Class Notes Spring 2015


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SAHAR AMER has a new book out: What is Veiling? Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks, published by University of North Carolina Press! The Amazon write up says:

Ranging from simple head scarf to full-body burqa, the veil is worn by vast numbers of Muslim women around the world. What Is Veiling? explains one of the most visible, controversial, and least understood emblems of Islam. Sahar Amer’s evenhanded approach is anchored in sharp cultural insight and rich historical context. Addressing the significance of veiling in the religious, cultural, political, and social lives of Muslims, past and present, she examines the complex roles the practice has played in history, religion, conservative and progressive perspectives, politics and regionalism, society and economics, feminism, fashion, and art. By highlighting the multiple meanings of veiling, the book decisively shows that the realities of the practice cannot be homogenized or oversimplified and extend well beyond the religious and political accounts that are overwhelmingly proclaimed both inside and outside Muslim-majority societies. Neither defending nor criticizing the practice, What Is Veiling? clarifies the voices of Muslim women who struggle to be heard and who, veiled or not, demand the right to live spiritual, personal, and public lives in dignity.

Ann Hitchcock and Alexandra CarpinoANN HITCHCOCK writes: “As I sit here preparing for a belated Thanksgiving feast with friends (no Thanksgiving holiday here in Germany), I think of how grateful I am that I was able to catch up with ALEXANDRA CARPINO this past summer. Since I’ve been living in Germany basically since I graduated from college, it makes it rather difficult to meet with classmates and Mawter friends. So, I was particularly thrilled that Alexandra’s and my East Coast vacations overlapped this past summer! She and her husband Shawn Skabelund, and children, Adrian and Chiara Rosem, visited me and my husband Frank Huedepohl and my boys Benjamin (13 ½) and Thomas (12) during our annual vacation to my family’s summer place in New Hampshire. It was great to catch up again! An important part of raising my boys bilingually is exposure to family and language and culture, so we do our best to come to the U.S. at least once a year. Visiting my family’s summer place is a tradition, and several generations of Mawrters have been “summering” there with their families since the early 1900s: my mother, Patricia Page Hitchcock (BMC ‘58); my grandmother, Louise Gucker Page, (BMC ‘28); and great-grandmother, Louise Fulton Gucker, (BNC 1893). I currently work part-time for a small Geo-IT company in Muenster, Germany. After working for a few years post-Bryn Mawr, I went back to school and started from scratch to get a German Masters degree in Geography. My family and I plan to stop off at Bryn Mawr on our way north from DC next summer! The photo is of my mother, me, and Alexandra!

BARBARA MACKIE FRANKLIN writes: My husband, Eric, who’s always been healthy and active, suddenly collapsed a year ago (and just 5 days after running a 5K with our daughter), the day after Thanksgiving, while we were cutting our Christmas tree. After rushing him to the hospital, it turned out he had perforated his colon. At first, we thought it was caused by a ruptured diverticulum, but the pathology came back with news that no one wants to hear: cancer. A cancerous growth in his small intestine had eroded into his colon, causing peritonitis. Luckily, it’s a rare cancer (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor, or GIST) that responds well to resection and medication. Still, it was shock for our family. Happily, after 12 days in the hospital, Eric came home in time for Christmas. He had follow-up surgery this Spring and is now doing well. The scans are clean and he’s regained his strength and appetite. We both turned 50 in April (we are 2 days apart), and felt lucky to celebrate this milestone together. Our son, John Eric, now a second year at UVA, loves it there. Our daughter, Sarah, is a sophomore in High School, and I hope to convince her to apply to BMC! This Christmas, we returned to the site of last year’s collapse and cut our tree without incident. We are happy to be back to “our crazy normal,” and feel so blessed to be together and have Eric healthy.  What a difference a year makes!

KARIN SCHWARTZ reports that: “After 11 years with the California Attorney General’s Office, I moved to Sacramento last year when Governor Brown appointed me Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the California Department of Public Health. The work has been interesting and diverse, from e-cigarettes to Ebola most recently. Sacramento’s proximity to the Sierra has made for wonderful hiking and backpacking in the mountains. I’ve been section hiking the John Muir Trial (JMT), a 220-mile trail that stretches from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney, over three years, and finished this year.  My little red dog, Sasha, has her own pack and joins when she can (not all trails are dog-friendly). I enjoy staying in touch with the Class of 1986 on Facebook, and joined Victoria Tamas (‘84) earlier this year in New York City for Hungarian pastry.”

SHARINA SMITH, MSA, writes that she: “recently opened her practice as a Financial Advisor with the Springfield, MO, branch of Strategic Financial Concepts, Inc. With more than 25 years of business experience in the corporate world, non-profits, and as a small business owner, I specialize in finding solutions for professional women seeking to achieve their full financial potential. Most recently, I was the Vice President for Marketing for the U.S. division of Enactus (formerly SIFE) during the first year of re-branding; and spent nearly 7 years  as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Southwest Baptist University. I am a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Business Administration program at Northcentral University

karen sullivanAlthough KAREN SULLIVAN still thinks that exercise is a waste of good time that could be spent reading, she did run a half-marathon for her 50th birthday. And she is considering trying to live up to Susan Messina’s high standard and run a full marathon before too long.”

