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Class of 1991 ROARING 20th Reunion Recap

by Nicole Ratte Guttormsen

Those of us who have experienced a reunion of our fabulous, ‘anything but mellow’ class knew to expect great things from Julianne Trabucchi Puckett and Robyn Scott. And they didn't let us down!

Friday evening, attendees from near and far trickled into Ham on the shores of beautiful Upper Lake and the living room and porch were abuzz with the sounds of MHC women reconnecting with one another. Some of us have been die-hard reunion goers and others were coming back for their first ever reunion. Many had spouses and children in tow – from Katy Doty Romp’s lovely 12-year-old daughter Abbey to Gillian Backus’ precious little Timothy, just a few months old! Others chose to attend the weekend solo, but with our MHC sisters, we are never alone, are we?

We began our day on Saturday bright and early (8 o’clock? Really, Julianne?:-)) with our class meeting. Julianne and Robyn gave us a run-down of the day’s events and strict parade-going rules (did anyone follow them? We did let the graduating seniors through, right?). Then Mari Ellen (Ellie) Reynolds Loijens, one of our amazing Head Class Agents, reported on the results of the last year of fundraising for our class. Thanks to so many of you, and especially to Suzanne Franchetti, whose last-minute challenge generated great support, we raised a total of USD 58,293 with 31 percent participation. Thank you to everyone for the commitment you have shown to the college.

Jenny Beens Harper of the nominating committee announced the slate of class officers for the next five years:

  • We thank Kristen Klein Colston for her 10 years of service as our class President and welcome Julianne Trabucchi Puckett to the position.
  • Meredith Elkins will assume the role of Vice-President and Reunion Chair.
  • Ellen Martin Gantner and Nicole Ratté Guttormsen (yours truly) will be Co-Scribes, with Ellen also filling the role of Secretary.
  • Dianne Greenfield will continue as Treasurer, a position she has held and filled masterfully since our sophomore year at MHC!
  • Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens, Janet Balej and Keith Warren Landon will serve us and the college as our Head Class Agents.
  • The Nominating Committee will be Elizabeth Herrick Chapman, Marisol Rodriguez Johnson and Jenny Beens Harper.

Dianne informed us in her Treasurer’s Report that the class account balance now stands in excess of USD 4,000 (note: this was prior to all reunion costs being paid). Any who have not yet paid their class dues can do so online or contact Dianne. For all of you who have paid, thank you!

Special thanks were given to Kristen Klein Colston, Robyn Scott and Giulietta Swenson, our outgoing class board members, as well as to those who agreed to serve in officer positions again.

Also a great round of applause for our reunion volunteers who helped to organize a wonderful weekend of events:

  • Meredith Elkins (hospitality)
  • Ellen Martin Gantner (survey, booklet, signs)
  • Julia Reeb (children’s storytime with author David Hyde Costello at The Odyssey Bookshop)
  • Jen King (Saturday dinner)
  • Shannon Dalton Giordano (game night)
  • Katy Doty Romp and her daughter Abby (staffing the welcome table)
  • Katherine Sandoz for designing our amazing roaring Sphinx logo

After a spring in New England with more rain than sunshine, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by mostly clear skies and the need for sunglasses for the Laurel Parade. Bagpipes blazing, Gertrude “Bobby” Walter Lerch from the class of 1931 (!) led us all from Mary E. Woolley to Mary Lyon’s grave where I must admit I got a bit teary-eyed listening to the class of 2011 singing Bread and Roses. Then we continued on to the Alumnae Association annual meeting where one of our own, Ann Lyles MacPhail, was awarded the Medal of Honor for her outstanding service to the college.

As always, we scattered after the meeting (some to Amherst to relive Judy’s popovers and celebrate Dawn Skwersky Schakett’s birthday!!). The afternoon included Crafternoon (led once again by Robyn Scott), our class photo (which actually happened outside!) and the Odyssey storyhour. Some of us enjoyed Japanese Tea and others roamed the newest, and by far fanciest, dorm on campus, named for former President Joanne C. Creighton.

The ’91 reunion goers reconvened in Ham for our Social Hour and a sit-down, waitressed dinner. That doesn’t happen very often at MHC anymore! Julianne presented awards for a plethora of achievements, ranging from best parade shoes to longest/shortest distance traveled to attend reunion. But the recognition that stood out most in my mind from that night was for our fellow ’91-ers who were attending their very first Mount Holyoke reunion. To return to campus with our crazy bunch of un-mellow alums was both brave and very wise! I hope even more choose to join us for our 25th!

After dinner, I must admit that I watched Junior Show for the first time ever and was amazed by the creativity of my classmates! I have acquired great respect for Arthur Tortellini’s perserverance and have been singing “Black Coffee in Bed” for the past week!

In great class of 1991 reunion tradition, many of us crashed the class of 2001’s DJ dance party at McGregor. Robyn Scott wasn’t lyin’ when she said we kicked their asses! We took over that dance floor! Many of us are paying for it and walking a little more slowly this week, but what can beat a night of dancing to “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Busta Move” and other dorm party classics with our MHC sisters?

As I wrap up this “reunion in review”, I bow to my predecessor, Amy Gotwals, who eloquently wrote in our 15 year wrap-up: “The thing about reunion is that it is just like college was – different for everyone.” I know that this synopsis is skewed by my personal experience and that I may have missed commenting on what was a favorite memory for one of you. But that is the fabulous thing about reunion. We have all restocked our memory banks with fresh tidbits and pearls. Memories that will make us laugh for years to come. Connections that we will keep alive in this wonderful age of social networking with classmates we perhaps never realized were doing such amazing things with their lives.

As co-class scribe, I look forward to hearing from all of you in the years to come. Let’s keep the pages of the Alumnae Quarterly filled with news!! I hope to see you all back in South Hadley in 2016 for our 25th. Until we meet again: RRROOOOOAAAAAR!


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