President's Class Letters
August 2017

55’s Mission – stay connected, have fun and make a difference!

Dear Classmates,

Just in case you haven’t checked our website lately, please know that once again ’55 has made Mount Holyoke history. For the seventh year in a row every single one of our solicited classmates came through with a gift to our alma mater and we racked up 100% participation. You might remember our sign at our 60th about 100% for so many years in a row that stated, ’55 rocks. Well thanks to you all we’re still rocking! What a wonderful tribute to all of you and your loyalty to our alma mater. As our class agents say, it isn’t about having to convince people to give; it is really just about reminding them.

Special thanks to our conscientious class agents who make 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
Ellie Graham Claus
CA St John Gebhardt
Mollie Hibbard
Dee Lamb Barstow
Jan Williams Libby
Jane Barth
Shirley Smith Smith
Jan McIntosh Carreau
Sue Nutter Keller
Miz Comey Grant
Nancy Stratford Zambelli
Sylvia Johnson Lucas 
Rhoda Ernst Bannon
Judy Vernon

So that takes care of the make a difference department for this past year.

 For this year we have an exciting new class project that we hope to get started. I’m sure most of you were enthusiastic about the Woman’s March back in the Spring and wondering what you could do to make a difference. Mary Lou Judd Carpenter had been to a National YWCA meeting where she learned about a program called Equal Means Equal which the Y is sponsoring along with several other organizations such as the AAUW. It concerns the Equal Rights Amendment that has not yet been passed, which would finally protect women under the Constitution. But we are already protected under the Constitution you might say…but no, actually we are not. There are dozens of areas where a lack of equal rights negatively effects women and their children.

Your executive Committee has selected Ellie Graham Claus to lead this new endeavor and we hope to get each and every one of you involved. Our class executive committee members each have a copy of the 90 minute DVD about this program. It is unbelievably well done and a real eye-opener. We are going to show this at our mini-reunion and our NYC mini so that you can see it for yourselves. If the class is in favor of this project then we hope that all of you will show it to a group of your friends, your daughters and their friends, and yes even your granddaughters and their friends. In September the MHC Cape Cod Club will be showing it at their fall meeting. We are anxious to see the response. 

Onward to Staying Connected and Having Fun! Our annual “Back to School Mini Reunion” was so much fun. Our newest classmate, Sonya Stephens, had us all to dinner at her house and we were thrilled. Many of us had never been in the President’s House, or if we had it was for a short handshake in the hall and then out the back door. Sonya entertained us royally and there were smiles all around. It was a very special way to kick off our mini. Exciting classes and dinners with all of our other honoraries followed and we learned about the new Community Center. It will be exciting to see how it has progressed when we visit this fall Oct. 2 – Oct 4. Nancy Nutting Lane and Dee Lamb Barstow did their usual bang-up job of organizing this annual event and we can’t thank them enough for running such a wonderful program.

Once again Lois Gaeta and her husband David Baker invited us all to The Harvard Club for our fall New York City mini-reunion on Wednesday Oct. 25th. Although last year’s gathering was small we all had a wonderful time and learned so much about the history of the Harvard Club which is rich in art and tradition. This year we have the dates nice and early and we hope many more will join us. Put it on your calendar NOW! Email Wink at joanripley@me.com or call at 914-393-5669 to sign up and hear the latest news about the NYC mini. The cost will be $35.00 per person.

Our southern belles in Florida have had their annual mini in West Palm Beach. They are looking mighty good for youngsters our age. (see last page) We’d love to expand our local minis so if any of you are willing to help us out please let Wink know.

For all of you in the far west state of California a special invitation. The Class of 1956 is having a mini reunion and conference in Santa Barbara April 17-20, 2018. Is this far enough in advance for you to plan? The theme is “Demystifying the U. S. Health Care System”. Excursions to historic, cultural and botanic features of Santa Barbara will fill the afternoons and dinner in spectacular locations will complete each day. If you are interested contact Judy Rutherford Sewell and llewesjudy@gmail.com or 905-684-5392 (Canada).

We have been sending out birthday cards each month via email as just another way to let you know there is no more hiding our age, and again, just staying connected. Those of you who don’t have an email address have been called by our Birthday Committee headed up by Joan Willenbrok Leonard. If you haven’t been getting our email blasts each month about our website changes, and d.o have an email address, please contact Gay Chaffee Hartman at fchagh@gmail.com so you can see all the latest ’55 news as soon as it happens. The website is updated every month with new material and happenings so you are missing a lot if you aren’t on our email list. 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”.

In an effort to keep everyone in the know if they simply “don’t do email” we are sending them the unabridged class notes from the past year under separate cover. We are quite restricted in the number of words we are allowed in the Quarterly, although our website has the original unabridged version well in advance of the print edition (another reason why you should let us know your email address). Nancy Nutting Lane is doing an outstanding job as Scribe. Please help her out by emailing her with news at nanbop2@aol.com or phoning at 203-869-7927. 

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.

Are we having fun yet?

Wink, Nancy, Sylvia, Jane, Willie, MC and Gay