Class President's Letter

Letters from Elaine Cox Jacoby

Class President

January 3, 2021


Dear Classmates:

After what was, at best, a difficult year for all of us, we welcome 2021 with hope in our hearts.  The promise of a vaccine that will protect us from Covid 19 is central to that hope.  We are grateful to the many dedicated and brilliant scientists and doctors who have achieved this amazing feat in such a short time.  But we will also rely on the talents and dedication of those charged with getting the vaccine not only to all of us, but to all of the people of our country and the world.

We also will continue to rely on each other, as well as friends and family, for love, support, outreach and good cheer.  I particularly want to thank our classmates whose work brings us our website and all of you  who have used it to share their thoughts, news, activities and pictures with us.  Please continue to go to it and post messages and pictures.

Thanks to all of you who continue to support Mount Holyoke with your gifts and your love.  We have such an outstanding faculty and administration, who have devoted more energy, enthusiasm, great thinking and planning than we can completely fathom to the huge job of keeping the college running, the students learning, and us alumnae engaged.  We truly are part of a community that is worth making every effort to preserve and enhance.  Let’s each do what we as individuals can to ensure that Mount Holyoke forever shall be!

Happy New Year, with love,


September 19, 2020

Dear classmates:

On this birthday of the world, I have been reminded of the concept in Judaism of tikkun olam - repairing the world - and it resonated for me with the mission of our beloved Mount Holyoke. We support the college because we know that its work is aimed at developing young women to be repairers of the world - which so greatly needs them in these difficult times. So I wish you all, whether you celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days or not, a very happy, healthy and successful new year, one in which our class and the college thrive.

With very best wishes,


July 2, 2020

Dear Classmates:

Our Mini-Reunion Planning Committee has made significant progress on plans for a Class of 1963 Mini Reunion in the fall of 2021.  We have confirmed the week of October 18 22, 2021 at our headquarters, the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. 

So please start planning to join your classmates in Washington, D. C. to renew friendships, make new friends, visit new sites and old favorites.  We will get things started with lunch at the Cosmos Club on October 18, followed by four days of activities including a Welcome Reception and Dinner at the home of Ruth “Bunny” Brown Gramlich, a Potomac River Cruise to Mount Vernon for a tour of this historic property, an art museum tour led by classmate Rosamond “Roddy” Mack Pratt, and a gala dinner with Mount Holyoke trustees, DC alumnae and students.  There will be plenty of free time to visit points of individual interest either on your own or with other attendees. 

Thanks to our classmate Ellen Strauss Boer, our mini-reunion headquarters will be the elegant Cosmos Club.  Founded in 1878, it is a private social club for men and women distinguished in science, literature and the arts.  Among its members have been three Presidents, two Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, 36 Nobel Prize winners, 61 Pulitzer Prize winners and 55 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Its many amenities include overnight accommodations at reasonable rates (reduced for us through Ellen’s membership).  Check out the website at

Our stalwart website team – Mary Ann Searles Weiss, Stephanie Smith and Sally Nunneley – will be creating a separate page on the website for news of the mini-reunion plans as they develop.  An important item to look for will be a program schedule, which is in the process of development.  In the meantime, we will be posting a list of members of the Planning Committee, including the DC Host Committee crew, as well as a list of all our classmates who have expressed interest in attending.  Names will be added as we hear from more of you, but right now, we have more than 40 people who want to attend.

For questions or to add your name to the list expressing interest in attending, please contact Elaine Jacoby, Class President , or Sally Donner, Chairman of the DC Host Committee

With very best regards and hopes for a good, safe summer for all of you,



May 26, 2020

Dear classmates,

While we have all been confined by the coronavirus, your class officers have nonetheless been hard at work planning for the future when we can get out into the world again.  Specifically, a planning committee has been meeting via Zoom since April to plan a mini-reunion for the fall of 2021.  Starting out with a group of class officers, we followed up on our meeting at the Volunteer Conference on campus last September and decided to pursue the idea of having a mini-reunion in Washington, DC – primarily because it’s relatively easy for classmates from anywhere in the country to get to and there are always many wonderful places to visit.  We added six classmates from Washington, DC to create the planning committee.  Now, we’re at the point where we need to get some responses from you to see how many would be interested in coming. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Time:  the week of October 18, 2021, probably beginning on Monday and ending on Thursday.

