President's Class Letters
July 30, 2012

Dear ‘55er,

In case you didn’t see our fantastic news on our web site everyone needs to just sit down and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Fabulous Fifty-Five achieved 100% participation in this year’s Annual Fund. This sets a new record for a non-reunioning class and we are so proud to have achieved this. This is an excellent example of ‘55’s loyalty to our college and to our class. We asked and you gave. Thank you to all our class agents and to all of you who participated in our perfect record.

Since we are such a great class, and we are, we have created a new Class Loyalty Recognition Program. It is called The Class of 1955’s Uncommon Woman Award. This award was sent to 89 members of our class who had given to the Annual Fund for 50 years or more. This is quite unbelievable. Fourteen of these classmates never missed a year! The citation was sent in a silver Mount Holyoke Frame to each of these 89 classmates in recognition of their splendid support.

As you know our five year plan for the class consists of “Staying Connected and Having Fun,” which immediately brings to mind Mini Reunions. Our recent Philly mini was a special treat. Harbie and Janie planned a wonderful two days of outstanding art tours. The new Barnes is so special and we were able to see it less than a month after its grand opening. Check the web site at to see a full reports and fun pictures of your classmates at all of our minis this year.

Our NYC mini in June was a big success and it is now an annual event. There’s nothing better than just talking and eating and we did plenty of both. Thanks to MC Bachman Churchill for arranging this.

Our Back to School Mini will also be an annual event. Dee Lamb Barstow and Nancy Nutting Lane ran a super event last fall and our new president, Lynn Pascerella even came for dinner! A real coup! Joan Willenbrok Leonard will join Dee and Nancy in planning this year’s Back to School mini which will be Sept 27-28th so mark your calendars NOW! The Web site will be updating this frequently and our phone tree will be touting it as well.

Our Boston Ballet mini was not well attended but it was a real treat. Perhaps we will try this again in the future as it was very special to go behind the scenes and hear a talk by the Director after a marvelous performance of Romeo and Juliet.

As you know Weezie Kugler Bush has set up a phone-tree for our class so that those who don’t want to use a computer can still be informed and up-to-date on our class activities by using the reliable real time communication system known as the telephone. Please let her know if you would be willingly to assist in keeping our class together. They will be doing another call soon.

We have a proposed new class project which will be headed up by Joyce Howard McFarland and Betsy Horton, if the class wants to do it. The inspiration for this came from our book discussion of “Half The Sky” at our campus mini. The terrible exploitation of young girls is something we all care about and every little bit of help is so gratefully received. Please see the attached flyer about this proposed new program.

Gay and Wink still welcome any and all contributions for the web site and ask that you sign on to the guest book and tell us what’s new with you or what you’ve been reading on our book page guest book. We are still missing over 100 email addresses and they ask that if you have an email address that isn’t listed on our web site please let them know so that you will be receiving information in the most timely manner. Send these email addresses to .The email list on the web site is password protected so no one outside the class can access it. Our password, when it prompts you, is “reunion.”

 Betsy Winters Horton is eager and waiting to hear news of our class for the Quarterly so please make her smile by sending snail mail to her mailbox, at 3131 Excelsior Blvd #902, Minneapolis, MN 55416 or emails to her inbox at .

There are only a few copies of “Uncommon Women Together – Generations Apart” left.
Contact Wink at or 914-393-5669 to get your copy.

Are we having fun yet?


At last fall’s mini-reunion on campus, most of us had already read “Half the Sky,” by Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl Wu-Dunn. Titled after the Chinese proverb, “Women Hold Up Half the Sky,” this absorbing book about the world-wide oppression of women had been chosen as the 2011 Mount Holyoke College “campus read.” Many of us were deeply affected by the book, and wondered if there were anything we could do to contribute toward helping reduce these misogynistic practices, especially here in our own country.  

Your class officers then learned that our classmate Joyce Howard McFarland had already embarked on such a mission in her own home state of Minnesota. She is a strong supporter of the Minnesota Women’s Foundation, which became disturbingly aware of the rising number of teen and pre-teen girls from Minnesota who are forced against their will into sex trafficking. This foundation has funded a project named “MN GIRLS ARE NOT FOR SALE,” dedicated to reversing this brutal way of life from which it is so difficulty to escape.

Joyce became doubly inspired after reading another book, "Girls Like Us," by Rachel Lloyd, who herself escaped after years of abuse, rape and prostitution and is now the Executive Director of the New-York-based Girls’ Education and Mentoring Service (“GEMS”). Rachel is the guiding spirit of this organization, which is dedicated to helping girls escape “the life” and finding a meaningful future. GEMS now provides direct services for over 1,000 girls and young women a year. 

Your class officers thought that there were some useful ways in which all of us could join in the effort to end the horrific reality of sex-trafficking throughout the country – at least in states where we live. Here are some ideas about steps we might take:

Read "Girls Like Us" (Rachel Lloyd, 2011, Harper-Collins) – available at bookshops and online

Post your impressions on the class website  and engage in an online discussion on this topic

Learn about what is being done in your state to address this problem, and share your findings with us on the website

Participate in developing recommendations for legislative changes needed in your state and others.

