148th Annual Meeting held virtually


On June 6, 2020, the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College hosted the 148th Annual Meeting virtually. With more than 500 alumnae in attendance from across the globe, viewers heard from Mount Holyoke College President Sonya Stephens and Alumnae Association President Maria Mossaides ’73, P’04. Attendees also voted on the election of new board and committee members and approved the proposed bylaw changes.

A favorite part of the program for many, class presidents from five reunion classes, 1945, 1970, 1995, 2015, and 2020 took turns reading their class histories. The class histories for all 2020 reunion classes can be found here. Closing out the meeting was the singing of the alma mater, followed by a virtual Laurel Parade video that included photos submitted by more than 1,000 alumnae in celebration of the class of 2020.

Alumnae Association and Advancement Awards

As part of the program, the Alumnae Association and the Office of Advancement bestowed awards to alumnae and reunion classes. In her presentation, Vice President for Advancement and Acting Vice President of Communications and Marketing Kassandra Jolley announced the winners of the Sphinx, Pegasus, Lion and Griffin awards for each reunion weekend:

The Sphinx Award

Awarded to the reunion class with the highest total participation in giving to Mount Holyoke during the reunion fiscal year.

Reunion I
1970 with 59% participation 

Reunion II
1955 with 83% participation 

The Pegasus Award

Awarded to the reunion class that raises the most total dollars for immediate use through The Mount Holyoke Fund during the reunion fiscal year. 

Reunion I
1970 with $653,394 to The Mount Holyoke Fund

Reunion II
1965 with $364,583 to The Mount Holyoke Fund

The Lion Award

Awarded to the reunion class with the highest total giving to all funds for the previous four years and the current reunion year.

Reunion I
1970 with a five-year total of $5,562,830

Reunion II
1960 with a five-year total of $3,525,562

The Griffin Award

Awarded to the reunion class with the highest percentage of Laurel Chain Society members. 

Reunion I
1950 with 81% of classmates Laurel Chain Society members

Reunion II
1955 with 98% of classmates Laurel Chain Society members

Learn more at

Congratulations to the 2020 alumnae award winners recognized for outstanding achievements and dedicated service to the Alumnae Association and/or College. The Alumnae Association’s reunion awards program recognizes the contributions of outstanding alumnae. Two volunteer alumnae award committees select recipients based on a 12-month vetting process that includes extensive research on each nominee. View a complete list of all past winners  or recommend an alum for a future award.

Alumnae Association Executive Director Nancy Bellows Perez ’76 presented the awards during the virtual ceremony.

Mary Graham Davis Leadership Award

Awarded to an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership in service of both the College and the Alumnae Association.

Susan Beers Betzer, class of 1965, served as president of the Alumnae Association from 2003–2006, during a pivotal moment in the relationship between the Alumnae Association and the College following the signing of the landmark agreement between the two. Her substantial and ongoing contributions to both the Alumnae Association and the College span more than two decades.

Achievement Award

Awarded to an alum for outstanding achievements and service to society that exemplify the values and virtues set forth by the College.

Rosemarie Marshall Johnson, class of 1960, is a highly regarded anesthesiologist for more than 40 years and is known as a leader in community and public health.

Helen Desfosses, class of 1965, professor emerita of public administration and policy and Africana studies at the State University of New York at Albany, is an expert in politics, public policy and campaigns and elections.

Pamela Giles Bailey, class of 1970, is a nationally recognized leader in the private and public sector whose work has focused on the creation health and food safety laws and regulations.

Joele Frank, class of 1970, is a nationally renowned expert in mergers and acquisitions and is among an elite group of public relations professionals who have served as counselor to senior executive teams and boards of directors as they manage complex and delicate situations.

Lila Mary Gierasch, class of 1970, is a distinguished professor and current head of the chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology programs at the University of Massachusetts, in addition to serving as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Susan D. Kare, class of 1975, is considered one of the most notable contemporary American graphic designers. Part of the original Apple Macintosh design team in the 1980s, she now serves as creative director for Pinterest.

Lydia J. Young, class of 1975, is a distinguished physicist who is recognized for her excellence in leadership in her role at SLAC, one of three Department of Energy national accelerator laboratories.

Priscilla Painton, class of 1980, is vice president and executive editor at Simon & Schuster and has edited numerous bestselling books on history, science, religion, economics, spirituality and American society.

Kavita Nandini Ramdas, class of 1985, is a globally-recognized advocate for gender equity and justice and currently serves as the director of the Women’s Rights Program at the Open Society Foundations.

Marcia Clare Hofmann, class of 2000, is a lawyer whose career has focused on a broad range of civil liberties issues including computer security, electronic privacy, free expression and copyright.

Alumnae Medal of Honor

Awarded to an alum at their twentieth reunion or beyond for long-term eminent service and significant leadership in promoting the effectiveness of the Alumnae Association and/or College.

Charlotte N. Church, class of 1970, has served as head class agent and advancement volunteer for nearly 30 years, in addition to being active in her local clubs. More recently, her human resources experience benefited the Alumnae Association as she served as a member of the Volunteer Stewardship Committee.

Nancy L. Sun, class of 1980, played a major role in launching the inaugural Alumnae Symposium in Asia, held in Hong Kong in 2014, helping to create meaningful engagement with a large community of alumnae and helping to achieve a significant increase in student enrollment from Asia.

