1968 Class Notes for 2019

Red Class of 1968

What can we say about our 50th reunion? Fabulous. Memorable. Moving. Perfect. The superlatives are endless. Seventy-six of us, some with spouses, some solo, had a wonderful weekend, from start to finish. I will try to briefly recapture a bit of the magic, and ask that you also take time to view the many photos posted on the Trinity website at this link: https://discover.trinitydc.edu/alums/class-of-1968-reunion-photos/.

On Saturday morning we began gathering at the Payden Center, where we received programs and ID buttons displaying our names and graduation pictures. At 10 AM President McGuire and a panel of four faculty members gave a presentation of some of Trinity’s impressive achievements over the past few years. When the audience was invited to comment, Mary Schwarz McCabe, who has had a career in the field of medical administration, remarked that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, which Trinity received last year to support women of color in science, is a very prestigious honor. Other alumnae voiced appreciation for some of the challenging programs offered by the School of Education. Judging from the enthusiastic rounds of applause, we all felt very proud of the outstanding educational opportunities our alma mater continues to offer.

At 11 AM the ’68 alumnae moved to the Notre Dame Chapel where we held our class meeting and a prayer service. After hearing short recollections from our class presidents — Bernadette Bonano Kingham-Baez (freshman year), Caryle Murphy Howe (sophomore year), and Leah O’Leary (junior, senior year) — other classmates offered their own comments and memories of special faculty members. We then held a prayer service in celebration, remembrance and gratitude for our deceased classmates: Alyce Chase, Christine Eisenhardt Gardner, Ellen Garvey, Regina Ragosta Homoya, Barbara Watt Lawson, Mary Hogan Leslie, Joanne Mitchell, Robin Murphy, Bernadette Nohe, Francis Murray Oliver, Eleanor Petracca, Susan Malisek Reardon, Deirdre O’Meara Smith, Marion Martin Smith, Irene Kearney Walsh, Judy Doherty Waunsch, and Sheila Williams. As each woman’s name was announced, friends placed flowers in a vase. After Ginny Reilly’s beautiful guitar performance of the closing song, “Calling All Angels”, Joanne Lucey Ainsworth, who put together this truly moving service, led us in a final prayer:  “As we go forth from this gathering, we ask our God to bless us and make us holy. Called to seek peace and love in one another, we pray that wisdom and kindness guide our actions as we depart this holy space. God, be with us now, and always. Let us close with the prayer we said at the beginning of every class at Trinity. May the power of the Father govern and protect us. May the wisdom of the Son teach and enlighten us. May the love of the Holy Spirit renew and quicken us. May the blessing of the all Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever. Amen.” With tears in many eyes, we emerged from chapel, heading to our next event.

The luncheon in the Trinity Center was a time to mingle and catch up with old friends, and for some of us a chance to make new connections with ladies we were not so close to during our student days. Martha Andrews Ceresko and I discovered that we both had obtained nursing degrees after Trinity, had rewarding careers, and are still working part time as nurses. We discussed how satisfying it is to be in one of the few professions where an experienced person can keep working as much, or as little, as she wishes. Martha also shared that she has been in touch with Janie Horan Smith, who obtained a doctorate in neuroscience, worked for NIH, and lives near Charleston. Janie could not come to our reunion but sent her best to everyone. Liz Murphy Ward and Pamela Meyer Zuckerman had a chance to discuss their sons — Liz’s just got married for the first time and Pamela is still hoping for hers to do the same. All our classmates chatted as much as they could, but Mary Anne Sharer lamented, “I need an hour at least with each of you”, and Jane Dattilo Voigt summed it up, “So many friends, so little time!”

After lunch, the ’68ers received our 50-year medallion and posed for our class picture. There were so many of us, we barely got everyone on the stand and in the photo. Leaving Trinity Center, we made our way in small groups around Alumnae Hall, through the courtyard, and into Main’s marble corridor. Ginny Reilly took up her guitar again and led us in a well sing. There were not enough of us to populate the bannisters on all four floors, but some of us were on the second floor and can attest to the enduring magical acoustics as singing voices wafted up the well.

Saturday evening was our dinner party at the Sulgrave Club, an event sponsored by Nan Shaver Whalen, with souvenir CDs of Trinity Belle songs provided by our very own “belle”, Chris Taylor Power. A DJ provided 60’s music and most of us danced at least a little. We especially enjoyed the dance of this year’s newly-weds, Ann McKenna Fromm Payne and Bill, and Caryle Murphy Howe and Herb. Susan Barecca Smith assisted Caryle by holding her oxygen tank while Herb elegantly spun his wife around the floor. As we consumed the delicious buffet food, danced to old favorites, mingled and conversed, there was great joy, tinged with regret that there simply was not enough time to reconnect with everyone.

