Hot! Hot! Hot! Yes, the summer has been hot, but I am talking about our spring Smith Club activities!
The annual meeting on May 6 celebrated the publication of the club’s renowned Oral History Project, Strong Women Building Strong Communities: Book 2, and honored the women whose stories are told in the book. A slideshow narrated by Smithies who worked on the project highlighted the childhoods, Smith experiences, careers and volunteer activities, accomplishments, and challenges faced by this amazing group of women. It was a moving and motivating experience. To think we have such incredible women in Minnesota and that they all come from our dear Smith College! Several of the guests and spouses there took time after the event to let me know how touched and impressed they were. Amanda Geno, Development Officer from Smith College, who was there representing the college, e-mailed to say: “What an incredible, dedicated group of alumnae you have in Minnesota…. Given the Club’s amazing oral history work, there are few other alumnae in the country who understand so well the importance of preserving women’s historical materials.”
Many, many club members worked to preserve these stories in published form: the interviewees, interviewers, transcribers, writers, editors, and committee members who shepherded the whole project. Their names appear in the sidebar to this article. In addition to aknowledging the women who so graciously agreed to share their stories, I want especially to thank Laurie Kramer ’69, Betsey Whitbeck ’71, Marty Swain ’71, Margaret Nikoleit ’84, and Holly Dowds ’71; they spearheaded the project and provided excellent editorial support. And Laurie did a spectacular job creating the slideshow. We were also fortunate to have several women from Book 1 join in May celebration. This project is known throughout the Smith College alumnae world, and many clubs are interested in learning from us.
During the business meeting, Smith Day Chairs Peggy Leppik ’65, Elissa Mautner ’77, and I unveiled this year’s Smith Day theme—Smith Day on Broadway—in a musical skit. New officers were elected: Stephanie Frost ’77 as secretary (she graciously agreed to take on another term), and Justina Roberts ’06 as vice president . Justina has also been selected by the Alumnae Association to be the Regional Alumnae Admissions Coordinator for the Midwest! We thanked Becky McManus for her excellent service to the club as outgoing vice president. Becky did a great job organizing the annual meeting as her last official duty!
Good news was reported on the club’s finances. We sent $4,800 to the college to support two Praxis internships; and we sent $15,000 for our club’s endowed scholarship fund. At the end of 2011, this fund had reached more that $2.2 million. We are approaching the fund’s 50th anniversary in 2014! (To keep our club and our endowed fund strong, we need you to pay your dues, purchase Book 2, and shop at Smith Day! All of this can be accomplished September 8 at Smith Day on Broadway.)
Other HOT events this spring included valentine making, hosted by Emily Hagens ’10. Participants not only brought home homemade and heartfelt valentines, but they feasted on delicious brunch fare. About 20 Smithies and their guests toured the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s State and Orpheum theaters and then adjourned for happy hour at Solera. The tour included the chance to go on stage, backstage, and learn about the architecture and decors that make these theaters gems of the Twin Cities.
Then, on March 18, about 20 Smithies and their guests toured the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s State and Orpheum theaters and adjourned for happy hour at Solera. The tour included the chance to go onstage, tour the backstage area, and learn about the architecture and decors that make these theaters such gems of the Twin Cities.
In April, the AACs (Alumnae Admissions Coordinators) organized the shipping of finals-week care packages to about 30 on-campus Minnesota Smith students. Special thanks go to Ann Simonds, Stephanie Frost, and Ann Carr for providing food and goodies for the packages. We received wonderful thank you notes from the students, who feel very supported by our club.
And on July 1, just as this newsletter was going to press, 15 Smithies and their guests enjoyed kayaking the Mississippi River. How fun to be on the river looking up at the cliffs, while getting a good workout too!
I look forward to seeing you at Smith Day, September 8. Working and shopping at Smith Day are terrific ways to meet and reconnect with the wonderful Smith women in Minnesota. If you have never attended before, let me know and I will make sure you meet some great new friends. Have a fun summer. We will have even more HOT events in the fall.
Barbara Klaas ’74