Dear Purple Class of 1982 classmates,
Forty years!! Almost forty years since we graduated and more than forty years since we entered our freshman dorms! How vastly different life and the world are from those days long past. I remember putting the telephone out in the hallway as I shared it with several hallmates in Cazenove. I remember tallying the bills to divide amongst my hallmates, getting checks as payments and walking to the Vil to deposit the checks at the local bank which had the first ATM I had ever seen.
Today, Venmo, Cashapp, Applepay and other digital payment apps have done away with the need for checks and digital banking has done away with the need to visit a bank to deposit any check. We are not quite at the stage of life as in the Jetsons but we have seen some remnants of that and other cartoons come to fruition (my Apple Watch reminds me of Dick Tracy's phonewatch). Self-parking cars and parking assist have granted this parallel parking challenged soul much relief. Amazon and Instacart have made life so much easier not just during the height of the pandemic but as an everyday tool to help work/life balance. The only deliveries I remember from my Wellesley days were the deliveries of some terrible pizza (very different from the NYC pizza I was used to), Package store deliveries and flowers. How easy life would be as college students these days! We have officially reached the point where we tell younger folk "you have it easy, in my day...."
How has life treated you these past forty years? While many of us may have suffered unimaginable loss, heartache and devastation in these 40 years, if you are reading this, you are alive and have survived! You have lived through wars, economic disasters, environmental disasters and, yes, an unimaginable pandemic. How prescient were the words of our Commencement Speaker, Maya Angelou;
"It is upon you to increase your virtue, the virtue of courage—it is upon you. You will be challenged mightily, and you will fall many times. But it is important to remember that it may be necessary to encounter defeat, I don’t know. But I do know that a diamond, one of the most precious elements in this planet, certainly one in many ways the hardest, is the result of extreme pressure, and time. Under less pressure, it’s crystal. Less pressure than that, its coal, less than that, its fossilized leaves are just plain dirt.
You must encounter, confront life. Life loves the liver of it, ladies. It is for you to increase your virtues. There is that in the human spirit which will not be gunned down even by death. There is no person here who is over one year old who hasn’t slept with fear, or pain or loss or grief, or terror, and yet we have all arisen, have made whatever absolutions we were able to, or chose to, dressed, and said to other human beings, “Good morning. How are you? Fine, thanks.”
Therein lies our chance toward nobleness—not nobility—but nobleness, the best of a human being is in that ability to overcome."
We've encountered confronted life and here we are, ready for another forty years!
I hope to see you in person or virtually at Reunion. Thank you to the other outgoing Class Officers: Julie Coryell, Louise Mamrus Westhauser and Amy Willard Cross. But above all, thank you to our fantastic Reunion Committee (Kathy Anderson, Christie Baskett, Anne Byerly, Monica Barrett, Ellen Cushman, Ingrid Desilvestre, Laura Dike, Ruth Herman, Elsa Jones, Karen Lawson, Hilary Martin Lea, Karen McArthur, Mary Milburn, Carol Degraf Morton, Leslie Papke, Nea Savoca, Karen Vrotsos, and Jane Weeks) and the Record Book Committee (Mary K. Austin, Caroline Mortimer, and Madeline Johnson) and who have been working tirelessly to bring you another Reunion that will leave lasting memories to carry us to our 45th.