The final event was a lovely Sunday morning brunch at The Dubliner, which was organized by Kathy Doyle Field. In addition to the lively conversations, we were entertained by our very own stand-up comic, Joan Savarese, who presented a lighthearted summary of the weekend’s events. We laughed a lot and cried a little. Joan, who initially hadn’t planned to attend the reunion, was enticed by me to come. We shared a hotel room, poignant reminiscences of our deceased sisters, and laughter all weekend. Joan was “grateful for the opportunity to connect with my beautiful classmates”.

Here are more of the comments I received during and after the weekend.

Anne McGrath Thomas: “I was very moved by our reunion — most especially the liturgy for deceased classmates and the well-sing.  I had not expected to feel so much affection and pride and had a truly wonderful time.” Anne also remarked to me that she wished Ellie Hamill had been with us. Joan Parmelee Ruhl: “It was so nice to see so many of our classmates. It’s amazing how connected we still are after 50 years. Our class events were so very special, made that way by the work of so many on the committee. Especially poignant was the service in the chapel.” Carla Lyddan Hunter: “I had a super time. Particularly enjoyed breakfast. Our conversation made me wish we had been friends back in the day.” Kathy Bailey Donahue: “What an amazing weekend!  The schedule was so well done, and it was such a joy to be a part of it all.” It left us “with the realization how lucky are we to be such a truly wonderful ‘sisterhood’ of 68-ers.” Ginny Reilly:  The planning committee, especially the co-chairmen, Irene Horstmann Hannan and Pat Griffith Hollis, “knocked it out of the park!” Irene expressed her heartfelt thanks to all classmates who made generous financial donations of any size to our class gift to Trinity, which broke the record for class giving.

Paula Ganley Keefe: It was “the best reunion ever. Every detail, from special napkins, the CD (which I am loving and planning to share with my niece who was also a Belle), and the very moving service at the chapel and the luncheon to the fabulous party in the evening, was perfect! I’m so happy I went to Trinity. It is so impressive to hear of the accomplishments of our classmates. And everyone is so nice! Thinking about the Well Sing! I really miss those days, and the smoker sings too. My sister graduated from TC in ’58 and had a super time at her 60th, but she was so impressed with our class, and how well planned the weekend was.” Sally McKenney Branon: “I came with my cousin, Lisa Scholl, a Trinity graduate from the 80’s, and had a wonderful reconnection with my roommate Carla Lyddan Hunter.  As I go through old papers as part of downsizing, I found a picture of my 11-year-old self on the steps of Trinity at an older cousin’s graduation in the 1950’s. Trinity has played a key role in the life of four women in my family, and I’m so grateful to all who support the school and the education of women.  I am so proud of Trinity’s current work. The reunion was moving, inspirational and fun.”

Jane Dattilo Voigt: “I am still smiling as I think of the remarkable weekend we just spent! The venues were perfect, the food and drink wonderful, the Belles CD —such a trip back to our innocent youth!!—and sharing the whole thing with dear friends was the most delightful part of all.  I, more and more, believe that the friends I made at Trinity have never been equaled.” Chris Taylor Power: “I left the reunion with a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of Trinity, the education and friendships that began 50+ years ago and continue! Kudos to the reunion committee for orchestrating the ‘all-star’ events which flew by in a heartbeat. A quick shout-out to my roommate Judy O’Hare Ryan, my fellow Art History major Melissa Martinez Beard, and high school/TC classmate Susan Burkhardt Telford who were not able to join us; and finally to my dear Art History Professor, Dr. Ilona Ellinger who inspired me every day in her darkened classroom with slide lectures that enkindled my love of art and ultimately led me to pursue a career as Corporate Art Curator at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. I loved every minute of my time at TC and our reunion gathering.”

Lynda Montoya Haran: “It was amazing how so many special memories were relived during that one weekend.  It made me well aware that, although we have all traveled in many different directions since our Trinity days, the special values shaped during our years at Trinity have remained constant and we all clearly share a bond that has remained with us.” Kitty Lorenz: “Our delightful 50th Reunion reminded me why I always tell people that my four years at Trinity have been the most enriching of my life.” In addition to appreciating the chapel service and luncheon, Ellen Kennedy reminisced about curfew rules, trips to Georgetown and even some memories that are “less happy-go-lucky, especially the DC riots the day of Martin Luther King’s assassination”. On her way home from reunion she found herself singing “There uptowers a Red roofed building/ Home of wisdom and of truth/ Fortress firm of faith and knowledge/ Reverend even in early youth….”

