Alumnae had time to catch up with old friends, make new ones, meet current students, tour the campus, dance, drum, sing, and sample curricular offerings.
“I found that reconnecting with classmates (and chatting with some I had never met) gave me greater insight into my own life,” commented a member of the class of 1991. “I am rarely, if ever, in the company of so many smart, accomplished, and interesting women. I only wish that I had had more time to talk in depth with them all!”
On Friday morning and afternoon, alumnae had the opportunity to experience some of the unique—and often overlooked—cultural treasures housed in and around Bryn Mawr. The three sessions of this new offering, which were sold out, combined the expertise of a faculty member with an interactive activity that showcased the resources available to students in the area. “The intellectual stimulation provided by such programs put on by professors is what Bryn Mawr is all about,” commented a member of the class of 1966. “I felt as if I were back in class, but there was no exam!”
Steven Z. Levine, Leslie Clark Professor in the Humanities and professor of history of art, accompanied alumnae to The Barnes Foundation after discussing Barnes’s views of the emancipatory potential of the formal analysis of works of art from all times and places around the world.
Ruth Atkiss ’36 (left) and Sara Park Scattergood ’36 (right) at lunch in Wyndham with “Lutie” Spitzer Saul ’72, daughter of Doreen Canaday Spitzer ’36 (not shown); Betsey Bates Carrick ’36 and friend Martha Lehrer; and Ann Logan ’76. Also attending were Jane Matteson Love ’36 and Betty Hemsath Van Newkirk ’36.
Architectural historian Jeffrey A. Cohen, senior lecturer in the Growth and Structure of Cities, led a two-hour exploration of the evolution of Philadelphia’s Center City during the 19th century.
Assistant Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Peter Magee showed how pieces from the College’s Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Collection are used as teaching tools. Also known as the Ella Riegel Memorial Museum, the collection is housed in Thomas and includes more than 6,000 objects from the ancient Mediterranean world. Its focus is on Greek and Roman minor arts, especially pottery. The collection was largely formed in the College’s early years via excavations by alumnae and faculty and private donations. The College’s Collection Committee’s policy is not to accept objects whose provenance is not secure. (See: www.brynmawr.edu/ collections/Information/overview.shtml). Other of the College’s Art and Archaeology Collections originate from all around the world, beginning with human agricultural activity, and play an integrated role in undergraduate and graduate teaching.
“I consider it my ethical responsibility to safeguard cultural heritage as I work,” said Magee, who specializes in the archaeology of Iran, Arabia and Pakistan. Last fall, he launched a new course offering with Assistant Professor of Geology Don Barber in the interdisciplinary field of geoarchaeology, whose goals are understanding how our human ancestors knew where to live and what resources to exploit; how the traces of their behavior became embedded in the physical environment; and how archaeologists and geologists analyze these sites.
’46ers Lovey Brendlinger Carroll, Pat Franck Sheffield, Jackie Koldin Levine and Hannah Kaufmann Moses.
“When you’re excavating a room that’s been burnt and there’s lots of material—pots, remnants of food production—you must constantly remind yourself that in this room 3,000 years ago there were children playing games, people cooking,” Magee said. “You need to get away from a focus on aesthetics alone and look at issues of what people ate, how they interacted socially with one another.”
Doctoral candidates in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Crystal Fritz and Nicholas Blackwell also showed alumnae some of the shards and pots owned by the College that they are cataloguing and studying, from the Amuq Valley (Syria) and Cyprus, respectively. An NEH challenge grant has allowed graduate students like Fritz and Blackwell the opportunity to gain research work with area collections.
Marissa Martino Golden ’83, associate professor and chair of the political science department on the Joan Coward Professorship in Political Economy, spoke about her current research on women workers in the federal civil service. The government has adopted many “family-friendly policies” that include paid leave, flextime and telecommuting, yet women are languishing in mid-management, below the policy-making grades in civil service. The data that Golden has collected so far indicates that the policies are not effective in contributing to gender equality at home. These women do not encounter a glass ceiling, but voluntarily take themselves off the fast track in order to maintain their work/family balance.
McBride alumnae walk the labyrinth above Rhoads.
Golden, who argues the U.S. economy will perform better if women contribute their talents more fully in the workforce, said “we still need to change the behavior of men, of the workplace and of the educational system.”
Professor of Chemistry Michelle Francl, who just completed a National Science Foundation grant to develop new curricular materials for chemistry majors that incorporate both modern research and the “culture of chemistry,” reported on how technology is making teaching in the liberal arts classroom more effective.
Rachel Simon ’81, a lecturer in the Creative Writing program, shared with alumnae the process of discovering what life is like for her sister, Beth, who has special needs and a passion for riding the bus. Simon wrought those discoveries into an award-winning memoir, Riding the Bus with My Sister, which was made into a movie in 2005. Since the book’s publication, Simon has become a much-sought-after speaker and advocate for people with cognitive disabilities, as well as for the public transit industry.
Cornelia Wadsworth Robart ’61 and Delia Wheelwright Moon ’61.
Professor of Italian Nick Patruno, who will lead the Alumnae Association’s travel program to Tuscany and the Italian Rivera this fall, served antipasti both edible and linguistic to potential travelers.
The Maisie Dethier Award for the highest Annual Fund participation and the Ellenor Morris ’27 Award for the highest Annual Fund total went to the Class of 1956, which raised $319,480 from 75 percent of the Class. Overall, the Class of 1956 has raised more than $2.4 million for the Challenging Women Campaign from 91 percent of the Class.
Karen Tidmarsh Honored
Since 1980, the College and the Alumnae Association have recognized dedicated and important service to the College with the Helen Taft Manning Award. Named for a former Professor, Dean and Acting President of Bryn Mawr, this award is given jointly by the institution and the Alumnae Association.
Molly Kleinman ’01 (left) and Nana Dawson-Andoh ’01 at Step Sing.
The award was given to Karen M. Tidmarsh ’71, dean of the undergraduate college, on May 28 by President of the College Nancy J. Vickers and President of the Alumnae Association Mary Berg Hollinshead ’69, Ph.D ’79, after Vickers’ State of the College remarks.
(The award was also presented this spring to Maria Luisa Buse Crawford ’60, professor of science, geology and environmental studies, and to Johanna “Nan” Alderfer Harris ’51.)
“In some way or other, Karen’s work shapes just about every part of the Bryn Mawr student experience, academic and co-curricular,” commented Vickers. “During her tenure, Karen has guided a number of important curricular reforms through the faculty.
“She has played a central role in the creation of the College Seminar Program, and has greatly expanded the academic resources available to students in such areas as writing and peer mentoring. She has used her influence (and often her budget) to support faculty/student interaction outside the classroom. She is a passionate advocate for the importance of giving students a meaningful voice in governing the institution.
“She is equally persuasive on the importance of giving students room during their years here to become independent decision-makers and to make the transition to adult life. …Karen is a passionate steward of the College’s values, and she brings a deep sense
of those values to every conversation and every meeting, for which I am very grateful.”
Hollinshead said, “Karen’s accomplishments are many and large, but they have been achieved in daily diplomacy, hard work and humor, in the acts and decisions of an empathetic and ethical person …It is fascinating to see how many students and staff, past and present (myself included) believe she belongs to them. They are right, she does. And all of us belong to her.”
More Reunion photos and thoughts
Return to August 2006 Highlights