BETH OGILVIE-FREDA reports, “I have found a great network of BMC alum in Princeton which started with getting involved with the BMC Book Sale which has since merged with Wellesley.  This is one of the oldest and largest used book sales in the country and I urge anyone in the Princeton area to come by and see for yourself –  Last year I inherited the role of treasurer for this sale and assumed the role of president of the BMC Club of Princeton.  Every year, the sale makes a contribution to the school and last year, we contributed $20,000 to be used for local scholars, for which we are very proud.   The club looks forward to taking advantage of our close proximity to the school and working more closely with the faculty and students.”

We are sad to report that MARY J. HADICKE WILEY died in May. She is survived by her husband, William Wiley.

What are your classmates up to? Read all about it!




Summer is here in DC, reminding us of the circle of life and new beginnings, as we look forward to starting a new decade of life.

MARIA AGOSTINELLI writes: “All’s well in Texas. My son Niko ‘graduates’ from his amazing elementary school on 6/6, and starts 6th grade in the fall. I started a new job a couple of months ago, going from CBRE to MoneyGram International to manage a small recruiting team. My husband Denis still works with cars, managing a service/sales district for Goodyear. And, we like the warmer weather down here.

MARGARET VAUGHN ELIZONDO comments that most of us will turn 50 this year. We heard from several people about their celebration of this major milestone: Margaret went skydiving this year for her golden anniversary. She’s also supporting the American Heart Association and walking the RockNRoll 1/2 marathon with hopes to run the marathon next year. Margaret recently enjoyed a visit from MARIA FELIX-ORTIZ, who was en route to see Boy George’s L.A. concert as her 50th birthday present to herself. Keeping with the concert theme, IRENE LAMBROU says on her 50th she’ll “be watching a reunited Fleetwood Mac take the stage here in Philly!” AMY FRIEDMAN adds she “hit 50 in December and treated my entire apartment building to champagne and cake. I danced. Celebrated my gratitude that I still get to be here on this lovely planet.”

ELIZABETH MARGARET GRIFFITH writes from Florida that she is also feeling the sting of an empty nest, and has been facing health issues. She’s seeking support on both, whether on FaceBook or through positive energy, and sending good thoughts out to all our classmates in the same position. Her daughter finished work for a physics major at HC and a geology minor at BMC, and plans to study volcanoes at the University of South Florida. Her son is pursuing many interests at Reed College. Elizabeth and husband will be moving to Arizona for his new job. She closed her note with a thought for the day: “Achievements you can put on paper are good, but it’s the work you still have to do that gets you out of bed in the morning, and the happiness of those you care for that make it worthwhile.”

AMANDA JOSEPH writes: “I still can’t believe I’ve been back in Philadelphia for 16 years!  One of the best things is that I have been able to stay connected to many neighboring and visiting Mawrters. Come visit us!  I’ve been working in the world of community economic development since grad school, and just started a new job “aligning capital with justice” with a fabulous national organization: Opportunity Finance Network. (Check them out  If anyone ever wants to discuss job search/networking, I would be happy to share my experiences after my recent 8-month full-time search. (And thank goodness for the Healthcare Marketplace for affordable insurance during this transition!)  In old news, I was delighted to run into JENNIFER LESAR at a conference in New York last spring; my half of our “reunion” photo became my LinkedIn pic!  Living happily with my Australian stonemason husband after many years of an intercontinental relationship (if we were any farther we’d be closer!).  And deepening my daily practice of being patient and loving with a rapidly aging and forgetful, though fortunately irreverent, mom; without kids of my own, does that make me part of the “open sandwich generation”? (Conversation for our next reunion, perhaps?)


Susan King and Barbara Hall get married

SUSAN KING married Barbara Hall (’91) on 5/29; the ceremony was performed by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in his office.

Eli and Noah were our Best Boys.

SUSAN MESSINA reached virtual stardom through a FaceBook posting that went viral.

The post — “Everyone Hates the Science Fair” — was a fake science fair poster board lamenting the pains of these projects. The Huffington Post picked it up and Libby Mosier (84) writes about it in an article in the May Bulletin.

MADHAVI RIZZIO writes: “Six years ago, when I first began volunteering at Nicky’s school, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to do my student teaching with his first grade teacher. I am happy to report that I am almost finished with my teaching certification program. I will be student teaching in the fall and expect to get my certification in 2015. The last class I took was an online only class, on Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Education. It ran for seven intense weeks. In order to make up for the lack of face-to-face contact, we were required to produce audio Power Point presentations and case studies on our topics, in addition to presenting a comprehensive lesson plan or academic unit and a virtual field trip. We also had to maintain a blog on each week’s topic and had to review our classmates’ blogs. My topics included Native American History and Culture, and the Art and Culture of Aboriginal Australians. I had to learn very quickly how to create a narrated movie. My technical skills were quite challenged, but it certainly helped to have my 13-year-old son serving as my tech support! I can’t say that I enjoyed the online class, but I certainly learned quite a lot. School children are growing up as digital natives, and now I am finally catching up on technology!

