from the town (Stowe) where we raised our four sons decades ago.  The two elder of those sons (and families) are now within a very short drive from our door; they’ve been crucial to our new lives here.  The younger two are now equidistant from us in opposite directions (Cape Cod and VT) — near enough to get together as may be desired or needed.

Despite missing dear friends and innumerable educational and cultural activities in the Providence area, we’ve renewed old friendships here and have delighted in beginning new connections in the surrounding community.  (Yay, pickleball, for THAT, too!)   So despite having loved the urban sojourn of our earlier retirement years, we revel at being back at this semi-rural edge of historic-meets-modern New England.

We find ourselves reading more than ever, and we’re grateful to be entering this stage of later life at a time when technology puts nearly every movie ever made onto a screen that fits into a lap (or a hand, for those who watch on their smart phones!), or that can be shared on what still seems to us an amazingly-large TV screen across the room.  We’ve come a long way, baby, indeed—in SOME ways if not in other more important ones!

Ahead, who knows?  Thankfully, a pacemaker has improved Art’s health status significantly, and we both seem “stable” as of now.  Our six granddaughters continue to delight us as they grow into the caring, interesting (and to our eyes, lovely) young women they’ve become.  Each is finding her own unique path toward a future into which we hope at least to see them make initial steps as they tackle the enormous social and climatic challenges facing them.  Our sons and very beloved daughters-in-law offer treasured companionship and generous support; we’ll be depending on them in many ways in years to come.

So: “uncommon woman” I have so NOT been, but “only” wife, mother, grandmother, friend, pick-up-job-worker and recidivist grad-school dropout.  Did I even imagine any of this on those amazing winter forays across a snowy South Hadley campus under the stars?  Absolutely not.  I thought graduation brought an end of youth and learning and the beginning of some extraordinary “real life” adventures.  Surely, we’d all be in our 20s forever?  Hadn’t the world been just WAITING for all that I/we could offer it—whatever the heck that might be?  I may have believed that just saying I was an alumna of MHC would be enough to open any sought-out doors.  How pathetically naive, when I had no idea how to recognize, or choose, the doors!

And yet, would I trade any part of the journey actually taken that has led to my here-and-now life?  Well, for darned sure a few things could be mightily tweaked.  But would I have missed ANY of what life-as-it-happened has given me?  Cue a resounding No.

And perhaps that is, after all, the greatest gift of my MHC education.



I grew up in Tremont, Maine, a small town on Mount Desert Island 18 miles from Bar Harbor. I was one of the first from my high school (Pemetic) to go to college, so going from that setting to MHC was a challenge. I was also the first from my high school to get a doctorate.

MHC gave me a 4-year full tuition scholarship but for other expenses I lived in cooperative dorms and worked for the library and professors’ families. I made few friends, all transferred to other colleges. Spare time I spent studying. I have not been an active alumna; I do donate money every year.

Attending Mount Holyoke changed the course of my life. My years at MHC gave me the self -confidence to achieve what I have in my life. I discovered genetics the second semester of “baby” zoology. I obtained a PhD in genetics and went into biomedical research. My entire professional career was at the Jackson Laboratory, a biomedical research institute in Bar Harbor, Maine, as a researcher developing genetic mouse models for human genetic disorders and, the last 19 years, as Director of Genetic Resources. I was recognized for my research by MHC at our 50th reunion and was named Researcher of the Year in 1993 by the National Down Syndrome Society for the mouse model I developed for Down Syndrome.

My career at The Jackson Laboratory enabled me to return to my roots and live on Mount Desert Island, something I always dreamed of doing. It also gave me the opportunity to travel the world – Australia, Japan, France, Spain, Italy, England, Scotland, Hawaii—as speaker at scientific conferences and institutions worldwide and as member of international organizations, such as the Mouse Genome Society, the Mouse Mutant Resource Centers Organization and the Human Genome Organization.

Best thing that has happened to me
My son Sven. He is a unique individual and intellectual and provider of down to earth advice. He was my travel sidekick during his teenage years. He is now Deputy Director of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center. He writes novels and poetry and owns his own publishing company – Rebel Satori Press. And he brought me another important person in my life today, a loving, caring, thoughtful son-in-law, Nate.

