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Class Notes Winter 2021 - unabridged

Fiftieth Reunion is 4-6 June 2021

As Covid-19 lockdowns continued, many of us had extra time and socialized online. Always, there are book recommendations.

Belinda Wilkins Tepper
I have connected with my friends and with classmates I never knew. At every reunion I wish for more time to finish a conversation and our zoom calls provide that. Debby Gobert did not live on campus senior year. She was initially included with Shafer, but she joined the Bates sessions with closer friends. Lucy Crane Draper also moved to another dormitory group from Shafer, which nevertheless claims 100% participation.


Helen Weller O’Connor
Helen and Anne Sigsbee lead the Tower Court zoom sessions: We had a wonderful gathering last Sunday! We enjoyed so much seeing “old” friends and making new ones. How fortunate that we have Zoom at this difficult time. This is an intelligent, thoughtful, caring and supportive group of women. For those who were unable to be with us, we missed you! We agreed that this was a meaningful time and will meet again.

First we introduced ourselves and shared some of what we are experiencing now. Briefly we touched on our careers (most are retired or semi-retired). All are feeling the disruption that COVID-19 has delivered.

Some of us are introverts and some are living alone, so that impacts our experiences in coping with COVID-19. Our group has been very careful and getting used to being out in public, but also feels the stress of COVID-19. Many had holiday dinners without their extended families, combined with family zooms. This was an honest discussion and very helpful, as we work through our own family decisions. So much is changing so rapidly.
 
We had a short discussion of books to read, especially escapist and lighter reading. Some lit up at the mention of Louise Penny mysteries. Another suggestion was The Maeve Kerrigan Series by Jane Casey, as well as “The Giver of Stars,” by JoJo Moyes and “This is Happiness,” by Niall Williams.

We talked about our reunion and our strong desire to someday have an in-person reunion. While we will have a meaningful virtual reunion in 2020, there is no substitute to being together. Please send your reunion suggestions to our Reunion Chairs, Amy Halket and Mariel Harris. Find their e-mail in the class Directory.

As we start to plan the 50th reunion we need a robust way to communicate with our classmates. Platforms offered by the college seem inadequate. Our class does have a Facebook Group (which is not open to the public, only to our class) but that may not be an adequate or even desirable platform to use. Mariel Harris suggested we watch the documentary “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix, to understand the implications of social networks. If you have a suggestion for how we can communicate, please send to Reunion Chairs (above) and our Class President, Cathy White O’Rourke.

Mary Lou Casey has just begun the process for nomination of class officers (president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, webmistress and class rep) for the five-year term beginning in June 2021. Anyone who might be interested in getting (or staying) active should contact Mary Lou.

Wilma Chen Chan
What a year working directly on COVID-19 issues at the County.  We are dealing with increasing health disparities and COVID-19 fatigue. What a learning experience.  Welcomed a new grandson, Kai, who puts everything in perspective.

Helen Fowler
(forwarded by Helen O’Connor)
I mentioned to Anne [Sigsbee], after missing the first meeting, that I’ve looked forward to being a 50th reunion member of the Alumnae Parade since attending only that event during our 5th reunion with Katherine Topulos. Watching that venerable group of Wellesley women striding past really impressed me! Someday, maybe in 2022, when an in-person reunion again takes place, I’d love to see the Classes of 1970 and 1971 be included in the Parade, maybe behind the Class of 1972 but at least striding forth! We can carry our banner proudly as we take our place in the COVID-19-delayed reunion classes. I’d also looked forward to having lunch on the lawn of the President’s house, as well as the 50th reunion cocktail party there. I think these are highlights of the 50th reunion and don’t want to miss them if possible.

Thanks for sharing the discussion pieces. I haven’t seen my CA son and his family since last Christmas and won’t until we’ve all been vaccinated. Chris is a viral immunologist, Robin is in a public health capacity with the EDs at UCSF, and both know whereof they speak. I miss them and my 10- and 6-year-old grandchildren terribly. I’m surprised at the number of people who are traveling to be with family members for Thanksgiving and fear another surge of COVID-19 cases during the first weeks of December.

I bought a lovely condo in FL in 2019 but may not go in 2021, depending on what’s happening on the COVID-19 front by early January. All our lives have been disrupted. I returned 10 days early during March as little Kaleb’s preschool closed and I cared for him until the end of June so Sarah could continue to see her patients. I’ve kept up with my various groups of friends via Zoom but it’s not the same as visiting in person. I take very long walks and tend my several gardens at my MA condo, talking at social distance with my neighbors. Maintaining a relative sense of “normalcy,” despite being distanced from my local friends, has allowed me not to be overwhelmed by the changes forced by COVID-19.

Kristen Dutton
In her dorm call, Kirsten talked about her experience interviewing applicants over the years. She has found this a valuable way to connect with and help the college. Kristen shared that more and more applicants are requesting alumnae interviews. If you can help, contact Elkie Vandenbeemt or Jordan Peterson at the Office of Admission, interviews@wellesley.edu .

Mary Lou Casey
has just begun the process for nomination of class officers (president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, webmistress and class rep) for the five-year term beginning in June 2021. Anyone who might be interested in getting (or staying) active should contact Mary Lou at mlcasey105@gmail.com .

Peggy L. McGehee
After 40+ years practicing land use law here in Portland, Maine, I am scaling back to part-time of-counsel status (practicing mostly remotely) and am adjusting to life as a hermit during this pandemic. My husband, Mark Horton, and I were planning on spending our 70’s travelling around the country to visit our five dear grandchildren and their parents (our 4 children—a doctor, Marine Captain, preschool owner, and life coach-- and their spouses), but the Governor appointed Mark to the Maine Supreme Court in February, and so he will be (happily) tethered to the “bench” for the next 7 years, and we will be staying here in Maine for the duration.  I am lucky to be able to see classmates and dear friends Marcy Barack Black and Judy McGorrill Coburn, even during pandemic 2020, as we have held distanced, masked, outdoor lunches and walks.

Kate Kilborne Cornwell
Thanks very much for encouraging me to take a photo of Ann and myself which I have attached.  I am happy to have this in my photo collection and wouldn't have asked others to take the picture if you hadn't suggested it.

Martha Wasson Magoon
Martha transferred to Yale after our first year. There is an affectionate obituary at
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/cantonrep/obituary.aspx?n=martha-wasson-magoon&pid=197134844&fhid=14502