Back to Class Mini-Reunion

Wednesday and Thursday
Oct. 7th and 8th
NANCY NUTTING                                            DEE LAMB                                               RHODA ERNST                     
MIZ COMEY                                             WILLIE WILLENBROK                                    DIANA ALEXANIAN                 
NANCY BOARDWAY                                    MARGOT ROY                                            BETSY WINTERS

CHIRPY WESSELER                                    ALICE CZYZ                                                       & WINK

Here's our put the names to the faces!
Don't we look just like students?????
We walked all over campus
This is David...husband of ?
Nancy Nutting does it again! the tables looked lovely
Over Hill and Dale
Edwina showing off her beautiful scarf woven by
our own Ellie Graham
Eleanor with her cute daughter Vivian
Chris Benfey, our renowned speaker
Doesn't he look regal though?
It's all an act!
Time flies...Eleanor was pregnant with Vivian
when we did  our 50th Reunion Project!
The campus was as beautiful as ever and the trees were just beginning to turn
Our October back-to-school mini was wonderful, and those who came wished that everyone else could have been there. Here’s who did come: Co chairs Nancy Nutting Lane and Dee Lamb Barstow; Diana Alexanian Jalelian, Nancy Boardway, Miz Comey Grant, Alice Czyz, Rhoda Ernst Bannon, Margot Roy Nasjleti and her husband David, Chirpy Wesseler Monroe, Pam Moody Harkins, Joan (Willie) Willenbrok Leonard, President Joan (Wink) Winkel Ripley, and Betsy Winters Horton.  

To Dee and Nancy’s huge relief, the bells for Mountain Day rang on October 6th - the day BEFORE our planned classes on Wednesday! The weather was beautiful – ideal for our visit. Most of us arrived late Tuesday and enjoyed a delicious dinner and comfy accommodations at Willets Hallowell. David Nasjleti (originally from Argentina) was the only man at dinner and graciously responded to Pam’s funny queries about how he and Margot had gotten together all those years ago.

After breakfast on Wednesday, we set off across campus to attend classes. Wink wrote, “My courses were terrific! I learned a lot about Iran, Antigone, sexual symbolism in a Carson McCuller's novel, Goya, Stalinism, Logical Thinking, and Emily Dickenson.” She added that some of the students were brilliant. (Why are we not surprised?) She also learned more about cultural differences from students from China and Pakistan. For example, a Pakistani student told After breakfast on Wednesday, we set off across campus to attend classes. Wink wrote, “My courses were terrific! I learned a lot about Iran, Antigone, sexual symbolism in a Carson McCuller's novel, Goya, Stalinism, Logical Thinking, and Emily Dickenson.” that in her country it is “immoral” to speak to a teacher outside of class. This student was stunned that teachers invited students to office hours or to contact them any time about their work, and is only now becoming comfortable with this American custom.

Comments from other classmates:  

“The class on the US & Iran focused solely on the religious history of Shiites. This left me with so many related questions that I looked up “Shia-Sunni” in Wikipedia after class and left wanting more!”

”Professors Jeremy King (Stalinism in Central Europe) and Amy Martin (Introduction to Literature) were very good at getting a discussion going. They never suggested a student might be wrong, but sometimes encouraged her to “enlarge upon that thought.”

“Nineteenth century European Art was great. Anthony Lee was a wonderful lecturer!”

“Sexuality and Women’s Writing held nothing back!” 

““The overall feeling I had from the two days of classes was ‘Thank heavens I don’t 
have to go back to college!’ I liked having only three classes, however, 
because just wandering around the campus and town was fun. Two of us had a chance 
to visit a dorm room and chat with a few undergraduates.” 

“It was a fabulous few days to be on campus and to see classmates again. I didn’t sign up for classes (I’m still an educator myself) but loved being on campus, just walking around, visiting Blanchard (the student center) and the impressive equestrian center, and enjoying the camaraderie of peers and friends.”

Other highlights included lively conversations with our honoraries Eleanor Townsley, Sonya Stephens, and Edwina Cruise, all of whom are so engaging and pleasant and really seem to enjoy 1955 as much as we enjoyed them. Our dinner speaker Wednesday night was English Professor Chris Benfey, who had blown us away speaking of children’s literature at our 60th reunion. He shared a story from his forthcoming book about Rudyard Kipling, the British author (think of The Jungle Book) who lived in India when it was part of the British Empire under Queen Victoria. Kipling also spent several years in Vermont, and became friendly with another would-be empire builder - none other than President Teddy Roosevelt – during walks through the Washington Zoo!  

On Thursday morning several of us attended Dr. Benfey’s class on Emily Dickinson and Mount Holyoke. What a tour de force! He took the class through discussion and analysis of one of her more mystical poems, phrase by phrase. Absolutely brilliant.

We left Thursday afternoon feeling enriched, both educationally and personally. Said one classmate, ”The reunion was a joy to me in so many ways. Just being with you all and reveling in the beautiful weather on that beautiful campus has left me wanting more.” We owe huge thanks to Dee and Nancy for organizing this wonderful experience.