Place:  our headquarters will be the Cosmos Club, located at 2121 Massachusetts Ave NW

Goal:  to provide an opportunity for education, enrichment and connecting with classmates

To accomplish our goal we’re planning a program that includes many options for places to visit, a welcome lunch at the Cosmos Club, dinner with a speaker and students from the MHC DC program, dinner at the home of Ruth (Bunny) Brown Gramlich and plenty of time just to schmooze with old friends.

In order to put a hold on specific rooms for the events at the Cosmos Club, we need to have an idea of how many of you are interested in coming, so please respond as soon as you can to me at and to Sally Donner at

Remember, at this point, there’s no commitment – just an expression of interest in coming if possible.  And it’s in Fall 2021, a year and a half away! 

Looking forward to hearing from many of you.  Meantime, stay safe and well.

Best, Elaine



January 3, 2020

Dear classmates:

As we begin a new year and a new decade, I want to wish each of you happiness, good health and peace.  There will be personal challenges for all of us, I’m sure, as there will be for the college we love, Mount Holyoke.  But with the support of each other, as well as other friends and family, we’ll meet the personal challenges; and with the support of all of us and many other alumnae, students, faculty and friends, so will Mount Holyoke.

We mourn the loss of several classmates who passed away in 2019:  Mary Allison (Powers), Judy Austin (Armbrecht), Cassie Lord (Miller), Linda Tanenbaum (Weissbluth), and Dana Worden (Crocker).  (For more about each of them, see the In Memoriam page on the website.)  Each in her own way made the world a better place, and we will miss them. 

In September, the annual Volunteer Conference on campus gave several of our class officers the opportunity to return to the college.  For some of us, that included a daylong meeting of the Beyond the 50th Committee, founded by our own Sally Donner, which is contributing important ideas to the Advancement Office.  We learned a lot, as always, and had a wonderful time with each other and many other attendees.  In our own class officers’ meeting, we planned some changes to the class website (which have since been made under the leadership of Mary Ann Weiss Searles and Sally Nunnely) and we discussed last year’s success in fundraising under Alice Andrus’s accomplished leadership and heard about her plans for this year’s campaign.  We also began the planning process for a major mini-reunion, considering two primary options:  a mini-reunion on campus, as we did in 2016; or a gathering in Washington, DC, which is easier for many of us to travel to and where we can enjoy many activities, possibly including spending time with students who are participating in Mount Holyoke’s new Semester in DC.  A planning committee will be meeting in March to move ahead, but in the meantime, think of Fall, 2021 as a time for a major mini.  If you have comments for the planning process, please let me know by emailing me at

I think you will all be pleased to hear that representatives of the Alumnae Association have been reaching out to our local or regional MHC Clubs.  I had the opportunity to attend two:  one in Philadelphia, where AA President Maria Mossaides reported all of the latest news and plans to a large gathering and led a lively discussion of alumnae concerns; and another in Princeton, where AA Executive Director Nancy Perez met with a smaller but no less enthusiastic group of area alumnae.  These were great opportunities to hear not only from the representatives of the AA, but also from alumnae of all ages and backgrounds about their thoughts and concerns over the state of the college and its future.  Keep tuned to the AA website at to learn when and where such a visit may be taking place in your area.

Meantime, I continue to enjoy reading your posts and seeing your pictures on the website.  Keep them coming!  Happy New Year!

Best, Elaine


Seotenber 29, 2019

Dear beloved classmates:

It is the holiest tme of the year for our Jewish classmates and Jews the world over.  At this troubled time, when Jews, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinx, Asian Americans, LGBTQ people and so many others are being targeted because of their religious identity, their race, ethnicity or gender identty, let us turn to a community where hatred and vilification is not welcome:  our extended Mount Holyoke community.  I am so proud of the college for standing firmly for inclusiveness.  When you return to campus, you see the beautiful results among the students, faculty and administration.  I'm proud to be a part of this community and to be your class president.

So I want to wish all of you L'Shana Tovah.  May we all have a sweet new year, as we celebrate the birthday of the world together and seek to preserve it for future generations.  L'Chaim!

With best wishes for a happy, healthy new year.


January 29, 2019

Dear classmates,

Today is a very special day for the MHC community, as Sonya Stephens is inaugurated as President of the college.  For those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet Sonya, you will not be surprised to hear that she is a very smart, articulate woman; what you may not expect is that she is also a charming, candid and approachable person whose years of experience in higher education give her confidence but not a hint of arrogance. 

