Complete ’72 Class Notes & More, http://smithcollege72.org CU@Reunion55, May 2027!
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Evelyn Brown writes: I am in recovery and build-up mode after surgery (April) to reattach my hamstring which I tore off the bone last Sep in a running accident. Physical Therapy is tough! I don’t feel like I am recovering as fast as I did years ago! Conditioning went away really fast, but WOW is it slow to build up again! Must be this ‘getting older’ thing! At least I’m back on the trails and roads-running now, so am in my happy place.
Sarah Gordon is again happily donating fresh blueberries to Hamden’s Dinner for a Dollar food truck, run by churches and the United Way. Sarah is a long-time promoter of food and medical delivery services; with a huge increase in both during COVID. “We have more local community gardens every year,”, she says, “providing more fresh food to the poor and elderly. A micro version of railroads setting up national food delivery routes – this is local, and those who can’t drive get what they need.” Sarah has lost both brothers, and several others in the past 6 years, but keeps reaching out and staying in touch with those who remain. Life is good.
Joanne Sawhill Griffin has led the Smith Club of St. Louis Book Awards program for 5 years. The 2023 selection was Ms. Adventure by alumna Jess Mencer Phoenix 04; the books were bought at a woman owned store. This year was the first time two high schools turned down the offer of a Book Award because they preferred to “celebrate the accomplishment of the year’s class as a whole” – no giving out individual awards. How sad for the outstanding students who would have been cheered and would be great Smithies, but we aren’t allowed to recognize them.
(submitted by Susan Hastings Glendon re: Karen Puskarz Robards):
The gala, “Food for Thought” honored Karen Puskarz Robards, May 24, 2023, for her tireless work, impact, and dedication to the Cooke School community in New York City. Without Karen, there would have been no Cooke School: a school specifically for children with special needs, transforming the lives of 1800+ students and their parents; admission is “need-blind” so parents, regardless of income, can send their children. The Cooke School is recognized not only in New York and other states, but internationally as well. Karen was a Cooke School co-founder, Chair Emeritus, Alumni Parent. Her work redefined education for non-neurotypical children. Karen was instrumental in finding and raising the funds for this campus, founded 35 years ago.
Over 500 people attended the event, including Karen’s friends, family, students, graduates, and teachers. The gala raised $1.4 million to refurbish/update the downtown property for Transition and Vocational training programs. Guests toured the new school building for the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools, located at 1713 Madison Avenue, NYC.
Pictured: Class of ’72: Marnie Huff, Mary Burton, Nancy Fitzpatrick McKenna, Donna DeCoursey, Susan Hastings Glendon, Louise Parent, Karen Puskarz Robards; Gail Puskarz Ferris’78
Merryn Rutledge’s poetry collection, Sweet Juice and Ruby-Bitter Seed (Kelsay Books), was released in May, with many poems having appeared first in various journals. Merryn also enjoys reviewing new poetry books by women. Retirement has also meant putting new treads on old tires–writing, dancing (Zumba), singing.
Patricia Younger Smith’s post-pandemic catch up: This year, husband David and I are enthusiastically catching up on international travel after having our 2022 summer tour of Ireland and Scotland aborted by Covid. Pat said: “We went on a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March and to southern Italy in June. I should be seeing things much more clearly after recent double cataract surgery. All’s well! “
It’s a bit alarming for Joanie Speers to realize that she has lived in London for 51 years. She came over a few months after graduating from Smith to study cello with Jacqueline du Pre’s teacher, William Pleeth, for one year, and is still there. She plays cello, but only in string quartets. After careers in fine art publishing and in the voluntary sector, she now sits on several charity boards, supports several orchestras, and helps people plan for the last years of life. She also has three daughters and eight grandchildren. Joanie fears for their futures in this irresponsible world.
Sec. Stefanie Solnick Cargill, 1224 E. La Jolla Drive, Tempe, Arizona 85282, email@example.com.