Ann Blake, class of 1985, has served the Alumnae Association and the College as an alum trustee, member of the Alumnae Global Strategy Task Force and acted as an advisor to the faculty leadership of the Miller Worley and McCulloch centers, among various other roles.

Karena Strella, class of 1990, as member and now chair of the Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees, her service to the College surpasses 25 years. A strategic and inquisitive leader, she has helped bridge the gap between older and newer alumnae, helping to make multifaceted connections.

Ashanta Evans Blackwell, class of 1995, has distinguished herself as a leader among Mount Holyoke alums and has served on several pivotal Alumnae Association committees. Her support of the Black Alumnae Conference helped establish relationships between conference organizers and the Alumnae Association.

V. Radley Emes, class of 2000, has exemplified unwavering loyalty to Mount Holyoke and the Alumnae Association, having compiled a strong record of leadership in the 20 years since she graduated, going above and beyond on many occasions.

 Innovator Award

Awarded to an alum who has demonstrated innovative leadership in a single area of service or for a singular accomplishment that has resulted in significant change and exemplifies the values and virtues set forth by the College. 

Katherine S. Hunter, class of 1975, has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Alumnae Association, serving as a voice for the global alumnae community and as a dedicated advocate for Mount Holyoke.

Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award

Awarded to an alum for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the field of education that exemplify the values and virtues set forth by the College.

Julie Solso Guelich, class of 1970, served as dean of STEM and education and vice president of academic affairs at Normandale College. Under her leadership, the college has grown dramatically and became nationally recognized for its focus on student learning, academic excellence, innovative programs and an inclusive culture.

Lynn Pasquerella, class of 1980, was the 18th president of Mount Holyoke College and currently serves as president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. A philosopher whose area of interest is in medical ethics, she has received funding through the United States Department of Energy to work on ethical issues related to the Human Genome Project, among other research grants.

Loyalty Award

Awarded to an alum who has demonstrated exceptional loyalty to the Alumnae Association and/or College through her consistent effort and active involvement over an extended period of time. Volunteer effort may be on behalf of a class, club, affinity group, global region, the Alumnae Association or the College.

Jean Angelilli Mahoney, class of 1960, has consistently volunteered for both her class and her local club of Princeton, New Jersey, in the decades since her graduation, serving as class and club president.

Beverly Braman Harrison, class of 1965, has continuously served as class treasurer since 1995. One of the founders of what is known today as Lyons Pride, she has served in a variety of formal and informal capacities for more than a decade.

Bonnie Penney Ulrich, class of 1965, has long made Mount Holyoke an important part of her life and actively volunteered for her class and the College for many decades.

Helen Elizabeth Disenhaus, class of 1970, has volunteered for her class, the Club of Washington, D.C., and for the College for the past 50 years. She is widely appreciated for her creativity in developing events that bring people together.

Susan E. Ellis, class of 1970, has shown a sustained commitment to her class, serving as chair of the 45th reunion and helped lead the class to a Mount Holyoke Fund contribution record for a 45th reunion class.

Diane Mayer Murphy, class of 1970, has served as class co-scribe for nearly 25 years, helping classmates stay connected through the Alumnae Quarterly, in addition to serving in past roles for her class, including president.

Judith Karlen Stein, class of 1975, has held leadership roles for her class for more than 20 years, including roles as class president and, currently, vice president.

Frances Hyun Sook Lee, class of 1985, president of South Korea Alumnae Region since 2016, previously served as class treasurer for 10 years and has served as Admissions representative for four years.

Jacquie Marumoto, class of 1990, has dedicated her time to the College and the Club of Fairfield Villages, coming into her role as president during a crucial time for the club and inspiring positive change.

Perrin McCormick Menashi, class of 1990, has served her class, her club and the Alumnae Association in numerous roles over the years, currently serving as a member of the Alumnae Quarterly Committee and membership chair for the Mount Holyoke Club of Boston.

Volunteer Leadership Award

Awarded to an alum who has demonstrated strong leadership, consistent effort over time and active involvement in one or more areas of service. Volunteer effort may be on behalf of a class, club, affinity group, global region, the Alumnae Association or the College.

Casey C. Accardi, class of 2015, has served the Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees as young alum trustee and in roles on several committees, including positions on the Alumnae Association Board of Directors and The Mount Holyoke Fund.

Tarana J. Bhatia, class of 2015, currently serves as a representative for recent alums on the Alumnae Association Board of Directors, a role that involves extensive engagement with the Classes and Reunion Committee, among others.  

Mary Lyon Award

Awarded to a recent alum (graduated fifteen or fewer years ago) who demonstrates exceptional promise or sustained achievement in their life, profession or community, and whose work embodies the humane values which Mary Lyon exemplified in her life and inspired in others. 

Aleefia Somji, class of 2009, is a health and research analyst who has helped raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in India and across the globe.

May Yang, class of 2010, is cofounder and chief executive officer of Lidia May Luxury Handbags, a company that incorporates the rich culture and crafts heritage of South Asia.

Chmba Chilemba, class of 2017, is an entrepreneur who founded Tiwale, a for-profit social enterprise located in Malawi that helps women in one of the poorest countries climb out of poverty.