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Fall 2003

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Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view



Class notes

  1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979


Barbara Crossman Bell

Cindy Packard Richmond, who decided to abandon her pursuit of art 30 years ago “after Victor Ligouri told me my paintings looked like Ôsmudge by numbers,’” has returned to it. The results can be seen at www.cindypackardrichmond.com. Daughter Amanda is a Smith grad and a graphic designer for a small publisher in Philadelphia. Son Ned attends Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Cindy is still happily married to Harvey, the man she met in D’Andrea’s.

Melissa Eichler Stephenson’s daughter Hannah ’03 graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in May. As class agent volunteer, Melissa has enjoyed staying in touch with classmates.

Amazed that 35 years have passed since she lived on the sixth floor of Moore Hall, Joleen Johrde Worden is “transported back to that setting whenever she hears the Doors’ Light My Fire. She’s the mother of three children, two of whom are attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she herself earned a degree in architecture and her husband is an alumni advisor for his former fraternity. Their youngest, a high-school senior, also hopes to attend RPI. At home in New Bedford, NH, Joleen is active in local politics and represents a taxpayer group on the planning committee for a new high school.

Roberta Franks Straus and husband Steve live in Randolph, MA. Last October she retired from working in Steve’s dental practice and now enjoys water aerobics classes, hospice volunteer work, and entertaining. The couple’s son Matt ’95 lives in Los Angeles, and daughter Emily, who lives nearby, is pursuing a master’s in special education. Steve plays reeds in a Dixieland and swing band; Roberta claims to “have always been a ‘groupie.’” She would love to hear from classmates in the area.

Wendy Berman Bloom is director of the Ramsey Free Public Library in Bergen County, NJ, where she is in charge of developing a strategic plan for the next 25 years—“quite a challenge, given the constant development in technology and media.” She and husband Harold are residents of neighboring Mahwah, where they own a condo. Harold changed careers last year and is now in the floor- and window-covering business. The Blooms’ twin son and daughter graduated from college in May—Stephanie with a B.F.A. in dance from Ohio State and Jeremy with a B.F.A. in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Wendy reminds classmates that she is still only 35 miles from Manhattan and welcomes hearing from them.

Rochester, NY, resident Ann Evans Prince retired in June, after 30 years of teaching middle-school English. Son Todd is a junior at the University of Richmond, majoring in finance; son Eric is a sophomore at the University of Rochester, where he’s on the tennis team. Husband Barry plans to work for three more years, so any extensive traveling is on hold until then. In the meantime, Ann enjoys playing tennis and golf, volunteering, and participating in a handbell choir and book club. She had dinner with Liz Hood, who was in town on business; and in April the Princes stayed a night with Chris Waterbury Dearnaley, who lives in Wallingford, PA, while traveling south—“both wonderful visits,” says Ann.

After the death of her 94-year-old mother last August, Eddie Fielder Keach relocated to northern Idaho, where her husband is a special education professional and martial arts instructor. Eddie, who had been working as a landscape designer in the Washington, DC, area since 1995, made the decision to move to Idaho in 2002 when a recurrence of Lyme disease was accompanied by fibromyalgia. The clean air and simple lifestyle boosts her compromised immune system. Son James is a junior at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, studying botany, genetics, and orchidology.

Our sympathy to Marge Mellman, who lost her mother last December. Marge says she was “very comforted by all my Skidmore friends who remembered my mother so well from meeting her in our college years and thereafter.” Marge attended A Little Night Music at Lincoln Center this year with a group from Skidmore and was on hand for the Art at the Armory show with Skidmore’s Tang Museum director Charlie Stainback and a group from the museum.

Mary Leaf Gillette visited Skidmore’s “new campus” while accompanying husband Larry to his 30th reunion at Union. While impressed with the beauty of the campus and surprised by the upscale scene in downtown Saratoga, she expressed nostalgic curiosity about the fate of D’Andrea’s and Farmer’s Hardware.

