Summer 2017

Dear Classmates, when you read this column, our amazing 45th Reunion will be a fresh memory.  Next stop, our 50th in 2022! 

Stephanie Shafran sent this thoughtful note:

Since last June, transition has been a major theme for me as well as for members of my family. In June, I retired from a 45-year career as a Spanish teacher and school counselor. Although I anticipated this change eagerly, once I formalized my intentions with my school district and the MA Teachers Retirement Board, I was surprised at the clinical depressive episode I fought for four long months. This news is a gentle warning to classmates who might find themselves in similar circumstances. The good news is that I gained invaluable, new insights about my early life experiences and their harmful effects on my psyche through two EMDR sessions that years of traditional therapy had missed. Happily, I was fully present to celebrate my retirement and a formal celebration in June, savor three months of seaside relaxation and fun at my family’s beloved summer cottage in Hull, MA, and share in the joy of my youngest daughter’s wedding in August. To top it off, my oldest daughter announced later that month that she is expecting her second child in April.

When I returned to Amherst at the end of September, I hit the ground running with another major transitional “project”, namely selling my home and purchasing a condo in the Northampton area (Leeds),  minutes away from my three grandchildren, two of my daughters and their husbands. By early January I was able to enjoy my new home. Along with spending time with my family, my life partner Peter and I are having fun setting up house together and learning new routes and venues. 

I attended the Women’s March in Washington DC last weekend, and feel a great urgency in participating in local and national resistance actions, whether online, by phone, or in person. The political catastrophe of Donald Trump’s election is just beginning, and there is no time to lose.

Diane Francis wrote of her annual trip to Arizona:  Each February husband Carl Francis and I fly to Tucson, AZ for the Gem and Mineral Shows.  We also visit Carl’s Mom, in the Phoenix, AZ, area.  A nice break from our biting New England winter. 

Jesup Memorial Library Director Ruth Eveland was named the 2016 Outstanding Librarian by the Maine Library Association See extended article on her on our class website:  http://smithcollege72.org

Eveland was nominated by the staff of the Jesup and received letters of support from board members, community leaders and other library professionals throughout the state. The Jesup staff said in a statement, “Ruth is a real visionary who encourages and supports each of us in our work for the Jesup. We love working for the Jesup under her leadership. This award is much-deserved and we’re thrilled for her.”

Marcela Peres, Maine Library Association Communications Chair, said in a statement, “Each letter supporting Ruth’s nomination was rich with stories of how her leadership and passion for libraries and their crucial role in 21st century communities is an inspiration to everyone she encounters.

Eveland has been director of the Jesup since 2009 and under her leadership the Jesup has vastly increased its impact in the community. Programming at the library has increased more than 2,000% since she was hired as director. Between 2012 and 2015 there has been an increase of 104% in the number of programs offered at the Jesup for adults, with an increase of 155% in attendance at programs. For the same period, there has been a 61.5% increase in the number of children’s programs at the Jesup, with an increase of 73.4% in attendance. She is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Northern Maine Library District.

After graduating Smith as an American Studies major, she earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Rutgers University in 1974

Sec. Stefanie Solnick Cargill, 1224 E. La Jolla Drive, Tempe, Arizona  85282, rhpt70@cox.net.