1973: Summer 2016

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Sara “Sally” Parkhurst Van Why

I asked classmates on my email contact list for stories about running into other Hood alums.  I thought this would be a fun theme for this column because I already had three stories.  Well I still only have those three stories.  Leslie Hawkins wrote that you just never know when those Hood connections show up. She was on a Caribbean cruise in late February with her older sister; at dinner they had the usual introductions shared around the table with names and where they were from. One woman mentioned she was from Maryland, Leslie said she had gone to college in Frederick, at Hood. The other woman responded that she also was a Hood graduate, Class of 91, and she turned to the rest of the table, and announced that they were fellow Hoodlums. Small world. Leslie is still working in health care administration, now at a health system in southeastern Washington but plans to retire in early 2017.  Alicia Parlatore Payne wrote that the speaker at one of her community Women’s Club meetings was local author, Cheryl Carlson Peyton ’66, whose first of eight books is entitled Six Minutes to Midnight. Alicia also met another Hood alumna, Mary Bloodgood VanHyning ’68. Mary is a greeter for new residents in the community where Alicia has recently moved near Knoxville, TN. Toni Lucia wrote that in April, President Chapdelaine visited NYC and was hosted at a reception held by Trustee Judy Messina ’66.  She said that it was great fun seeing so many alums and impressive to hear about the programs and the progress the college continues to make.  Toni especially appreciated President Chapdelaine’s enthusiasm and her respect for the culture and standards that define Hood.  Mary Stevenson wrote that she and Charlotte Miller Ponticelli (aka Charlie) had a planned, not chance, encounter in January.  Mary continues full time with her professional duties (academic, research and administrative) as a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. Charlie continues her professional work with various human rights and political organizations as well as various volunteer activities with local organizations. Her latest project is at the local prison where she meets with Hispanic inmates and provides spiritual counseling.  Ann Jones also had a planned meeting with fellow classmate Pat Funari Bevacqua. They had a wonderful weekend together while Ann was in Washington DC at The Garden Club of America’s annual National Affairs & Legislation (NAL) meeting. Several classmates wrote to tell me that they has not had any recent Hood encounters but filled me in on their news. Debbie Christ Zourdos has been elected to the Hood College Board of Associates for a three year term beginning this summer.  She is honored to serve the college we all love so much. She is also a new grandmother!  Amy Hanley Dove, her husband, and 8 others from their church went on a 10 day mission trip to Rwanda at the Urukundo Children’s Home/Village. Kathy Nixdorff Wilson hasn’t run into anyone lately, but has seen a few Hood stickers on people’s cars.  Her son was recently married. I want to finish with more from Leslie Hawkins. Leslie wrote “My mother passed away in December, one month shy of her 90th birthday, and her failing health in the past year had consumed much of my attention and emotion.  It truly was a blessing to know she is without pain, and with my father now, but of course those losses always take a piece of your heart, and remind you of losses that seem to come more frequently as we get older.”  This sums up my own feelings as my mother ages, and I am sure the feelings of many of you whether your own parents are aging or no longer with you.  One more reason to keep the connections we have alive and well.  I am grateful to hear from so many of you.  If you have stories, please let me know and I will include them in the next column.




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