I have always known that all of us, as Russell Sage College graduates, have much to celebrate — accomplishments in varied and exciting chosen paths. Reunion 2006 was another wonderful example of all we have to celebrate, and how very good we Sage alumnae are at celebrating.
During Reunion, we saw the official unveiling of Mueller Science Hall, renovated through the generosity of Nancy Sothern Mueller ’65. We heard from a marvelous panel of RSC alumnae: Nancy Mueller, Donna Robinson Esteves ’70 and Julia L. Greenstein-Bleicher ’78. These women, accomplished scientists and entrepreneurs in specialty foods, energy conservation and biotechnology, shared their thoughts about the career paths they chose, and the joys and challenges they faced on those paths.
We celebrated with Charlotte Shaw Tracy ’66, this year’s recipient of the Doris Crockett Medal. Charlotte spoke eloquently about the importance of choices women make. Charlotte’s own choices, to forego a salaried career and focus on family and community, are an inspiration to all. She reminded us — in the tradition and beliefs of the founders of Russell Sage College — that educated women make a difference: in the lives of their children, their neighbors, their families and friends, and in the larger society of which they are a part. Charlotte is a living testimony that “to be, to know, to do” is manifest via many paths, each of which is critical to the future.
As befits Russell Sage alumnae, a rainy Reunion Weekend did not dampen our spirits. Undaunted by the weather, the traditional parade of classes continued strong. As one alumna said, “This is Troy; it rains. Who cares?” The classes of “1s” and “6s” stepped around construction, watching work on the new INVEST high-tech center, the first such center at a women’s college. Everyone took a peek at the renovations of French House, now underway, and expressed her opinion about paint colors, floors, etc. Next year the “2s” and the “7s” will see the results! [Note to the Class of 1969 — it is going to be fabulous! The bathrooms are gorgeous.] We also saw plans for the Schacht Fine Arts Center and for the new athletic facility, which will enhance the programs and the quality of life for Sage students.
At the Annual Meeting, the membership selected new officers, to complete the Association’s leadership team for this year: Holly Dorman ’74, president-elect; Anne Marie Paulhaus Iwanicki ’86, vice president; and Tiffany Magnino Grygus ’03, secretary, will join Catherine Hunter-Gould ’89, the current treasurer. This dedicated group of women is working with me to lead our board of directors, which welcomed six members over the summer: Elizabeth (Betsy) Lukasik Gram ’84, Janice Hurd High ’77, Belinda Rucker Hilton ’97, Mary Agnes Murphy ’98, and Karin (Brownie) Williams LaBanca ’94, and Robin Livingston Taubin ’74, our alumna trustee. We also welcomed student representatives Audrey Hummer ’08 and Kimberly Bice ’09.
I am especially excited about family connections to Sage on our Board this year: Betsy and Janice are continuing the tradition of involvement with Sage started by their mothers, Marilyn Trappiel Lukasik ’52 and the late Patricia Ericson Hurd ’48. Belinda’s sister, Yolanda Rucker Morris ’97 and Audrey’s sister, Jennifer Hummer ’02, are also on the Board.
This is my final year as your president and I promise it will be productive, as we continue our work of the past several years with recruitment, alumnae and student outreach, and strengthening financial support for Sage. One critical agenda item this year is to update our strategic plan, assessing strengths and opportunities for our Association to thrive and grow in the work we do for and with Sage and to plan a smooth transition for the new President next year. I will keep you informed as we make progress during the year.
With the year already underway, I am confident you will continue all you do on behalf of Sage — in recruitment, in outreach to students and other alumnae and, of course, in giving generously to Sage. You know how important the Sage Fund for Excellence in Education is for Russell Sage students. Your gifts, small and large, are greatly appreciated. This summer one of our outstandingly loyal alumnae, Sarah Peckworth Rockhold ’30 sent me a note asking me to remind you that, in addition to your annual gifts to Sage, you can also help by remembering Sage in your estate plans, and/or purchasing a charitable gift annuity from Sage.
Have a wonderful year, and to all my fellow “reunioners” in the classes of the “2s” and the “7s”— I look forward to seeing you at Russell Sage, June 1-3, 2007!
Mary Ann Oppenheimer ’67