Strong Women
Strong women have made big differences in my life. My mother, Esther Moore Trask, and her cousin Helen Moore encouraged me to go to college. My aunt Ruth Moore, a well-known novelist during the mid-twentieth century, provided a role model of an independent woman who led her life her way. While I was at MHC, Jane Coffin Morse, another Mainer, encouraged and supported me to evolve from a shy, timid freshman to a successful, confident graduate. Two of my three promotions at The Jackson Laboratory were by women directors. Finally, a tight knit group of 7 Pemetic High School classmates, 5 of whom are still alive and enjoying outings together to this day.

In retirement, now Professor Emerita, Jackson Laboratory, I am involved in several volunteer efforts. Since 1999 I have been an active Board Member of the Tremont Historical Society, including terms as president and secretary and management of our Country Store Museum. I am an officer in the Pemetic High School All Alumni Association. I volunteer in a local garden, growing vegetables for senior citizens.

More Personal Biography
I married twice and lost both husbands. Farrell died of multiple myeloma in 1993. Charlie died of ALS in 2010. While I miss them both, I enjoy being an independent woman, free to do whatever I choose. I travel a lot. I live in my beloved Maine home in the summer. I own a home and live in lively New Orleans in the winter, where I am near my son and his husband. Finally, I am known by my friends as a “crazy cat lady” and have lived with as many as 7 at one time. I currently live with three because that is the number of cat carriers that fits across the back seat of my car when I drive back and forth between Maine and New Orleans twice a year.



With Jaan, September 2, 2022, celebrating our 56th wedding
anniversary with balloons and roses!

If anyone had predicted in 1963 that I would spend my life as a professor in Texas, I wouldn’t have believed it.  I was, after all, a New Englander.   As one goes through life, one turns corners and who can predict what lies around the next corner.

For me, a German major, the first corner after graduation was to cross the ocean to become a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Mainz in Germany.  It is hard to describe the excitement at being totally immersed in a new culture and language for a whole year.  It instilled in me the importance of being an international citizen.  I had decided that I wanted to teach at the university level and upon returning home began my studies for a PhD  in Germanic Languages and Literature at Harvard University.  Here I met my future husband, Jaan Laane, who was working toward a PhD in Chemistry at MIT.  We had both fled with our families from Estonia when Russia occupied it and had each spent five years in refugee camps in Germany.  We had much in common.  We married in 1966 while continuing our graduate studies.  Our next decision, a fateful one, was to accept positions as Assistant Professors at Texas A&M University, my husband in Chemistry and later also in Physics and I in the Department of Modern Languages.

I don’t know how to describe the culture shock of moving to a small town in Texas.
Most of my students had no knowledge of the wider world and resisted leaving Texas even to travel.  I was filled with trepidation but also hoped to make a difference.   I taught German language and literature for 30 years to about 6000 students. 

The number would have been larger if I hadn’t taken the reckless step of giving up my tenure track position for ten years to raise our two daughters, Christina and Lisa.  Fortunately, I was able to continue my career.  I developed study abroad programs in Germany and traveled to Germany more than 60 times.  I loved teaching and received both the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the award for promoting international excellence on campus.  Time to publish articles and two books on 19th century German authors needed to be squeezed in.   I also garnered a grant for $174,000 from the USDE to develop Language Certificate Programs for the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering and Veterinary Medicine and directed this collaboration to develop innovative  technical language courses in Spanish, French and German, study abroad programs in France, Germany and Mexico and international internships.   Subsequently I was appointed interim director of the Texas A&M European Union Center.  My office was located in the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library where the former president’s apartment was above my office and with the eyes of the FBI upon us.  I arranged symposia, traveled to Washington DC and had opportunities to meet foreign dignitaries such as German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.  President Bush was familiar with Estonia, and I chatted with him more than once.  It was an interesting time towards the end of my career during which I continued teaching.

 At age 69 upon the loss of my parents for whom I had served as caretaker, I retired to take up my last career, a joyous one, as a jet-setting grandmother.  Our daughters had attended Stanford University, Christina receiving a BS and MD at Stanford, followed by residency at UCSF to become an Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeon.   Lisa had received a BS and MS at Stanford in Computer Engineering.  They remained in the Stanford area, married and had children.  Since my husband was not retired, I flew between Texas and California for ten years to help care for our five grandchildren.  I am now teaching them Estonian!  

A labor of love was also to bring back my father’s, Leonhard Virkhaus’s, music to Estonia.  His Christmas song,”Tiliseb tiliseb aisakel,”(1934), was famous in Estonia and Finland, performed throughout Europe and on endless CD’s.  His other works were unknown since he had refused to send back his music to a country controlled by communist Russia.  I published a detailed bibliography of his more than 100 complete works, brought back his manuscripts to Estonia and witnessed the reintroduction of his music with beautiful concerts.  

