1 9 7 9 Wellesley RAH! 


Hello 79er’s!

Thank you for participating in our Survey Monkey.  We had over 100 responses, which gave us a 21% response ratio – the best survey response ever, according to the Alumnae Association.  We asked you about your preferences for a mini reunion this year, and not surprisingly, you told us exactly what you thought.  

Here are the highlights of the survey:

  • 35% are “definitely” interested in attending, with 50% responding “maybe”
  • In ranking the top 3 locations: the East Coast came in with a strong 73%, followed by the Mid-Atlantic at 32% and the Southeast at 24%
  • When ranking the top 3 types of location: a city came in with 60%, with an historic area and an ocean resort tying at 40%
  • For time preference, 35% preferred a weekend (2 overnights); 21% preferred one overnight, and 19% preferred a daytime event, with another 19% preferring an evening event
  • In terms of ranking the top 3 types of activities: 60% would like to visit a historic site; 57% would like an educational event; 40% would like an outdoor event; and 38% would like to visit a museum
  • For those who might not attend reunion, 76% said they would attend a ’79 Connects

We were asked to explain the difference between the ’79 Connects and this proposed mini reunion.  A ’79 Connect is organized in a local area by any member of our class with a minimum of three attending.  These get-togethers tend to be more informal (meet for coffee, lunch, or dinner) and are in your town/city/state.  Many of you volunteered to help organize a ’79 Connect, so expect to hear from us.  We’re happy to “advertise” your Connect via our class Facebook page or on our class web page.  Since we began the ’79 Connects in July 2015, there have been 23 gatherings with more than 80+ classmates connecting over the past two years!  They are very fun and a great way to connect with (or meet) your nearby classmates.

A class mini-reunion generally occurs two years prior to reunion.  I know you can all do the math – we’ll be celebrating our 40th Reunion in 2019, so in 2017 (two years earlier) we are organizing a mini-reunion to follow the preferences outlined in the class survey.  And, since many of us will have a “big” birthday this year, we are considering this to be our class 60th birthday party!  Read on for more fun details.

Please mark these two dates on your calendar:

  • September 22-24, 2017:  Mini-reunion in Providence, Rhode Island
  • June 7-9, 2019: Reunion at Wellesley College

Jody Strakosch

Class President

PS If you want to organize a ’79 Connects in the fall, just let Martha O’Neill and Mary Vaskas know and we’ll post the information on our Facebook page as well as our class page on the alumnae website.

News from our Vice President, Martha O'Neill  

Greetings to everyone and thank you so much for the survey responses.  The results were clear:   a northeast city with historical and cultural sites and a good venue for visiting with each other.

We have selected Providence because of its convenience to alums in the northeast and transportation accessibility for those coming from a distance. It is a vibrant and walkable city that has had extensive renovation since we were in college and offers historical sites, art museums, fabulous restaurants, parks, a zoo, colleges including Brown University, and nearby attractions including Newport and the mansions. Providence is also the home of our own Judy Colenback Savage who is helping us with a more detailed agenda for the weekend.  

We have tried to find a good weekend, a good hotel and good rates and are happy to have a block of rooms reserved for the weekend of September 22, 23 & 24 at Providence's grand and historic hotel, the Biltmore Hotel.  Please save the date and plan to join us.  We’ll send more details out soon and we hope you’ll plan to join us.

If you would like to help us organize the weekend, or one small event over the weekend, please let me know.  Many hands make for light work!

News from our Annual Fund Rep, Yvonne Bos

Counting down for our class 40th Reunion Gift

Thanks to all those who have made a gift in this past fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). 

As of March 9th, our class participation total is 29.1% with 15 Durant level gifts ($2,500 or more).

This fiscal year, we have raised total cash of $1,148,819 (including pledge payments from former reunion cycle multi-year pledges).  If you have not yet made your gift for this fiscal year, please do so before June 30th. Let’s get to our 45% participation target! It’s as easy as going to www.wellesley.edu/give. Thanks!


News from our Planned Giving Rep, Liz Goodman Walton

Our class has made nine life income gifts of almost $106,000. A life income gift helps alumnae prepare for the future – from planning one’s retirement security (think monthly paychecks from Wellesley to you!) to ensuring the smooth execution of one’s estate.  We have realized bequests of almost $518,000, which brings our overall five-year planned giving total to ~$624,000.  Interested in learning more about how this works? Reach out to Liz Walton at lwalton@stny.rr.com.

News from our Secretary, Dorrie Voorhis Graul

Please let me know you have been doing – all stories are welcome. 

Whether your life is "boring" or "exciting", there are sure to be classmates who can relate and many who will be interested in your news. What does 60 look like to you? We have 500 words in every magazine issue and I would love to struggle to fit all the information in.  This is one of the ways that we can continue to connect with one another, so send news!

News from our web mistress, Mary Vaskas

Missing Alumnae

If you happen to be in touch with one of our missing classmates (see list below), please forward our class newsletter and ask them to consider updating their contact information. 

Edith Anderson

Deirdre Arnholz

Julie Bates

Julie (Olson) Bing

Ruth Brass

Addie Burns

Gloria Chau

Susan Denker

Melissa Douthart

Bonnie Freedman

Josephine Frere

Phoebe Frosch

Patricia Gabler

Karen Gilbert

Mary Lee (Sommers) Gosz

Hope (Schuyler) Hacker

Rosemary Hindoian

Barbara Ho

Gail Jackson

Angelica (Di Nardi) Kiefer

Claudia (Demattos) Lara

Sue Latterman

Puwen Lee

Manjari Mehta


Karen Nappier

Elizabeeth (Gorman) Nehls

Ann O’Connell

Martha (Huber) Scavoe

Melissa (Maxwell) Schiavone

Courtney (Finch) Taylor

Cathy Thornton

Mary Verito

Hilary Wallace

Susan Warner

Adrienne Williams

Maika Wohl


'79 Connects Photo Fun

If you haven’t made it to a ’79 Connects or just want to relive the fun, visit the Mini-Reunions Photo Album (https://1979.alum.wellesley.ed/images.html?view_album=3)!  (And if you have more photos to add, send them to me and I’ll upload them).


Join the Wellesley College Class of ’79 on Facebook

News from our Treasurer, Donna Edwards

We have 178 class life members and hope to reach 50% by our 40th reunion.  For those of you math whizzes, we have 502 members in our class, so we have a short distance to go to get to 251.  Just 73 more classmates…And, if you’re not sure if you have already paid your dues, you can check the list on our Class web page under the tab ‘Support 1979’.

Please note that the check should be mailed directly to me (Donna Edwards), payable to the Wellesley College Class of 1979, in the amount of $100.  Class dues do not count as a gift to the Wellesley, although dues may be a tax-deductible item (check with your accountant).  My address is 716 West Hills Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21229.

Ideas? Suggestions? Comments?

Please let us know how we can best serve you!  Please reach out to any of us directly with your ideas and suggestions.

We are looking forward to our class 60th birthday party celebration in Providence!!!

            Jody, Martha, Donna, Dorrie, Mary and Yvonne