Please give us feedback on whether you would like us to move forward with this project.

August 31. 2013

Dear ‘55er,

Just plain congratulations to you all! Once again you all came through and made certain that Fabulous Fifty-Five is indeed Fabulous! 100% participation in the Mount Holyoke Fund is no small achievement and doing it for the second year in a row is incredible. Your loyalty and the class agent’s diligence have proved to all that ’55 remembers and cares about our class song that Stevie Sargent wrote those many years ago…”Holyoke is the star of seven and shall reign throughout”.

Special thanks to our classmates who made the calls and followed through:

Anne Underhill Rosenbaum
Anne Cochran MacLeod
Anne Townsend Buttrick
Barbara Gates Johnson
Barbara Grant Deedy
Barbara Mulvehill Gray
Carol Monnik Huth 
Cathy Suarez Szap
CA St John Gebhardt
Cynthia Pinney Hammar
Dee Lamb Barstow
Ellie Graham Claus
Jane Barth Janie Estey Peters
Jan McIntosh Carreau 
Jan Williams Libby
Joelle Urquhart Manville 
Margaret Broughton Tenney
Miz Comey Grant 
Shirley Smith Smith
Rhoda Ernst Bannon
Sue Nutter Keller
Sylvia Johnson Lucas
Jinny Starr Pope
Nancy Stratford Zambelli 
Judy Vernon

We now have 92 classmates who have received our Class Loyalty Award for giving to Mount Holyoke for over 50 years. 14 of these have NEVER missed a year. Check out the web site to see all of them.

Continuing on our mission to “Stay Connected and Have Fun” we have been doing just that. Our annual Back to School Mini took place last Sept. and we felt our brains were still working even if our legs were not quite as strong. Vinnie Ferraro came and gave us a special talk as he was not teaching at MHC while we were there. He was also made one of our class honoraries and we are so happy he agreed to join the class of 1955. This year’s “Back to School” Mini will be Oct. 21 – 23rd. so mark your calendars NOW! A registration form is included with this letter and need to be returned by Oct. 15th.

We had another NYC luncheon at the Yale Club this spring thanks to M.C. Bachman Churchill following a morning at the Frick Museum which was delightful. There are pictures of this still on the web site for your perusal.

On Sept 10th over 20 of us met at the Peabody Essex Museum where Joan Willenbrok Leonard arranged for us to have lunch and a special guided tour of the Museum and the Faberge exhibit. Once again check out our web site to see many of us in living color!

Still in the works are another luncheon in November hosted by Lois Gaeta at the Harvard Club, and perhaps a New Jersey luncheon at a classmates home.
Stay tuned and connected to the web site for upcoming news and details.

The Barnes Mini last year was so successful that others have asked us to do it again so next Spring we will be planning another trip to the Barnes and to Winterthur as soon as the flowers are in bloom.

Weezie Kugler Bush and her telephonites are planning another phone call soon just to check in and relay information to those who might not be on the internet everyday. It is just to say hello and how are you…strictly just a hi.

They will also keep you up to date on our 60th Reunion! Yes, you read that correctly. In May of 2015 we will be returning for our big 6-0. M.C. Bachmann Churchill and Joan Willenbrok Leonard will be planning a fun filled weekend for you and asking for many hands to help them. Uncommon Women that we are, we know you will cooperate. The actual date will be announced at the first planning session back at school this coming Sept. 28th.

Our class project regarding trafficking of youngsters has proven to be mostly informational with articles on the web site for your information. We wish someone or two would volunteer to organize a letter writing campaign or some other project so we could actually help in this endeavor. Any or all volunteers would be greatly appreciated. Just call or email Wink and she will be happy to fill you in on this project.

Gay and Wink are still missing over 100 email addresses and would love to have them so we could keep you informed of all our activities and news. Please send these to Gay at Also if you have changed your email please update us. The email list on our web site is password protected so no one outside the class can access it. Our password, when it prompts you, is “reunion”.

Betsy Winters Horton has been doing a great job collecting news for our class and the Quarterly. Once again the Quarterly has restricted our words but ALL of your news can be seen on the scribe page on our web site. Speaking of news, and of web sites, Gay and Wink once again are feeling very neglected by the lack of use of the guest books. Let’s really try and make this an interactive site and tell us what’s new with you and what books you have been reading and enjoying. There is a guest book on the home page for general information and a guest book on the book pages for your book news.

Betsy’s snail mail address is 3131 Excelsior Blvd #902, Minneapolis, MN 55416 and her email is

Happy Birthday to all who have reached your 80th! Simply amazing. Did we ever think this would happen back in Pearsons, Porter, Brigham and Safford??? As they say…time flies when you’re having fun.

Are we having fun yet?

Wink, Harbie, Janie, Betsy and Gay

                                                                  September 2014

Dear Classmate,

You all have made us famous! The Class of 1955 has does it again! That’s three years in row we’ve had 100% participation in The Mount Holyoke Fund. Yes it’s unbelievable and most classes don’t really believe it…but we did it! As our class agents say it isn’t about having to convince people to give; it is really just about reminding them. Our five year plan back in 2005 was to “stay connected, have fun and make a difference.” The first two goals were easy but now thanks to all of you we have made a difference. Just to add icing to the cake our goal was $135,000.00 and at the end of the day we were at $139,087.00! How great is that?

