40th reunion fundraising team helps Class of ’81 win two awards

Many thanks to the members of our 40th reunion fundraising, as follows: Sarah Caruso, Michelle “Shelly” d’Arcambal, Rachel Freedman, Ellen Harrington, Libby Ginway, Jennifer Kinsman, Anneke Raney, Susie Novick, Chean Eng Ooi, Connie Pierce, Heidi Reavis, Lisa Rosen, Kathleen Ryan, and Deb Zonies.

Since early 2020, these devoted volunteers worked to reach out to classmates asking them to join in giving to Smith College. We are deeply grateful for their hard work!

With their help and with great generosity from many classmates who made donations large and small, our class is the proud winner of TWO reunion awards!

  1. The Five-Year Largest Gift Award
  2. The 40th Reunion Gift Record Award

The stats reported during Reunion weekend were as follows:

  • Comprehensive 5-year total: $10,576,621 
  • Participation: 31% 

The final numbers for the class of ’81 totals during FY21 were as follows:

  • Smith Fund dollars raised/received: $312,701.96
  • Comprehensive 1-year total (Smith Fund gifts plus other gifts): $2,632,466.47
  • Participation: 40.2%

Thank you to everyone who supported Smith with volunteer time and with donations!

We also want to acknowledge Smith staffers Samantha Pleasant and Dave Grimes; throughout this process they have answered many questions and provided support with patience and expertise. Thank you, Samantha and Dave!

We are excited that fundraising efforts for our 45th reunion will be led by Sarah Caruso and Susie Novick—we know we will be in good hands. They will be looking for volunteers to continue this good work so please consider joining this effort.

Sally Brickell (40th Reunion Fund Team Coordinator and Reunion Co-Chair) and Cathy Kay (40th Reunion Co-Chair)


Updated Reunion Schedule

*Links to these events will be sent via our Class of 1981 email list. Join the class email list.

Below the schedule, you will find a downloadable schedule, Zoom background, and Toucan instructions.

DateStart timeEnd timeEventHow to Join
Thursday, June 38:00 a.m. On-demand content on Reunion websiteVirtual Reunion Hub
6:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.The New Neilson: First ExperiencesVirtual Reunion Hub
 7:00 p.m.8:30 p.m.Welcome to Reunion! Class social with breakout roomsLink via class email*
Friday, June 412:00 noon1:00 p.m.Faculty ShowcaseVirtual Reunion Hub
 4:00 p.m.4:30 p.m.Class of 1981 special event Covid remembrance Kit Wang ‘81and Beth Henderson Norton ‘81Link via class email*
 5:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.Remarks by President Kathleen McCartneyVirtual Reunion Hub
 6:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.40th Reunion Friday TeaVirtual Reunion Hub
 7:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.Sounds of Smith (concert)Virtual Reunion Hub
Saturday, June 512 noon12:20 p.m.Virtual Reunion ParadeVirtual Reunion Hub
 12:30 p.m.1:30 p.m.Class social with breakout roomsLink via class email*
 1:30 p.m.2:45 p.m.Class of 1981 special event Book Talk: After Emily Julie Dobrow ‘81Link via class email*
 5:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.Faculty Showcase Q&AVirtual Reunion Hub
 6:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.Smithies of Color Reunion SocialVirtual Reunion Hub
 7:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.Dance Party (playlist; not group event)Virtual Reunion Hub
 7:30 p.m.9:00 p.m.Class social with breakout roomsLink via class email*
Sunday, June 612:00 noon1:00 p.m.Visual Art in a Virtual WorldVirtual Reunion Hub
1:30 p.m.3:00 p.m.Class of 1981 special event “Shaped by Smith: Sharing Our Stories” Reunion farewellVirtual Reunion Hub

Zoom Backgrounds:

Make a gift to Smith in honor of our 40th reunion

Keep Smith strong and celebrate our Brilliant and Resilient 40th with a donation the College.