We are saddened to report the passing of two classmates:

SARAH AHMAD died on March 14, 2014. SABAH Siddiqui-Herman writes: “Sarah died at the age of 49 in March.  We met 31 years ago and she will always be my best friend.  Despite cancer, Sarah remained as beautiful and stylish as many of you will remember her.  Her smile undiminished and her eyes sparkling.

Our years at Bryn Mawr were incomparably perfect.  We always recalled the beauty of the campus and the remarkably intelligent and interesting people we met there.  I typed Sarah’s papers while she helped me with French.  We fought about her forcing me to sit in the smoking section at Erdman.  We spent more time planning breakfast than preparing for the GREs and at the lunch break, talked ourselves out of going back to finish.  I was bitter she passed the swim test before I did.  Our friendship grew into one of the most important relationships for us.

We celebrated at each other’s weddings, our sons played together and we knew our entire extended families.  Visits were intermittent, rarely longer than a few days, either in   England or Pakistan.  Long letters, weekly phone calls, and Skype kept us in touch.  Sarah had a beautiful house in Lahore filled with paintings and books, and she was an outstanding cook.  Every year we exchanged parcels – summer clothes for me, and winter clothes for her.

We met in London in August 2013, 30 years to the day since we first met at BMC.  Sarah asked for help a lot during that time; I held her hand when we were outside, made breakfast, planned our days and loved every minute of our time together. Our last night, we finally spoke about her death.  She said “I always thought you and I would dance together at our sons’ weddings.”  The next morning, we said goodbye while she was in bed.  We kissed, hugged and I told her how much I loved her and always would.  She was having trouble speaking – she spoke words but her sentences made no sense.  As I was leaving, she took my hands, held them and kissed them.   We smiled at each other tearfully.  I could not say anything.  Sarah just said “Sister”.

MARY WHIPPLE DRUMMER died suddenly on January 2, 2014, in Savage, MN. She earned a JD from Hamline School of Law and owned her own law office. She was an avid knitter and shared her beautiful contralto voice as a member of several choral groups. She is survived by her husband and son, her parents, and her brothers.

Remember to join our class Facebook page or search “Bryn Mawr Class of ’86 – General & 30th Reunion.”

Class of 1986 Alumnae News, March 2014

2036 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009

8504 Geren Road
Silver Spring, MD 20901

As many of us look forward to a new decade, we asked classmates to share some of their wisdom. We’re also excited to note two daughters starting BMC this year. Anassa kata!

KYRIN [FEAGANS] DUNSTON writes: The biggest change I have undergone is awakening to my spiritual self. In college I had no knowledge of this aspect of myself and have had an awakening over the past 10 years. It has changed my whole outlook on life. I no longer think that it is me who accomplishes things in my life but a power greater than myself. And that is a HUGE shift that I could only learn through life’s lessons. I am grateful for it. On a professional level: I am in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’s fellowship program and I have retired from OBGYN and have been practicing Functional Medicine for the past 2 yrs exclusively. I have authored a book, Cracking the Bikini Code, which will be available by the end of the year. I am on the speakers bureau for the Age Management Medicine Group and the International Academy of Functional Medicine-I enjoy speaking to other physicians and teaching them about the FUN of FUNctional medicine. I have been seeing patients in a group format which is entertaining and educational and provides them with necessary support in making the lifestyle changes that they need to make. In addition, I have become a certified Life Mastery Consultant and am providing coaching services to people who want to create lives that they would love! On a personal level: My daughter, Chloe, is a freshman at Skidmore College and my son, Julian, is a senior at the University of Georgia, majoring in Psychology. I am now divorced.

CLAUDIA GINANI writes: “One thing I learned is that marriage doesn’t have to be miserable! Perhaps I’m doing it wrong, but if one needs, as I’ve often heard, to *work* at a relationship, the one I’ve got is a cushy sinecure. My bride, Heather Levi, is a close friend of Kelly Kuwabara ’84, and I met her when she crashed the BMC Reunion in 2009 (she totally passed, BTW). We got together, both as a couple and as a musical duo, singing at the Provincetown wedding of Darla Himeles ’06 and Betsy Reese later that year. I wrote a song about that, and we’ve been more or less constant companions ever since. In September 2012, I left my job at Bryn Mawr, where I’d been for more than a decade, and hung out my shingle as a web designer and editor. This choice was feasible because Heather’s employer offers health insurance for domestic partners (although the benefit was taxed because the federal government didn’t recognize our marriage).
Anticipating the DOMA ruling, we eloped in May 2013 and are feeling the tax benefits now. Then we spent a profoundly illuminating month in Mexico, where I’d never been before but where Heather has lived and done ethnography. Through Karen Dunn ’82, we got a paying gig at a women’s festival in early September—we had been playing mostly for co-op hours and fun until then. The second half of the year was as distressing as the first was lovely: Just four days after her dear mother’s death, Heather faced a major health challenge that disrupted both our lives and taught us that the human body tends to react in unpleasant ways when blades are inserted into it. She’s doing very well now, though: well enough to play a gig with me at the end of November at the Heartland Cafe in Chicago, where I tended the bar in the mid-’90s. Also, I am older than the rest of you so I am wiser, and here’s what I’ve learned: If you have lost an object, the question to ask yourself is not “Where the hell did I put it?” but ” What the hell did I put on top of it?”