Now my husband has finally retired at the age of 80 after 54 years of teaching and research at Texas A&M University.  What next?  We will learn that only when we turn the next corner of our lives.

Our grandchildren enjoying being together Christmas, 2022. The shirts are dead giveaways that two boys are twins!


I was in the grocery the other day and the nice young man who was helping me called me Sweetie.  Hmm, I thought, this is unlikely to be a prelude to a date.  I guess I must remind him of his great aunt Tillie.  And so it goes.  Somehow we have miraculously evolved into somewhat fitter versions of our grandparents. Not sure how this has happened so quickly!

Like most of us, I have had lots of ups and downs in life, unexpected joys and deep disappointments, but overall have been extraordinarily fortunate.  Charlie and I are approaching the 60 year mark and still find each other good company.  He still makes me laugh.  We’re in reasonably good health despite taking a ridiculous number of pills.  Our son lives nearby and our daughter lives on Long Island but spends the summer with us and her boys at Gibson Island, where we have a house on the Chesapeake Bay.  Our two grandsons are smart, interesting, thoughtful and thoroughly delightful despite being teenagers.  I spent a lot of time helping to raise them when their mother was traveling the world on business, pre-COVID, so they know not to start eating dinner until I lift my fork.  Gracious living!

Going to law school in my mid-30s was a good choice for me.  I spent 27 years working for the federal government in a variety of interesting positions.  My English major served me well, as much of the work entailed logical analysis, effective communication, and helping others achieve the same.  If I were left on a desert island with only one book I think I would choose a dictionary.  That probably sounds mundane, but I still resort to my taped together Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, vintage 1959, on a regular basis and there are always new words to learn.  Charlie has been with the same law firm since we came to Washington in 1964.  He too has had an interesting and varied (evolving) practice and will finally retire this fall.  We don’t sound very adventurous but we have traveled widely to compensate for our attachment to the status quo.

We’ve lived in Chevy Chase for almost as long as we’ve been married.  We keep thinking about moving to an apartment, but the neighborhood, the space and light, and the garden and pool have kept us here so far.  Living on the edge of Washington DC means that we spend an inordinate amount of time wrapped up in politics, one way or another.  We are discouraged by the deep divisions within the country and worry about the world our grandchildren and yours will inherit.  I hope they can be smarter than we have been and find a way to help bring us together to fight climate change, the most consequential challenge of our time.

The hardest part of aging is losing those you love.  We have lost too many friends, classmates, and family members.  My dearest friend and college roommate, Pam Gold Oppenheim, died of breast cancer in October 2022.  We had a joint birthday celebration early last June at my daughter Alix’s place on Long Island.  Pam, Mel, Charlie and I had a few wonderful days exploring the countryside, enjoying delicious meals, and laughing with Alix’s family and friends.  Sadly, Pam began to go downhill not long afterward.  I was fortunate to be able to spend a couple of days with her the week before she died. 

My daughter was in Bhutan at the time and had prayer flags hung for Pam at the highest monastery in the country where the winds would push the prayers far and wide.   Pam is now a star—she’s twinkling up there somewhere.

I don’t think I’ll make it to Reunion and will be sorry not to see you.  But I send heartfelt wishes for a wonderful time together and for your health and happiness in the coming years.


With Pam at our joint birthday celebration.
(The dark glasses are hiding our wrinkles.)

With Charlie and grandsons Winston (15) and Travis (17), and their dog, Asta



New Zealand, 2015

Oh, my.  Where to begin and how to pack a post-MHC lifetime into a couple of pages.  I have to admit that writing this led me to realize a few things about myself that I had not previously considered.  This fits well with the “Ever Adapting” theme.  I was never one to plan at age 21 where I would be at 81.  People who try to do that are often setting themselves up for big disappointments.

When I was a senior at Holyoke, my immediate goal was to get an advanced degree in physics followed by a job at a respected institution doing experimental physics research.  To that end I had applied and been accepted to graduate school but took a few job interviews with recruiters on campus just for the experience.  To my dismay I quickly found that the companies I thought I might want to work for were not hiring researchers but rather bright young ladies who could dress well, smile sweetly and sell the company’s products to their male customers (and they were all male).  I didn’t study physics all these years to do that.  Somewhat disheartened, I interviewed with several government recruiters and found one whose job sounded quite interesting.    I was told that if I went to work for them, they would support me for Masters and probably PhD degrees. Even then I believed that I would work for the government long enough to fulfill any commitments I had incurred and then find out if those companies who had had no physics jobs for women would be more interested.  That never happened.  I had gotten so smitten with the interesting work I was doing that I never looked elsewhere.  That almost chance encounter with a recruiter in 1963 led to a very satisfying 54+ year career where I had many jobs but only one employer.

