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Summer 2003

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Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view




Class notes

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Adele Altenburg Mardirosian

Charlotte Mueller Smith and husband Joe joined an Elderhostel group for a ferry tour of Alaska’s Inside Passage. In July they cruised the Baltic Sea aboard the Marco Polo, with stops at Copenhagen, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm. They capped the year with a 12-day tour of Ireland, enjoying Indian summer weather the entire time. In between globe-trotting jaunts, Char attended classes and exhibits at the New England Quilt Festival in Lowell, MA, and a rug-braiding workshop in New Hampshire.

Elsa Loes Bentzen’s grandson entered Middlebury College after a three-month study trip in Australia. Her granddaughter is a junior at Bucknell University.

Marion “Penny” Copp Hinds and husband Ed spent the winter months in Florida. Although confined to a wheelchair after two strokes, Ed is in good spirits. Penny plays a lot of golf and tennis. In Naples she attended an alumni event that featured pictures of Skidmore returning veterans engaged in the famous football game.

Leontine Jameson Davis recently moved to Eden Prairie, MN, closer to her daughter’s family, which includes three of her four grandchildren. Despite having recurrent cancer and emphysema, she was looking forward to celebrating her 75th birthday in July. (Read about her connection to the Wright brothers in “People & Projects” here.)

Set and I enjoyed a bus tour of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and then flew on our own to Stockholm. We visited wonderfully preserved Old Towns (especially in Tallinn) and walked miles of cobblestone streets. Later we flew to Japan for a bus and bullet-train tour—a wonderful contrast of old and new, exemplified by white-faced, kimono-clad geishas with cell phones glued to their ears.


Patricia Bryant Koedding

Dorothy McKevitt Leason spent Christmas Day with her daughter and grandson walking along the Thames above London. On Boxing Day, she went to a five-day retreat near Oxford with Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.

Joan Kreuser Noone attended a Skidmore club meeting in Sarasota with Lois Jenkins Thompson; they winter in adjacent towns. Joan and husband Roger celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren.

In Massachusetts Carol Saurwein Sullivan welcomes letters and phone calls from classmates. Daughter Claudia is a great help to her mother and dad, both living in a nursing home. Daughter Celeste has been in Pakistan working on a Ph.D. in anthropology of speech from Brown University. Celeste’s oldest son is working on a master’s degree. Her younger son finished high school and is working; several daughters are still in high school.

Class co-president Pat O’Meara Jevons’s grandson was the victim of a drive-by shooting and lost an eye. But Jacob is not down and out, Pat says—he’s back on the basketball team, learning to shoot hoops with his good eye! Pat’s son Jeff, a firefighter and Jacob’s father, was injured last year on the job.

Laura Richardson Gilbert’s daughter Elizabeth sent the sad news of her mother’s death in August 2001. Laura had been disappointed not to be able to attend our 50th reunion, but thoroughly enjoyed the class booklet about it.

Anne Schaaff Wadhams is keeping up with her 13 grandchildren, who range in age from a year to 25 years. “We’re healthy, busy, and thankful,” she says, “but like everyone else, a bit poorer in these trying times!”

Maureen Hanway Foulke enjoyed a trip to Australia and New Zealand last fall with a friend. Overseas for almost a month, the travelers took 11 in-country flights. Temperature extremes during the trip were 105 degrees in the outback and 20 degrees in southern New Zealand.


Doris Harbach Patten

Dawn Rylander Spitz and her husband left Cape Cod for good and are now full-time residents of the California desert in Rancho Mirage. Dawn is still playing golf and tennis and entertaining in nursing homes.

In February Sandra Buhai Barz enjoyed a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, during which she viewed beautiful landscapes and striking aboriginal art.

We extend condolences to the family of Albert Massaro, who died in March. He is remembered for his gentle, kind demeanor and his habit of singing to his patients. His thoughtful presence will be greatly missed.

Our sympathy also to the family of Mary McCartney Carrillo, who died in October. We enjoyed her presence at our 50th reunion.


Susanne Eustis Bogart

Billie Fisher’s holidays were observed in the usual fashion with cookie-baking, present-buying, party-going, and overeating. “Any red-blooded Floridian goes North,” insists Billie, and so she did. Although this winter was colder and grayer than any she had remembered, it was “a great joy” to see lights and decorations on evergreen trees rather than palms.

As residents of the Stonybrook Golf and Country Club in Sarasota, Patricia Seymour Forstrom and husband are now officially year-round Floridians. In November Pat hosted former roommate Ann Mawhinney Hodgkins for a ladies golf tournament at the club. Other classmates in the neighborhood include Pat’s roommate Ann Trainer Williams; Judy Axford McCoy, who spends the winter at the same golf club; and Ann Houston Conover, who winters in nearby Venice, FL. This group holds frequent get-togethers. Pat observes that her classmates “have not changed one bit.”

Susan Wickware Moyer, who lives in Pensacola, FL, is busy with her garden club and other retirement “entertainments.” She took a “wonderful” trip to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands last fall. Pat has kids living in Chicago, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Carlsbad, CA. Three grandchildren graduated from high school this year. Pat says her health has improved enormously since her bout with cancer three years ago. As another cancer survivor (twice), I’d love to get a poll of classmates who have beaten that scourge.