CAROL HITSELBERGER writers that her daughter, Katie Petty,  “is now a Bryn Mooser – Class of 2017. I could not be more proud. As I have said to many, this is a dream come true for me that started the day my ultrasound proved my first born would be a girl. (My other two children are boys so Katie was my only chance for BMC.) Although I am sure there was some influence from me in her decision to attend, I assure you I did not force her. My husband (Bob Petty) and I visited Katie for family weekend recently. She seems great – she is swimming on the swim team, taking Latin and a Transgender class – sounds much more Bryn Mawr-like than I ever was. However, she also is partying once or twice a week at Penn (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree).

photoMARGARET HOAG says: “My job as an attorney is very busy these days. On top of that I volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association, the Concord Council on Aging, and Minuteman Senior Services. I am also president of Concord Carlisle Patrons of Performing Students, a non-profit corporation and so I’m very involved in the performing arts at the high school. My boys are applying to colleges and we are running all over the place visiting colleges. They are interested in performing arts programs so we are also traveling to auditions. Alas, Haverford doesn’t have enough theatre and music! My son Thomas (aka Mickey) was accepted into the All National Honors Ensemble for singing and we traveled to Nashville for the concert. We had a great time. There is a re-creation of the Parthenon there with a HUGE Athena (see photo). My other son, Joe, will become an Eagle Scout in January.

says, “Its May Day as I write this, and the start of a momentous summer in our family: our oldest child graduates from college (Computer Science, BSc, Swarthmore) in a few weeks; younger son is declaring his major (Russian & International Studies, Iowa); our older daughter graduates from high school; younger daughter turns 12… and I will be 48 next week! Where does the time go? Seems like my last Grand May Day was just last year, not 1986! Raising a coffee to you all this morning! In a later update, Elisabeth reports that: “I have clients who pay me to write about things I love and enjoy; it seems like I might jinx that lifelong dream come true by uttering (typing) it out loud. I got a (free!) grand piano off Craigslist. Our electronic music website (Synthtopia) is doing well, too, giving me an excuse to talk to interesting people in the music industry about the stuff they do. I’m relishing all the good stuff, and trying to be mellow about everything else.”

See the class website for full notes, including more photographs ( Please join our Facebook page ( or search for “Bryn Mawr Class of ’86 – General & 30th Reunion”). And keep your notes coming!

Class of 1986 News Summer 2013


2036 17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009, 202.667.1624,



8504 Geren Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901,


Thank you so much to everyone who wrote on our theme of “unexpected things” – it’s great to get updates from so many classmates! We are writing this column before the gigantic All-80s Cluster that occurred in May 2013. Here’s hoping everyone had a great time at that event – see below for Margaret Elizondo’s advance write up of the weekend!


Keep your news and updates coming. And please join our Facebook page ( or search for “Bryn Mawr Class of ’86 – General & 30th Reunion”).


Diane Carlson writes in: “I am still self-employed working as a construction project manager for commercial/retail projects. The projects are fun, and I love working for myself, but work/life balance is a challenge. I burned-out working with Apple as a client last year, despite some amazing projects – the 4-hour a day commute to their offices combined with weeks at a time on job sites was killing me. I am re-balancing my life now to shift to a more normal workload and focus on other things. Recently caught up with Lisa Gordon in Chicago while there on a work trip, and we had a fun mini-reunion.”


Kathryn Roth Douquet reports that she is still living in Europe, commuting to the U.S. once a month for work. Her kids go to a bi-lingual (English and German) school. She is hoping to see other Europe-based Mawrters, and says she “welcomes visitors in the area of Stuttgart, Germany! Finished up a stint on the President’s Advisory Board of BMC, which I enjoyed, and was sorry to miss many meetings because of the distance of my travels. Great things are in the works for BMC, educating international women, really engaging 360 programs that teach concepts from an interdisciplinary perspective, much more.” Kathy plans to return stateside in the summer of 2014.


