1. 1973: Summer 2016

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    1973

    Sara “Sally” Parkhurst Van Why
    814-623-1557
    sallyvanwhy@gmail.com

    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.

     

     

     

  2. 1973 Class News- Fall 2015

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    Sara (Sally) Parkhurst Van Why
    814-623-1557
    sallyvanwhy@gmail.com

    Sara ‘Sally’ Parkhurst Van Why I started the last Hood column with a quote about the importance of our college friends. Continuing with that theme, I asked through email for comments. Donna Simmons Maneely wrote that her Hood friendships are still important to her and ongoing 40+ years after graduation. She treasures sharing birthday and Christmas greetings (and a few e-mails too) between close classmates and enjoyable outings several times a year with another dear local Hood friend from the Class of 1968. “Whenever we are lucky enough to be in touch, I feel like a happy girl of age 21 again as all these easygoing uplifting friendships are refreshed. Time has not stopped the Hood bonds of caring and friendship.” Lorraine Sharp Kish shared that a group of her Hood friends try to keep in touch regularly through email and social media. Some even snail mail birthday and Christmas cards to each other. They are always in each other’s thoughts. Ann Jones just had an hour long phone conversation with Patricia Funari Bevacqua. Ann is so grateful for their friendship and even though they don’t see each other very often, they love to connect. They shared special memories of dad and daughter weekends. My roommate, Katherine Nixdorff Wilson, loves seeing folks at the reunions some 40 years after we all started together in 1969, sending birthday cards to each other through our 30ties, 40ties, 50ies and now 60ties, plus seeing class mates when they attend other events such as when a whole bus load who came from Frederick to support Marcia Coyle DiBiagio for a Hood book signing in DC. She also has monthly lunches with Marcia, occasional lunches with Deborah Christ Zourdos when she is not down south playing golf, and encounters with Charlie on the train from Baltimore to DC. All of this means the connections are still there and very meaningful. Charlotte Miller Ponticelli says her Hood friendships and memories of those friendships have been a constant source of joy in her life. What she loved about Hood was the ability to move among various groups and really enjoy the patchwork of friends who might unexpectedly emerge from one day to the next. She is so glad she has had the chance to attend every single one of our class reunions! She says it’s true we tend to have a pretty small turn-out, but at every single reunion, there’s that old patchwork of friends, some we were very close to while at Hood and others we hardly knew at all. All it takes is a couple of us coming together to talk about the “remember whens”. The years melt away, the friendships endure… and somehow there we are, in microcosm: The Class of ’73! I, Sally Parkhurst Van Why, am part of a group that have been writing a round robin chain letter since we graduated. Patricia Suydam Ritter says that she believes that some of the friendships that she made at Hood still exist today due to our chain letter. “It’s so easy to let things “slide” – but when you have made a promise to six others to keep the letter moving around so that you’ll get it back with new info within six months – you keep it going. This friendship is so special because we are all the same age and have all been through many different stages of life – both the good and the bad and have been able to share, support and celebrate with each other through them. It’s a privilege and an honor to be part of such a caring group of people.” Anntoinette Lucia sums up all these comments by expressing how she treasures her Hood friendships. “Whether it is through mini-reunions, dinners, letters, birthday cards or email, there is something wonderful about having women in your life who “knew you when.” Nothing compares to sharing a laugh or reminiscing about the old times, some better than others. What is especially wonderful is how our relationships have morphed over the years. We can credit those bonds that formed all those years ago for the loving and supportive friendships we have today.” I also treasure my friendships from our Hood days and new ones that have developed since I started writing this column. If anyone else has friendship stories you would like to share, please send them to me for the next column.

  3. 1973: Summer 2015

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    Sara (Sally) Parkhurst Van Why
    814-623-1557
    sallyvanwhy@gmail.com

    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.

  4. 1973: Summer 2014

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    1973
    Sara “Sally” Parkhurst Van Why
    sallyvanwhy@gmail.com

