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Summer 2002

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Marcia Mattson Todd

Nelle Nugent is at it again with a new play that opened on Broadway in March at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Together with Liz McCann, with whom she collaborated on the Broadway hits Amadeus and Dracula, Nelle is producing The Smell of the Kill, a comedy that played to sell-out audiences at the Berkshire Theatre Festival last summer and garnered rave reviews. Variety claims it has “more laughs than The Producers.” Nelle hopes that classmates will attend a performance: she promises a “wickedly witty evening.”

Betsy Bromfield Woodard and husband Chuck are very involved with their grandchildren and community activities, including Habitat, AARP, and church.

While attending a big birthday bash in New Hampshire recently, Ellie Davies Bowden discovered that five women there had graduated from Skidmore. “Naturally, I had to be the oldest,” she writes. They formed a circle and began to sing, much to the surprise of the other guests at the party. Says Ellie, “We all had loved our years at Skidmore and decided we should bring our husbands back for a weekend other than Reunion.” Ellie and Bob welcomed a new granddaughter, Lane Elizabeth, little sister of Jack, 3.

Sally Snow Olson lives in Sonoma Valley, CA, and gives tours for the Korbel Winery. She is also very involved with the Canine Companions Organization. Her husband, Robert, is retired but doing consulting work.

Thetis Group was in Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics—“a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” She saw women’s ice hockey, skeleton, ski jumping, speedskating, ice dancing, and figure skating. “Yes, Sarah Hughes was flawless,” she affirms.

Lois Gudeon Sloan has had three careers (so far), as a dental hygienist, personnel recruiter, and now billing assistant in her son’s physical therapy practice. Last summer, Lois and husband Lee enjoyed a wonderful trip to Italy with her brother and sister-in-law. Six grandchildren keep them on their toes.

Thirteen years ago, Marlene Danto Josefsberg founded DFYIT (pronounced “defy it”). Drug Free Youth in Town is a nationally recognized, nonprofit drug prevention organization. With the help of former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and many other community leaders, the program started in one school in Miami Dade County in 1992. Today there are 55 schools in Miami Dade and Broward Counties that offer DFYIT, with a total membership of over 7,500 students. Marlene and Bob have nine grandchildren, and she says it is for the benefit of these children, their generation, and future generations that she has taken up this cause.

Sue Smith and husband Bill Wilkes welcomed two new grandchildren, making a total of five. They have purchased a condo in Basking Ridge, NJ, which they plan to use summers and on trips back east from their home in Tucson, AZ, to visit children and grandchildren. They were delighted to learn that Mary Kelchner Lindner also lives in the same complex. Sue and Bill spent a delightful evening with Betsey Chatfield Rider and her husband, Gary, who spent some time in Tucson last winter.

After being in downtown New York on September 11, Rosemary Bourne decided, “among other things, to breed my Norfolk Terrier bitch.” She delivered five pups in November, one of which Rosemary is keeping and has appropriately named Finest and Bravest. Rosemary enjoyed a trip to Florence, Italy, in April.

Toddy Simms Savage loves living in Auburn, AL. She is involved in a variety of volunteer activities and spends time with her grandchildren, who live nearby.

Julia Smith Pringle hired a personal trainer to whip her into shape, the benefits of which really improved her golf game. “I highly recommend the use of a personal trainer,” she says, “because you would never put yourself through all that torture on your own.”

Golf is also a major source of enjoyment for Lynn Lamont Beckmann, who was runner-up for club champion at her golf club in Palm City, FL, last winter. Lynn and husband Bob spend six months in Florida and then return to their home in Long Island from May to November. Their daughter Jaclyn is in a doctoral program in California. Son Rob Jr. and his wife have adopted a baby from Russia, the Beckmanns’ first grandchild.

Connie Taylor Patterson writes, “We are in a nice stage of our lives; lots of travel and lots of grandchildren” (they have eight ). Connie remains active in community activities including the Art Institute and the Field Museum in Chicago and Garden Club.

Jean Morrison has been in Hawaii for 24 years; her husband, Ron, was born and raised there. Their children are grown and have blessed them with several granddaughters. Jean is in information technology, working on projects that vary from design and installation of local-area networks to long-range planning. She owns three quarter horses that she shows Western style. (All of her P.E. requirements were fulfilled at the Skidmore stables.) Last year, her youngest horse—which she trained herself—won the green horse championship in the reining event. Also, Jean and Ron have received Reiki training in the past year. Horses, family, and close friends provide plenty of patients upon whom to practice.

Some of us never perfected our bridge game beyond our college capabilities, but Joan Berg Ponn is an exception. She is playing a great deal of tournament bridge and also travels whenever possible with her semi-retired husband, Allan.