Margaret Elizondo wrote up our experience at Reunion, in advance! She says:

“So, by the time these notes are published, we will have finished the 80s decade reunion, wherein we made good on the promise to have a ‘wet’ party on the roof of Rock with wine wiffle-ball (or some such nonsense). The Class of ’86 will have been excommunicated from all future alumnae events due to excessive inebriation on life, and a colossal lack of self-discipline to comport themselves in the studious manner befitting middle-aged Mawrters. We will blame this on Amelia Freduomo’s Bryn Bawr creations, but the reality is, at this point, we just don’t give a rat’s a–, in our short stints here on the rapidly rotating globe of chaos, what the he– people think of us.”


Robin Freedman-Wishnie reports that her youngest son, Benjamin, became a bar mitzvah on March 16 2013. On hand to help celebrate were 1986 classmates Suzan Burstein Miller, Julianne Martin, Stella Eleazar Throgood, Katie Gummer, and Donna Wayne Wray, as well as John Genovese (HC 86). She also notes that Katie Gummer was sworn in as a Superior Court Judge in Monmouth County New Jersey on April 5, 2013, and they were all on hand for that celebration as well.


Eileen Hanlon is surprised to find herself in the therapist’s chair, as part of her fieldwork toward an MSW at Catholic University School of Social Service. She looks forward to a new phase of her career after graduation in May 2014.


Christine Harlen says that her “husband, nine year old son and I had an enjoyable visit in early January with Dr. Anne Bauman Gnassi; her husband; and teenage daughter and son at their home in Rehoboth, MA. Although Annie tried her best to convince me to attend the upcoming reunion, I may not be able to do so for a decade or two, since I always have a mountain of final exams to mark in late May as part of my job teaching U.S. politics and international political economy at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire. Inspired by Anne Mamary’s tale of mini-reunions in the last bulletin, I would be interested in hearing from classmates in the places I tend to visit in the U.S.: the Greater Boston area and Washington, D.C., as well as from anyone visiting Leeds (which is the starting point of the Tour de France in 2013).


Salima Ikram took dedication to her work to an extreme and fell 17 feet from a rock while trying to copy a hieroglyphic inscription; the inscription is safe, but she broke her pelvis in 4 places. Sadly, she failed to achieve her ambition of writing a bodice-ripper during her convalescence, but she did catch up on contemporary television, and is far the wiser for it.


Radhika Iyengar-Emens says that, “since launching my global business and marketing advisory firm — Tanjah Partners ( — in October 2012, I have encountered unexpected wonders. I have found my calling in globalizing technology companies, working on global entrepreneurship and innovation, and empowering women in technology. My journey so far has touched upon Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, India, Latin America and Brazil. Last fall, I also took on the role of President of the BMC Club of Northern California, and I am enjoying the opportunity to give back to the college. In January 2013, we organized a BMC-HC potluck lunch and had more than 75 attendees representing classes from the 1960s to current BMC freshwomen. The energy and enthusiasm was exhilarating. We are now looking forward to a great May Day Celebration!”


Susan Messina reports on the unexpected front, that she and her partner Maryann Krayer got legally married in Maryland on 1/5/13. They have been together since 1991 and had a commitment ceremony in 2007, but, Susan comments, “of course the unexpected thing is how fast same-sex marriage is gaining traction in this country.” Susan K. Flinn was her Matron of Honor.

Mary Jane Rein’s son, Gabriel, attending HC this fall, in her husband’s (Seth Kates HC83) old letter sweater.

Mary Jane Rein’s son, Gabriel, attending HC this fall, in her husband’s (Seth Kates HC83) old letter sweater.


Mary Jane Rein writes that she is excited to report that her son Gabriel will attend Haverford in the fall and is very excited and has asked about taking classes at BMC.


Meryl Salzinger says “I’ve been a freelance Baby Wrangler ( and Fine Art Photographer ( for almost 20 years! Yikes how did that happen? Shockingly, the Financial Times just interviewed me about Baby Wrangling for its column on unique jobs. (There is a PDF posted in the Class Facebook page.) I LOVE this “unique” job — where I get babies and children to do what they often think they can’t — for its constant surprises and moments of wonder. Talents required include: doing 3 types of dog barks, 2 kinds of monkey calls, a singing voice

that can put a baby to sleep, and a quick imagination capable of making a child laugh when there are bright lights flashing at them and a group of strangers staring at them. In my fine art photography, I create dreamy abstractions of natural scenes without a person in sight. I have 2 new series at Imlay Fine Art in Montclair, NJ: Paris Spring: a book of photographs, printed on linen and stitched into a linen book, and a series of seascapes printed directly onto plexiglass. Doing both wrangling and photography gives my work-life balance; there’s the fun, noisy, chaos of keeping up with babies and children and the peaceful concentration of making art. Otherwise, I spend my time signing petitions for all the organizations that think the world is as messed up as I do right now; that is, in between trips to our solar-powered surf shack (and I do mean “shack;” it’s 12’x16’) in the Bahamas, and my yoga classes – you’ve gotta have fun too!