This brings me to the second theme of Still Evolving.  After spending nearly 20 years as a happy little “lab rat”, I was told that they wanted me to move up to management positions with increasing responsibilities.  My first thought was that I had no experience or training to do that well, but my ever—adapting genes  told me to give it a try---and I loved it.  Imagine how much more can be accomplished by 20, 100, several hundred bright folks instead of just yourself.  I had the opportunity to build a microelectronics research lab from the ground up, manage an integrated circuit fabrication facility and become the first female Chief of Research and Development.  I was also able to indulge my great love of travel, albeit mostly business travel.  I have attended conferences and given papers from Berlin to Brittany, Helsinki to Tokyo, Zurich to Singapore and many US venues.  I always found time to see as much of the areas as possible but would love to do it all over again as a tourist.  I did do some of that including MHC sponsored trips to Portugal and Australia and New Zealand. In the spirit of the Always Involved theme, I continued to work full time for over 54 years, retired in 2018 and then immediately went back to work part time, mostly mentoring others, especially young women.  Clearly I had had no female mentors myself since there were none in my field nearby.

When I think about what role Mount Holyoke played in all of this, it is not the specific science and math courses.  I could have gotten them elsewhere.  I had many “The Road Not Taken” situations in my career, and I think that the analytic skills acquired at Holyoke helped me make those decisions quickly and confidently….Or perhaps it was just listening to Robert Frost read his poetry in Chapin.



Ever Adapting and Always Involved
After graduation I married my childhood sweetheart and we’ve been happily married for 60 years!  We could never have imagined all the paces we’d go or the things we’d do.  Here are a few highlights.

We started with 2, had 3 children, added 2 daughters-in-laws and grandsons, we now have 12.  Our sons became doctors, one an Anesthesiologist and the other a Toxicology PhD evaluating new drugs for the FDA.  Our daughter always loved children and became an elementary school teacher.  (Perhaps my zoology and teaching interests rubbed off on them?)  Our 5 grandsons grew up way too fast.  Two have graduated from college.  The first has a master’s in electrical engineering and lives in Boston (yay!), while the second is an audio engineer, musician and engaged to a wonderful girl.  The other 3 are in college, majoring in Biology, Mechanical Engineering and Sports Management plus possibly analytics/statistics.

then, “I’ve Been Moved” was no joke but a way of life for most IBMers.  We’ve lived in 2 apartments, 1 rental house and owned 7 homes plus 1 golf condo at Pinehurst.  We became experts at moving and integrating into new communities. Each new place offered special experiences, exciting opportunities, and new adventures that enriched our lives.

Always Active
Each community offered exciting volunteer activities from PTA to Junior League, local women’s and church groups, Newcomers, children’s sports, garden clubs, sightseeing, boxing for Parkinson’s and always hand bells.  Painting 100 year old slates from the church roof revived my lab drawing skills.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Our love of sports and outdoor activities has not changed.  We enjoyed tennis, paddle (platform tennis), golf, boating and skiing for many years.  Pickleball, x-c skiing, gardening, canoeing, kayaking and hiking to a view are present pleasures. Folk art painting, quilting and rug hooking stretch my creativity

Ready to tour in our 1931 Model A Ford Deluxe Roadster, just a few years ago

Antique Car Tours
Bart has restored many antique cars.  I never dreamed we’d have a Car Shop filled with antique cars or that we’d drive them countless miles and wear many period costumes on car tours.  We’ve toured through all of New England, NY, the entire East Coast, plus PA, OH, TN, KY, MI and Canada.  We usually trailer to the host hotel and then drive 100 – 200 miles each day in a different direction.  We have driven the 1931 Model A Deluxe Roadster from NY and MA to MI and back.  Our favorite touring cars have been Brass Cars – 1910 Model 17 Buick, 1910 Cadillac Roadster, 1909 2 cylinder Buick and 1905 Cross Engine Franklin -  plus a 1931 Lincoln Phaeton and 1931 Model A.

 We still enjoy a busy lifestyle as Bart battles Parkinson’s.  Our greatest joy is getting together with family and friends.  Our extended family lives in 15 states across the US from coast to coast and north to south.  Four generations have gathered here in NH through the years.  We hope to stay in our beautiful NH Lake Winnipesaukee home with water and mountain views from every window and wildlife at our doorstep. 

