December 2019 President’s Letter
Instead of describing all the events our club has sponsored since July 2019, I want to use this letter to share vignettes about two events our club hosted this fall, the “Albright event” and the annual holiday cookie exchange.
On November 14, 2019, our club hosted visitors from the Wellesley College Albright Institute for an evening of appetizers, informal conversation and presentations by three Albright Fellows who described their summer internships arranged under the auspices of the Institute. Maheen Akram, ’20, interned at the Washington D.C. Woodrow Wilson Center analyzing the current political situation in South Asia. In a poignant addendum to her internship description, Maheen told us of her experiences returning to her home and family in Kashmir at the end of the summer. Megumi Murakami, ’20, interned with the U.S. State Department in Tokyo where she worked on the U.S.-Japan Trade Deal. I was particularly impressed with Megumi’s low-key, but trenchant, comments about the differences she observed between political appointees and career State Department staff in Tokyo. Catherine Stauber interned at the University of Global Health Equity in Kigali, Rwanda. Through her first-person description of Rwandan geography and topography, Catherine made a persuasive case for the importance of highly-distributed, local, low-cost health care (and for the cleverness of using drones to deliver blood products from central facilities to remote local areas).
The Albright event was lovely, the Class of '20 speakers fabulous--smart, articulate, deeply well-informed, attractive and authentic as people.
I thought this was a super event—great topic, excellent speakers (they are so articulate, these young people), pleasant venue and unexpectedly tasty food. Congratulations.
As suggested by the comments above of two alums who attended the event, it was extraordinary. I’m deeply grateful to Marcia Burick, ’62, for initially proposing it and helping make it a success. Rachel Wang, ‘88, and Helen Clement, ‘76, gracefully wrangled the finances and the IT. Three anonymous alums donated financial support so that we could keep the ticket price very low. Thank you all. This vignette reminds me of our amazing club volunteers who step up to strengthen our connections with the college and its undergraduates.
Do you have a favorite campus program that you would like to have visit us? The campus is only an hour and a half away from the Pioneer Valley, an easy road trip for undergraduates and their faculty sponsors. We would love to consider planning a visit from another campus group.
My boys love the cookie exchange and every year right after Thanksgiving they start asking, “When’s the cookie party?”
That’s what I heard when an alum, her spouse, and their two children arrived at my house for the cookie exchange on December 15, 2019.
We *love* the Pioneer Valley Wellesley Club!
And that’s what I heard when I called the Northampton Survival Center to ask when I could deliver donations we had collected for them at the cookie exchange. They are so grateful for everything we deliver: primarily canned goods, diapers, and personal care products. This year we also delivered Big Y gift cards, which were particularly appreciated.
This vignette reminds me of the joy this simple event brings to alums, their families, and the broader community.
If you missed the 2019 event, the 2020 cookie exchange is scheduled for Sunday December 13, 2020. But don’t wait until December 2020 to enjoy a club event. We’ll keep you informed via emails and articles from our website about scheduled events. In our summer letter, which will be distributed in July 2020, we’ll describe all of this year’s events and describe plans for the following year. As I’ve reminded you before, the winter and summer letters are the only ones we send to your postal address. All of our event announcements are sent to your email address by the college’s email distribution system. If you have not been receiving event announcements, that’s probably because the college does not have your email address. If you would like to receive them, just send me email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add your email address to the college’s file or to our local file of alums who want us to forward announcements to them but do not want to be contacted directly by the college.
The vignettes I described at the beginning of this letter suggest the multi-dimensional strength of our alumnae club, a strength created by those of you who have contributed your time and talent over the past several years. I know that all of you have talents but I suspect that for many of you time is the resource in shortest supply. Any contribution that works for you will work for the club--come to an event, bring an alum friend to n event, suggest an event, host a pop up, bring cookies and/or food to the cookie exchange, pay your dues, volunteer for a club office or committee.... Any contribution from you will strengthen our club and our mission to support one another, to support the college, and to support the community where we live.
Lee Sproull '67