Hope Scott reports that she has moved to San Francisco, living about a block from the waterfront on the Bay (close to where you catch the ferry to Alcatraz, which she can see from the roof deck of her condo). She says: “Love the city, love my job (working for Blue Shield of CA), and love hanging out with all of the friends, relatives, and former colleagues who come to the city for various reasons whether business or pleasure. Now that I’m settled in I can focus on creating a network of friends who actually live near me! A big shout-out to Suzann Miller, who’s been a great friend and has made my transition to the city so much easier through her hospitality and generosity!” She invites classmates visiting SF to get in touch and says, “From Napa and Sonoma to hiking the cliffs of the Pacific coast, I’m always ready to have fun!”


Cathy Tinsley bravely wrote in to say: “I am typing to you with my left hand as I nurse a ‘just operated on’ shoulder. I had a torn rotator cuff; so that’s my surprise news. But, perhaps the bigger surprise is that it has been easier than stories I’d heard about the level of post-op pain — Yea! All else is well here: kids, husband, career. I hope to see people at 80s Reunion.”



pictured are L-R back row / front row: Susan Messina, Eileen Hanlon, Susan Flinn, Mary Beth Ward Gosselink, Marcia Mofson, Sandra Yin, Karen Ascheffenburg, Gia Cravotta Hinman

In March, a group of DC alumnae got together to catch up (pictured from left to right, back row): Susan Messina, Eileen Hanlon, Susan K. Flinn, Mary Beth Ward Gosselink; (left to right, front row) Marcia Mofson, Sandra Yin, Karen Ascheffenburg, and Gia Cravotta Hinman. Mary Beth’s summary of our conversation is: “Happy marriages seem to feature lots of spousal separation. College is shockingly expensive, leaving even a Mawrter to question the value of ‘Slovak Studies.’ There was a diversity of opinion as to whether a discussion of ‘regularity’ was appropriate at our age (or any age). And, asked (but not satisfactorily answered by the group due to the ponderous weight of it) was the question ‘Did your life turn out as you expected?’”


’80s reunion information

From the ’80s Decade Reunion Committee:

By now hopefully all of you have gotten your Reunion Program, registration emails, or checked out the website and know that Reunion 2013 registration is open. We are so excited about our ’80s Decade Reunion on May 31st-June 2nd, and hope to see many of you there! The ‘80s reunion is a great chance to reunite with the people you don’t get to see at your typical five-year reunions – the freshmen from when you were a customs person, the juniors who defended you during trials, that senior who took you under her wing.
We have a fantastic weekend planned. All of the ’80s alumnae will be taking over the Pems, so get ready to relive your college days, staying up until the wee hours of the morning talking with your friends from all years. Some other events we are excited about are:

  • Our special ’80s Opening Reception on Friday in Taft Garden. This reception will feature a beergarden, with specialty beer and appetizer pairings from Victory Brewery.
  • Supporting our fellow ’80s alumnae speaking on Friday’s “Your Healthcare: Who’s Really in the Driver’s Seat” panel, featuring Reed Abelson ’83, Pamela Feuer ’83, Susan Messina ’86, and Jane Brady ’88. We also can’t wait to cheer on Catherine Allegra ’83 as she receives the Distinguished Alumna Service Award at the Annual Meeting on Sunday.
  • Our Bi-Co party on Friday night after Step Sing, where we’ll get to relax and hang out with our Haverford friends.
  • Dancing the night away to our favorite music at the ’80s Dance Party on Saturday night.
  • Reunion Jubilee on Saturday afternoon (only $35 dollars for just the event!) where there will be games and activities for all ages along with a fantastic barbecue lunch. This is a perfect event to attend with your family!

These are only a few of the many fun events planned for the weekend—be sure to check out the full schedule!

There are four easy ways to register for reunion:

  1. Through one of the personalized registration emails that are sent out every couple weeks.
  2. The generic registration website at 2013 Reunion Registration (you’ll need your Athena’s Web ID and password).
  3. Mail in the form that came with your Reunion Program.
  4. Call the Alumnae Association at 610-526-5229 and register by phone.

If you have any questions about Reunion, please feel free to reach out to one of us, or to Elizabeth Schwartz in the Alumnae Association at or call 610-526-7635.

We are very excited to welcome all of you back next month!

’80s Decade Reunion Committee

Anne Warwick ’80
Michelle Portnoff ’81
Terry Callaghan ’82
Sara Hoenig Pitts ’82
Emily Kaplan Kandel ’83
Diane Morgenthaler ’83
Evelyn Rousso ’83
Julia Kossack ’84
Linda Bush ’85
Nancy Melissas ’85
Susan Messina ’86
Jean Chey ’87
Eden Kainer ’87
Tammi Reichel, ‘87
Helena Bretherton Hay, ‘88
Paula Anderson, ‘88
Jean Goodrich, ‘88
Barbara Ann Baker, ‘89

Class Notes for Bryn Mawr Class of 1986, February 2012


Happy 2012! As we said in our outreach email to you in the Fall, we are excited to take on the role of class editors for the Alumnae Bulletin for the next five years. Thank you so much to Jane Gorrell, Martha Ludlum, and Elizabeth Storz for your excellent work over the last five years!

