The astounding performances by The Rebecca Kelly Ballet, centerpiece of this year's Reunion, "Celebrating the Arts," were "worth the cost of the entire weekend" in one alumna's words. The world-class dancers and three ballets, which combined classical and modern elements, were pure joy to watch.
Rebecca Kelly '73 told the audience how she created each piece, the nature of choreography, and how her Bryn Mawr education—intellectual exploration, independent initiative, advanced research, and mastery of skills essential to scholarship—had given her a solid foundation for a creative path. Kelly's story was heartening and affirming for those of us who have pursued the arts professionally or on the side.
Many alumnae were also envious to hear from Dean Karen Tidmarsh '71 about changes being made in Bryn Mawr's curriculum that will help undergraduates make the most of their education here.
The result of two years of discussions by a group of faculty, students and administrators, the changes include rigorous half semester courses that will allow students to explore more subjects before and after choosing their major, ways to encourage language study other than requirements, and pre-major faculty advising for small groups of students.
The pre-major advising will force students to talk to faculty and other students about the goals of their education here and how to achieve them. "Increased interactive and small group work in classes across the curriculum also makes it likelier that students will be drawn into conversations," said Tidmarsh.
After taking a leave next fall to visit other campuses with tutoring programs that might be useful models for the College in helping students with writing, quantitative, study or public speaking skills, Tidmarsh will take up the new position of coordinator of Academic Advancement Programs while teaching part time in the English department.
Correction: Historians of women's history and researchers write that Ying-he Liu is not the first woman to paint one of Bryn Mawr's presidential portraits, that of Nancy J. Vickers. Harris Wofford's portrait, also in Thomas Great Hall, was painted by Marilyn Conover in 1978.
In this issue, we launch a new department, "Tell us," question and answer interviews with alumnae. Our first one is with Jenny Sawyer '02, who makes 60-second video summaries to help teenagers engage with works of classic literature such as Huckleberry Finn (above) for better grades in the classroom and better lives outside the classroom.