1 9 7 9 Wellesley RAH! 

November 2018

SAVE THE DATE:  June 7-9, 2019  - - - Our Class 40th Reunion!



News from our Class President, Jody Strakosch

Hello, 79’ers!  I had the privilege of attending BLUEprint (formerly known as Alumnae Leadership Council) in mid-October to help kick off our reunion planning.  Joining me for a fun-filled weekend was our Annual Giving Chair, Yvonne Bos and our Reunion Co-Chairs, Beth Bernhardt and Pam Wood.  Judy Colenback Savage (Chair of Nominating) and Patti Jungreis Sulser (on campus for Parents Weekend) came to our Sunday planning session with great ideas and much enthusiasm!  


News from the College and the Alumnae Association:

  • The Campaign for $500 million ended one year early with over $514 million raised and 69% of Alumnae making a contribution.  Importantly, 65% of the gifts were < $100.
  • The Class of 2022 is 48% diverse and 57% are receiving financial aid.  Wellesley continues to accept students on a need blind basis; students graduate with an average debt of $15,200.
  • These Generation Z students describe themselves as loyal, compassionate, open-minded and responsible and generally say they are neither conservative nor spontaneous.
  • The Dean of Students is working hard to address college student anxiety by embracing, engaging and empowering the students through a variety of programs.

We need you! Our nominating process is gearing up to select our next group of class officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer).  Our Nominating Chair, Judy Colenback Savage welcomes self-nominations as well as friend nominations!  And if you want to be part of the Nominating Committee, let us know that too.  The class officer roles are a five-year commitment running from July 2019-June 2024, for our 45th Reunion. Please let either Judy (savagej5@gmail.com) or me (jstrakosch@alum.wellesley.edu)  know if you are interested in this great way to stay connected to our class! We are happy to answer all questions!

News from our Reunion Co-Chairs, Beth Bernhardt and Pam Wood

We are gearing up!  Many of you have volunteered to help with a variety of events and we appreciate your willingness to help.  The key to reunion is that many hands make light work! 

We will have more details for you early next year, but one of the key things to know is that we will be staying in Severance.  In 2014, for our 35th Reunion, 138 classmates joined us, which is approximately 27% of the class (with guests, our total attendance was 191).  We are hoping to see more of you for our 40th!  And, a word to the wise – register early!  Last year, Reunion was “sold out” and some alumnae had to stay at nearby hotels.  


There will be faculty lectures Friday afternoon for early arrivals.  We will start our weekend with a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.  We will begin Saturday morning with our class meeting and possibly a class program and then the Alumnae Association Annual Meeting.  There will be additional lectures and Shared Interest Group (SIGs) programs in the afternoon followed by our Class Dinner and Dance!  And, then our all-time favorite, on Sunday – the PARADE, which is now followed by step-singing in the Amphitheater, and then our farewell lunch.

A quick polling question:  Our Saturday night dinner committee is trying to get an understanding of the approximate percentage of our class who do not eat meat/chicken/fish so that we can offer a balanced menu.  If you do NOT eat meat/chicken/fish, please send Jody an email (just reply to this newsletter) and the email can be as short as “NO”, although if you want to send news for me to forward on to Dorrie for class notes, please do!    

You will be hearing soon from our Record Book Chair, Cindy Guendert! In the meantime, please consider whether you’d prefer to have a printed book, as has been done in the past, or go electronic, with a PDF file placed on the class website. There would be a per-book cost for printed books; the amount will be dependent on the number of books ordered in advance and the number of pages in the book. An electronic book could be available before Reunion - great pre-reading! - and there would be no charge. Send your thoughts to cjguendert@gmail.com.

News from our Vice President, Martha O’Neill

We would love to help you organize ’79 Connects.  We have heard many recurring themes from our classmates whom have attended a ’79 Connects:  Fun! Inspirational!  Never run out of things to talk about! How could I not have known this classmate before? Shared experiences!  An appreciation for the opportunity to be in a small group and either connect for the first time or reconnect after many years.  And throughout it all, just a plain old good time!