With all the new technologies available to us, we want to try to reach out more often in between issues of the Bulletin that have our class news in them. To that end, we invite you to join the Class Facebook page ( or search for “Bryn Mawr Class of ’86 – General & 30th Reunion”), which has a lot of great photos from the reunion if you scroll down. There’s also an album of photos at:

Here on the class website, we only post class news that classmates have given us permission to publicize online. As the College evolves the Class websites on its page, we’ll also be working to provide updates and news through that vehicle as well.

Here is the news we have gathered since Reunion:

Suzanne Dorf Hall writes from the U.K. that she and her husband, Damien, are living in Dover, Kent, right on the English Channel. She says, “I’m doing freelance proofreading and he’s at the University of Kent. Any classmates are welcome to stop by and visit.”

Margaret Elizondo writes that she has finally succumbed to Facebook and loves her new job in hospice medicine. She is training for the three-day Komen breast cancer walk, adding, “If I survive walking 60 miles in 3 days in San Diego in November, I will shamelessly enjoy Thanksgiving dinner the week afterwards!”

Salima Ikram was unable to attend reunion this spring because the Egyptian Revolution caused classes at the American University in Cairo, where she is a Professor of Egyptology, to be extended. She reports that, “The Revolution continues with glitches. Excavations are ongoing, thank god, and students are protesting, but they all still come to my class, so….”

Kathy Roth-Douquet writes that she moved to Germany this summer and, at the same time, moved off the Blue Star Families’ Board and into the job of CEO; the non-profit works with military families and the larger community to support, connect and empower military family members. While the move caused her to miss reunion, she writes that, “Germany is fun. A highlight of my job involved meeting Prince William and Kate in July!”

Karen Schwartz reports that she “had one of those career moments” when she argued the first case of the United States’ new term on October 3, 2011: Douglas v. Independent Living. It was her first time arguing in the U.S. Supreme Court. Karen, an attorney for the state of California, explains: “The issue related to whether Medicaid providers and beneficiaries can sue to enforce their notion of what the federal Medicaid Act requires under the Supremacy Clause if Congress has not created a private cause of action but instead provided solely for administrative enforcement (by HHS) of the provision at issue.” While in DC, she had a lovely lunch with Farar Elliott (87), who she had not seen since BMC graduation over 25 years ago, and who knows everything about the fun things do to in DC. For more on the case, see:

Cathy Tinsley writes that she was recently promoted to full professor at Georgetown University. She comments, “To temper any urges I might have to celebrate, they also made me head of my (management) department. If I survive till next year, I will write again. Husband (John) and twins (Chris and Nick, both 12) all doing well and hoping by the time you read this that the GU Hoyas Bball is ahead in the Big East.”

Barbara Mackie Franklin’s Address to the Annual Meeting of the Alumnae Association

photo of Barbara Mackie Franklin at the podiumBecause the Class of 1986 is so fabulous (and perhaps because it was our 25th reunion), the class president was asked to give a speech to the annual meeting of the BMC Alumnae Association on Sunday, May 29. Barbara Mackie Franklin presented the address, which is reproduced below. According to Barbara, Co-president Tracey Erickson Ohaus and Reunion Manager Susan K. Flinn provided crucial editing help.

In August of 1982,the class of ‘86 descended upon Bryn Mawr’s campus . To give you some perspective: Ronald Reagan was in his first term as President, the Falklands War had begun and Walt Disney World’s EPCOT had just opened. We listened to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller;” and saw Broadway’s newest hit, “CATS”. We watched the debut of “Cheers” and “An Officer and a Gentleman.” And media frenzy erupted when Prince William was born.

At this pastoral campus that was to be our home for the next 4 years, we barely-out-of high school girls were in awe of our statuesque, impressive and intelligent College President, Mary Patterson McPherson, whom we immediately nicknamed “Mary Pat” (only to find out years later that her preferred moniker was Pat McPherson). We all fell somewhat in love with a bespeckled, gentle Classics professor named Rick Hamilton, who served as our freshman class dean. And we were suitably intimidated by the Dean of the College, Mary Maples Dunn. We took our freshman swim test in a pool, located in the basement of a gym, that is now the student center, and received mail in a cubby in our dorms. The campus boasted 4 fully co-ed dorms, and Rex drove the blue bus from Goodhart, to and from Haverford, whose senior class was still all-male.

While we were students, Walter Mondale, Gloria Steinem and Martha Graham visited campus. We wrote, revised and footnoted weekly English papers that were typed on state-of-the-art electric typewriters with correction cartridges. We navigated our brimming sexuality, emerging political views and religious affiliations and discovered that, horrors! and horray!, these sometimes actually differed from those of our parents!