Betsy Evans and husband Jeff became grandparents last winter, enabling Betsy to practice what she teaches now. Her video It’s Mine! Responding to Problems & Conflicts is the first in an infant/toddler series, and her book You Can’t Come to My Birthday Party! Conflict Resolution for Young Children is also doing well. Both can be ordered at her Web site, www.kidsandconflict.com.

Diana Giragossian Hellinger made a career change four years ago, becoming an educator as she’d always wanted. A fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade English teacher, she marvels at the progress she sees in her students as they learn to diagram sentences, write poetry, and discuss the events of the day. In August, Diana and husband Doug went on their first cruise through the Mediterranean region. They had a visit during the summer from Andrea Talmud and her husband, who have been living in Paris for the last 30 years.

Debbie Fritts Palmer and husband Jeff are semi-retired, splitting the year between Sag Harbor, NY, and Charleston, SC. Debbie is pursuing her third career, with a November debut in two galleries in Charleston, featuring her landscapes in oils and pastels. Eldest daughter Jennie, a graduate of RISD, is designing floats and balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade; daughter Tracey is pursuing a bachelor’s at the College of Charleston.

Liz Miller Grasty, who cites quilting as her “favorite form of relaxation,” got together with Leslie Buchan Brown in Lexington, VA, last spring. Liz also keeps in touch with Christine Vitolo, an attorney residing in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Two years ago Penny Cunningham Hommeyer and husband Jim moved to Groton, MA, where she works part-time as a guide for River Classroom, an environmental education program for grades 4–8 on the Nashua and Squannocook Rivers. Her youngest son, Adam, will graduate from Skidmore in 2004, necessitating a lot of trips to Saratoga! Penny would love to hear from roommates and friends at hommeyer1@juno.com.

With the last of Beret Butter Moyer’s four kids now in college, she is pursuing her master’s in pastoral counseling. She accompanies husband Homer, a Washington-based international corporate attorney, to Eastern Europe to attend annual meetings of an American Bankers Association program he founded there 12 years ago. His book focusing on emerging adults, The R.A.T. (Real-World Aptitude Test), Preparing Yourself for Leaving Home, was published this year and featured on the ABC News Web site.

Singers Carol Christensen Parker, Terri Huxtable, and Liz Hood reunited in June to perform at Caffe Lena in Saratoga, and then spent time together later in the summer at Liz’s summer place in Glen Burnie, MD.

Over the summer Laurie Williams Hamilton of Asheville, NC, taught a course in disaster mental health to the worldwide yoga organization Anada Marga and then traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, to teach a workshop in the neurobiology of stress and to direct the continuing education program at a weeklong conference. In September she conducted a workshop on the neuroscience of spiritual experience. Laurie, who maintains a private practice, lives in a wooded creek area a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway, sharing her home with a Maine coon cat and two Akitas.

Janet Sangenito Fagal’s son Andrew, who graduated from Skaneateles (NY) High School in May, is a freshman at Lafayette College.

Barbara Crossman Bell’s daughter Jennie is teaching ninth-grade English at New Trier High School outside Chicago; daughter Emily is in Los Angeles, working as an assistant scriptwriter on the new CBS television series Joan of Arcadia.

Christine Waterbury Dearnaley’s son John graduated from Drexel University with a degree in material engineering. Christine, who lost husband Peter to cancer in 2000, is adjusting to widowhood. She spotted Ann Evans Prince, whose son was playing in a tennis match at Swarthmore College.

Ann Hunsbedt Becken learned in Scope that Nancy Russell Hill’s son Adam was graduating from Davidson College, where her son Bradford was also a senior. She later found out that the two young men were good friends.

Marianne Jones Evans Mount is executive vice president of the Catholic Distance University, a Vatican-approved institution that offers graduate degrees in religious studies and theology through distance-education technologies. She is working on a PhD in adult learning and human resource management through Virginia Tech and Penn State. In May daughter Elizabeth gave birth to Marianne’s first granddaughter, Maris, in Leesburg, VA. Son Nathaniel is a naval officer stationed in Pensacola, FL. A widow for the past six years, Marianne lives on a farm near Leesburg and enjoys cooking, travel, gardening, and reading.