As most of you know, Sonya was Dean of the Faculty before becoming Acting President three years ago.  I had the good fortune to meet her early in her tenure as Acting President, and I will confess that I had some doubts about her becoming President - mainly because she is not a Mount Holyoke alumna and might not get how fiercely dedicated most alumnae and students alike are, not only to our traditions and to maintaining and expanding MHC's status  among colleges, but also to remaining a women's college.  I met Sonya several times over the next three years and was more favorably impressed each time.  But the culmination came at the Class of 1963's 55th reunion this year, when a standing-room only turnout of our class members and significant others crowded into Mead's living room to hear her respond to a wide range of questions.  I came away knowing that not only does she get Mount Holyoke, its students and alumnae, but she, too, fiercely dedicated to maintaining MHC as a women's college. 

Sonya is the President we need now, an advocate for women's education in the 21st Century who understands the needs of an increasingly diverse student body and the love alumnae feel for the college.  She gets how much we want to stay connected to each other and the college, and she also understands that current students want to be connected to us, just as we, when we were students, wanted to know alumnae.  She said that students want us as mentors, as people whose life experiences as professionals, wives and mothers, volunteers and just as women can give them insight into the past, the present and their own futures.

My role is not to ask you for money - that's Alice Andrus's job now! - but I do want to share the fact that I am making a donation to the Alumnae Fund today in honor of the inauguration of Sonya Stephens, and I hope you will do the same if you have not already done so.

With very best wishes and great hope for the future,


January 2, 2019

Dear Classmates,

First and foremost, I want to wish all of you a very happy, healthy, meaningful new year.  One important part of making 2019 all of those things is, for me - and I hope for all of you - staying connected with Mount Holyoke and the Class of 1963.

It is an honor to serve as your class president but also a challenge to follow in the footsteps of Alice Godfrey Andrus, who did so much to bring us together during the last five years. Like Alice, I want to help build connections among us and with the college. So I want to continue Alice’s initiative with mini-reunions, having very much enjoyed serving as regional chair for mini-reunions of NJ, PA, and DE alumnae for the last five years. Those of us who have participated in mini-reunions have not only reconnected with classmates who were friends but have gotten to know others they barely knew in college. Another kind of connection for some  of us has been through developing relationships with members of our “granddaughter” class, the Class of 2013, and I would encourage more of us to do that.

But I also want to try some new ideas for connecting our classmates with the college, specifically with current students. Then Acting President and now President of MHC Sonya Stephens spoke movingly at our 55th class reunion about how much many current students want to be connected with alumnae, to learn about us as people whose life experiences as professionals, wives and mothers, volunteers and just as women can give them insight into the past, the present and their own futures.  We can build those connections through e-mails, as well as through any opportunities that may arise to meet the students. So I am talking with Nancy Perez, our new Alumnae Association Executive Director, and others at the college about starting a mentoring program, and I would love to hear from any of you who are interested in participating. You can write to me at my personal email at or by responding here. 

Five of us attended the Fall Volunteer conference at MHC, and I am happy to report that all of the vibes about developments at  the college were positive, from the results of fundraising last year to the success of the Lynk program to the increase in student applications to the creation of what seems to be a very successful new style of student living centered on the Commons, the new dining facilities in Blanchard and to the reuse of space in Blanchard itself.  I particularly enjoyed talking with students I ran into at the Commons, all of whom were very enthusiastic about the new gathering place.  One development that I had not anticipated is, as reported by Jon Western, Dean of the Faculty, the repurposing of space formerly devoted to kitchens and dining rooms in the dorms.  Construction is happening in Prospect, where 8000 square feet will be used to expand the Maker space, which is being utilized on an interdisciplinary basis for students to create “things” like the rover drone Jon’s class made to test how such technology might be used in search and rescue operations.

Before the end of the conference, our core group of 1963 officers met and responded to this question “Over the next five years, what do you want to see  our class do to maintain and build on our connections to each other and the college;” the consensus was as follows:

1. Continue to hold mini-reunions, both regionally and for all class members at two “destination” locations over the next four years, one of them to be on campus, probably in 2021.

2. Continue to utilize our wonderful class website to convey news about individual classmates, group activities, learning experiences, etc.

