Spring 2011


Class of ’72Classmates sent wonderful photos and updates – please visit our class website to see full reports and all the photos: www.smithcollege72.org.Louka Katseli sends news of her appointment as the Greek Minister for Labour and Social Security. “It is a very challenging job given the financial crisis, the fiscal consolidation programme that we have adopted and the rise in unemployment due to the recession. Major priorities are promoting active employment policies and a social safety net for the most vulnerable.”

Nancy Schwartz, Pam Fuhrer, Kathy Marx Riechel (Tufts, 72), Carol Pearson, Anne Gordon, Ellen Maloff Case, and Carmen Valenzuela Nakassis, who spent their junior year abroad in Geneva, celebrated turning 60 and 39 years of friendship at a mini-reunion in Nice, France. Joanie Speers reports from London, where she has lived for 38 years, that she runs a cancer care charity (www.yestolife.org.uk) and a building preservation trust in Wales (www.abcwales.org.uk), and serves on the boards of a music charity and a charity working in Russia with children with special needs.

Nancy Ammon Jianakoplos flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, in May 2010 to teach intermediate macroeconomics (in English) for four weeks at the Foreign Trade University, paid for by the government of Vietnam. “The Vietnamese students I met were very bright and diligent. I couldn’t help but remember that in May 1970 (40 years ago) I was taking intermediate macroeconomics at Smith and there were protests against the Vietnam War (called the American War in Vietnam). How things can change in 40 years! Hope to see lots of us at our 40th in 2012!”

Ann Lemon is consulting on Green Finance and Sustainable Living and invites us to learn more about “dining out green” on her blog at http://tinyurl.com/25y8y2z.

Susan Garber reports “I am looking for a permanent or temporary job in the Information Technology area using Oracle. I have been in the field for 25 years, mostly at Lotus Development. I’ve been doing temporary consulting and contracting work, but the recession has hit hard. Everything else is good.”

Julie Arnold reports she is still training and showing standard poodles. “The dogs and I went to tracking camp this fall and we hope to hone our tracking skills!” Linda Simonson lives in North Haven, CT, and still works for Benhaven, Inc., an agency providing services to children and adults with autism, most recently as a clinical program consultant. “I have renewed a childhood passion for horses and am determined to learn to ride. My 25-year old instructor who has been riding since she was a little girl tells me to be patient, but at 60, I no longer feel I have the luxury of time. A shout out to all my Ziskind compadres; how come no one I knew back then ever sends in updates?” Good question – we’d love to hear from you!

Sarah Gordon teaches women’s history and American history classes at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. Her mother Patricia Jencks Gordon ’41, passed away at age 91 in July 2010 and quite a few Smith graduates attended the memorial service.

Rochelle Feldman Breitbart writes she is still going strong in her private practice of Special Needs Pediatrics and as a neonatologist. Husband Aaron Breitbart heads the research department at the Wiesenthal Center. They are making a five-year plan for retirement, hopefully in Israel.

Tiffany Baker now Mullican sent a photo from her May 2010 wedding. “The ceremony took place on the grounds of Fort Belvoir, VA, overlooking the water. The day was sunny and beautiful, if you discount the 50 mph wind gusts!” Joan Howarth, Beth Ann Friedman, Janet Allocca Marie ‘73, and Fran Groves Dodd attended, three of whom were bridesmaids at Tiffany’s first wedding. “When my first marriage ended after twenty-five years and four extraordinary children, I was on my own for six years; it just goes to show you that even at sixty, you are never too old to find love and start over!”

Six of us – five Northrop girls Marilyn Gepp Clark, Nancy Abraham Hall, Kay Killian Balun, Evelyn Maumeyer and Bessy Kong Wasielewski, and one stray Gardner girl Debby Markewich Lazarus, all class of ’72, rented a house in Nantucket from another Smith alum Sandy Morgan, class of ’65. We spent a glorious five days in July celebrating our big birthdays although Ev, the baby of the group, will not be 60 until September 2011. We ate, drank, walked, biked, beached and spent numerous hours reminiscing on the lovely wrap around porch in this picturesque Nantucket home.

While we are still wondering where all the years went (how did we get to be 60?), we have all accomplished a lot and are quite happy to be where we are. Marilyn is a consultant on EU affairs and divides her time mainly between Luxembourg and London. Nancy is a long-standing member of the Spanish department faculty at Wellesley College. Ev is an environmental consultant enjoying life at the beach in Lewes, Delaware. Kay is the Executive Assistant to the CEO, CSO, CFO and CMO of Biodel, a pharmaceutical R & D company; some say she runs the company… or at least keeps it on track. Bessy is down in DC and is the senior policy advisor to the Office of Urban Policy, Domestic Policy Council. Debby is a psychologist in private practice in Manhattan. And, that is just in our spare time – in addition to children, husbands, significant others and having fun!

Finally, two of the group, Kay and Ev, are chairing our Reunion which will be happening in May, 2012. We are all looking forward to the Reunion and hope to see everybody there.

Olivia Henry: “I am very excited about the upcoming decade. In Aug, my son, Tim, and I drove west to CA on a 3 week adventure, visiting great folk, seeing National Parks from Niagara to the Grand Canyon, Big Bend to Carlbad and Arches among them. We saw the Alamo, soaked in hot springs, got him a sombrero in Mexice, hiked and biked our way out to college in a car filled to the gills with his belongings. Now that Tim is off at Stanford, studying physics,writing, math, Chinese, on the crew team, my role has completely changed. Throughout his school years, I provided support, oversight and enrichment, and had a chance to cheer him on. Now I am entering  a new phase.  I retired from counseling in 2004 after 30 years. I volunteer in my NH church and community, visiting the sick, going to doctors’ appointments with them, to hospitals and cooking meals. I am on the outreach committee at church and we try to aid in relief efforts here and abroad, in whatever way we can in this small church. I sing in the choir and 2 other groups. I read, photograph, and want to do more with it now.  I exercise a lot at a gym and love to bike, kayak, rollerblade, go to museums, hear concerts.  My main pleasure is travel,  learning about different cultures. I have been very lucky to have seen a lot. During the frigid winters, I’ve realized that I really want to be in warmer climes, either going away for a few months or moving. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiing friends in Puerto Rico, whose 4 kids I taught down there in 1973. I come back renewed from being together, sharing stories and laughter. I dive and rollerblade and spend lots of time by the sea, walking the beaches.  I am also grateful for the chance to spend 2 months out in CA this winter exploring.  I look forward to seeing more places, learning more languages, teaching myself to play the flute.  My spuose, Tim Gurshin Sr is going into a new phase  too, writing, performing and recording more of his music.  He writes in the folk, Americana, new country genre.  Instead of practising law, he may do some teaching and really expand his involvement with music. He is planning a tour in the Hudson River Valley and later to Texas this spring.  So, I see this next decade as one of change and new opportunity””

Pres., Melissa Hield, melissa.hield@prodigy.net

Sec. Mary Lindley Burton, maryburton@earthlink.com

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