Fundraising facts

  • Reunion classes provide the bulk of gifts to Smith each year.
  • Gifts of any size are a big help. All gifts to Smith of $100 or less total around $500,000 each year. This makes a huge positive impact on the college!
  • Every gift matters. Even $5 will help the class with the donor participation percentage (looked at by prospective students and grant-making corporations).

Donate here.

Thank you for your support!

Class of 1981 – for Summer 2021 Alumnae Quarterly

There are signs of hope as we head toward the middle of 2021 that we are turning the corner on a long year of pandemic isolation and extreme societal challenges.  In less than two weeks, we will celebrate our 40th reunion, not by gathering in Northampton but by connecting on a Zoom platform.  Who could have imagined in 1981 that 40 years later we would be craving a return to “normal life” and talking so much about vaccinations and health?  Who knew how much we would come to appreciate connecting electronically, while at the same time, so look forward to engaging in person and traveling again safely?

Sarah Smith Conroy says “one of the silver linings of this pandemic” is her weekly connections by Zoom with classmates.  “I have spoken with Lori CianciulliMarilyn Hayward Albert and Mary Wagley Copp ’80 every Wednesday since March 2020, and we participate in an Emerson Zoom once a month,” says Sarah.  But the “best news of 2021 is that we became grandparents,” she said, and she was “thrilled to be asked to fly to Colorado to visit and help” oldest daughter Emily with new baby Henry.  Sarah retired after 40 years of teaching, and once her husband retires, they hope to travel again to Colorado to visit their three daughters, all of whom live in Denver. 

Also celebrating the joy of the next generation, Helen Ward Smith describes “a wonderful new phase of life,” with their new granddaughter, but adds this advice for those yet to reach this milestone – “I wish I had done more yoga” in preparation for all of tummy time on the floor with her.

Pioneer Valley neighbors Cathie McCoy, in Hatfield, MA, and Linda Tiley, in Northampton, meet for “parking lot picnics” from time to time.  They have celebrated pandemic joys such as birth of Linda’s first grandchild in July 2020, and shared sorrows, including loss of Linda’s sister, Liz Tiley ’82, in November 2020.  Linda says “daily pictures of my grandson … keep me cheerful” during the difficult days of the pandemic.

Linda and Haven-Wesley housemates Evelyn Halley SimpsonSophia Severino, and Lisa Farber recently re-connected during a class of 81 Zoom call.  Sophia has been a United flight attendant for almost 15 years, commuting from her home in Nashville, flying most recently out of Newark on a Paris-Geneva-Brussels route as a French speaker until grounded in March 2020.  Reflecting on how she made the transition from her then-life in Nashville, Sophia said she “felt the river of life push me, (and) I had to say yes to that ‘higher call’ to serve in the sky.”  A native speaker of Arabic, Sophia flew the long-haul Dubai, Doha, Kuwait and Bahrain trips for nearly nine years.  In pre-pandemic times, Sophia also traveled the world with her two sons and daughter and looks forward to doing that again.  Lisa is an art historian, who has ridden out the pandemic in New York, now teaching one course in person and another online.  “The city is vibrant,” says Lisa, “and there is every reason to be optimistic about its recovery as a cultural and economic center.”  But Lisa says she “will be on the first direct flight” to Venice, where she has an apartment with her boyfriend, when travel is possible.  In the meantime, Lisa has “bought a huge house” in Chappaqua, New York.  “I know nothing about owning a home,” says Lisa, but “it will be an adventure.”

Lori Renn Parker is delighted to be back working as a children’s lead bookseller at Barnes & Noble after a four-month furlough in 2020.  “I absolutely love it,” says Lori, who adds that yoga has “helped me emotionally get through the pandemic.”   Lori also recently had a piece about hiking during the pandemic accepted into Smith’s Arts Afield Online Elsewhere exhibition.  She has also enjoyed being Tyler house rep for the 40th reunion.