We studied some really obscure stuff too. Gothic Art parts I and II anyone? The Gnostic Gospels? Gregorian Chants? Fill in your own. But the environment at Bryn Mawr absolutely assured us that our intellectual fancies, our obscure curiosities, and our unique lines of pondering, were of unquestionable value. Because at Bryn Mawr, for the first time in some of our lives, all of our ideas mattered, unlike anyplace else many of us had ever been.

A favorite shared memory from a classmate is the overwhelming feeling she can still muster of how returning to Bryn Mawr after any time felt like entering Brigadoon. A special, castle-y place which not a lot of people even knew about, or could pronounce.

When we graduated from Bryn Mawr in May of 1986, our world seemed different, yet somehow the same: Reagan was still President, and he, along with Gorbachev, Thatcher, Mitterand , and Desmond Tutu were the international power brokers. Dictators named Marcos and Duvalier fled their native lands, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, Chernobyl, Iran Conta and the US bombing of Libya occurred. “Phantom of the Opera” claimed Broadway, and strong women dominated the entertainment industry, with Madonna, Whitney Houston, “Out of Africa”, “Dynasty” and “Married with Children.”

At Bryn Mawr, Mary Pat was thankfully still our fearless leader, with help from the new College Dean, Judith Shapiro. Construction of the “New” Bern Schwartz Gymnasium and the Centennial Campus center, where we now received our mail and caught the blue bus to HC, had been completed. Ursula Le Guin gave our commencement speech (which was recently listed as one of the top 10 commencement speeches ever), though many of us still envied the Centennial class of ‘85 for scoring Katharine Hepburn, and her immortal parting words of “use birth control, Ladies! Use birth control.”

So now, 25 years later, we are still the same intelligent bunch of women. At Bryn Mawr, we made life-long friends, and developed skills, both intellectual and social, that have served us well in the ensuing quarter century. We learned how to think. Now we have grown up. We are spouses and partners, are raising kids and getting ready to send them off to college; we have fulfilling (and not so fulfilling) careers and volunteer work and hobbies, yet we are still endeavoring to navigate a world that sometimes seems very foreign to that August of 1982.

But, in fact, and as we all know, the more things change, the more they stay the same: the US recently bombed Libya, dictators continue to fall from power and flee their countries, Prince William is again the subject of media frenzy, this time for his marriage, we still listen and dance to Michael Jackson, and our 40-something selves still revere Mary Pat. Which is why now this May 2011, we faithfully return to our beloved Brigadoon for this, our 25th reunion, to a place that is thankfully, and at its core, not all that different from how it ever was.

Signed copies of Epistolary Selves: Letters and Letter-Writers, 1600-1945 and The Inner Lives of Medeival Inquisitors PLUS a bottle of quality French red wine with which to enjoy them!

This pairing is for those interested in how thoughtful–and intense!– people of generations long gone once tried to fashion themselves . . . Rebecca Earle’s Epistolary Selves uses correspondence as biographical material to turn biography on its head, while Karen Sullivan’s The Inner Lives of Medieval Inquisitors attempts to answer one question: how is it that some of the best-educated and best-intentioned clerics of the Middle Ages ended up condemning people for heresy and burning them at the stake? All something to ponder while sipping a fine French red wine . . .

Estimated Market Value: $70
Contributed by Rebecca Earle and Karen Sullivan

Three books on Native American history in the Spanish Americas PLUS some New World treats and a Mexican doll

The Return of the Native: Indians and Mythmaking in Spanish America, 1810-1930, by Rebecca Earl, “is unique in its broad, comparative focus on nationalism in Spanish America and the uses of the Amerindian past,” (Raymond Craib) and in Spain and the Independence of Colombia she examines the “wave of revolution that destroyed the Spanish empire in the Americas.”

In Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico, Cami Townsend has created a readable book about the woman who translated between Hernando Cortes and Montezuma. During her brief lifetime, she was probably the most powerful woman in the world!

Enjoy these reads with some Mexican hot chocolate (with instructions) and guayaba jelly (both New World indigenous foods), as well as this bright-colored Mexican Indian doll.

Estimated Market Value: $75
Contributed by Rebecca Earle and Cami Townsend

Biographies of strong women in history PLUS their action figures!

The University of Minnesota Press says of Karen Sullivan’s The Interrogation of Joan of Arc: ” Focusing on the minutes recorded by clerics . . . Karen Sullivan challenges the accuracy of the transcript [of Joan of Arc’s trial for heresy at Rouen in 1431] . . . and re-reads the record not as a perfect reflection of a historical personality’s words, but as a literary text resulting from the collaboration between Joan and her interrogators.”

Cami’s Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma is one of dozens of biographies of the famous intermediary—but this is the only one based on a close reading of the sources. The woman’s real life was actually even more exciting than the myth!

Dolls of these two monumental figures from history help bring their stories to life!

Estimated Market Value: $55
Contributed by Karen Sullivan and Cami Townsend