Approximately 400 women - from their 20s to their 90s - returned to Russell Sage on June 4-5, for Reunion Weekend.
A presentation by five chemistry majors from the Class of 1965 - all accomplished scientists and sponsors of the Chemistry Majors from the Class of 1965 Award in Memory of Grace I. Van Dervoort - made this Reunion particularly special. The panelists spoke about how their Russell Sage education influenced their career paths and included Peggy Banister Scurry, physician and assistant professor, Howard University; Mary (Mimi) Buchakjian Sobo, senior research technician, New York University
Hospital; Lenore Petrillo Rainey, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Nancy Sothern Mueller, founder, Nancy’s Specialty Foods; and Karen Wurstlin Williams, associate professor, Union College. Ann Gates O’Toole, now retired from the University Minnesota, participated in spirit.
Another highlight was a presentation, Founder’s: Coming of Age, with Professors Sybillyn Jennings, Jack Harris and Andor Skotnes. The Founder’s Seminar for Presidential and Trustee scholarship recipients celebrated its 21st birthday during the 2004-2005 academic year, and this well-attended celebration served as a bookend to a birthday reception held last fall.
Annual events included a group photo for alumnae celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation; the Parade of Classes featuring all reunion attendees decked in their class colors and marching arm-in-arm down First Street; and the Alumni Gathering and award presentations.
Alumnae Association Honors Five at Reunion
On Reunion Weekend, the Russell Sage College Alumnae Association bestowed its highest honor, the Doris L. Crockett Medal, on Judith Barnes ’70 and Nancy Sothern Mueller ’65, in recognition of their loyalty to the College and their career and community service achievements.
A resident of Troy, Barnes is founder and president of J.A. Barnes & Company; vice president and chief marketing officer of Mechanical Technologies; and an adjunct professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute. She is a Sage Ring member and former chair of The Sage Colleges’ Board of Trustees. She was assistant director of admissions at Russell Sage in 1971 and has served as class agent and on the President’s Council. She currently sits on the boards of several foundations and organizations contributing to quality of life in Troy and throughout the Capital District. In her acceptance speech, Barnes referred to RSC’s motto, “To be, to know, to do,” as a “personal code of behavior and honor,” concluding that “Sage women do well and do good.”
Nancy Sothern Mueller ’65 of Palo Alto, Calif. — a third generation Sage alumna — began her career as a chemist, and in 1977 founded Nancy’s Specialty Foods, which became the largest processor and marketer of frozen quiche products. The chair of Sage’s 1000 over $1000 campaign, Mueller is a benefactor of the Class of ’65 Chemistry Majors Endowed Award Fund, and has also established the Nancy Mueller Scholarship, awarded to a student enrolled in the Sage/RPI dual degree program in math and engineering. The baccalaureate keynote speaker in 1990, she has spoken to Sage chemistry majors and the wider Sage community on entrepreneurship. She is a Sage Ring member; chapter chair; and has served on the President’s Council; as class agent; on the Grace Vandervoort Memorial Committee; and as a Robison Campaign volunteer. Mueller paid tribute to the people and events that influenced her life and career in her acceptance speech, saying “We are all sponges absorbing life as we live it, making choices, moving forward and hopefully, taking time to smell the roses.”
The Alumnae Association honored Nicole Wright ’95 with the Marion Hughes Reuss ’45 Outstanding Young Alumna Award and Holly Dorman ’74 and Jill Lansing ’95 with the Alumnae Admission ProgramAward for excellence as volunteers.