Prologue The reviews are in. The audience has spoken.
The Reunion of the Stars was “wonderful"... "a great experience" ... "great fun" ... "a blast" ... "everything I hoped for and more!”
From the save-the-date postcard notices received early last fall through the lively and colorful invitation brochure arriving in March, to the final curtain on Sunday, alumnae appreciated this year’s new twist to the annual celebration --- a theme, the Reunion of the Stars
, appearing on each of the three days, and in just about every way.
A total of 304 alumnae registered for at least one event of the June 6-7-8 weekend, but primarily for the annual Reunion Luncheon. Registrations for this event, alone, increased 8 percent over those in 2007, 44 percent over 2006, 26 percent over 2005, and 15 percent over 2004.
Of the 1163 alumnae mailed invitations to attend Reunion Weekend 2008, 26 percent from classes ending in 3 and 8 registered for at least one event, compared to 24 percent of 2’s and 7’s in 2007, 23 percent of 1’s and 6’s in 2006, and 20 percent of 0’s and 5’s in 2005.
|Click to enlarge any photo presented in the narrative or in the concluding photo gallery; photos will open in a new window. Click Here to go straight to the Flickr photo galleries.
Weekend photographs presented throughout this summary provided by Jim Roese Photography.
Several additional photos compliments of Maureen Kelsey O'Hara '88, Mary Pollitt '58, and Sue Dufrasne '58.
And what did our alumnae stars say about their reunion experience?
“Fabulous! A ‘celestial’ success…I think I can speak for all the ’48ers who attended our 60th reunion. We had a bang-up time…”
Janet Smith Murphy ’48
“The Reunion of the Stars … what a glorious reunion it was! As the Class of 1958 stars reflect on our 50th, we are filled with appreciation for the warm welcome extended to us by everyone at CHC… A stellar celebration. Thank you to all at CHC. Let’s do it all again.”
Clare McConnell Brown ’58
“Loved the Reunion of the Stars concept…”
Penny Grelis Morrison ’68
“I thought the college made a great effort to provide a fun, informative reunion. I look forward to the next one.”
Joan Courtney Leicht ’73
“Loved the red carpet welcome and registration bag. The whole weekend was lovely…”
“I feel so connected again! I thought the whole process from the save-the-date [card] to the final hug good-bye was wonderful. The whole weekend kept the flavor of the college true, even with the boys on campus. I’m already counting down the days until our next reunion --- 1975 days to go! And having a full one-price package was wonderful!
Act I: Friday, June 6
Jess Bowman Dodson ’98
“It was a lot of fun, and I’m excited for the next one so I can see the different people and bond with everyone again.”
Coleen Bant ’03
Visible props for the College’s first themed reunion --- Reunion of the Stars
--- greeted returning alumnae as soon as they arrived on Friday afternoon.
A red carpet entrance to the piazza joining Logue Library and Fontbonne Hall led everyone to Friday’s registration tent
, where alumnae volunteers received arriving alums and student workers unpacked cars and carried luggage to air conditioned suites in Fitzsimmons Hall. They also moonlighted as the weekend’s paparazzi, snapping shots of Friday’s arrivals. Festive red and gold Reunion registration bags containing keepsakes, mementos, official nametags, and more were on hand for each alumna.
Sister Carol Jean Vale’s Welcome Back Reception
officially opened the weekend festivities, and there was no break in the action after that. Alums enjoyed a choice of four faculty-led concurrent personal enrichment sessions immediately following the president’s reception, then were tempted by Friday night’s Dining Around the World
buffet dinner and this year’s two new activities for the evening...a 3-D Tour of the Stars
session conducted by adjunct astronomy professor Al Lamperti, and CHC Idol Night on the Hill
Any anticipation of timid wallflowers was quickly dimisssed, as the karaoke machine never rested and the piazza rocked with vintage performances. In fact, the planned 11:45 p.m. conclusion rolled into a 1:15 a.m. lights out on the Fournier Circle. It was quite a long day, especially for those who took advantage of the morning pre-check-in activities offered at various spots in the Chestnut Hill community.
“[Appreciated] the lovely touches such as the Welcome Alums banner and the red carpet.”
Cecile Heebner Knies ’63
“Met classmates for Friday lunch at the Gardens of the Morris Arboretum --- grateful for the suggestion.”
"I loved the 'Nourish Your Mind' offerings."
Terry Clark Trudeau '68
“Seminars [are keepers] – something different, fun, mixes classes.”
Barbara Mercer Panek ’73
“Karaoke Night --- it brought ALL classes together for a night of fun!”