Some of our NYC classmates met on November 8th at a fun cocktail hour hosted by Allyson Dale Samson and Jody Strakosch (who just happened to be traveling to NYC).  Other classmates included: Doreen Boatswain, Monica Salerno Corsi, Tara Goffney, Carrie Doyle Greene, Ann Timmons, Chris Jorquera Vickery, and Mary White.  Our traveling president will be in DC in mid-December; Terri Hauser is helping coordinate a ‘79 Connects in our nation’s capital.

In the meantime, please think about organizing your own local mini-reunion.  Why wait

until June 2019 to see classmates? A’79 Connects event can be whatever is convenient, such as meeting for a meal or ice cream or a local event.  Please let me or any of the class officers if you would like to host or help with a ’79 Connects event.  We will promote your event on our class website.

News from our Treasurer, Donna Edwards 

We have 176 class life members and hope to reach 50% by our 40th reunion.  For those math majors, we have 502 members in our class, so we have a short distance to go to get to 251.  Just 75 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. 

News from our Annual Fund Rep, Yvonne Bos

We are nearing the end of our five-year giving cycle for our 40th Reunion.  Please make a gift in honor of this milestone Reunion and reach out to classmates to ask for gifts small and large.  This is a great opportunity to reach out to your friends for a good cause and reconnect before coming back to campus. In order to reach our goal of 55% participation, we need 200 more classmates to give. To celebrate our 40th, we are looking for 40 classmates to give at the Durant Society level of $2,500 or more – only 34 more to go! If you usually make your charitable contributions in the calendar year, please consider doing so by December 31.  All gifts made prior to June 30, 2019 will count for our reunion year.

Please make a gift - - - it’s as easy as going to https://www.wellesley.edu/alumnae/give


News from our Planned Giving Rep, Liz Goldman Walton

What is Planned Giving?  A planned gift allows you to increase your retirement income and help shape the future of the College.  Wellesley is now offering higher gift annuity rates, which means you may receive payments at a rate higher than the interest you are receiving on other investments.  For example, at age 60 an annuity purchase of $10,000 would earn 4.7% interest for immediate income payments and 8.1% for income payments that are deferred to age 70.  As we all mature, we want to make sure we have made arrangements for our life’s work to go to those people and organizations that we care most about. (You give money to Wellesley and you get guaranteed income from Wellesley for the rest of your life!) 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 what 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. Share your ’79 Connects small & big! What does 60+ look like to you?  (Our youngest classmate has yet to reach her 60th!) Does this decade look anything like you thought it would when you headed out into the wide, wide world in 1979? 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! My next deadline is December 1st, so send news soon to dorrievgraul@gmail.com 

News from our web mistress, Mary Vaskas

Make sure you are connected to our class through the Wellesley College Alumnae Association https://1979.alum.wellesley.edu/ or through our private Facebook group (join the Wellesley College Class of 1979 or https://www.facebook.com/groups/55554012012 ).  I post pictures when I receive them – please send photos to me (mkvaskas@gmail.com) and I’ll upload them to our class page. 

We have heard that registering on the Alumnae Association website can be challenging, but it has apparently gotten easier!  (https://www.wellesley.edu/alumnae/wellesleylogin). 

Please make sure your records are up-to-date as we will be sending reunion communications through both snail mail and email.  And, if you are having trouble with the website, please call the Wellesley College Help Desk at helpdesk@wellesley.edu or 781.283.7777. They are open between 8:30 am - 4:30 PM EST Monday through Friday to answer questions. 

Another way to make sure your contact information is current is to email recordupdates@wellesley.edu. Please include your first name, college last name, current last name, class year, and email address or you can do it yourself by logging into alum.wellesley.edu and going to your profile.

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 June 7-9, 2019!  1-9-7-9 Wellesley RAH!

Jody, Martha, Donna, Dorrie, Liz, Mary and Yvonne

P.S. If you know that one of our classmates has not provided the College with her email address, please forward this on!