    It was wonderful to hear from so many of you. Amy Hanley Dove reported that things are exciting at her home. Her son graduated from the Univ. of Pittsburgh in April; her daughter just returned from two years in New Zealand and her son’s wedding was in early August. Sue Holaday Converse will have a wedding for her son next May. Her twins are now 22; Rob will be a senior at Bryant Univ. in the fall and Jenn continues to pursue her dance career in NYC. Sue is working in NYC as a senior vice president and chief financial officer for a trade association, Television Bureau of Advertising. She would love to hear from alums in NYC! On a sadder note, Sherry Kemp spent six months in five different hospitals because she nearly lost her leg in 2011. She did lose the use of it; there is a 24” titanium rod in it. She has been learning alternative ways to do things, including trying to boost her upper body strength to compensate. She has people in place to help and plans to continue to run her farm. Her gardening is limited to what she can grow in containers but the art and music have not suffered at all. She will have her annual show in her studio in late fall. She said that she has no regrets and everything to be grateful for. Every new day is a gift, no matter what happens. Ann Jones is still selling real estate. She recently helped her dad celebrate his 90th birthday. She is involved with various clubs and charitable organizations and for fun she plays bridge every week. She took a vacation last year to Tucson and planned to return in the fall. Peggy Weinbeck loves ballroom dancing and has competed in states across the mid-Atlantic. She accomplished her dream of going to the Galapagos Islands and got to see the blue footed booby. In July, she planned to do an intergenerational trip with a granddaughter. They planned to spend five days in Yellowstone with Road Scholar. She is still a public school district administrator. Her three children are scattered across the country, but she is fortunate that her two granddaughters are nearby. She has fun visits with Mary Beth Layfield Law. Lorraine Sharp Kish is enjoying many volunteer opportunities in the community. Most enjoyable is volunteering as a Colonial America historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania. She continues her longtime hobby of exploring her family genealogy. In addition to the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, she has found the time to enjoy membership in colonial themed societies. She hopes her children, grandkids and great-grandkids yet to come will share an interest in preserving family history. Toni Mathias Harvey and her husband Ted continue to be a part of the hospitality industry by meeting guests from far and wide with The Inn at Lost River and Lost River General Store and Café in Lost River, W.Va. Her three children and wonderful 4-year-old grandson live on the West Coast, so there is a lot of cross country commuting. If any other classmates are considering owning and operating a B&B, she would be more than happy to share the insight and knowledge they have gained over the past eight years. Toni Lucia reported that her summer had gotten off to a great start with family and friends. In particular, she and Laura Lee Miller Bowes were able to catch up in NYC in June over a lovely lunch. Marcia Coyle DiBiagio, H’08 and her husband Ray celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in May, but decided to really celebrate next year with a trip to Ireland. Her book—The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution—came out in paperback in May and seems to be doing well. Both kids are living at home. Her son is working, but not in his field and is looking. He is also in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and spending July in the Mojave Desert (not fun!). Marcia says her daughter whose theme song is Cindi Lauper’s, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, is on the very slow train through the community college. She enjoys having them home. Kathy Nixdorff Wilson has an office a few blocks from Marcia in D.C., and they have been able to get together for lunch. Last November Hood sponsored a reception and book signing for Marcia at Union Station in D.C. Sherry Bronski Waltz, Alicia Parlatore Payne and husband, Kathy Nixdorff Wilson and I were able to attend. I highly recommend Marcia’s book. I recently took my mom to her 65th college reunion. Now there is a goal I think we should all aim for, 2038 – mark it on your calendars.

     

  5. 1973: Winter 2014

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    Class Reporter: Class of 1973

    Sara Parkhurst Van Why
    (814) 623-1557
    sallyvanwhy@gmail.com

    I am continuing with the random memory theme from the last column.  Leslie Hawkins remembers her time in Spain and celebrating her return to Hood.  Debbie Christ Zourdos remembers attending a meeting freshman year in the Coblentz smoker.  She says we went in p.j.s and rollers and were encouraged to strike against the Vietnam War.  She told everyone, including Dr. Lewis, that she would be going to class!  Smokers, now there is a flash from the past.  Other memories include: desk girls, call boards, the difference between a visitor and a caller, singing to our big sisters, the Pergola, Body Mechanics pictures, signing the honor code at the end of our exams, parietal hours, Gambrill State Park, Rowdy Cabin, Touchstone, Blue and Grey Newspaper, Figgy pudding, Strawberry Breakfast, Mixers, Strawn Cottage, the Child Development Lab, and Dawn Elliot.  In our four years at Hood, there were three presidents of the college –Elliott, Erck, and Pritchard.  There have only been three since we left.  I ended the last column debating whether to share my roommate’s memories of my lack of certain talents.  Kathy Nixdorff Wilson had to suffer through my learning how to sew, but at least now I can. I think my mother still has the brown blouse. Our other big joke was the history test I almost failed freshman year.  We had a bet that we wouldn’t remember my grade in 10 years.  Well needless to say we both know I got a D.  The funniest thing is that now history is one of my favorite things. As I think back on these memories; I have also been reflecting on all I gained from my time at Hood. Wonderful friends, memories and education. Hood certainly started us on a great path even if it wasn’t the one we thought we would take.  P.S. Hood is still trying to move me into the future by making me do this column on line.  Hope it gets to where it is supposed to go.

  6. 1973: Winter 2013

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    Well my great plan to use a different method of news gathering failed miserably. So, you will have to come to our 40th reunion June 7-9, 2013, to meet, greet and hear everyone’s news first hand. It will be a wonderful opportunity to really catch up with our fellow classmates. I have heard from many who are planning to come. I am truly looking forward to seeing all of you, especially since I have been writing to and for you these last few years. The only thing to report is the sad news that BJ Schuler passed away September 1 after battling cancer for a few years. I know how she will be missed. She was such a joyful asset to our class. On a personal note, if you are in or get to the Philadelphia area, I strongly recommend that you see the newly opened Prohibition exhibit at the National Constitution Center. It is fabulous and I am not just saying that because my daughter, Beth, is the project manager of exhibits. I hope to see each of you in June.

    Class Reporter:

    Sara Parkhurst Van Why
    (814) 623-1557
    sallyvanwhy@gmail.com

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