1968: Winter 2017

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Sharon Burns Walsh

I had a special request from our Class Giving Co-Chairs Sandra Gerwin Herndon and Charlotte Sizoo Whitenight to include the following in our class column: “Sandy and Charlotte want to thank classmates who contributed to the 2015-2016 Giving Campaign. Our 50th is fast approaching, and they have kept us informed of “nascent” 50th fund-raising plans in recent Giving letters.  Now they’re reminding us of the need to get seriously started.  Our classmates at the 45th liked the idea of an endowed scholarship.  Surprisingly, this requires less money than you’d think–$50,000 minimum at a 4% interest rate will result in an annual scholarship of $2,000.  With Hood’s $48,000 annual tuition and room and board, many students are cobbling together small scholarships so even our modest scholarship will be helpful to a student and will exist as long as Hood exists.  If we raise more than $50,000, we can increase the scholarship amount for a single student or perhaps award more than one scholarship.  Giving Year 2016-2017 contributions go to general operating funds, not to the scholarship. Now we need to set-up a steering committee of 4 to 6 members to address issues such as scholarship name, eligibility and selection criteria. Sandy and Charlotte live in the greater Washington area but volunteers from anywhere in the country are welcome.  Just email Charlotte at charwnt@aol.com. We are a generous class both in terms of our financial support and our long-term, continuing friendships.  Let’s all support our class by contributing to the Class Gift and attending the Reunion.”  Co-chair Sandy Gerwin Herndon also sent a personal update.  She has been caring for and living with her 95 year-old-mother in Bethesda, MD for the past four years.  Her son and his wife design jewelry, and moved into Sandy’s home in Shady Side, MD about a year ago.  Her two daughters live in Maine and Georgia. Sandy is the proud grandmother of six and continues to work part time in a catholic high school as an assistant in their campus ministry office. Note from the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving:  It would be great to identify a few lead gifts from classmates for the establishment of the scholarship.  Additionally it is customary for the 50th reunion class to also give to the Hood Fund during their reunion year.  This fund allows for support of scholarships for all Hood students in addition to the establishment of a scholarship.  (Minimum of $50,000 is needed to endow the scholarship as stated above.)  Contact Charlotte if you are interested in giving a lead gift (minimum of $5000 to the endowed scholarship effort). Donna Nelson Hyde is retired and living in Aliso Viejo, California. She loved teaching both music and 6th grade for 38 years in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District.  She has enjoyed conducting 2 children’s choirs at Irvine Presbyterian Church for 21 years but is planning on this being her last year so that she has more time for traveling. She somehow manages to find time to sing in an adult choir, ring hand bells at her church and volunteer for charity work with her sorority. The last two years she has participated in mission trips helping to refurbish a school in Swaziland and installing a playground with Kids Around the World in Jericho, Israel. She says,” I loved visiting these countries and really getting to know the people and gaining a better understanding of their cultures.” She makes several trips east each year, visiting her mom in PA and other family in VA. She keeps in touch with her roommate, Laurie Kammler Kaye, and has gotten together with Debby Mattas Willis.  She adds, “I’m looking forward to our 50th! This time I won’t be in the middle of a children’s musical.” Lots of news from Gwen Ebersole Lehman who lives about half an hour from me in Ocean Pines, MD.  Gwen retired in June 2015 from Stephen Decatur High School where she became something of a legend for the drama productions she directed and often wrote.  In her honor, former students and colleagues established the Friends of Gwen Lehman Foundation to raise money for scholarships for students interested in theater studies.  Ron and I attended her retirement party, and it was apparent that Gwen was beloved by all who worked with her and were taught by her. Gwen reports that the Foundation was able to award a scholarship this year to a young woman at Sarah Lawrence.  Her husband Don retired this year, and they bought a second home in Landowne, PA so they can spend more time with their two grandsons.  She has begun to paint and even exhibited a couple pieces in Ocean City, MD, is working on a young readers’ book, continues to write plays for the high school, and does volunteer work at the Art League and for county counseling services.  Remember that we need 4 to 6 steering committee volunteers for the Hood scholarship. Say “yes” and you’ll be doing a wonderful service for your class and for future Hood students.


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