My youngest son, Joshua, completed his four-year service in the U.S. Army this fall, and now begins a new chapter in his life. We are grateful that he was not sent into combat, even though he trained as a sniper, scout, and ranger (none of these were on the horizon when he graduated from Harvard in 1998!). I spend most of my time at www.Suite101.com, a community Web site where I deliver monthly articles on interior decorating and antiques, copyedit the e-books sold at the site, and teach an online course in copyediting. I’m still in cardiac rehab, but feeling healthier than I have in a long time.


Lise Bang-Jensen

Kate Trafford Smith’s daughter Rachel was married in August in Palo Alto, CA. Rachel received her doctorate in biology from Stanford and is doing postdoctoral work in Boston.


Nancy McNiff

Katherine Cooper is a financial analyst for Boston Consulting Group and an interior designer.

In Bloomington, MN, Laurie Lykken teaches English at Normandale Community College. Son Nate graduated from Pomona College, and son Zach is in 11th grade.

“Life if good,” reports Molly Youngling in Pittsburgh, “and a Skidmore education is a great foundation.”


Elizabeth Raff Nace

Our 30th reunion was a big success, with over 60 classmates and 12 guests present. On Friday we enjoyed the view from the rooftop cafe of the Saratoga City Tavern (owned by Leslie Vanden Handel DiCarlo ’79). On campus, we shared stories and pictures until the early hours of the morning and capped the weekend with brunch at the Surrey Williamson Inn.

Despite the downturn in theater attendance and advertising budgets, Zoe Vose Morsette is still costume-making and designing in NYC. She built seven “flowerpot” costumes for Macy’s this spring. In March, a teddy bear she created for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids organization was auctioned for $3,200. The bear was costumed like Richard Burton’s King Arthur in Camelot and sported a crown signed by Kate Burton, Julie Andrews, and Desmond Heeley, the original costume designer.

Diane Sogard Dove is a public affairs specialist in the community relations and outreach division at the Pentagon.

Betsy Deckop Cooke collaborated with Wendy Buyers Griffin to design a line of unique retro watches called Wilcox Watches. Check out their wares at www.griffinandcooke.com.


Reunion ’04!

Beth Chiquoine

Joan Berger had a mini-reunion with Cooki Landis Messmer and Martha Young-Scholten in Portland, OR. The trio hadn’t seen one another since they were roommates in Scribner Village their senior year. Cooki lives in Portland, and Martha lives in England.

Deb Crosby is writing a new book, A Century of Jewelry in America: Classy, Flashy and Trashy! She also had a booksigning and gave a lecture on Victorian silver at the Millbrook (NY) Antiques Center. Her first two books are doing well, but she thinks this one will appeal to a broader audience. She is president of the Chappaqua Congress of Teachers and has been lobbying for parity between mental-health and physical-health insurance. Her oldest daughter graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Albany in May.

After 15 years of living overseas, Lauren LeClaire Wallace moved back to Cincinnati with her husband, John, and two sons. Lauren, who studied piano in Europe, is a sales manager for a piano dealership, and John is a financial planner for MetLife. Son John Jr. graduated from Hamilton College in May. Lauren is interested in hearing from Kerry Cavanagh.

Janice Greenberg McCoart is a Fulbright Senior Scholar who taught fashion design at the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2001–02. She subsequently organized an exhibit of Bulgarian art at Marymount University, flying young artists and a curator to the U.S. on a grant from the William H. Donner Foundation. The exhibition coincided with Bulgaria joining NATO.

Karen Flaherty Oxler, a nurse in the U.S. Naval Reserve, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral (lower half) and assigned as the deputy director for the Naval Reserve Nurse Corps last October.

After almost 16 years, Allison Freeman Ulmer still loves living on Boston’s South Shore. Eldest child Ashley is Williams College ’05, and middle child Kimmy is Williams ’07. She wonders if her youngest, Wesley, will be Skidmore ’13: “Wouldn’t that be full circle?”