3. Explore a potential pilot mentoring project by both reaching out to classmates to determine their level of interest and by working with the Alumnae Association and college administrators to determine the level of student interest, with the objective, initially, of establishing a joint student-alumnae committee.

4. Support our fundraising efforts, led by Alice Andrus, Sally Nunnelly, Cindy Curry and Libby Short, including by exploring convening a meeting with Ann Vittoria, director of planned giving programs, to educate all of us about those opportunities, especially in light of the changes in tax laws

In the next month or so, you will be receiving, by snail mail, my official class letter, but in the meantime, I hope you will think about and respond with your thoughts about mini-reunions and mentoring, as well as any other ideas that you have to build our connections.

With very best wishes and great hope for the future,


September 11, 2018

Dear Classmates:

Thanks to Alice Andrus for her message to those of us who celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days. 

To all of you, whether you are Jewish or not, I want to add my greetings and best wishes for a very happy, healthy new year.  Rosh Hashana, the birthday of the world in Judaism (also called the Day of Remembrance) provides us with a wonderful gift:  an opportunity to meditate, reflect and assess, not only the past, but also our own present lives and our future role in making the world a better place.  In these troubled times, it is a gift from whose spirit I hope you will all benefit.

Peace to all.




 Letters from Former Class Presidents

Alice Andrus and Ruth (Bunny) Gramlich

Alice and Bunny (Ruth Brown Gramlich, Class VP)

April 2017

Endearing Classmates:

Lots of news in this letter, so here’s a summary:

  • Announcing the 55th Reunion Team
  • Save the Date May 25–27, 2018
  • 2016 Destination Events
  • 2016 classmate gatherings
  • Campus news highlights
  • In memoriam

Our 55th! May 25–27, 2018. Mary Ann Searles Weiss is our Reunion Chair. She is planning a warm and relaxed reunion on campus and in the environs during this three-day weekend. KarenKayser Benson and I will offer our reunion logistics knowledge to assist Mary Ann. Please fill out the Save the Date form to complete, which will give us an early indication if you’ll be joining us, thereby assisting our planning.

Also, now is the time to recommend a classmate for one of the Alumnae Association Awards to be given at Reunion. Visit the Alumnae Association website for more details at

On Friday afternoon, May 25, the Alumnae Association is organizing a “Back to Class” opportunity for all classes. Also, there will be time to take tours, visit the greenhouses and the art museum. Friday night begins with an alumnae and faculty reception followed by a relaxed time together at our residence hall. We will organize a meet up with our Connections Class (2013). On Saturday, May 26, during the morning the traditional parade and all-alumnae events will take place. The afternoon will be unscheduled allowing rest and individual activities before a gala dinner at the Eric Carle Museum on the Amherst Road. The museum is an elegant venue for this special dinner together. Your ideas are welcome, so let us know what you’d like to do while on campus.

Honoring a request from several of you, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn and the Comfort Inn in Hadley as alternative accommodations. Of course, there will be rooms in our designated residence hall. Details will follow.

Class activity since last spring: Again this year, mini-reunions and other small group activities have taken place. Melissa Craig Parham and Shirley Trew Miller organized luncheons at Ellen Strauss Boer’s and Ruth Brown Gramlich’s homes. Ellen organized a tour of Mount Vernon; Bunny showed us her spectacular rooftop view of DC. Elaine Cox Jacoby organized a luncheon in historic East Brunswick, NJ, which included a number of first-time Middle States attendees along with Gail Carver Faris from Houston. Smaller gatherings were held in Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York City, Outer Banks, NC and aboard the Via Canadian across Canada.

Two 2016 destination reunions enjoyed enthusiastic attendance. In March, over 30 gathered in Silicon Valley for a beautifully planned weekend, including a festive opening reception at Barbara (Randall) and Chuck Preuss’ Palo Alto home, tours of the enchanting Filoli Gardens, the Computer Museum and the Stanford Art Museums. Thank you, again, to the wonderful team led by Sandy Perrot Drew. Forty of us gathered in October, for the “Achieving Excellence” campus event. We stayed in Willits and in a local B&B, were serenaded by the fabulous singing group, “M & Cs,” attended classes, (I was at the 8:30 a.m. International Macro Economic Theory class), and heard from Acting President Stephens about the College. Two highlights were discussing Between the World and Me with Professor Amber Douglas and touring the Restoration Ecology site with Professor Kate Ballantine ( This beautiful fall weekend deepened our understanding of our College and renewed our camaraderie. Kudos to the enthusiastic planning team led by Bunny Gramlich and Sally Wittenberg.