Barbara Fee Dickason and family gathered in Coral Gables, FL, last April so they could get on the Royal Clipper and go sailing out of Barbados. There were 10 of them, including Barbara’s sister, Marjorie Fee Neff ’49; Bobbie and John’s son John and his daughter Alaina; and their daughter Kathryn Dickason Sweeney ’80, with husband Kevin and kids Jennifer and Michael. The excursion was made in honor of Bobbie and John’s 50th wedding anniversary. The couple celebrated two other 50th reunions this year, at Skidmore and Dartmouth.

Barb Feder Mindel gave high marks to Skidmore’s reunion brochure. A former staffer for a local chamber of commerce, she switched to a part-time job with an arts and education organization. Barb conducts workshops at a senior adult residence and authors its monthly newspaper column; she also gives private writing instruction. Her second son recently received his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon and will teach at San Francisco State.

Phyllis Miller Green was named “Woman of the Year in Communications” for South Florida in January.

Jean Ellen Silverman Kaufman and husband George took their entire 16-member family on a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate his 75th birthday last year.

Jane Walsh Berry and husband Dick visited Barbara Brassell and husband Bob in Savannah, GA, this past spring and had “a grand old time.”

Last March Betty How Shannon and husband John went on a Virginia Opera trip to Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. Somewhat anxious because of U.S. policy toward Iraq, they were relieved to see no signs of anti-Americanism, and the trip went off without a hitch.

After 23 years of widowhood, Sally Nichols married Roger Gibbs on February 15. Together they have eight children (four each) and 16 grandchildren (her seven and his nine), resulting in a new extended family of 31! Over the years Sally has stayed in touch with Betty Hill Johnson, who summers near me, and Marlane Furbee McKenzie, who lives in Manchester, CT.

A sad experience kept Beverly Hinsch Owen from getting to Reunion—she was attending her brother-in-law’s memorial service. He was killed in January in a propane explosion at a platform tennis court. Beverly has had cataracts removed from both eyes and had open-heart surgery to replace her aortic valve. She is feeling great and was sorry to have missed our big doings.

The mountains of Italy beckon Barbara Fitzgerald Nerreau and husband John, who have made six trips to view Renaissance art, most recently this spring. With “hills still left to climb and rare frescos to study,” Barbara insists they will keep at it till their legs give out. In May they traveled to Maryland to watch granddaughter Caroline perform the lead role in a ballet version of Annie.

Betsy Singer Gluck, Mary “Toot” Avery Caskey, and Mary Jo Marcy Rines enjoyed a mini-reunion last winter in Palm Beach, FL. They were joined by their husbands. Betsy is interested in contacting classmates who plan to be in Florida from fall 2003 to winter 2004.

Carole Pistler Martin joined up with Martha Stamper Smith in Ponte Vedra, FL, last January. In February Carole and Bill had a wonderful trip to Morocco, where they spent three nights camped out in the desert.

Sylvia Shaw Brandhorst is another Florida winterer. She’s into golf, although she complains that her handicap “is going the wrong way—up!” Last June she and her husband took a golf trip to Northern Ireland. In January they cruised around the “Horn.” Syl crosses paths with Jackie Travis McNally, Elinor Reponin Cronin, and Betsy Singer Gluck. In the summer she goes to Seal Harbor, ME, for a short visit with Jane Smith Zirlkilton, then heads to her summer residence in Squam Lake, NH.

Pat Lanpher Compton and husband Bill enjoyed “the most wonderful cruise ever” early this spring when they sailed out of Barbados on Star Clipper’s Royal Clipper (the largest sailing ship in the world) to the Grenadines.

Mary Lyman Heist lives most of the year at her Old Greenwich, CT, home, a restored 1850s inn. When not engaged in volunteer work, she enjoys gardening, golfing, quilting, and spending time with her 14 grandchildren.


Joanna Davenport

Patricia DuBois McIsaac saw the third of her five grandchildren for the first time in June, upon returning to Maine for the summer. Patricia took a ladies-only barge trip in France this past spring. She and husband John still work at Brookgreen Gardens in Pawleys Island.

In June Alexandra Fatio Taylor departed for Geneva, Switzerland, where she will spend a year living near her son and daughter.

Betty Folwell Way and husband Skip are spending the summer in Honeoye, NY, where Betty enjoys the opportunity to “brag about grandkids and granddogs” with Arden Whittle Freeman and husband Ned.

Marcia Weeks Clayton spent time in April playing golf with Barbara Coz Schantz and Caryl Bruns Hutchens. The oldest of her five grandchildren is a high-school junior; the youngest is 7.

Patricia Kennedy Snyderman met Anne Keffer and Ginny Stotz for dinner at Pico, a very trendy restaurant in the heart of Tribeca and site of the annual Tribeca Film Festival. Although they didn’t see any celebrities, Pat reports that “the food was delicious!”