Reunion attendees I have not mentioned above, but who expressed to me and others their pride in Trinity, their joy in reconnecting with classmates, and their gratitude for our fabulous weekend, are:  Denise Lynch Aguero, Gilda Calleja Ameijide, Cathy McGraw Bahl, Kathleen Blackburn, Teresa Brooks, Sharon Stoffel Chalmers, Ginny Crane, Sharon McIntyre Cranford, Ellen Delaney, Mary Kate Damien Dugan, Patricia Dwyer, Ilsa Figueroa, Mary Ellen Finigan, Mary Kelley Graefe, Maureen Matus Grosheider, Louise Fiocchi Gunderson, Genevieve Haddad, Susan Thomas Hollendoner, Joanne Mellow Jacovec, JoEllen Lucchi Joseph, Alison Burns Larkin, Lory Manning, Chris Tully McLaughlin, Suzanne O’Donnell McLaughlin, Carolyn Stazeski Morris, Margaret Moster, Betty Gallahue Nichols, Diana Powers Nicholson, Angela Murphy O’Connell, Maeve O’Toole, Maria Isobel Parra, Judy Smith Pastusek, Chris Casey Rath, Susan Saccoccia, Mary Anne Conti Salmon, Judy Poksienski Schick, Pamela Mularoni Shiells, Mary Wolfe Siciliano, Mary Kotte Smyth, Barbara Labriola Sonnino, Lila O’Brien Sullivan, Jean Giuliani Terheyden, Rita Cahill Toscano, Robin Collins Vermylen, Jane Drew Waller, June Maguire Wiehn, and Kate Woods.

Some reunion attendees sent me additional news this winter. Mary Anne Sharer reported that her son has taken a government job in Africa for a few years, and Mary Anne hopes to follow them for a good long visit with his family, especially her two young granddaughters. Meanwhile, on Amelia Island, she and Guy have established an affiliate of Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson’s Disease, a terrific life line for them. She also is an active civic volunteer and avid tennis player, and particularly loves playing with her college roommate, Anne McGrath Thomas, who also sent me a summary of her life since retiring from practicing law. She and Mary Anne have many Amelia Island friends and have hosted visits from classmates Diana Powers Nicholson and Mary Hamill. I had hoped to visit them last fall, but a hurricane got in the way. Anne has enjoyed a single life since her divorce and plans to retire in May from her position on the board of Cambridge Trust Company after 40 years of service.

My reunion roommate, Joan Savarese, sent news that her book about her deceased sister, Out-Dancing the Devil: A Journey of Faith, Laughter and Healing: The Story of Helene Savarese Gibbons, is now at the printer’s. People can contact her at joansbook@yahoo.com, if interested in getting a copy. Over the past two years Joan, in the character of sweet, slightly naive Aunt Polly, has also been writing letters to the president, in which she gently tries to correct his errors and says she is praying for him.. As Aunt Polly, Joan distributes the letters to interested folks. If anyone wants to receive them, please contact her at lettersfromauntpolly@yahoo.com. Happily, Joan received permission to report news from Mary Buckley Flannery. After 25 years of practicing pediatric medicine, at age 60 Mary completed a fellowship in child psychiatry, followed by a residency in general psychiatry, and is now a full-time child psychiatrist. Last May, Mary was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, but treatment has been successful and she continues to enjoy her life and her six grandkids.

Lila O’Brien Sullivan with her son’s family in Machu Picchu, Peru

Irene Horstmann Hannan reports that she is now a Trustee Emerita at Trinity and greatly values her work on behalf of its students and legacy. She has also retired from the bank where she worked for many years and has started a new job at a foundation which operates and manages 21 schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Lila O’Brien Sullivan‘s son Ted and his family are taking a year off from their NYC lives to travel the world. Lila has joined them in Machu Picchu, Peru, and next will meet them in Johannesburg, South Africa, and from there trek to Zimbabwe for a safari.

