1973: Summer 2015

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Sara (Sally) Parkhurst Van Why

In a convocation address Ann Patchett said to an incoming freshman class, “After the opportunity to learn, the best thing about going to college is all the friends you’re going to make.  There are people in this room today you’ve never met who will become some of the most important people in your lives, and long after you’ve forgotten the papers you wrote or the grades you made, you will still have those friends.”  I heard this in the audio book, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage on my way to have lunch with one of my many college friends Sherry Bronski Waltz. I have been made aware of this truth over and over during the last four years of writing this column. The friends we made 40-plus years ago are very important and hopefully this column helps us keep up with the lives of those with whom we may have otherwise lost touch. Helen Metzger Zumsteg wrote that Ann Stevens Johnsen visited Helen and her husband Rick. Helen is retired from banking and Ann is semi-retired, still working part-time as a dietitian for a hospital. Helen has a new grandson and Ann’s three grandchildren have all graduated from high school. They love comparing notes on the joys of being grandmothers. Helen wrote “It’s hard to believe that it has been over 40 years since Ann and I met. What a great friendship we have!” The friend theme continues as Kathy Nixdorff Wilson wrote that she and Marcia Coyle DiBiagio, H’08 are able to get together for lunch. Sue Morrow Cawley wrote that the last time she sent in any information was back in the late 80’s when her daughter Erin was recovering from bone cancer. She is happy to report that Erin is now almost 37 and has two wonderful sons. Sue’s other daughter Megan is married and a behavioral therapist. Sue and husband Buc still live in Pittsburgh but also have a home in Cape May, N.J. Since Buc’s retirement two years ago, they’ve been dividing their time between both homes and taking many trips. Pam Callis Diers ’74 stayed with them in Cape May. They hadn’t seen each other since she was in their wedding almost 39 years ago! Sue said, “It was wonderful–we picked up right where we left off! We relived our Hood days, talked non-stop and laughed a lot! Some friendships are timeless!” Charlie Miller Ponticelli recently heard from Ellen Buck Schwark.  Ellen’s daughter Lucy has been teaching in Peru where she met a wonderful young man she will soon be marrying. Ellen’s step-daughter Beth is also planning to wed, so Ellen will soon be sewing two wedding dresses. Charlie is program director for the American Committees on Foreign Relations, adjunct professor at Catholic Univ., plus she does some pro bono work for Afghanistan as a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council (USAWC).  She said that it is often quite a balancing act, but there have been some interesting moments. She went to Dallas in February for a USAWC meeting hosted by Laura Bush along with the new first lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani. In March, she attended the State Department’s dinner for Afghan Pres. Ghani and chief executive Abdullah. Ann Jones wrote that her dear 90-year-old father died at the end of September. He always flew in for Dad ’n Daughter weekend. He was a big part of her life since her mother died in 2010. Ann has been doing storytelling and in November made a solo appearance at a pub in Chicago telling a story. Amy Hanley Dove reported that her daughter has returned to New Zealand for a graduate program in primary teaching. She is away again after having just been there for two years. While Toni Lucia continues in her consulting work, she has also been busy with board assignments. In addition to her role on the board of advisors for Better Communications, Inc., she has recently joined the Advisory Board of NetSpeed Learning Solutions and the board of directors and executive team of the Instructional Systems Association. I, Sally Parkhurst Van Why, have just become a grandmother for the second time. My husband and I toured the southwest in our RV in the fall and had the joy of seeing Jill Schonek Pollard while we were in Florida this winter. Keep enjoying those Hood friendships, I know that I do.

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