Mardi Duggan Drebing

Ronnie Brody Raab was planning a July vacation in Deer Isle, ME.

Joan Wollenberg Bristow loves her work as admissions director and case manager for a rehabilitation, sub-acute, and long-term care facility in Hackensack, NJ. She recently sold her home and moved into a townhouse in nearby Ho-Ho-Kus. Joan’s real “pride and joy” however, are her three grandsons.

Nancy Dreyer Burroughs, who died in January, was a big part of our community at Wilmarth in our freshman year. Not long before she died, I received an e-mail from her, in which she expressed how happy she was to have connected with Diane Davis Nelson and other old friends after 30 years—which is how I felt after hearing from her. I was looking forward to corresponding with her.


Averill Geus

Cecile Druss Mark and husband Arthur moved to Narragansett, RI, last April and would love to hear from classmates who vacation in the area.

Amy Celotto Mongillo became a grandmother for the first time in March 2002 when son Jim and wife Patricia welcomed daughter Elizabeth. Amy and husband John attended her christening in London, after which they spent a week in Corsica. The entire clan gathered at the Mongillos’ home for two weeks at Christmastime.


Joan Page Hayes

It is the end of Florence Andresen’s term as vice president of the alumni board and member of the board of trustees, but she is putting all her enthusiasm into working with Marge O’Meara Storrs, Betty Hartz Hewitt, and Barbara Mansfield Saul on the alumni memorial garden at Skidmore. Florence said it looked beautiful last summer, but they have grander ideas for its design and met with the grounds supervisor in May to draw plans for further improvements.

Florence and Joan Monahan Kubricky ’88 were named Women of Distinction by the Adirondack Council of the Girl Scouts in April.

Jo Leach Lewis took a Caribbean cruise a week before flying to Saratoga Springs for the winter board meeting. Her description of going from an 80-degree climate to sleet, slush, and near-zero temperatures brought back memories of our cold days at college. Not only has Jo has been involved in expanding and overseeing the alumni club network nationwide, but she is also a busy class president. When not working for Skidmore, she serves as treasurer of the New York State affiliate of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics). She was in Albany for the northeastern regional conference last September, and went to the national convention in Washington, D.C., in June.

Jo has chatted with Elaine Wilhovsky Holbrook, who reports that Carole Werksman Leipzig is chairing their 50th high-school reunion. She also says Betty Greenman Scharmann is teaching a junior gardener’s program in the local elementary school, working with a first- and second-grade children’s choir, and assisting the instructor in a square-dance club.

Toby Rowe Hohenstein has been wintering in the Bahamas; she and George purchased a riverboat in France for summer living.

Joan Gaston Ioannidis divides her time between Needham, MA, and Athens, Greece.

Elaine Xenakis Vardakis lives in Iraklion, Crete, Greece. She originally intended to spend one year in Crete, but after meeting her husband, she stayed over 40 years! During that time, Elaine was a tenth-grade teacher and toured with her students to ancient Greek sites, which allowed her to share her love for world and ancient history. Although she suffers from multiple sclerosis and is now retired, Elaine is still very active and studies bird migration, sea life, and wildflowers, in addition to raising cultured orchids.

Linda Gorham Harvey spent a couple of months this winter on Sanibel Island, FL. She and John met up with Sally Huberlie Hale and husband Jud for dinner and also enjoyed seeing Julie Gaines Phalen. Julie’s daughter Ellen was married in May, and Linda’s daughter Julie is planning her wedding, so they had fun comparing notes.

I’ve seen Hope Thompson Kerr playing on adjacent tennis courts (she is still a fabulous player), and heard she had a great trip to Antarctica with her sister in January.

Marcia Seymour Hanson continues teaching and studying yoga, running between Westchester and the East Bay area of California to see grandchildren, and traveling with Paul—to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and to Arizona.


Jane Goodman Hunter

Jane VanSchoick Warren exhibited watercolors at the American Heritage Restaurant at SUNY Cobleskill this spring. The paintings range from local scenes to a Florida lighthouse to cafes in the south of France. An art major, Jane admits she “didn’t paint for the pure love of it” until her children were in high school. She had to “start all over again,” taking introduction to watercolor courses at a community college. Several friends started purchasing her paintings, encouraging her to participate in shows at local Connecticut venues. Soon Jane was selling her work to the general public. After relocating to Florida with her husband several years ago, she now exhibits her art in numerous art centers and private homes.


Carolyn Brown Straker

Royanne Chipps Bailey received a master’s in the history of decorative arts from the Parsons School of Design with the Smithsonian Associates in May. She attended the two-year program part-time after retiring as an associate counsel with the Office of General Counsel of the Navy in 1998. Student projects included researching the appropriate carpet design for Mount Vernon’s west parlor. The new floor covering was custom-ordered from England—possibly from the same factory where the missing original one was made in 1797—and installed last fall. Royanne has presented papers at the Historical Society of Newport (RI) County and at the Smithsonian. She can be contacted at abailey4@mindspring.com.

Helen Halpern Lerner welcomed her first grandson, “the first boy in the family for many, many years.”


© 2003 Skidmore College