Act II: Saturday, June 7
Maryanne L. Walsh ’98, ’02 SGS
Alumnae poured into the Main Chapel for Saturday morning’s Annual Reunion Memorial Mass
. The College Hymn to Our Lady, "Salve Mater Salvatoris
," sung immediately following Communion, always touches the heart, and this year was no exception as alumnae voices soared in the Main Chapel.
Class pictures, handshakes and lots of hugs followed in the Rotunda and adjoining parlors, as those arriving for the day found classmates and friends during the Cocktail Reception
immediately preceding the keystone event, the Annual Reunion Luncheon
Alumni Association president Joanne Fink ’76
greeted more than 300 alumnae gathered in Sorgenti Arena for what’s become the boisterous Roll Call of Classes, marked by cheers and swirling napkins by each announced class. She presented special welcomes and wristlet corsages to Kathryn Brown Davis ’33
, the first and only Chestnut Hill alumna ever to attend that milestone reunion, and to Adele Przbylowski Majka ’43, the other senior celebrant, marking her 65th reunion.
The classes dined and chatted while viewing a continuous slide show of Friday’s arriving alums, as photographed by the student paparazzi.
Sister Carol Jean Vale
|Architect's rendering of the
SugarLoaf Hill of the future
offered a brief update on the state of the College and dazzled the alumnae with her slide presentation of the architect’s renderings of a developed SugarLoaf Hill, complete with a new chapel, courtyards, and more.
In keeping with the “stars” theme, Joanne Fink invited the alums to recognize several past winners
of the Alumni Association’s Eleanore Dolan Egan ’28 Award for Outstanding Service to Chestnut Hill College
and the Distinguished Achievement Award
who were able to attend. She then presented this year’s Egan award to Catherine Lockyer ’87
and achievement award to Nancy Loving ’68
Saturday's luncheon concluded with the singing of the "Alma Mater" and was followed by traditional class meetings, a variety of activity choices --- including a quick tour of SugarLoaf Hill, a lecture by professors David Contosta and Mary Helen Kashuba, SSJ on the College’s “two hills,” and another new activity...a Milestones Cocktail Reception
for the 25th and 50th reunion classes and their spouses --- and the evening, family-friendly BBQ
along Fournier Circle and in the piazza.
The Social Room set the stage for Saturday night's Casino Royale,
where alumnae also took advantage of the opportunity to make their own take-away reunion memory videos.
Past recipients of the Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement Award recognized by association president Joanne Fink '76 immediately preceding the presentation of the 2009 award.
(L-r): Fink, Marie DiBerardino, Ph.D. '48, Elizabeth Marron Cooper '71, Barbara D'Iorio Martino '60, Loretta M. McLaughlin '74 SCPS, Joan K. Lunney, Ph.D. '68.
2008 Egan Award recipient Cathy Lockyer '92 (l) and association president Joanne Fink '76
Past Egan Award recipients with alumni association president Joanne Fink '76, (l-r); Anne Duffy Mirsch '52, Elaine Bennett Davey '65, Fink, Loretta (Bunny) Brennan O'Brien '46, Pat Parrella Orlando '68, Barbara D'Iorio Martino '50.
2008 Achievement Award recipient Nancy Loving '68
“I enjoyed the Mass on Saturday. Father’s [Devlin] homily was excellent!”
Maryanne J. Kane ’78
“I love Mass in that chapel.”
Ann Curran Brown ’78
“The class picture photographer [Ian Campbell Photography] … patient!”
“Slide show [of Friday’s arriving alumni] was especially enjoyable...The Milestones Cocktail Reception was a special treat.”
Mary Pollitt ’58
“Sister Carol’s presentation was exceptional --- both content and presentation.”
Peggy Walsh Shubnell ’58
“It was very exciting to see the artist’s drawings of the CHC of the future. To think that only five years ago, we were looking forward to accepting men and wondering what that change might bring. This was our last reunion of all women alumnae --- as such, it was precious to me --- but I acknowledge the bright future CHC has as a result of changing with the times. We have been blessed with good leadership.”
Anne Brennan ’73
“Hearing and seeing the updates was great. I love that we are growing. The [luncheon] program booklet continues to be classy…”
Jess Bowman Dodson ’98
“Sister Carol’s presentation opened many eyes of those who had not been back to the college for years. It’s great to have Sister inform everyone of what the future holds for our beloved Chestnut Hill.”
Act III: Sunday, June 8
Maryanne L. Walsh ’98, ’02 SGS
“I really felt welcomed and wanted...Everything was so perfect. I can’t tell you how touched I was by our 1933 graduate…I was so moved by Nancy Loving’s story and award. It was also nice that the past awardees were honored."