A number of classmates, some with their daughters and granddaughters, participated in the historic Women’s March following the inauguration of President Trump. Photos have been posted at The fall election has presented both challenges and opportunities for the College. Recognizing the need for understanding diverse perspectives and ensuring security for students, the College leadership is responding. We expect to hear more soon.

Sadly, Susie Bump Vancura died after a long battle with ovarian cancer. In February 2017 five classmates: Melissa Parham, Sally Clark Michel, Lucy Carlborg Rosborough, Jenni Macdonald DeWolfe and Cyndy Rapp Curry attended the celebration of Susie’s life in Providence. Missy Parham, who was Susie’s roommate for four years, delivered a reflection. Several classmates have offered their remembrances on our “In Memoriam” page. Susie’s field was biochemistry. Her love for birds, ecology and the protection of species reflects the interests of so many in our class. Other classmates we lost during 2016 include: Nancy Strayer Groff, Martha Kaus Dursi, Susan Dent Aronson, and Nancy Towe Benet who are remembered on our website.

Several classmates have inquired about missing classmates. If you know classmates who have moved and left no forwarding address at the College, please ask them to consider updating their information and joining our website. They are part of us and fondly remembered.

In conclusion, please fill out and return the enclosed form to Mary Ann (included here) to help us plan. Do let us know your preferences and whether you will attend.

Looking forward to seeing many of you very soon.

Love, Alice

Piazza del Popolo, Roma 
Valadier’s (early 1800’s) Gran Rampa is guarded by a succession of sphinxes starting from S.Maria del Popolo, left, and Canova, right, encircling the Dea Roma fountain below the Borghese Gardens.
Colby Andrus, May, 2015.


Fall 2015

Dear Vibrant and Cherished Classmates:

Greetings from New England. Yes, fall is upon us as leaves have turned, warning of an early winter. We hope your weather is kind to you as we begin another season.

The big news is that we have taken the Class Gatherings to heart, many of us sharing moments with each other throughout the country. Classmates have gathered in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York for larger scale lunches, dinners, and art tours. In April, Missy Craig Parham and Shirley Trew Miller organized folks for a wonderful day at the Baltimore Museum. Genya Currans Hopkins oversaw the program at the museum. In May, Lucy Carlborg Rosborough and Sally Calder Wittenberg hosted a candlit formal dinner at Lucy’s home for a large group of Boston area classmates. In June, Elaine Cox Jacoby organized an outing to Lambertville, Pennsylvania, for New Jersey and Pennsylvania classmates. At that mini-reunion, Elaine was pleased to welcome Gail Carver Ferris who was in NJ for the summer from her home in Houston and Deborah Ramey Reese, Sandra Kenyon’s college roommate

In May, Mary Ann Weiss, Joan Gagnebin Wicks and I attended the MHC Art Museum’s Director Tour, a three-day event in New York City. A whirlwind of visits to private collections of Mount Holyoke alumnae and clients of alumnae, a mind-blowing visit to Mark de Suvero’s workshop on the East River in Brooklyn, the Naguchi Museum, the Bible Society Museum and the Socrates Sculpture Park as well as times for informal talks on the bus and at meals made this an all-time great annual event.
Finding classmates when we travel is a special pleasure. That’s why I was so happy to find Ruth Brown Gramlich in Italy this spring where we were able to share a lunch in Settignano high above steamy Florence. Earlier this year, Colby and I were delighted to share lunch with Marianne Banning Adey in her village in England. In August, Susie Fickel Kroeger and Muriel Trask Davisson-Fahey re-connected at a Maine MHC Luncheon. Tell us your serendipitous meet-ups. 

Future events on the docket: a September luncheon for Twin Cities classmates, at Jane Tuzik Phillips home in Edina Minnesota; New York classmates will visit the Bronx Botanical Gardens in September and Helen Weinland will host an October dinner in Boston, to name a few planned so far. Do let us know when your next mini-reunion is planned? Can you host a regional meeting in the mid-west or south?