Liz Hunt had been “so excited to go to my first reunion” but “will go virtual and be patient a bit longer.”   Liz and her husband live in Seattle, and she is “thankful for zoom yoga… that helps me re-center.”  Liz has a son who is a junior at Tufts.  Liz Kendrick is an Associate Professor of Medicine “working in kidney transplantation” at UCLA, moving back to LA about four years ago after spending ten years in Seattle at the University of Washington.  Her son is at Reed College in Portland, OR.   Julie Metz is an art director and designer in the Hudson Valley area, and has a new book, Eva and Eve, which she says is “a blend of personal memoir and family history … the story of searching for my mother’s lost childhood in Vienna (and) the family’s wartime flight to America in 1940.”

Wendy Laurin switched careers, running a training program for a pharmaceutical company, “working with a lot of 20-year olds … trying to get them ready for the workforce.”   Wendy and her husband have two adult children, a son home during most the pandemic before starting a new job and a daughter nearby but working at a residential school for autism students.  Wendy is “looking forward to when I can go hug my daughter.”  Martha Wallace Thomas has “started a new job as a literacy interventionist” in Vermont, where she has relocated with her husband and mother, “ten minutes from our favorite cross-country ski center.”   Across the pond, Penny Simpson has recently moved to Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK, where there is “no social allowed” yet and “those ferries to France and Spain or even just to the Isle of Wight are going to have to wait.”

Congratulations to Lisa Rosenfeld Rosen, who is a nine-year survivor of ovarian cancer, who recommends to all, “know your own body and be your own advocate,” and adds, “I was self-quarantined through six months of chemo but never thought the rest of the world would join me in that isolation approach to wellness.”

Ending on a sad note, Patricia Lynn Morgan passed away in September 2016, Valundra Pollard passed away in April 2019, and Amy Carpenter passed away in November 2020.  Our sympathies go out to family and friends.

Reunion Schedule Class of 1981

All Event Times are Eastern Time

DateStart TimeEnd TimeEventHost
June 3
8:00 AMOn-demand content available on Reunion websiteCollege
6:00 PM7:00 PMThe New Neilson: First ExperiencesCollege
7:00 PM 8:30 PMWelcome to Reunion!
Class social with breakout rooms
Class of 1981
June 4
12:00 Noon1:00 PMFaculty ShowcaseCollege
4:00 PM4:30 PMCovid Remembrance
Kit Wang ’81 and Beth Henderson Norton ’81
Class of 1981
5:00 PM6:00 PMRemarks by President Kathleen McCartneyCollege
6:00 PM7:00 PM40th Reunion TeaCollege
7:00 PM8:00 PMSounds of Smith ConcertCollege
June 5
12:20 PMVirtual Reunion ParadeCollege
12:30 PM1:30 PMClass social with breakout roomsClass of 1981
1:30 PM2:45 PMBook Talk: After Emily
Julie Dobrow ’81
Class of 1981
5:00 PM6:00 PMFaculty Showcase Q&ACollege
6:00 PM7:00 PMSmithies of Color Reunion SocialCollege
7:00 PM8:00 PMDance Party (playlist–not group event)College
7:30 PM9:00 PMClass social with breakout roomsClass of 1981
June 6
12:00 Noon1:00 PMVisual Art in a Virtual WorldCollege
1:30 PM3:00 PM“Shaped by Smith: Sharing Our Stories”
Reunion Farewell
Class of 1981

Join us virtually!

40th reunion 

June 3-6, 2021

Book Talk: After Emily, Saturday, June 5th, 1:30-2:45 p.m.

Our classmate, Julie Dobrow, currently a professor at Tufts University, will talk about her recent book,  After Emily: The Untold Tale of the Women Who Introduced Emily Dickinson to the World. Julie’s talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

Shaped by Smith: Sharing Our Stories, Sunday, June 6, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

After a brief introduction, we will gather in small groups to talk about how our Smith experience helped shape our life. Our framing question will be, “What was the most memorable moment, professor, class, social experience, insight or event of your time at Smith..and why?”

