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Class Notes Fall 2023

From Mary Smith Podles, Class Secretary

Guess I’ll start with the sad news first. I am very sorry to report the deaths of classmates Nancy Smith Jenks, Ellie Carlson, and Jeanne Olson Darlington. And sincerest condolences to Elizabeth Doherty, who lost her husband of 28 years, Dr. Richard Wolin, to melanoma in June—and to make matters worse, also lost her beloved old cat, Wilson, in July.

Answering, “How did you spend your summer vacation?” Elizabeth “Betsy” Bassett responded, “Under water. Many farms (mostly before harvest) and town centers in Vermont were devastated by torrential rains in July. The strength and character of Vermont derives from its small farms and businesses. But this is a lot. How will this special place emerge from a tragic summer? No one is immune from the ravages of climate change.”

The indefatigable Ellen Cahn writes more happily that she has enjoyed Wellesley 1971’s events on drama and Notre Dame Cathedral, Professor Stanley’s report on the boat trip to Antarctica, and the virtual alumnae event from Alice’s Table. She struggles to keep the plants from that latter one alive and thriving.

Better news from Marcia Armstrong. She reports that after last year’s diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, she has undergone chemo, radiation, surgery, and Keytruda infusions, and the tumor is completely gone. She is now on the upside, awaiting the arrival of grandson No. 2.

And marriages: Katie Smith’s wedding in Cleveland Heights was a mini-reunion of sorts, with Delna Sethna Dastur ’71, Sally Phelps Smith, Ann Smith Seabright ’78, Mary Smith Laurent ’96, and Meg Smith Aeschliman ’04 in attendance.

Finally, birth pangs (of a sort): Judith Wynn Rousuck launched her epistolary novel, Please Write, in October. And my own A Thousand Words has finally triumphed over the seemingly endless supply chain queue. Wishing you all well. Please write!

Class Notes Winter 2023

Thank you for all the news!
Mary Smith Podles, Class Secretary:

Click through for photos and the complete text of everyone's submission.


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50th Reunion



We have so much to celebrate:

  • An amazing 50th Reunion with 150 classmates attending
  • A beautiful Record Book that has been sent to our entire class
  • Awards and new records for our fundraising and attendance at reunion
  • A special alumnae award for Laura Daignault Gates

AND best of all - just being able to see each other and reconnect!

We owe thanks to so many for the vibrant class of 1972.  We learned about Wellesley’s past and present through our Zooms, as well as getting a peek into our classmates creative endeavors.  We had a dedicated crew working on our Record Book.  The memorial book was a walk down memory lane and helped us remember those classmates we lost.  And, we reveled in peppermint pie and wearing our tiaras during reunion.

A big thank you to our officers over the past 5 years (and some for 10 years).  We couldn’t have gone through the both the fun times and the struggles of planning during a pandemic without all the support from our outstanding group.  Kim and Sarah created a great trip to Prague but had to cancel our Washington, D.C. reunion.  We had constant and always amusing reminders from Connie about getting her the news.  Sheila admirably kept our finances straight even as the college often changed the system.  Rebecca totally redid our web page and has included many new features.  And - as you can see above - what a remarkable team doing fundraising.  Many thanks to Beth, Nan, and Betsy for all their hard work.

It has been a privilege to be your Co-Presidents and also to have co-chaired the 50th Reunion.  We are still glowing (and bragging) about the success of reunion and all the positive feedback.  And - the rebel class made all the other classes jealous about our tiaras and dorm decorations.

Beverly and Marcia

Congratulations to all!  We exceeded our fundraising goals.

We set new class records!

Our Fundraising Co-VPs, Beth McKinnon and Nan Roberts report that we exceeded all of our fundraising targets for our 50th Reunion giving.  

  • 5-year reunion total: $5,478,834 (a new class record)
  • Durant total: 62 (a new class record)
  • Participation: 241 donors, 78.5%  (a new class record)

Thank you so much to everyone who supported Wellesley during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. Gifts to The Wellesley Fund from alums like you ensure the College can support what we love about Wellesley for current and future students. Click here if you who haven’t donated yet (or who wish to make an additional donation).