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Class Notes, extended version - August 2020

Class notes August 2020

Introducing our new class officers:

Class President Eileen Conroy lived in the Cazenove and Tower Court dorms, majoring in  Political Science and Economics. After Wellesley and a MBA, her professional career focused on marketing strategy in consumer goods companies such as Kraft and Colgate-Palmolive as well as financial services. Involvement with Wellesley Clubs such as Wellesley Friends of Art helped her meet alumnae from other classes and make new friends. She currently lives in Fort Myers, FL, and Chautauqua, NY, with her husband John.

VP Dianne Goren Radtke majored in Economics at Wellesley, received an MBA from Kellogg and worked in banking and financial services for nearly 25 years. In 2003 she added eldercare issues and managing family-owned real estate, along with obtaining her CPA designation and volunteering, and was a seasonal tax professional and volunteer tax preparer in Chicago. Honored to work with interesting, intelligent Wellesley women on the Chicago Wellesley Club Board, Dianne resides with husband Steve in Lincoln Park, enjoying the Zoo and tennis courts. Before the world turned upside down, Dianne loved seeing that world, including all of the continents before turning 50.

Treasurer Dede Trefts retired in 2019 as Vice President of M&A Integration for IBM’s Services Business Development organization, where she supported complex integration activities for mergers and acquisitions. Previously, she was at McKinsey & Co, launched technology start-ups, and worked in marketing and tech positions in banking. Dede graduated as a Wellesley Scholar in Economics and English and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She is married, has three sons, and is active in community and philanthropic activities, including the Board of Trustees of Chautauqua Institution.

Web Chair Becky Hoag Atwood retired 5 years ago after working 20 years in information technology at Wellesley. She now devotes her time to caring for her mother, volunteer work on town councils and a community farm, visiting her children and grandchild out of state, tending 250 blueberry bushes, caring for a 240 year old house, her knitting and knitting machines and a retirement blog about the weekly adventures she shares with her husband Paul.

Gay Young is VP, Donor Services, at The New York Community Trust, which is the community foundation for the downstate New York City region. Gay manages The Trust’s Donor Services department and works with donors to identify and carry out their charitable objectives. After Wellesley, Gay graduated from the New York University School of Law. She currently serves as a trustee on the boards of Hudson Guild and the New York Foundation. She and her husband live in the West Village.

I (Kathy Smith Collett) am Class Secretary, and maybe (if we can meet next spring) still reunion co-chair with Beth Snyder Goss. After second BA in Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic from Cambridge, and PhD in Medieval Studies from U. Penn, I settled with my physicist husband and three children at Hamilton College in upstate NY, where I became the college archivist 20 years ago. Just retired, I keep busy with progressive activism, old farmhouse, 3 acres with pony, and bilocation podding with grandbabies 4 hours away.


More news:

Julie Crofoot Simons received an  M.S. in Piano Performance from E.S. U. (Emporia State University) Emporia, KS. Julie noted "Sometimes I have dreams about Wellesley College. In the dream-state, I am reattending Wellesley because I haven't graduated yet. But the dreams can  be quite beautiful. Does this happen to any of you? I wish you all well, dear classmates."

DeAnne Shearer, based in Brussels, Belgium, has specialized in importing goods from China into Europe. Now in conjunction with Networks ( she is transferring manufacturing from China to Romania, to give jobs to the very discriminated against Roma community living in conditions of extreme poverty.

Becky Morris Taylor writes, “Steve and I are moving from Wellesley to Northampton MA.  Our home in Wellesley has been in my family since the mid 1930s when my grandparents purchased it and moved in.  My mother, but not I, grew up here.  (My grandmother was Sylvia Chapman Miner, Wellesley Class of 1925.  She was attending her 50th reunion when we graduated.). We bought it from them 37 years ago and raised our two sons here. “The move to the Pioneer Valley is our attempt to downsize and simplify our lives (both in terms of space and cost of living) as we look to the decades that await us.  We have found a house where we will be able to age in place near our son and his wife (their home in Noho is 4 miles away).  They are in the process of  starting a family by becoming foster-to-adopt parents of older kids. As we move to Northampton, we will meet our first new grandchild, a 13-year-old who wants to be adopted. It’s all very exciting!”

Gretchen Boise writes in for the first time, wanting to contribute to the increase of women in leadership positions.  She sent a photo of the recent 100mph wind damage in Ship Bottom, NJ (since repaired). “The 1928 house was so well built of Georgia yellow pine, practically petrified now: if a 1962-type NE hurricane or small tsunami arrived, it would simply lift it off its cinder block foundation and move less than 10 feet to rest, intact, at the Japanese black pine on the  bay side. Sleeps 10/5 bedrooms, available for the cost of cleaning/utilities to any Wellesley. Rain storming group starting now, just steps to the still warm ocean.”

Claudia Gourdon says, “2020 has been a year of adjusting my expectations. Disappointments: Home project due for completion in July to be hopefully completed in December.  Knee operation postponed for 3 months - but done now.  Missed our son's spring track season and  graduation, and then his job was rescinded.  Still working from home and will be until 2021. surprises: I'm much healthier from being outside gardening and walking.  Meeting more neighbors and reconnecting with far-flung friends via Zoom.  Actually making headway on my reading list.  What a year!”

Katherine Smith Collett
3261 Post Street
Clinton, NY 13323