Class of 1981 — 40th Reunion Programs

For our 40th reunion, we have created two engaging programs for our classmates to enjoy.  Because of the uncertainty in planning caused by Covid-19, we have designed programs that can take place in person or online.

Book Talk: After Emily, Saturday, June 5, 1:30-2:45 p.m.

The first program will be a presentation by our classmate, Julie Dobrow, currently a professor at Tufts University (https://tischcollege.tufts.edu/people/faculty/julie-dobrow), on her recent book entitled After Emily: The Untold Tale of the Women Who Introduced Emily Dickinson to the World (http://www.juliedobrow.com/). Julie’s talk will be followed by Q & A.

The second program will be structured in break-out groups so that each of you can participate in a meaningful conversation about how your Smith experience helped to shape your life. The framing question will be: “What was the most memorable moment, professor, class, social experience, insight or event of your time at Smith..and why?”

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you.  Until we all meet in May, be it on campus or online, stay safe and enjoy your holidays.

Gail Fritzinger and Kakie Brooks
Smith 40th Reunion Program Chairs

Memorial Book

As we prepare for our 40th reunion, we would like to take the opportunity to remember classmates who are no longer with us.   To honor these beloved classmates, we will be supplementing the Class of 1981 Memorial Book put together first for the 30th reunion and then expanded at the 35th.  For the 40th, we plan to include pictures and remembrances of our classmates who have passed away since the last reunion as well as any additional remembrances of those who passed away during the previous 35 years.  A complete list of our deceased classmates is included below.   We could use your help in a couple of ways.

First, you can be the primary point of contact for one of our deceased classmates and, in that role, reach out to other friends and gather photos, remembrances, and other memorability about these women.  Or you can help identify classmates or family members who could be a good point of contact to gather information.

Second, you can send pictures, offer a remembrance, or simply write a few words about our deceased classmates to include in the memorial book.  No small story – or long ago memory – is too small.  Having worked at this project for almost 10 years now, I can tell you it is those little remembrances that bring these classmates back to life and helps us all to know who they were, even if we did not know one another at Smith.

Please contact me – marylouisewagner@gmail.com or 202-445-6908 – if you are willing to help in any way on this project from touching base with classmates, to sending photographs, or writing a few words about one of our deceased classmates.

Help us remember and honor those who have passed away since 2016

  • Patricia Lynn Morgan (Sept 2016)
  • Inese Bunde Racenis (Feb 2017)
  • Robin Smith (June 2017)
  • Mary Jane DeAngelis (Sept 2017)
  • Laura Lee Chappell (Sept 2017)
  • Valundra Pollard (April 2019)
  • Lois Dethier (Jan 2020)(Ada)
  • Marguerite Johnson (Feb 2020)
  • Susan Strelitz (March 2020)
  • Kathleen Martin Isakson (May 2020)
  • Amy Carpenter (November 2020)

As well as those who passed away over the previous 35 years —

  • Sally Waring (1982)
  • Cassandra Lewis (1982)
  • Sarah Ingerman (1984)
  • Marianne Rogers (1985)
  • Marjorie Roe (1986)
  • Marie Turner Cook (1991)
  • Lucia Krompart (2001)
  • Kim Wilson (2002)
  • Tanya Bland Neal (2002)
  • Karen Kiser (2002)
  • Ruthanne Simmons (2002)
  • Carol Darling Grant (2007)
  • Andrea Hurt Angell (2008)
  • Rebecca Cohen (2008)
  • Lynn Sewill Cruz (2009)
  • Patricia Holsten Callahan (2009)(Ada)
  • Ruth Hatcher (2009)
  • Jane Holley Neal (2010)
  • Myra Andrews Sobel (2010)
  • Amy Doppelt (2010)
  • Rita Braverman Cole (2012)
  • Elizabeth Roberts (2012)
  • Elizabeth Sheppard (2013)
  • Karen Wikstrom (2013)
  • Tina Angell (2013)
  • Ailyn Ports Lopez (2014)
  • Karen Boyd (2014)
  • Marcy Westerling (2015)

We’re entering our 40th reunion year!