Judy Heffernan ’68
“Program was great…loved the slide show & the [luncheon program] booklet.”
Penny Grelis Morrison ’68
The final day traditionally focuses on those celebrating their 50th reunion and other members of the Golden Griffins
, beginning with Mass in the Rotunda. This year’s Golden Griffins Brunch moved from the West Dining Room to Sorgenti Arena to accommodate the record–breaking registrations.
As of May 29, 120 alumnae and 23 spouses planned to attend; within a week, the total brunch count rose to more than 165, surpassing last year’s record 126, which was then an increase of 85 percent over 2006 registrations!
A continuous slide show of selected pages from the 1948, 1953, and 1958 yearbooks produced more than a few ooh’s and aah’s during brunch. A special surprise was in store for the Class of 1958, however, as these alumnae would become the first class to experience an official induction ceremony
into the Golden Griffins.
Alumni Relations director Patricia Canning announced that in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the graduation of the first class to enter what was Mount St. Joseph College on the Wissahickon in 1924, and in recognition of the original name of the Golden Griffins as the 1924 Club, a medallion
specially created and struck by Fred H. Straub Jewelers of Abington, Pa.,
would be presented to each member of the 50th reunion class attending the brunch. She invited everyone to join her in thanking alumni association president Joanne Fink ’76 for personally underwriting the start-up costs associated with this special keepsake, which will be presented to attending members of the 50th reunion class each year. As she read the name of each 50th reunion celebrant in attendance, the alumnae accepted their medallions and congratulations from the alumni association and College presidents. Each medallion captures the College seal on one side and a centered Griffin surrounded by the words Golden Griffins and two fleurs de lis
on the other.
The induction ceremony concluded with the request by the Class of 1958 to join hands and sing their class song, whose chorus is an adaptation of the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
Many Golden Griffins who were not included in the previous day’s five-year reunion cycle heard about the College president’s luncheon presentation and requested a “highlights” summary of the plans for SugarLoaf. Sister Carol obliged, and the artist’s renderings again generated great enthusiasm and a host of questions and excited comments.
The 2009 Golden Griffins Brunch, which raised the curtain on two new traditions --- an official induction of the 50th reunion class into the Golden Griffins, and the introduction and presentation of the Golden Griffins medallion --- and premiered the artist's renderings of Chestnut Hill's "college on two hills" ended joyously with the singing of the "Alma Mater."
“Loved Golden Griffins Mass, lunch, and slide show.”
Denise Wall ’58
“Golden Griffin medallion presentation was memorable…nice to have spouses included in the event.”
Lois Hoffner Udicious ’58
“Best reunion ever!”
Sue Dufrasne ’58
“Overall --- a super weekend!”
Angela Romano Moore ’58
“The highlight of my year.”
Peggy Walsh Shubnell ’58
“Our Golden Griffins luncheon --- with a look to the future with the slide show of SugarLoaf Hill and a recap of our past with the [slide show] shots from the ’58 Aurelian left us with excitement and anticipation for the growing CHC and with renewed pride in a place we have loved for over half a century…The medallion for the Golden Griffins is a beautiful idea and much appreciated.”
Clare McConnell Brown ’58
“I thought the save-the-date card was so creative, so special; the follow-up card very helpful, and the registration invitation brochure just wonderful.”
Producers, Directors, Stage Crew ... Take a Bow
Judy Heffernan ’68
"The online registration process was excellent! I appreciate that this method of registration was available."
Rieke Baize '88
“It was the best reunion I’ve attended for its creativity and its warmth and consideration of our diverse and multiple needs…Memorable…Worth the trip from N.C. …New appreciation for the College and its amazing growth.”
Jackie Jaixen Rabinovitz ’48
“Although I left CHC at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday [missing the Golden Griffins Mass & Brunch], to get home to Urbana, Il., by 5:30 (CDT; horrible connections), weather conditions interfered. Was held over at Detroit and finally got home on Monday evening at 6 p.m. If asked, I’d do it again in a heartbeat for a reunion with my classmates.”
Maureen Maclean McCord ’58
"I felt so warmly welcome from the moment I arrived."
Terry Clark Trudeau '68
“Our 55th reunion was everything I had hoped for and more. So many activities for all ages...”
Jane McGuckin Buczkowski ’53
“What a great 50th Reunion at CHC! I had a marvelous time, as did all my classmates who came back home! I am proud to call myself a graduate of such a fine, outstanding college…co-ed now, good move. Thank you for making our 50th one to remember always, especially in our hearts.”
