1978: Winter 2013

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Jo-Ann Bourguignon said, “Like many of my classmates, when I begin to think of composing a note, I become overwhelmed by, “Where do I begin, it has been so long.” Well, first, I will have to say that I have been sweet-talked into co-chairing the class of ’78’s 35th reunion in June with Julie Orvis. Classmate Julie (Massachusetts neighbor) convinced me that by combining our event planning acumen, we could possibly manage this event from afar (Massachusetts!), with our combined contacts and friends for advice and support. Julie is all about technology, so she is enthusiastically also organizing a tangential reunion of our dorm, “IDC … The Barn.” Last month, I learned that another Hood contact and former work connection in D.C., Tonya Thomas Finton, stepped up to manage our reunion donations! This is great news for our class. I have not been to the campus since 1999, and I am very excited to get together with my friends, and meet new ones. Speaking of reconnecting, imagine my surprise when I ran into Linda Pearce Prestley in November. I met up with a U.S. Air cronie/Conn., friend to attend a community production of My Fair Lady in West Hartford, Conn., before Thanksgiving. After the show, we were in the lobby connecting our thoughts, and I ran into “Judge” Linda! Linda was a cast member of the production’s London Ensemble. I had not had time to read the program before the curtain went up, so I had no idea she was in the production. This past spring I saw my good friend Georgiana Van Syckle ’77, who flew in from Columbus to visit after Easter for a quick visit. I also heard from Joanne Frazier ’81, who has left the West Coast and moved inland to Arizona to be closer to family. Otherwise, I would have to say that life has turned into a routine phase for me at the moment. It has been more than 12 years since I moved back to Massachusetts. I have been working at Univ. of Mass. Amherst for 11 years, starting my current position in the Polymer Research Center/Nanotechnology group back in October 2010. It is a huge leap for a political science major (who knew that by changing a single letter I would be settling into learning about the world of poly science and hierarchical manufacturing). I have always thrived on stress, and love finding jobs doing things I have never done before, so this was a perfect fit. I was thrilled to get to learn something new and out of my comfort zone (I always try to play tennis with someone better than me); I did not think that after I hit 50 years old, it would be possible to find someone to extend another challenge.”

Susan Smith reported, “My husband Darby retired last December 31, 2011. We have really been enjoying his retirement. We have done a little bit of travel, but the best trip is yet to come. We plan to sail on March 2, 2013, on the Disney Fantasy for a seven-day tour of the Western Caribbean. Our daughter Catherine is going on four years as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at Bethesda Naval, now Walter Reed National Medical Center. She loves the job and is very good at it. Our son Darby Brady and his wife Dawn just moved into a cute little house near us. Darby B. is now a manager with Lowe’s in Gaithersburg, Md., and he loves the job. Janice Rodnick Ambrose graduated from Antioch School of Law in 1981. She is an associate judge of the District Court of Maryland for Frederick County (since January 2000). She is married to Tim Ambrose and has three children and three grandchildren; life is good.

Julie Orvis is working with Jo-Ann Bourguignon as the class reunion chair for 2013, as well as planning a side reunion with many friends from the Class of ’76 to ’82 that were part of the Intentional Democratic Community (IDC) the “Barn” folks. “We are organizing a reunion of the “coffeehouse” with the musicians we will all remember (many of them are still in and around Frederick and still performing!) on the night of our class dinner––both will be at Brewer’s Alley, which will be converted to the coffeehouse at the end of our dinner. All classes during that era and at reunion that weekend will be invited. More about that in communications to come! I am currently the event planner for Historic Deerfield, a wonderful museum of Colonial New England Life in Massachusetts. I was privileged to get an apartment in the village this year after my divorce and now live where I work,” said Julie.

Kelly Walfred Miller and her husband Ed are still busy with their law practice. Kelly wrote, “We are super proud of our daughter Kelly Ann who is the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Greater Westminster, Md. (formerly known as junior Miss America pageant). She will be off to college next fall pursuing an accelerated bachelor of science and master of science in the physician assistant program with a specialized minor in Spanish for health care providers. I am looking forward to our class reunion!” Deb Bohn Brown was wondering who will be at reunion? She reported, “I am still in Little Compton, R.I. My kids are almost flown––Whew! Nathaniel, my youngest, is a senior in high school and applying to college. My oldest, Patrick, is in his third year at the Univ. of Rhode Island.

Gail MacDougal Friedenfeld wrote, “I have two beautiful children, Hannah and Jordan, and two wonderful stepsons, Brenden and Matt. I am now remarried to Mark Friedenfeld. My career as a teacher started when we graduated from Hood in 1978 and continues today. I taught nursery school for a while, and then took a second grade teaching position in West York Area School district (York, Pa.) 21 years ago and I am still working in that school district. I kept the second grade teaching position for nine years, then received my reading specialist certificate and took a reading specialist position for the next nine years. I am now a literacy coach for grades 3-5 in the two elementary school buildings within the district. This is my fourth year in that position and I love it!

Class Reporter:

Suzanne Bohn Richardson
(703) 298-7066

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