Carol Finney Wipper is in a Baroque harpsichord ensemble, sings in the choir, plays the organ, and accompanies groups and soloists. She also has time for tennis, ice-skating, skiing, and traveling. A trip to Russia last year was a great experience. Carol visited Sarah Couch McQuilkin in Connecticut, en route to Boston to see son Scott.

Pam Crossley Faulkner visited with Karen Kramm Meyer and her husband, Ted, at a party in Florida last winter. Pam reports that Karen sees a lot of Ann Cibula, who is in the area teaching skydiving and parasailing. Pam is not sure which of these sports Karen is involved with, but “I do know that she is a fantastic gardener.”

Mary M.A. Hoff Fallon and husband John had a wonderful time in Boynton Beach, FL, this past spring visiting grandsons Alexander, 3, and Cameron, 2. Son Daniel and his wife adopted the boys from Russia last fall.

In March, Nancy Howard O’Hara joined daughter Susan and son-in-law Charles on a vacation in Thailand. “It was something I had always dreamed of doing,” she writes.

Mary Kelchner Lindner is taking a six-month sabbatical from her volunteer positions as a courtroom advocate for abused persons seeking restraining orders and a counseling nurse at a local shelter. During her sabbatical, she has been the baby-sitter for a premature baby born to a couple in her church. Mary says she has returned to the “almost forgotten pre-bedtime routine of making baby formula for the now up-to-speed, bubble-blowing infant.”

Connie Daloz Gray’s husband, Gene, died in an auto accident last January. Connie writes that she is slowly adjusting to the sudden loss of her soulmate, thanks to her family and many friends. We send our deepest sympathy to you, Connie.

Doug and I returned from 10 days in England and the Netherlands, part business, part pleasure. Our time in London coincided with all the preparations for the Queen Mum’s funeral, including the incredible procession of the casket from St. James Palace to Westminster Abbey. The expansive bulb fields and Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam were truly spectacular.


Sandy Weisman Sheppard

Alice Chase Kaufman is a freelance writer whose work appears frequently in Maine Antique Digest and California Home & Design. She is also a partner in the San Francisco PR firm Brandabur/Kaufman.


Emily Jansen Kane

Sue Corbet Thomas, Sissy Beadel Danford, and Barbara McGrew Jenkel hiked for two weeks in Patagonia in April.

Mollie Klee Heron helped Glenda Arentzen sell her jewelry at the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore.

Sage and Linda Walker Freeland are avid birdwatchers. They have a condo in Cape May and have taken trips to Costa Rica and Africa in pursuit of their hobby.

Liz Pugh Grout has been in touch with Susy Burke Austin, who has been living in Surrey, England, for over 35 years.

The class extends condolences to Judy Morton Ottley, whose husband, Granger, died in October after a bout with cancer.


Jane Snowdon Jones

Last September Laura Young had a one-person show titled The Intimate Landscape at the Sioux City Art Center in Iowa. The exhibit was accompanied by a catalog with critical essays.


Bonnie Allen Shertenlieb

Abigail Arnt Rueb’s son graduated from the University of Montana. Her daughter is studying at Johnson and Wales in Denver, CO. Abigail continues her work at Four Winds Westward Ho Camp on Orcas Island in Washington State.

In May, Gallery 100 in Saratoga Springs had a showing of decorated painted furniture by Theodora Smyth Page, who lives in Rhode Island. Theo’s sister, an established painter in Saratoga, was also in the exhibit.


Toby Weisberg Rubenstein

Marguerite Orton Hanselman and her husband own and manage a family resort in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Their son is finishing a doctoral degree in Alaska, and their daughter is fitness director at the Big Sky Resort in Montana.

Gerry Neil Phillips retired from her position as deputy assistant archivist for the National Archives in Washington, DC, this spring. She volunteers at Oxon Hill Manor, the home of former Roosevelt administration Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles.

Kate Crangle Semerad has moved from the Washington suburbs to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, overlooking the Shenandoah. She and Roger do consulting from there and maintain an interest in politics. Kate is also chair of the board of trustees of Zamarano, a U.S. university in Honduras that serves all of Latin America. She’s been affiliated with the university for 14 years and travels to the region four or five times a year. Her e-mail address is KSemerad@aol.com.


Ann LoDolce

Betsy Sherman Brewster retired from teaching art in 2000 and is working for Central Connecticut State University, supervising student teachers in art education. Active in a New England–based archeology organization, she has participated in a dig in Israel and toured sites there and in Jordan. She spends summers with her family on a tugboat off the New England coast.

Donna Walker Ricketts missed everyone at Reunion last summer because of her youngest daughter’s graduation from the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine. Donna’s son completed a master’s at RPI last summer. The 28-member clan subsequently enjoyed a family reunion cruise.