Maura Woulfe Schubert ’58
“The reunion was just wonderful --- great things happening at the College. We were all so proud and enjoyed each other’s company so much. Thank you for making it possible to enjoy one’s 60th Reunion!”
Anne Keeler McBride ’48
“It was a great experience…I loved mingling with the other classes! I made great friends with several other people from other classes and can’t wait to hang out with them next reunion. Karaoke, BBQ, and Casino Night were a blast!”
Danielle Conlon ’03
“All went very well, considering the heat! Gift bags were thoughtful.”
Mary Jo Dagney ’78
“I always leave reunions feeling very grateful for the opportunity I had to attend CHC. My classmates seem to be intelligent, caring, and hard-working women, anxious to make this world a better place and they do it with a sense of humor and grace.”
Katherine Roach Sullivan ’63
More than 20 alum volunteers
carried out the reunion plans the College created months earlier. One new volunteer, Rodie Mahoney Boyle ’57
, enjoyed her 50th reunion so much last year that she signed up on the spot for this year’s crew!
We thank the following alum volunteers for their attention, good nature, and hard work throughout the weekend:
Kathleen Quigley Grimm ’88, volunteers co-coordinator
Kathleen Shea Pié ’87, volunteers co-coordinator
Regina Black Urmson ’76
Ellen (Sperky) Whiteside Byrne ’56
Angela Jones Willie ’85
Fran Vorsky ’05, ’07 SGS
Cheryl Ann Kennedy ’87
Bridget Rochford Atzinger '87
Mary Pat Forsythe Stabile ’05
Karen Wilderotter Judge ’87
Maureen Kelsey O’Hara ’88
Regina Ventresca Creedon ’71
Michelle Schlindwein Pulcinella ’91
Jessica Keenan Masso ’91
Rosemary (Rodie) Mahoney Boyle ’57
Cathy Lockyer ’87
Kathleen O’Boyle ’84
Ryan Ireland ’05
Chrissy Tomaselli ’05
Amy McLeer Frangione ’94
Anne Duffy Mirsch ’52
Poonum Singh ’05
Rosemary Haenn ’91
Sandra Moore ’90 SGS
The seven members of the Reunion Weekend Student Team
earned kudos all around. Their welcoming smiles, welcomed pair of hands, and eager response to every wish moved them to the top of everyone’s award-winning list of weekend stars. Thank you to the following students, including one recent grad:
Mark Hammonds ’08
“The support team was outstanding in every way. Orchids to all!”
More pictures to come [below], but first ... a word from your Reunion Weekend sponsor:
Rita Ciotti Altman ’53
“Student assistants were wonderful --- always upbeat, even in the heat.”
“Thank you for orchestrating such a lovely alumni weekend. The activities, meals, and lectures provided full-time fun. It is always great to renew old friendships. It couldn’t have been better.”
Janet MacCausland Welsh ’53
“Outstanding Event --- well planned and beautifully executed.”
Myra Hayes ’58
“The reunion was wonderful. The accommodations were great. It was a good feeling to be back with old friends and to be treated so kindly. The school looks marvelous. Thank you for a remarkable weekend.”
Antoinette Maselli Belisari ’48
“I found your student helpers inspiring --- bright, gracious, dignified and fully alive...”
Dolores Sejda Aversa ’53
“…this is a fabulous weekend, reflecting much care and planning...”
Cecile Heebner Knies ’63
“Thanks for organizing so much so well. Truly a memorable time. Everyone did a great job --- no small undertaking. Congratulations.”
Marie Pascucci Glanz ’63
COMMENTS? Please share your thoughts on this weekend summary, photos, and photo gallery that follows by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMINDER: Alumnae are encouraged to post personal Reunion Weekend photos in the "Member Photos" section of Griffins Online, www.CHCgriffinsonline.com. While in the online community, why not add your comments to those already posted by alumnae from 1948, 1968, 1978, 1983, and 1993 in the "Class Notes -- Reunion 2008 Class Messages" section?
It’s a Wrap
A number of pictures in the photo gallery are captioned...hover over "Notes" below the enlarged photo. Click "Link" to open the free Flickr presentation. Friday Afternoon Photos
Friday Night Photos
Saturday Morning & Afternoon Photos
Saturday Night Photos
Kate Dobbs Wendleton '67, keynote speaker of the 2008 Annual Fall Leadership Conference for Alumni Volunteers, brought her energetic and enthusiastic message of "You can do it" to Chestnut Hill College alumni volunteers on Sunday, September 30.