Cross country skiing February 1, 2003.
I'm the one in the gray hat.



As a student, I would remain on campus after classes ended to clean rooms in preparation for the alumnae reunions.  As I witnessed old ladies running up to each other to hug and celebrate seeing each other after many years, I had a hard time imagining that I would ever be one of those old ladies – but, guess what???

I am sure my 4 years at Mount Holyoke changed my life in many ways.  However, I have been ruminating on one area that could be representative of how a liberal arts education can alter the trajectory of one’s life.

Majoring in religion at Mount Holyoke, changed my religion.  During my growing up years, my family belonged to Baptist and Methodist churches.  Emotionally and intellectually I embraced the church teachings, and entertained the idea of becoming a missionary.  The basic course in Religion my freshman year used the historical and critical method of teaching to present the origins of the biblical writings.  I learned things like there are two stories of creation in Genesis, and more than one description of the birth of Jesus.  Professor Williams in one class stated Jesus made three mistakes.  What a shock.  When I approached him after comps to remind him of his statement, he responded, “I said that?  I should have said Jesus made at least three mistakes.”  Studying Comparative American Religions and World religions exposed me to much new information.  Attending Abbey Chapel when Billy Graham preached after having attended one of his rallies at Madison Square Garden gave me a different perspective on evangelism.  I attended the South Hadley Protestant churches to learn more. One Sunday the priest at the Episcopal Church declared the Baptists are wrong about a certain concept he was discussing.  I had already heard from the Baptists that other people may be sincere in their beliefs but be sincerely wrong.  My awareness of the tenets and practices of organized religion expanded until I decided for myself that I could not belong to an organized religion.  My focus changed from doing church-related work to finding ways to help others.

My career started with being a Teenage Program Director for the YWCA in an integrated community.  Next, I worked as a social work associate for a VA psychiatric hospital.  While home with babies, a friend and I started and were teachers in a preschool program in our town.  I went on to become a school social worker and eventually obtained my MSW at Rutgers.   

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to attend Mount Holyoke.  Some of my best friends are friends I met at MHC.  I am continually challenged to solve problems and make decisions.  My husband of 55 years passed away at the end of 2021.  I am planning on moving to a retirement community in my area when my name gets to the top of the list.  I have the love and support of my two sons, and many friends.  I look forward to attending our 60th reunion.



I am currently in great health with good energy and waiting for the snow/ice to melt in this frozen world of Quebec. All is calm here on the northern front with no tornadoes, earthquakes, forest fires or devastating floods on the horizon. But long, cold winters to endure.

 After graduating from Mount Holyoke, I returned to Madrid to work on a master's degree in Hispanic literature from New York University. Emigrated to Montreal after an invite from Anne Kitchin (Muir) to visit and taught Spanish language and literature at several universities here but mostly at McGill for a decade.

Married an English emigrant to Montreal. Several years later when expecting twin daughters, I left McGill and we moved to the waterfront community of Hudson where I was active in church, school, and the community. During this decade I also worked as a part-time journalist and developed my own show for Quebec community television called “Community Showcase” broadcast across the province.

I began full-time paid work in 1989 as a local real-estate broker, helped many families find or sell their beloved home, and was still able to be available timewise for my daughters. Now, after the pandemic and a long real-estate career of 33 years, I may retire very soon. T'is time...

Our two daughters and their families, including 4 grandchildren in Montreal and Ottawa, keep us busy. Marisa is a policy analyst for the federal government and Christina is a middle manager for an electronics distribution firm located west of Montreal.

My other interests include reading, PBS television, gardening, exercise classes including dance and aquafit, plus singing first soprano in classical and gospel choirs. Our spring classical concert this year includes Schubert's Mass in G and Fauré's Requiem, Opus 48 with many high A's. A challenge...

Our new travel interest is cruising to somewhere warmer when Covid permits.  Being gluten intolerant for 15 years, I especially enjoyed our autumn double Caribbean cruises on Celebrity Equinox with 60% GF food. I still dream of the delicious GF cakes, the copious GF dessert table and all that GF choice in the buffet.

At almost 82, I feel much younger than my chronological age. Few health issues. As a friendly couple aged mid 30's, fellow cruise partiers enjoying that evening's silent disco fun stated, "When we grow up, we want to be just like you!"

AGE is just a number!