Patti Brennan’s daughter Kathy, 13, attended Skidmore’s Summer Science Institute for Girls in July and “really loved both town and campus.”


Noreen P. Reilly

After four years in Sarasota, FL, Howard Nelson moved back to Saratoga and married a philosophy professor who teaches at the College of St. Rose.


Ingeborg Hegemann Clark

Anestis Symeonides is senior political analyst at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, a city he describes as beset by construction-dust clouds (due to preparation for the 2004 Olympics), massive traffic snarls, and massive demonstrations against the U.S. military action in Iraq that resulted in serious damage to the Embassy building. In June, Anestis had lunch with Skidmore professor Roy Ginsberg, who was in Athens on a U.S. government-sponsored speaking tour. His wife, Sophia, who teaches English literature, started her own jewelry business, Sophie’s Gems, featuring semiprecious stones. The family spent their summer holiday on the island of Patmos. Anestis encourages Skidmore friends to contact him for pointers when traveling in the area. He welcomes e-mail at diodoros@hol.gr.

Sculptor Beverley Estabrook Mastrianni has been collaborating with painter Anne Diggory (married to Skidmore English professor Terry Diggory) and sculptor Alice Manzi to create a public art project for the new Saratoga Springs train station. Their stainless steel silhouettes of the NYC skyline, Congress Park fountain, running horses, dancers, and the Adirondacks form a 54-foot-long by 15-inch-high frieze that will stretch across the front of the station, which is scheduled to open this fall.


Constance Martin

Judi Steinman Janes and husband Paul are building a home in Laupahoehoe, HI, where they plan to grow tropical fruit on a 12-acre parcel they’ve named “Shalomha Ranch.” Judi left her position as director of the science group at McCarter & English LLP to establish her own consulting business, BioTechnoLegal Services, for advising legal and industrial clients on scientific issues arising in litigation. She welcomes e-mail at jsteinman@biotechnolegal.com.

Deborah Neff Lynch and her mother, Marjorie Fee Neff ’49, work together as medical claims consultants. Deborah’s husband, Kim, is personnel specialist for Ryan’s Family Steak Houses. Daughters Katie, 16, and Jenny, 14, are both honor students and athletes in soccer and basketball.

Kathy Kirk Meyers is raising sons Jamie, 13, and Jeff, 10, after a longtime banking career at J. P. Morgan Chase. She and husband John, a public relations executive, recently completed renovations of their second Tudor house in Larchmont, NY.

Renee Vebell moved to Hanover, NH, after 15 years in Denver. She is teaching in the nursing program at Colby-Sawyer College.


Barbara B. Blundell

Teri Lafreniere White married Stephen Kaasa on January 4.


Reunion ’04!

Kim West
kwest@usc.edu or

Our 25th-reunion planning committee met on campus in July. They shared lunch with new Skidmore president Philip Glotzbach and his wife, Marie, and spent an afternoon at the Saratoga racetrack. For details on reunion plans and opportunities to get involved, check out the class Web site at www.skidmore.edu/alumni/classes/1979/1979.html.

Jan Murray married Alec Rapaport in November 2001. The couple resides with Jan’s daughters Ariana, 17, and Cara, 16, in North Stamford, CT, where she is an estate and trust paralegal in a large law firm. They spend as much time as possible sailing and racing on Long Island Sound.

Susan Detwiler Nitahara is associate director of the U.S. preclinical submissions department at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals. Her daughter, 17, is looking at colleges, and her son, 13, is in middle school in Basking Ridge, NJ.

June 5 was my last day at Caltech—what a fabulous feeling! I spent the rest of the month visiting the Monterey Peninsula, attending a conference in Las Vegas (where I caught a Celine Dion show), and hanging out with the kids. I taught half-time this summer at the University of Southern California and am now exploring options and enjoying as much time off as I can wrangle.


© 2003 Skidmore College