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1956 Wellesley Zoom Mini-Reunions

After a New York City mini in-person reunion was held, it became evident that it was too challenging to organize such reunions that include all the class members.  The leadership of the class decided to hold mini reunions on Zoom so that all the class members could be included.

Two eblast emails were sent by the Alumnae Office on behalf of the Class of 1956 notifying classmates of the opportunity to join a Zoom meeting on five different dates.  Unfortunately,  many classmates wishing to participate responded directly to the Wellesley email address from which they received the eblast email and we never got their response. Included in the eblast were instructions to respond to our Class VP, Maya  McGrath Pearcy, who was organizing the Zoom meetings.  It is recommended therefore, that, next time, the process for signing up for a mini reunion be clarified to avoid the confusion which resulted in numerous classmates not being included on the sign-up list

March 27th- March 29th

Six classmates attended the first zoom,14 on the 28th and 8 on the 29th ....joining from Maine to California and places in between. Lively discussions were held about the advantages of living in a retirement community, concern about the student pressure for Wellesley to accept transgender students (about which there was some confusion of terms) and our current activities.  Campus pressure regarding LGBTQIA continued to be a topic of concern and confusion on the subsequent Zoom sessions as did the positive aspects of living in a continuing care community.

The participants appeared to thoroughly enjoy conversing with their classmates, and many asked for more opportunities to meet.  Someone requested  an in-person gathering in the Connecticut area as she was not included in the New York City gathering. 


April 3rd and 4th

In both sessions we started off by having each person introduce herself ...and suggest a topic of interest. Oddly enough the Transgender issue at Wellesley did not arouse much interest on April 3rd.   We spoke  a lot about home or in Retirement Residences of varying types. Also, the importance of planning for a health proxy and financial power of attorney in the event one is incapacitated.

Because Lia Gelin Poorvu was in attendance to give us some "inside information" we did speak about it more on Apr 4th. We agreed that a class letter to President Johnson is in order,  supporting her stand that WC should remain a woman's college, should continue to welcome applicants who transitioned after acceptance  as freshwomen, but should not accept transgender men. We were surprised to learn that only 30 women's colleges remain from the 300 which existed in 1960.  Also on Apr 4th, there was a long discussion concerning the inadequacies of the Alumna Association. Those of us who have had to deal with  the WCAA have felt very frustrated. It was suggested that the class also speak to “the powers that be” about this issue.

Joan Ward Lasley presented these statistics at both sessions:

The college reports that, counting anyone who attended as a class member at any time during our 4 years, we numbered 469, and of that number, 274 are still live. GO '56...What a sturdy group!  

At each of our zooms, we had a classmate who spent only her first two years at WC and graduated elsewhere...but both had similar feelings of connection to WC and our class, and were delighted to take part in the zooms.

Members of both groups were very enthusiastic about these mini reunion zooms and would like to have them repeated. There was also talk of attending an off year reunion weekend. At the college…..with others from "the older classes" if the college would offer us the opportunity.

Everyone LOVED the opportunity to see old friends and chat with new ones.......and they want MORE!!! See some comments below:

Bev Baldwin McCoid: Tuesday’s zoom was wonderful - delightful.  So good to see everyone’s faces. You must be pleased how successful it was. Gratifying after all the planning.

Mary Estill Henlein Buchanan: Thanks  so much for organizing and doing this for us.  Turns out I always enjoy getting to know those I didn't know or don't remember as much as seeing those I did again.

Jane Reynolds Berkeley: Thanks so much for doing that - it was great fun, and I hope we'll do it again.  There are so many of us still alive and functioning, at least partially.

Ansie Svensson McAdams: Thoroughly enjoyable meeting.

Janet Sommers Isenberg: It was really nice to reconnect with classmates, even though I’ve not had close personal relationships with anyone In the group other than you. We all share a certain special ‘bond’ and yet we are all individuals, unique and very different from one another.  But also facing similar challenges as we age into our 90s.  I loved hearing about what others are doing.

Polly Shaw Dean: Really a great idea to have the zoom meetings! Thanks to you all.

Pat Leahy Meaney:  It's clear how much these sessions have meant to our classmates who continue to value the Wellesley connection. Kudos for a most wonderful get-together

Cecily Parke Sesler: It was fun connecting with classmates on zoom.  Our discussions were both timely and lively.  I hope that more sessions can be arranged. Wellesley connections are The Best!!  

Ethel Larrabee: Attending two 1956 Zoom reunions was a delight!  Reluctantly, I turned off my computer, but with such a warm feeling.  There were sad spots.  I marvel at the adjustments we make to staying our happy and productive selves. I look forward to an in-person reunion with the 58% of our class who are living.  

Sally Blumberg Linden: It was heart-warming to be with a group of ’56-ers.  Happily, our voices stay pretty-much the same, so it’s easy to recognize each other, and there’s great joy in hearing the comments of wise, witty and generous-of-spirit Wellesley women.

Lynn Freydberg Warshow: What I liked especially about the Zoom reunion was the chance to be in touch with a small variety of classmates - some I knew, some I knew of, and some I knew slightly. At our class reunions, I think people talk mostly with friends they already know and never learn about others with whom they might have a lot in common



Participants were as follows:


March 27: Sally True Haggett, Ann Ehrenfeld Bornstein, Margie Meyers Ross, Lucy Fowler Klug, Barbara Gelder Kelley, Anne Sinnott Moore, Maya McGrath Pearcy

March 28: Sally Blumberg Linden, Ibby VanAlyea Weber, Joan Ward Lasley, Jane Kentnor Dean, Toni Gallichio Caviness, Toni Holland Liebman, Maggie Daniel Russell, Ray Hallaran Gramentine, Olwen Beach Bush, Martha Riley Pappas, Cindy Stephens, Cecily Parke Sesler, Jane Kentnor Dean, Maya McGrath Pearcy

March 29: Lynn Freydberg Warshaw, Louise Fleger Bishop, Ann Chestnut Galt, Trudy Gibson Kelly, Mary (Muffin)  Fenn Hazeltine, Claudia Lauper Bushman, Patricia Leahy Meaney, Maya McGrath Pearcy

April 3: Betsy Cassel Stern, Carolyn Montgomery, Cindy Stevens Westerman, Ethel Larrabee, Ibby Van Alyea Weber, Jane Reynolds Berkeley, Janet Somers Isenberg, Joan Ward Lasley, Marlene Zahnke Hoerle, Nancy Emerson White, Patricia Leahy Meaney, Sheila Owen Monks, Shirley  Bryant Mitchell, Toni Holland Liebman

April 4: Anne Sinnott Moore, Annsie Svensson McAdams , Bev Baldwin McCoid, Ethel Larrabee, Jane Power Mykrantz, Joan Ward Lasley, Katy Allen Pfaff, Laura Ginsburg Strauss, Lia  Gelin Poorvu, Mary Estill Henlein Buchanan, Polly Shaw Dean, Terry Larson Scheetz, Toni Holland Liebman

 See below in this order: Mar 27 ,28,29 Apr 3,4