Special thanks to our conscientious class agents who made the calls and followed through:

        Anne Underhill Rosenbaum                                    Anne Cochran MacLeod
        Anne Townsend Buttrick                                          Barbara Gates Johnson
        Barbara Grant Deedy                                               Barbara Mulvehill Gray
        Carol Monnik Huth                                                  Cynthia Pinney Hammar
        CA St John Gebhardt                                                Ellie Graham Claus
        Dee Lamb Barstow                                                    Janie Estey Peters
        Jane Barth                                                                  Jan Williams Libby
        Jan McIntosh Carreau                                             Margaret Broughton Tenney
        Joelle Urquart Manville                                            Shirley Smith Smith
        Miz Comey Grant                                                     Sue Nutter Keller
        Rhoda Ernst Bannon                                                Jinny Starr Pope
        Sylvia Johnson                                                            Judy Vernon
        Nancy Stratford Zambelli

We now have 93 classmates who have received our Uncommon Woman Award for giving to Mount Holyoke for over 50 years. 14 of these have NEVER missed a year. 
Check out our web site to see them all.

Continuing on our mission to “Stay Connected and Have Fun” we have been doing just that. Our annual Back to School Mini Reunion took place last September and we turned into enthusiastic students once again. Walking to all the classes was a challenge , but we made it and thought how good it was for our expanding waistlines. Sonya Stephens, the new Dean of the Faculty, was our after dinner speaker and she was fantastic! We just had one of those old fashioned bull sessions afterwards and she stayed right with us till the very end around 11:00. It was so appreciated! The most famous question of the mini was asked to the students by Nancy Nutting Lane…why do you say “like” so much?

In November Julie Shea Towell and Joyce Cudlipp Wiggin hosted an 80th Birthday Lunch and Mini Reunion in Short Hills, NJ. It was a great success and thanks to the two of them for a great birthday party.

Speaking of birthdays we have been sending out birthday cards each month as just another way to let you know there is no more hiding our age and again just staying connected. We hope you have gotten a few laughs from them. We were amazed to find that we had fittingly 55 classmates who didn’t turn 80 until the year 2014. We must have been a very smart class!

Lois Gaeta’s Harvard Club NYC Mini Reunion is still to be announced. Harvard insists that the member (husband David) be present and he is up for knee surgery so the date is still not finalized. Enter it as an event about to happen.

Our nearest “coming event” is this year’s Back to School Mini that Dee Lamb Barstow and Nancy Nutting Lane are planning so well. Enclosed in this mailing is plenty of information about it as well as a registration form. Oct. 1 and 2 are the big dates and we have all our honoraries plus Lynn Pasquerella and her husband John Kuchle joining us for cocktails and dinner. I’m guessing that our being 80 year olds entitles us to some perks, but then again that 100% thing might have figured in.

Can you believe that May 2015 is just around the corner? Joan Willenbrok Leonard and MC Bachman Churchill are hard at work with great plans for making our 60th very special. The dates are May 22 – 24, 2015 for Reunion II and they are still calling for volunteers. We are not going to go out quietly like little old ladies. We guarantee it! Take a gander at who has already volunteered to help and what they have in mind in the information enclosed. We will be adding news about the 60th on each monthly web site update and you’ll be able to see just what is happening in real time.

Gay and Wink are still missing quite a few email addresses and would love to have them now so we could keep you informed of all our activities and news in a timely manner. Please send these to Gay at Also if you have changed your email don’t forget to let us know. The email list on our web site is password protected so no one outside our class can access it. Our password when it prompts you is “reunion.” 

Betsy Winters Horton is still doing an outstanding job as Class Scribe for our Quarterly news. Being over 80 means not all of our news can be seen on the scribe page in the Quarterly…but…it is all there in living color on the web page. And…months before you will see it in hard copy. Instant gratification seems to be the order of the day.

Betsy’s snail mail address is 3131 Excelsior Blvd #902, Minneapolis, MN 55416 and her email is for future use.

Speaking of news, and of web sites, Gay and Wink are still feeling a bit unloved by the lack of use of the guest books on the web site, although it is better than it has been. There has been improvement and we appreciate it. We’re all grown up now so it is OK to initiate some news. Tell us what’s new with you and what books you’ve been reading and enjoying. There is a guest book on the home page for news and one on the book page for, guess what, book news.

Remember when you are downsizing don’t toss that MHC stuff. The archives would love to have many of those old memories. Just remember to label everything you can remember. Contact Wink and she will insure they get to the right place.

Sadly many of us are having health problems. There comes a time when we all have to say goodbye so we encourage you all to stay connected to your old friends from the class of 1955. They are the best and our history together makes those friendships very special.

Come on back to the October Mini Reunion and make it a priority to be there for our Fantastic 60th next May!

Are we having fun yet?

Wink, Harbie, Janie, Betsy and Gay,