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Marcia Mattson Todd
Hats off to Thea Kharasch Flaum, recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award, presented by Skidmore’s alumni association during Reunion. See the story on page 24.
Bonnie Vare Smith received an honorary doctorate from LeMoyne-Owen College, where she has served on the board of directors for 15 years, chairing twice. The school is a small, private African-American liberal arts college founded 125 years ago by missionaries from New England.
Barby Morse Townsend sent wonderful news about grandson Ryan, who arrived from Korea in April. Barby’s daughter Stephanie and her husband worked on this adoption for over a year; Ryan’s arrival has brought great joy and excitement. The family lives on a farm in Vermont, where Stephanie is a nurse.
Last winter Elie McConihe Cain escaped the snow for a while, visiting family and friends in Florida. She spent a lot of time planning daughter Suki’s June wedding and was looking forward to reconnecting with classmates at our 45th.
Judy White couldn’t come to Reunion, due to a very full summer schedule—including attending the Aspen Music Festival and a week of choral singing, master classes, and performances in Sheffield, MA. She heads to Florida as often as possible to visit her 93-year-old mother, who is suffering from early Alzheimer’s. Judy and her siblings are making arrangements for their mother to be moved to an assisted-living facility; the situation, she says, is “very wearying.”
At her Vermont home Jill Ayers Gilbert hosted a New Year’s Day brunch for several Skidmore alums, including Debby Davenport Brooks and Marcia Miller Spencer. Debby and husband Dave traveled to Death Valley in April to see the desert in bloom. With seven inches of rain this year instead of the usual two, it became a “spectacular carpet of color”—a rare phenomenon that attracted many botanists and photographers. For the Brookses, it was also a great excuse to visit son Caleb in Las Vegas.
At Christmas Sarah Couch McQuilkin’s family of 13, including seven grandchildren, gathered at her home for a 10-day visit. This spring Sarah and Rennie packed up and cleared out Rennie’s mother’s Rochester, NY, home, which they purchased from the estate and plan to use as rental property.
“Between our 40th and 45th reunions, I’ve had two new hips and three new granddaughters,” writes Ellie Davies Bowden. Doug and I had dinner with Ellie and Bob in April, and she was bouncing back quickly from her second hip replacement.
Since this is my last column as your class secretary, I want to thank all of you who supplied e-mails and notes over the last five years—it certainly helped make the job both interesting and fun. I know that Gail Bendix Jaffe will be a fantastic secretary; her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.