More than 60 class officers; alumni association directors, past presidents, and committee members; admissions ambassadors; career services mentors; Libris Society members, and other alumni volunteers profited from Wendleton's guidelines, tips, and methods developed over 25 years as president of The Five O'Clock Club, a nationally recognized New York-based career development and counseling organization. (www.fiveoclockclub.com)
Focusing on the theme "Targeting...Networking...Motivating: A Success Guide for CHC Alum Ambassadors," Wendleton presented key principles in "getting results for Chestnut Hill College" in terms of attracting quality students, encouraging employers to offer internships and summer employment to current students, activating a career network for students as well as for other alums, motivating prospective donors to invest in the College, and more.
She stressed the point that "telling people about Chestnut Hill College is not small talk. It's a campaign!" Results will occur, she said, when a plan is put into place - when an alum ambassador proceeds through a series of campaign steps that begin with establishing a list of goals the alum wants to achieve. The top two, for example, could be increasing the number of internships and summer employment opportunities for current students and increasing enrollment applications from talented and gifted students.
Wendleton clicked through the remaining steps in a campaign to accomplish both of these goals, paying particular attention to student recruitment activities and offering examples of situations the alumni can either create or leverage - as well as specific statements, questions, and comments the alums can make - to move the process along to a successful outcome.
Conference chair and alumni association president Joanne Fink '76 introduced the speaker by noting: "We refer to Kate - the former Marion K. Dobbs - as one of our alumnae, a member of the Class of 1967. But, in fact, she completed both her bachelor's degree and MBA at Drexel University. She transferred from Chestnut Hill after her freshman year for financial reasons."
"The strategies that Kate recommended for job searches," observed career services director Nancy Dachille '01 SGS, "are equally valuable for recruiting good students to the College. Kate gave us terrific suggestions and practical ways to make things happen."
As promised, Wendleton provided valuable insight on improving any alum's odds for success in working a room, determining good prospects, probing for key information, and following up on terrific leads - all for the benefit of Chestnut Hill. "Kate's ideas," said Mary Pat Feeney Kessler '83, "if implemented by the alum, will see immediate results for the college. We need to remind ourselves we are ambassadors of the college and have multiple opportunities to 'sell' Chestnut Hill College to our friends, family, colleagues and business associates."
Kessler especially liked "Kate's advice to take advantage of 'serendipitous meetings' - every party, every organization meeting, and everyone you encounter on a daily basis! Talk to them about the college, develop your targets - the 'right people' - network with them and follow-up. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up, it's all in the follow-up. Follow-up is the critical step, and the step most of us fall short on."
Each conference participant received a folder of information from the speaker, including a handout presenting additional details to her presented comments as well as sample worksheets to put any alum's campaign into play. She also included a complimentary book, The Good Person Guidebook: Transforming Your Work & Personal Life (2007), written by her husband and colleague, Richard Bayer, Ph.D., a frequent commentator and writer on topics concerning business ethics.
Other speakers included Kenneth Hicks, VP for institutional advancement, who updated alumni on campus growth and expansion, and Jodie King '94, dean of enrollment management, who presented a profile of the Class of 2011 and an overview of admissions activities that have produced remarkable success. She noted that 47 percent of the entering class is male, "an astonishing figure so early into our coed existence." What's more, she added, the combined new first-year students (235) and transfer students (58) produced the largest new entering class to date. Thirteen states are represented in this total, and six new students from five countries join nine other international students from countries that include India, Vietnam, Croatia, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the Dominican Republic. Transfers arrived from such institutions as Rutgers, Temple, and the University of Rhode Island.
The keynote speech was followed by a demonstration of CHC Griffins Online, the new alumni online community, plus a tour of current postings on the alumni pages of the College home page, which led into a discussion of communications opportunities for alumni as well as an open forum with Jodie King and Nancy Dachille on alumni impact on admissions and career services goals for the College.
"Kate was an enthusiastic, vibrant speaker - very knowledgeable, better still, her simplicity in presentation…"
Delia Schiavi Melograna '42
"The entire program was very well done and extremely professional…Kate was very engaging and a real advocate for Chestnut Hill College…"
Nancy Dachille '01 SGS
"Kate was a good choice for the leadership conference. Very enthusiastic speaker; also very impressive credentials."
Sue Dufrasne '58
"Kate was fantastic. I greatly appreciate her candid expression of the values CHC imparted to her, the impact they have had upon her career. Additionally, her action-based address was concrete, applicable…Last year's conference was great; I looked forward to this year's and certainly was not disappointed. It was great! CHC is thriving. I'm proud to be a part of the school's history and look forward to playing a more active role as an alum as the College continues to expand…"
Kate McGinley '00