Elizabeth Maccracken Winn

The Winter 2002 issue of Scope included an essay entitled “Reunited” by Beverly Harrison Miller (see p. 34). I hope that everyone who came to our 35th reunion this year agrees with Bev—you will never want to miss another reunion again! Recently completing a term as alumni board president, Bev has been re-elected to serve another three years.

Judy Ritter responded to our pre-reunion class newsletter with this: “I was especially touched by the candor of many of our classmates in describing their lives—frailties as well as conquests. As someone who left senior year to marry, it was also heartening to see that others who had abruptly quit their stay at Skidmore still felt a strong connection to the college.” Judy is a radio producer and reporter for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) in Montreal. “I also contribute to a show you might know, The Savvy Traveler (you can go to savvytraveler.org and search ‘Ritter’ to hear about some of my trips). I also teach communication at McGill University, where I have a 20-year-old daughter who is a second-year law student.”

Helen Dalidowicz Fahey writes, “During our first 26 years of marriage, my husband, Peter, was busy getting his graduate degrees and working for Goldman Sachs, so our children Kim, Peter Jr., and Michael, now adults, rarely saw him!” The Faheys’ youngest daughter, Katie, however, has reaped the benefits of Peter’s retiring nine years ago. He wanted to watch his two sons play lacrosse together at Dartmouth and also enjoyed having Katie at home. According to Helen, Katie’s presence “helped to keep us young and doing crazy things—such as Peter’s taking up snowboarding at the age of 50!”

Susan Leferson, a manager of safety for Atlantic Coast Airlines, was deeply affected by the tragedy of September 11. Although she didn’t lose loved ones, “friends of friends were lost, and I also lost a lot inside.” Several of the crews Susan works with witnessed the planes hitting the WTC from the air. She is charged with providing ongoing counseling for all the airline’s employees.

Pam Miller wrote that a chance to visit with Prof. Emerita Helga Doblin was an added incentive to attend Reunion. She and Doblin, whom Pam calls “an inspirational woman,” have stayed in touch since graduation. Pam’s son, a high-school freshman, loves San Francisco so much she is “not sure he will ever leave.”

Class reunion chair Sally Huling Hilderbrand, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for a school district in suburban Philadelphia, is looking ahead to retirement. She recommends (as a woman’s good summer read) her daughter Elin’s second novel, Nantucket Nights. Sally loves being a grandmother to Elin’s toddler and new baby. After getting two master’s degrees, son Doug has joined the ranks of the employed; he works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, DC.

Susan Gottlieb Beckerman and Christine Wilsey Goodwin had such a good time organizing two pre-reunion gatherings in NYC that they now plan to host informal dinners a couple of times a year. Chris and partner Sy bought a two-bedroom apartment on Third Avenue and 90th Street, just four blocks from their present digs. In NYC that means “new cleaner, new video store, new drugstore, new doormen.” Chris’s daughter is a Javits Fellow working for the federal government in Washington, DC, after graduating from Columbia University with a master’s in public administration. Son Alex ’96 is working in finance in Los Angeles.

Chris Filbin Hoffman ran into Julie Mandle Kiechel “out in Nebraska, of all places.” Julie, a Perrysburg, Ohio, resident, was visiting her sister-in-law, Vivian Wilson Kiechel ’65. Chris, who operates most of her Hoffman Associates business over the Internet, is responsible for our class Web page (www.skidmore.edu/alumni/classes). Keep checking it to relive our reunion memories and to stay connected until the next one in 2007!

Elizabeth LeCompte directed Willem Defoe and Frances McDormand in the Wooster Group’s unique adaptation of Racine’s Ph*dre, at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn this spring. Retitled To You, Birdie, LeCompte’s production was lauded by New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley as an “exhilarating dissection of a stately classic.”

I have begun a three-year commitment as lay co-chair of the new $6.5 million campaign for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, which will expand and improve a 200-acre retreat campus and start five new congregations. I am a little overwhelmed with what the bishop has asked me to do, but I am working with a huge team of people—both clergy and lay. I continue to be the grants administrator for an endowment trust grants program run by my own parish in Annapolis. At the same time I gave up being the church newsletter editor, something I had done for 12 years. Being our Skidmore class secretary has also been a real pleasure, but after our 35th reunion, I was ready to pass the baton!

Condolences to Sandy McDonald Bell, whose husband, Wally, died February 20.


Molly Meyer

Barbara Roberts Magid and her husband, sailing on the Chesapeake for two weeks preceding September 11, recalls heading into Chesapeake Bay on the way back to Baltimore. Seeking to enjoy the quiet, they had turned off the radio. That afternoon Barbara recalls the eerie realization that “we were the only sailing vessel within sight in the usually bustling bay.” Several phone calls filled the couple in on the horrific events that had just occurred. Fortunately, daughter Ellen, who works a short distance from the WTC site, was fine.