Update came from Leah O’Leary that in her home town of Norwood, MA, she is involved with several activities, “Library Trustees, Democratic Town Committee, running for Town Meeting member, to name a few.” She is also doing much work as a FEMA reservist: a month in TX with Hurricane Harvey, seven weeks in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria, and a month in CA working with the survivors of the Paradise Fire. Leah would like to put together a reunion of MA classmates and requests anyone interested to contact her. Jane Datillo Voigt reported that she and Howard traveled to London to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Chris Tully McLaughlin wrote “For me, it seems that life has become a journey of ups and downs, and I turn to prayer to get through the lows and give gratitude for the highs. I am blessed to celebrate 50 years of marriage to John this year, and a still growing family.”

Other classmates could not attend the reunion but sent news and greetings. Kathy Mansfield Tassini wrote from NJ that she and Jim are well and happy, enjoying golf, travel and their granddaughter. Jim is retired from his ophthalmology practice and she from being librarian for the local historical society. She remains an active volunteer in the archives and school programs, and is working hard on fund-raising for a new archives building. They recently returned from the trip of a lifetime to India with Rotary International, where they met wonderful Rotarians in Delhi and Dharamsala, had the great joy of an audience with the inspiring Dalai Lama, and participated in two days of administering oral polio vaccine as part of Rotary International’s commitment to eradicating polio worldwide. Working with many wonderful nurses, social workers and local Rotarians was “both an exhausting and unforgettable experience.”

Andreanne Temmel Rode expressed regret that she could not attend reunion, especially since her best TC fiends, Maeve and Gerry, were there. She and her partner, Dale, were going on a biking tour of Sri Lanka. “It takes skill,” she wrote, “to ride in Sri Lankan traffic with buses, cars, tuk tuks, water buffalo, and goats.  Scares the heck out of me at times.” I can imagine — scares me just thinking about it. Andreanne is hoping in the next few years to step back from her X-C ski shop and place it in the hands of young people who are as passionate about sports as she is. She also has a new granddaughter who is “so beautiful and a joy beyond words.”

Grateful for health, financial security, and a partner of 56 years, Allyson Gall is enjoying bird watching in Israel, volunteer work with Sierra Club, Social Justice Chair for her synagogue, and keeping up with four grandkids, ages 3-10. Only bad thing in 2018 was a broken sternum when her parachute deployed during sky diving over Cape Cod. (My first thought, thank goodness the parachute deployed!) Julia Ripley Glover checked in to say that she finally retired from organizational development consulting, youth development programming, and a singing career on the side. She is enjoying life on Whidbey Island with her husband of 46 years. Kathy Shaheen Sinnott remains involved in a refugee center and other volunteer activities.

Julia Ripley Glover was a singer with the Threshold Choir for several years, and through that spent a lot of time with hospice patients. Here’s a link to something I sang for some of these patients, right up until the time they died — can you imagine frail elderly patients “flapping their wings” with me as I would celebrate their coming freedom? Totally heart-opening! https://youtu.be/8aOZ-aWaKdU If people copy this link into their browser, they can hear me singing this brief song (which is all about the joy of life — which is what I would most like to share with everyone!) Hi to all from Julie Glover :o)

Marie Ruzicka Hardenbrook was not able to attend our 50th reunion but is grateful for her experience at Trinity, most especially for the friendship of Sally McKenna Brennan, Mary Kay Wood, Mary Ann Tate, and Paula Ganley. My eternal gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Edna Fluegel who took me under her wing. She retired as Director of Secondary Education at Vanderbilt University in January 2010. What’s new since her retirement? She’s engaged in political and social activism as well as educational consulting –all these endeavors keep her busy!  Most importantly, she and her husband Vance celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary in 2018. Their two sons and three grandchildren are doing well! All peace and good for the New Year!

Jane Dammen McAuliffe, a world-renowned scholar of Islam and a senior leader at the Library of Congress, delivered this year’s Commencement address to the Class of 2019 and received an honorary degree from The College of the Holy Cross.

Before I close, a reminder for us to fully communicate with each other in this cyber age: You may at any time submit photos or notes directly to Trinity by going to https://discover.trinitydc.edu/alums/class-notes-submission-form/. If you are trying to contact an old classmate, email a request to me. If she is willing to share her email address, I would be happy to reconnect you.

I am doing well. My lung function has not improved, but not declined either. I am staying as active as I can, which includes weekly line dancing, Mah Jongg, Canasta, and Pinochle. I still work part time as a hospice nurse, travel around the states, and enjoy spending time with my grandsons. Our 50th reunion was the highlight of 2018, as I’m sure it was for many of you. I hope we will see each other again at the next one. Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who sent comments and news. Blessings to you all.

Noel Mariam, Class of ‘68 scribe