The big news for next year is not one, but two, opportunities to connect on the coasts. Sandy Perrott Drew and her team of planners have done a spectacular job of organizing and detailing an extraordinary Destination Reunion on the Peninsula (Silicon Valley) on the weekend of March 18-20, 2016. Soon you’ll be hearing more about the speakers, recommendations for side trips and other helpful details to make your trip enjoyable. I encourage your early reservation for this special event in our shared lives.

You may enjoy a second gathering at a “Back to Campus” experience during early October 2016. Ruth Brown Gramlich, Sally Calder Wittenberg, Jenny Macdonald DeWolf and I have formed the BTC committee, but we would love to have some of you join us. From those who might want to attend, I hope to hear about what you would like to see and hear, what faculty members or topics interest you, what kinds of class discussions or meals you’d like to share. Our goal is to make this an opportunity to experience present campus life and current learning methodology, which Mount Holyoke is championing. It will be lovely to be back on our beautiful campus. Also, we are exploring some add-on trips for those who would like to visit stellar spots in western MA, such as Old Deerfield, Naumkeag, or Mass MOCA. 

I want to acknowledge here the passing of Phyllis Heinrich Noel in 2014 in Durham, NC. Sadly, in July 2015, Suella Weiland Henn succumbed to a massive brain aneurism. Close friends have made touching remarks about Suella. Along with those recent deaths, several classmates have lost life partners. We extend our deepest sympathy to them and encourage them to reach out for support and friendship. It is in difficult times that we are sustained by friends. My hope is that you reach out across the years to those you knew and cared for and offer them support. You make two people happy when you do.

I was on campus in September for the Volunteer Conference along with Jane Backus Bragg and Sally Donner. I learned about the positive changes in Mount Holyoke's ranking, the largest positive jump on the USNWR list (five places). Holyoke is responding to issues that needed attention. Do send congratulations to Sonya Stephens, dean of the faculty, for her leadership. 

Here’s to many sphinxilated moments together. 

Love, Alice

Please visit our class website

February 2015

Bright and Illuminating Classmates of 1963:

I’m writing from Boston where the mild weather is a temporary respite from the wintry blast. In warmer times this past year, many of us shared friendly get-togethers in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and in the Washington D.C. area. Other smaller gatherings of close friends have been taking place as well. Why not share who you have seen and what you have done? Our class website,, is a great place to share comments (Member Forum), to wish each other happy birthday and to keep abreast of happenings both on campus and with each other.


Exciting news! The west coast organizers have met and decided on a date for a destination get-together on the Peninsula over the weekend of March 18-20, 2016. Great support from Sandy Drew, Barbara Preuss, Bev Bryant, Cyndy Curry-Nielsen as well as Libby Short, Mirja Muncy and Marged Sugarman. Stay tuned for details.


We vowed not to wait until our 55th reunion to enjoy all Holyoke has to offer. So, we are planning a Back to Campus weekend in October, 2016. Early plans include attending classes, enjoying the countryside and a communal read. Academic information is available on the college’s Academic website if you’d like to review classes we might attend. I liked hearing about Embedded Practitioners, which brought together practitioners from the political campaign spectrum for Professor Liz Markovits’ Politics & Rhetoric seminar. If you would like to help plan this weekend, please let me know.


Your Leadership Gift Team met this fall in D.C. Plans are under way for a committee to provide guidance for a class endowed fund. Ann Sadowsky has updated our website about our recent giving. I second her urge that we all give something, no matter how small, so that we help the college meet its goal of 10.000 alumnae gifts by the end of this fiscal year. How about 60% of us giving this year, up from 41 percent?


Sadly, we report the loss of four classmates; Dorothy Key Bell, Melinda Clancy Hegarty, Kathy Kirk Bell and Sally Smith Nason. Memorials of each can be found on our website (In Memoriam.) Melinda, who left MHC early, became a well-regarded Renaissance scholar who taught at the U of Iowa. She has two sons, Blake and Aran. Dorothy left after one year, went on to the U of Texas. Her life was devoted to supporting a large family and numerous Catholic religious endeavors. Kathy lived in Frisco, Texas before her death this past July, her surviving son is Charles Raymond Bell II. Tragically, Sally lost her life when hit by a car near her home.


“Never fear/change” has been the MHC slogan for a while now. Certainly changes in the admission policy regarding trans-gender admissions have caught us a bit off-guard. Some of our classmates have questioned the process and the decision. Gradually, we are beginning to learn more about it and how it affects the college. We listen with patience and understanding to our sisters, whether or not they support the decision. I have expressed the concerns of our class about the process and the need for more alumnae participation.