Lynne Marcus Johnson’s daughter Lisa lives in San Jose and works for Aerogen, a company that is making “worthwhile medical advances.” Son Doug is enjoying “Hollywood adventures” as he works for Tollins/Robbins, a TV and film production company in Los Angeles.

Dana Kaufman Varnum, who has a full-time job and uses her lunch hour to tend to her mother, has “no time to get into trouble.” Dana is still trying to get husband Jerry to take time off from his business. Daughter Tracy lives in Munich, Germany, working in the “iffy” tech world; son Grant is nearby in Cleveland, working for Nestle; and daughter Kerry is at Penn State.

Kitty Areson’s 12-year-old daughter, Jenny, is “thriving” at Dana Hall in nearby Wellesley, MA, where she enjoys drawing, painting, piano, and singing with an “unusually pure, high soprano voice.”

This past spring, Jeanne Shipp Waldinger helped organize a service held on Skidmore’s campus in honor of Prof. Erwin Levine, who died in January. “It was a wonderful tribute to our favorite professor at Skidmore. He made a great difference in our lives—and played a major role in making Skidmore the outstanding college it is today. We will miss him very much.”

Susan Poch Orlando, her husband, and daughter Becky traveled to Paris for nine days this spring to meet up with youngest daughter Dara, a junior at Cal Berkeley, who was studying for the semester at University College of London. Becky graduated in May from Teachers College at Columbia University. Susan retired at the end of June, after 30 years of teaching. “I’ve loved every minute of it but want to relax for a while,” she says. She can be contacted at SIPO1@aol.com.


Elizabeth Mckinley Loomis

After nearly 25 years with Time, Inc., Kathy Drake took an early retirement offer last August. She worked briefly at Time and then moved to Money magazine, where she reported, wrote, edited, and managed. Kathy’s stepdaughter is a high-school senior, her husband works from home, and Kathy is busy with “maintenance on a Victorian house, training a 6-year-old horse in dressage, and keeping up with old friends.”

Lillian Hurlburt Thompson closed a small import business in December and is now executive director of the West Alameda Business Association in California. The association is overseer of a project (governed by the National Historic Preservation Society) to help redevelop a downtown area. “Nonprofit work,” says Lillian, “is a big switch from corporate, but rewarding.”

Peggy Vinal Mosher has fulfilled a career-long goal by earning her master’s degree in instructional technology, which she is applying in her first-grade classroom. “I am happily the computer nerd I always wanted to be,” she says. Married to Bob Mosher in 1996, Peggy became a stepmother and is now step-grandmother to five. Son Kris is a Ph.D. candidate in astronomy at the University of Arizona; daughter Laren lives in Madrid, Spain, where she teaches English. Peggy invites any and all to join her fishing in Hingham and Boston Harbors. “No more summer work for this almost-retiree!”

The last 11 years have found Christine Noel Schulte near Boca Raton, FL—the result of a corporate move. She has spent the last four years developing and running a guest artist program for a private school. Son Peter graduated from Cornell in May and is pursuing commercial aviation. While at Cornell he worked for USAir part-time. Christine’s husband, Bernd, is newly retired and enjoys Florida. Christine welcomes visiting classmates.

Karen Johnson works in the internal audit division at Johnson & Johnson, mostly recently auditing in France and Italy. “In these times, I’m especially grateful to work for a very ethical, public-minded company,” she says. Karen is “proud of our work and contributions to health care.” This spring, she toured Moscow and St. Petersburg, attending ballet, opera, and philharmonic performances.

Senior VP of marketing for George Weston Bakeries, Joan Bardagjy Stepanoff-Dargery writes that son Alexander goes to Trinity College, and daughter Kira is a sophomore at the Hackley School. Joan’s husband, Igor, is CEO of Norwalk Medical Group.

Moie Kimball Crawford and husband Jim, owners and operators of New Morning Farm near Hustontown, PA, are this year’s recipients of an award from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture for their encouragement and advancement of other independent farmers. The Crawfords have been raising over 40 organic crops on 25 acres for fresh markets in the Washington, DC, area for over 30 years.

With countless color, fabric, and pattern choices, quilting is the perfect medium for self-described “fabriholic” Lynn Gibson Ticotsky. Lynn, whose work was exhibited in Cincinnati, OH, at the YMCA Women’s Gallery show Stories in Stitches, was profiled in the February 2 issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Lynn pursued drawing and painting at Skidmore and later earned a master’s from the Rhode Island School of Design. She sold her first commissioned piece to the Cincinnati Nature Center and has produced a new work for the center annually ever since.


© 2002 Skidmore College