We are busy planning our class’s 40th reunion next spring. Whatever form our reunion takes, we look
forward to catching up with many of you. Due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, the college has not yet confirmed the dates for reunions or announced whether reunions will be held virtually or in-person. Please check here or our Facebook page for updates.

In keeping with our 40th reunion theme, Brilliant & Resilient, wonderfully represented by classmate and graphic designer Anne Cassity, we are inspired by our strong and resilient classmates. We are grateful for the leadership skills, focus on community, and sense of empowerment instilled in us by our Smith education. And we are excited to compare notes, draw strength from each other, and be reminded of what we have in common.

Reunion programming taking shape

Our amazing reunion team consists of Kakie Brooks, Anne Cassity, Gail Fritzinger, Kathy Kernan, and Susie (Goodman) Novick. Thank you all!

To help with planning, we are joined by Anne Cassity, graphic designer; Holly Gonzalez, class president; and Mary Louise Wagner, class secretary and Memorial Chair.

How are you using your own leadership skills in your families, your community, and in the wider world to address needs and create a brighter future?

Kakie and Gail have been refining their ideas for our reunion programs. They are thinking about the ways that women’s leadership is helping shape a post Covid-19 world. Now they have a question for each of you: How are you using your own leadership skills in your families, your community, and in the wider world to address needs and create a brighter future? Please email Kakie (kgibson112@aol.com) or Gail (gailfritzinger@gmail.com) with your responses and ideas.

We are also excited to be hosting a book talk by classmate Julie Dobrow, author of After Emily: Two Remarkable Women, and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet.

More house reps needed

House reps have a simple yet vital job: They contact classmates from their house to encourage them to attend our reunion.

We still need reps for the following houses: Chapin, Comstock, Cushing, Cutter, Dawes, Dewey, Duckett, Emerson, Friedman, Hopkins, Hover, Hubbard, Morrow, Off Campus, Park, Sessions, and Washburn. Please email Cathy (coopkay136@comcast.net) or Sally (sally.brickell@gmail.com) to volunteer.

Classmates from Baldwin, Cushing, Chapin, and Jordan, and Tyler have participated in Zoom gatherings thanks to their house reps and peers. More of these events will take place this year.

Here is the current list of house reps: Albright (Francesca Grifo), Baldwin (Maddy Sanchez McGinley), Capen (Ruth Axtell), Chase (Jean Cummings), Clark (Kathryn Cooksey Pew), Gardiner (Beth Zadworny Holmes), Gillett (Laura Gossage), Haven (Frances Brohan Gawel), Jordan (Marcy Zevon), King (Carrie Stewart), Lamont (Julie Mooney Gorman), Lawrence (Mary Suda), Morris (Nancy Tarlin), Northrop (Meg Van De Weghe), Parsons (Pat Hicks), Scales (Joanna Evans), Talbot (Katherine Fraumeni Ginnetty), Tyler (Lori Renn Parker), Wesley (Evelyn Halley Simpson), Wilder (Meg Jackson), Wilson (Katie Walton Day), Ziskind (Stacey Schreft). Thank you all!

Fundraising is already underway

Fundraising team members are as follows: Sally Brickell, Sarah Caruso, Shelly d’Arcambal, Mary Dickinson, Rachel Freedman, Ellen Harrington, Libby Ginway, Jennifer Kinsman, Anneke Raney, Susie (Goodman) Novick, Chean Eng Ooi, Connie Pierce, Heidi Reavis, Lisa Rosen, Kathleen Ryan, and Deb Zonies. Thank you, fundraising volunteers!

This team is working hard to make our 40th reunion year another great year for Smith. If you hear from a classmate letting you know our fundraising goals, please be receptive!

Say you’ll help

To volunteer, please contact either Sally Brickell (sally.brickell@gmail.com) or Cathy Kay (coopkay136@comcast.net), reunion co-chairs.