Similarly, since some classmates are distressed by MHC’s falling national rankings, I spoke at length with Sonya Stephens, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Sonya, who has been at the college a little over a year, is making major changes in areas of faculty development and other issues negatively perceived by national polls.


I am inspired by my Mount Holyoke granddaughters; Keshia and Jessie. Keshia is pursuing a divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary and Jessie is a computer programmer at Intuit, the financial software company. They’ve made a seamless transition to their lives after Holyoke. Their intelligence and self-confidence amazes and delights me. I hope that you find time to stay in touch with your 2013 granddaughters. Viewing the world through their eyes keeps us young and engaged.


I look forward to seeing you in 2015… our year to celebrate each other and the affection shared across the miles.


Love, Alice


September 2014

My delightful and enormously-talented classmates:

I want to share with you a wonderful experience at Mount Holyoke. Last night, Colby and I attended the Weissman Center and InterArts Council sponsored lecture by Carrie Mae Weems, this year's Leading Woman in the Arts. In a breathtaking display of her genius, Carrie took us through her body of work leading us to deepen our own observation of so many intellectural, cultural and community areas of our lives. Her voice and words (she uses text often in her work) describing how she felt and saw her work were mesmerizing. It was as if we were watching a dance by Martha Graham as she wove the stories and shared her perception of how she achieved her mega-body of work with her camera.

Her work begins from an idea, usually at the nexus of art and culture or art and community, which is then explored in her particular style. Continually, the themes are revisited and combined with later thought and work in a deeper and deeper exploration.This approach has served her to produce extraordinary images over a course of 40 some years. Armed with a Rollei and tripod, she sites and takes her photos alone, often placing herself within the context. She has been lauded widely, including with the Rome Prize and a MacArthur genius grant. Her Leading Woman in the Arts residency concludes today. During today's final workshop, she and 12 students are building a video work centered on Michael Brown, recently killed in Ferguson MO.. For me, seeing and hearing Carrie Weems was one of the great experiences of my year.

Earlier, we visited John Stomberg's (MHCAM director) brilliant brain-child: the Matisse Drawings show curated by 91 year-old Ellsworth Kelly.The drawings, arranged in a single line on four halogen-white walls, created a delicious display of faces, eyes, lips, limbs where line defined women. Matisse's women are graceful, arty, knowing, wary, self-satisfied and self-confident. No fear, no trauma here.

Ellsworth Kelly's drawings of fruit and leaves, which echo Matisse's line, create a delightful small side complement to him. If you have a chance to be at MHC, or near it, do not miss this exciting work.

Hope you'll share your own recent art experiences with all of us.

Happy fall to all, 



May 2014

Hello Dear Friends:

I promise a lengthier letter soon, but wanted to catch up on the news. I've had an opportunity to see a few folks over the past few weeks and some of you have written about your own get togethers. We want to hear more about your gatherings and what you all did. 

In early May, Colby an I attended an MHMuseum Art Tour to Houston. Joan Gagnebin Wicks joined the tour as well. While there we saw Becky Erickson Hudson and her husband. It was such fun to connect in her hometown. Sadly, our time was short and filled with collector and museum visits so we were unable to spend enough time together. Mental note: Houston is a wonderful city and would make a great place to meet up and enjoy their vibrant art scene as well as visit with classmates like Becky. Also, heard from Gail Carver Ferris after we were there, so nice to be in touch with Gail. 

Mid-may Libby Short and her husband, Mike, joined Colby and me for barbeque at our son, John's, restaurant, Max City BBQ, in Eagle Rock (LA) California. We had a great visit. Libby recommended we visit the Museum of the American West, where she has been a board member and docent. We took her recommendation and had a wonderful time re-living the early days of cowboy movies with authentic costumes from Roy, Gene, Clint and the rest among other stunning exhibits. Stay tuned, Southern Californians and hopefully we'll find a venue for all of us to meet sometime before our next reunion. 

Judy Reeve, Ann Sadowsky, Jane (Gigi) Darby and Mary Doyle met for lunch in Hanover recently and Sally Donner and Ken had lunch with Nawrie and her husband this May in Woods Hole. So that is all great.

