Dear 1968 Classmates,
For those of you who attended our 50thReunion, it was a celebration we’ll always remember. From the excitement of reuniting with old friends to the long hugs goodbye again, it was the best RED class 50thever!
For those of you who couldn’t come, we thought of you often and missed you a lot. We hope you’ll make it to our 55th! But also know that since many had such a wonderful time at our mid-term MINI REUNION in Tucson in 2016, we’re hoping to have at least one MINI REUNION during the next five years.
Now, some highlights of Reunion 2018.
Attendance was outstanding with 237 classmates and 93 guests registered! So many classmates helped to foster enthusiasm for “reuning”: our Spirit Committee, headed by Sandra Kulli and Judy Harte; the beautiful Record Book produced by Lynne Williams Bair, Kristin Gamble Flood, Marilyn Averill and Kay Lehman Schlozman; our intrepid fundraisers who kept in touch with all of us between reunion years – led by Lynn Chornyei Thurber, Leslie Dansker and Ellen Reynolds Harris; and so many more.
1968 broke a number of college reunion records:
- Highest percentage of class members attending a reunion: 54%.
- Highest participation level of any class donating to Wellesley since 1999 – 85.5%; 320 class members.
- College record for Durant level donors since the Durant donation was increased to $2500 – 119 class members.
- Third highest total dollars given by a class over a five-year reunion cycle – over $26 million!
These figures reflect the enthusiasm and affection so many of us feel for each other and the College – as well as the huge commitment of our Reunion and fundraising volunteers!
1968 SETS NEW RECORDS
The weather was outstanding – very little rain, despite predictions.
More than 70 of us and guests enjoyed an extra Reunion day on Thursday in Cambridge organized by Rachel Harris Winkeller and Pamela Starr Bromberg with lunch in Harvard Square, a visit to the Harvard University Museums (now one building incorporating the collections of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Sackler Museums) and a cocktail party at Rachel’s fabulous apartment near the Boston Common. We originally thought we might have about 30 participants, so kudos to Rachel and Pam for so well managing this ever-growing day.
As an aside, several of us wandered through Harvard Yard before lunch and came upon a special exhibit there “Harvard, 1968”. To quote the Boston Globe, May 29, 2018: “A new exhibit at the Pusey Library, “Harvard, 1968,” uses [Dr. Martin Luther] King’s death as a touchstone to explore what it meant to be a student experiencing, and helping shape, the political, cultural, and scientific revolutions that swept the world in that turbulent year.” And so we pondered, 50 years later, how we felt then and now — another turbulent time.
Friday we checked into Tower Court – the dorm filled with red geraniums and red boas. Our dorm and hospitality chairs did much to make our stay comfortable (Barbara Ann Kemp McCahill, Eleanor Pansar, Anne Littlefield, Janet McCullough Rich, Ellen Reynolds Harris and Ellen Burns Little) and our greeters made all feel welcome as we joyously found old friends. We had cocktails in a noisy (mostly suffering happily…) Great Hall with President Paula Johnson (Where was that microphone hiding?), enjoyed dinner in the courtyard tent (thank you Dana Fisk Pitts!) and sang Junior Show songs led by Cherrie Hepburn Greenhalgh, who somehow managed to have a record player and our Junior Show album for the sing-along.
Saturday morning started with a class meeting to elect new class officers and share highlights of the past five years, followed by a lovely class Memorial Service led by Anne Messenger to remember those no longer with us. Thank you so very much to Suzanne Ciani for the extraordinarily beautiful music. Next came the Alumnae Association Annual Meeting where the Class of 1968 was the STAR with all the records we broke. Ellen Genat Hoffman (one of the authors of this letter) felt awkward reporting this, but the other authors want to do so. Ellen received the Syrena Stackpole Award for her amazing service to Wellesley over the last 50 years. The rest of us couldn’t have been prouder!
NEW CLASS PRESIDENT, LYNN CHORNYEI THURBER, AND VICE PRESIDENT,
JANE PLUMMER FENN
Another Saturday morning highlight was a video produced by Nancy Kellogg Lightbody with some of the individuals in the Passions and Projects program. Thank you also to Judy Siskind and Sally Giddings Smith for all your work to make Passions and Projects come to life. The afternoon started with a terrific panel discussion of “From ‘Who Me? To #MeToo’: A Half Century of American Women’s Struggle to Gain Equality”. Kay Evans, Kay Lehman Scholzman, Demie Kurz, Ellen DuBois and Catherine Wells provided perspectives from their diverse backgrounds. There was then time to view jewelry, photos, books, textiles and paintings produced by our classmates and participate in discussions on all manner of topics in the alcoves of the Tower Court Great Hall. After our appetites were whetted with the displays, we were able to buy things produced by classmates at a Pop-Up Store.
#ME TOO PANEL
No doubt many classmates spent the afternoon walking around the lake, attending faculty lectures, checking out new buildings on campus, playing golf or just talking with friends. Some attended a talk in the Davis Museum with our classmate, Kiki Djos, who is one of two Wellesley girls in an Alice Neel painting on exhibit there.
On Saturday night Julie Dempsey Cox and Diane Hawk Schmalensee—as well as our amazingly organized beverage chair, Carol Robinson Sacerdote – worked their wonders creating a gala evening: an elegant cocktail party and dinner at Alumnae Hall followed by dancing to oldies in the adjacent tent. (Best DJ ever!) No surprise, we were joined by some “youngsters” from other classes like 2008 and 2013 who heard our terrific music.
Sunday, we marched in the Alumnae Parade with red and white umbrellas, red balloons and brilliant sunshine -- and watched a much older class march by with their purple pussy hats!! We were the loudest shouting our Class Cheer: 1-9-6-8 Wellesley Rah, 1-9-6-8 Wellesley, Scarlet’s Here, Letter Year, 1-9-6-8 Wellesley!
Finally, there was step singing in the outdoor amphitheater, lunch in the Tower Courtyard organized by Joan Schumacher Schoellner, and Goodbyes until 2023 when we will do it again!
So many classmates (well over 100) helped plan and execute Reunion that we can never mention them all here or thank them enough, but we hope all felt appreciated when they saw that everybody seemed to be having a wonderful time. THANK YOU to ALL who made this 50thpossible! You can look on the Reunion tab on the CLASS WEBSITE to see a list of volunteers.
Before we close, we have a few small requests.
As discussed at the Class meeting, we plan to use the Class website increasingly in the future. It will be THE PLACE TO GO for information. The Class will continue to send emails and an occasional letter by post, but we’ll publish everything on the website as well. We know many of you now have ID’s and passwords. If not, please contact the Alumnae Office at 781-283-2321 to obtain access.
Also, please remember to let the Alumnae Office know if you change your email or postal address. You can email changes to Recordupdates@wellesley.edu.
Judy Siskind has put up a website with 1968 50threunion photos.
PLEASE add any photos you may have taken – include captions with names if you can. We’ll transfer many of these to our Class website. Alternatively, send your photos to Jane Philippi at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be fun to have lots on our website for the future.
With very best wishes from your 50thReunion chairs and former Class President,
Ellen Genat Hoffman
Ursula Moore Smith
Jane Turner Philippi
New 1968 Class Officers
President—Lynn Chornyei Thurber
Vice President – Jane Plummer Fenn
Secretary – Judy Harte
Treasurer -- Janet Conn
Wellesley Fund Representative – Susan Little Berry