Reunion 2014: Changemakers Reunite
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Return for Reunion in Record Numbers
More than 1,200 alumnae made the trip home to Mount Holyoke from around the country and the world this year. Five classes welcomed back more than 100 alumnae each—an attendance achievement that hasn’t happened in a decade.
Classes ending in fours and nines and Frances Perkins alumnae all celebrated connections with one another and the beautiful campus that unites them over the course of two reunion weekends organized by the Alumnae Association. Attendees ranged from alumnae who haven’t been back to campus since graduation to those who have attended every five-year reunion for decades.
Both weekends featured Back-to-Class sessions, where alumnae participated in thought-provoking discussions led by faculty, staff, and sister alumnae on the theme of transformation. The parade during each reunion weekend was also a highlight, with alumnae dressed in white and carrying signs in their class colors to show off their distinct history and personality.
Following the parade, classes gathered in Chapin Auditorium to celebrate by reading their class histories, recognizing alumnae award winners, and announcing fundraising goals. The Alumnae Association’s reunion awards program recognizes the contributions of outstanding alumnae. Two volunteer alumnae award committees select recipients based on a twelve-month vetting process that includes extensive research on each nominee. View a complete list of 2014 winners or nominate an alumna. This year’s award winners include:
Mary Lyon Award
- Lisa Ross Nonken ’03, artist working in sculpture, photography, and drawing
- Emily Usher Shrair ’08, advocate for social justice and defender of women’s rights
Medal of Honor
- Jane A. Zimmy ’74, volunteer leader in her class and club
Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award
- Kay Althoff FP’84, former director of the Frances Perkins Program
- Elizabeth W. Bauer ’59, disability rights activist
- Marguerite L. Brooks ’69, founder of the Yale Camerata at the Institute of Sacred Music
Alumnae Achievement Award
- Joanna Mendl-Shaw ’69, director and choreographer
The Office of Advancement announced the following awards:
- A Laurel Chain Society prize was given to the class of 1939 for having 89 percent of its seventy-fifth reunion class in the Laurel Chain Society.
- The class of 1944 was honored with a Laurel Chain Society award for having 79 percent of its members in the Laurel Chain Society.
- The Griffin award was presented to the class of 1949 in recognition of its lifetime giving of more than $22 million since graduation.
- The class of 1954 was awarded the Sphinx and Lion awards acknowledging its high participation and total giving.
- A second award was made to the class of 1959, recognizing its 159 members of the Laurel Chain Society.
- The class of 1964 gave $1,339,985 to The Mount Holyoke Fund to mark its fiftieth and has given nearly $10.1 million in gifts to Mount Holyoke since its forty-fifth reunion five years ago.
- The class of 1974 was awarded a Griffin prize for highest participation (50 percent or greater) for the past five consecutive years. The class of 1974 received the Laurel Chain Society award recognizing its 202 members, the highest number in a class. The Laurel Chain Society recognizes alumnae who consistently make a gift of any size to Mount Holyoke.
- The class of 1979 was recognized for its fiscal year giving with a Pegasus award.
- The class of 1994 was awarded the Griffin prize for the highest giving participation rate and the largest reunion year gift of any twentieth reunion class in the past five years.
May 27, 2014