The big event this May is Elaine Cox Jacoby's hosted event at the Princeton Museum where twelve will be gathering for a tour and lunch. I'm sorry I can't be there but wish you all a great time together.

Helen Weinland is planning a Newport weekend in October for the Boston dinner group.

Karen Kayser Benson and I are working on the Miami Art Basel event in December. You'll hear more soon.

Meantime, send your news of get togethers and include photos if you can. 

If you can, encourage others to join our website here and don't forget the Mount Holyoke Fund by June 30..we are in contention to break the record for the 51st year giving. And, even a small gift will help in terms of participation. 

Finally, congratulations to MHC 1964 for its record-breaking 50th reunion gift to the college. All good.

Love to all, Alice



October 2013

Dear 1963 Classmates, 

Having recently returned from our class transition meeting as well as the college volunteer conference, I now have no other excuse for not writing to you to report in on activities and to engage your interest in some ideas for class activities over the next five years. As many of you have reported, we have lost no time in getting in the mini-reunion spirit. In July, Mary Doyle hosted several of us in New Hampshire, Jane Bruce wrote about plans to meet with a group of close college friends in New York and Gretta Powers, Sue Thornley and Barbara Phelps Griffiths celebrated 50 years of friendship at Barbara's home in France. I suspect that many others have had a chance to get together over the summer. Please share your news about your gatherings on the website. We'd like to hear how every many one is doing. 

As a part of our transition, we have closed the books on our 50th reunion. The financial facts testify that, yes, we had a very good time. We have slightly over $5,000 in our treasury going forward. Steph Smith has taken on the Treasurer role and Elizabeth Burton has resigned from her co-Treasurer position. We appreciate Elizabeth's skillful handling of all the reunion financials and keeping a complete and accurate set of books. 

About 50 of us responded to the quick survey at reunion. The rave reviews of the 50th were unanimous. Susie, Karen and Swifty and the reunion team put on a spectacular event and so many more of you pitched in to help, it was really a shared effort.  Many of you donated financially to make this so special, so we want to thank you once again. Some issues plagued a few folks and we'll take full notice of those and change what we can for our 55th.  More shuttles, better vegetarian choices, dorm concerns are duly noted. However, very few wish to be off campus so we will most likely be in the dorms again. Mini-reunions were encouraged with the most requests for a casual weekend get-away at a destination with an interesting program or speaker. Along with the regional representatives who will head up the mini-reunion effort, 11 of you volunteered to help out. We will be setting out a schedule of minis over the next four years. The survey results were to keep the costume simple so we are RECYCLING our scarves. Hold on to those wonderful scarves for our 55th..and the bags for that matter. 

Karel Mortenson Koenig volunteered to be our class liaison to the Curriculum to Care initiative at the college. She invites any interested classmate(s) to join her. The C2C is now called The Lynk. The purpose of The Lynk is to guarantee every undergraduate an internship so that experiential learning is a part of their undergraduate curriculum. At the volunteer conference, we heard two seniors talk about their internships with the Smithsonian library and UNICEF. They both spoke on how their preparedness allowed them to take on tasks that usually don't fall to interns. I'm sure Karel will let us know how the LEAP event (seniors discuss their internship experiences) goes in late October. You can read more about this new college initiative on the college website.

Speaking of websites, I encourage all of you to sign up at our supplemental website ( We have decided to continue it as it offers more functionality than the AA site. There is a link to the college site on our class site.  

I am sorry to report that, at the end of August, Nancy Hunt died quite suddenly of pancreatic cancer. Nancy had planned to join us for lunch at Mary Doyle's but came down with what she thought was the flu. She died two weeks later. Deb Jones Hall reports that a group of classmates was able to visit with Nancy before her death and held a memorial gathering for her in September. Nancy leaves a daughter, Elizabeth. A complete obituary can be found on our class website.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you and seeing many of you over the months ahead.  We hope you will volunteer to help with mini-reunions and will attend some over the next few years. Let me know what programming you would like to have happen and how we can answer questions about the college and our class as we develop plans for our next reunion and for our class gift. We are exploring the idea of a legacy gift and invite your suggestions. 

Thank you for entrusting the class leadership to Ruth Gramlich, Steph Smith, Ann Sadowsky, our class agents, our mini-reps, our scribes and me. It is our good fortune and pleasure to represent you.

Love, Alice

Alice Andrus and Ruth (Bunny) Gramlich


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