Comments on the world:

  • Global warming is real: recycle, reuse, repurpose, reduce to save our planet.
  • Let's work together to aid people wherever for our mutual future.



Since graduation I have lived in Maryland with Becky Poor Smith and Mirja Perkko Muncy. I taught school, got married, moved back to Massachusetts. In the 70's I had children, did much volunteer work, and went back to teaching.  I retired in 2004, but couldn't stay away, so I subbed for ten more years. Andy and I finally got to travel and spend some of the winter months in St. Lucia. 

Now we are emerging from quarantine and looking forward to meeting my great niece and nephew as well as visiting our grandchildren.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at reunion.


Ever Adapting

Much of my life has been defined by luck. Lucky to have gone to an all-girl’s high school and a women’s college where I didn’t learn that women weren’t supposed to be chemists until it was too late. Lucky to have married a work-averse husband so when I had two children while in graduate school and a third in my first post-doc year, I had to keep on working. Lucky to have had three healthy children who were easy to raise. Lucky to have ended up at Yale for my second post-doc where the lab across from mine was occupied by a new assistant professor who had received his PhD working for T. C. Bruice. He introduced me to Tom at a chemistry meeting in Atlantic City. Tom shortly thereafter became my second husband and the love of my life.

When I joined Tom and the chemistry faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara (after teaching for a year at Connecticut College because I had to stay in Connecticut until my divorce was final), I was told that I couldn’t have a lab or supervise graduate students and I had to teach twice as many courses as the men. I immediately agreed to all terms—I was just fortunate to have a job. (I was the first female faculty membered hired in the physical sciences—the next one was hired twelve years later.) At the time I certainly didn’t think those constraints had anything to do with luck because it was really difficult finding time to do research in the back of my husband’s lab with no graduate student help—although I loved the teaching part of my job. After almost 20 years, I decided I couldn’t work under those conditions anymore. I stopped even trying to do research and used my “extra” time to write an organic chemistry textbook. Surprisingly, writing became the joy of my life. (Note that I was one of those students who avoided taking courses that required term papers when I was at MHC.) I now have two books—a one-semester book and a two-semester book. Currently, I am working on the 9th edition of the latter and, in the morning, I can’t wait to go down to my office and get to work. Once again luck prevailed—my writing career never would have happened if I had been given the opportunity to pursue the research career for which I had been trained.

Still Evolving

The last four years have brought three life-changing events. My husband of almost 50 years passed away at the age of 93 after being bedridden for 2.5 years as the result of a stroke. The following year, I fell, fractured my spine, and had two unsuccessful surgeries----so I will be part of the golf-cart brigade at reunion. And I found out that my father was not my biological father. I really hope there is an afterlife so I can talk to my mother about this! In 1940, my mother was living in Hempstead, NY, with her parents. Also in Hempstead was a military base where both the person I thought was my biological father for 80 years and my actual biological father were undergoing pilot training. My 19-year-old mother was two months pregnant when she got married—and apparently, she guessed wrong.

Always Involved

 It has taken me some time to get used to living alone. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends who have gotten me through this adjustment period—lots of dinners, lunches, lectures, theater trips, zoom cocktail parties, etc. I serve on the boards of four nonprofits and I am in two book groups and an investment group. I miss the time when I was part of a family, but I welcome and enjoy the new variety in my life.





         This page is dedicated to our friends whom we have lost over the five years since our 55th reunion. Though they are no longer here with us, they live in loving memory, and we honor them for the contributions each one made to our community, especially the gift of friendship.


Dency Baldwin Kahn

Marcia Gruen Kohl

Barbara Phelps Griffith

Helen Pringle Gibbs



Constance Arndt Singer

Joan Cox Danzansky

Pamela Gold Oppenheim

Marcia McMahon Myers

Janet Pippitt Winkler

Barbara Rissel Beckedorff

Helene Spitz Lehv



Jeanne Crickenberger Turkel

Sarah Dunn Hoag

Barbara Meyer Robinson

Lindsey Reber

Barbara Sanders Patrick

Katherine Torgerson Randolph

Helen Weinland


Lee Fitzhugh Welch

Cornelia Flickinger Rohde

Karen Kayser Benson



Mary Allison Powers

Judy Austin Armknecht

Cassie Lord Miller

Ellen Pfaffmann Rosenzweig

Linda Tannenbaum Weissbluth

Diana Worden Crocker



Phyllis Halevy Mutschler   

Karen McNeil Wesson

Jane Miller Powell