Beloved of several generations of students, Dean Virginia Harvey ’35 joined Sage in 1944 as a faculty member. During her tenure, she was a physical education instructor, professor of English, dean of freshmen, and associate dean. She became dean in 1959, upon the retirement of Doris Crockett, and served in that position until her own retirement in 1968. Dean Harvey served as a Trustee of the College from 1968 until 1973 before relocating to Cape Cod. Sadly, Dean Harvey passed away in August at the age of 92. This past spring, she had shared her thoughts on aging gracefully with Linda Nee ’61.

Here's to Ninety

The Sage Colleges is celebrating its 90th anniversary this academic year. In honor of this milestone, Connections invited alumnae in their ninth decade to share a special memory, an anniversary-message for the Sage community, or their thoughts on aging gracefully.

Aging with Grace & Humor

I know I am growing old. I hope I am growing old with grace and humor. I have excellent caregivers who keep me from descending into “old age.” Maurine Smith owns the property and added an apartment for me to join her. She oversees my care and keeps me laughing. Practical, social and emotional supports are available to me and I have used them. Accept the help that people give you and reward them.

I am 92. As you would guess, my vision is less than it was on my 90th birthday. My hearing is in the same sad state and my knees insist upon shaking in order to tell me they are tired of either standing or walking … Fortunately, I do not suffer from depression. I can walk perhaps 20 feet with a cane. I think I am really in fairly good health.


There are many bright sides to growing old. I am no longer responsible for the care of 1,200 women plus an equal number of young RPI and Albany State fraternity men! Friends bring me dinner, cookies they’ve made, dark chocolate which they know I love, and lots of information about news and the Cape.

The best advice I can give about aging is to remain yourself. The world has changed

since graduation. You offer a certain viewpoint and can offer advice and wisdom gained from the experience of your aging.


I made up my mind to be cheerful — I was happy to find it helped. Humor is probably better than medicine. I like it in jokes and anecdotes supplied by the people around me. My list of health concerns has now become in great part the subject of my humor. A large part of aging is adjusting to dependency, therefore I refuse to accept any increase in dependency unless it involves my safety.


Retain your curiosity — even with my visual limitations I have found ways to read. The Perkins School Adult Library has the latest books on cassette. If you feel sorry for yourself and frown you will develop a facial “droop” so keep a smile on your face!

Moving Up Day Mix Up

Dean Hanberg admitted me to Russell Sage in 1933, for a commercial diploma. I remained at Sage until 1937, graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration. I enjoyed every moment of my time with classmates and friends at Sage. One of my fondest memories occurred in the spring of 1934, May 1 to be exact. That was the day when the yearly ritual of moving up took place outside Sage Hall. That morning I dressed in our class color Angel Blue. I wore my beautiful powder blue sweater, white skirt, bobby socks and shoes in preparation for the outdoor ceremony. However Mother Nature had other plans; a spring snowstorm turned the campus lawn, trees, and bushes into a fantasy land! Moving Up Day was moved indoors. Mother Nature had her own “first day as a sophomore” surprise party for our class. Congratulations to Russell Sage on its 90th anniversary and best wishes for the future!

Eliza Kellas’ Hidden Handkerchief


I followed my sister Eleanor Peckworth Waltsrum ’26 to attend Russell Sage College. It was my privilege to have had as president of the College, Miss Eliza Kellas, appointed by Mrs. Russell Sage. Miss Kellas was head of the Emma Willard Preparatory School for girls, located “on the hill” in Troy. I recall the chill damp fall morning we met in the unheated assembly building for convocation. Miss Kellas was driven by her chauffeur downtown from the hill to speak to us. She wore an ankle length dark blue dress, custom made with a tiny slit just at arm’s length in the folds of her skirt. It was there that Miss Kellas kept her handkerchief so that she could surreptitiously remove it to wipe her nose.


It was cold in the Assembly Building and it was a damp day in Troy…so it’s not surprising that her nose ran! I will add advice on aging gracefully… It is also important to age actively!

Aging gracefully? The docs say genes. My answer? Get rid of problems…ASAP! Face them immediately. Solve them to the best of your ability and when all is done, forget them! Enjoy daily life. What else is there, except a sense of humor?