Saturday, September 24th
The College has sent us emails with instructions on what the class delegates should do. We are to wear our class color or white with a class insignia. Hm, first stop, my closet where I try on a white suit and a red one that a cousin gave me because they didn't fit her. Yikes, they don't fit me either! When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. I find a white dress with a matching jacket at Macy's, 25% off. I have a red Calvin Klein shawl and the '76 pin that went on the red visor from our 10th reunion (or maybe the 15th?). I'm ready for the inauguration!
Thursday, September 29th
I'm on the road to campus taking my usual route--Saw Mill Parkway to 684, 684 to 84, and then the Mass. Pike. While I've made this trip many times, it's always nice to reminisce about Wellesley on the way there. The route hasn't changed much in 40 years; just that 86 in Connecticut is now 84. In two weeks when I go back for Alumnae Leadership Council, the trip will be more fun because Linda Ury Greenberg will be riding with me. I realize that I miss the years when my mom and dad used to drive me up to Wellesley in the fall and bring me home in the spring.
Friday, September 30th
As soon as I turn onto College Road, who should I see but Officer Berube of shut-down-our-disco fame! I show her the photo I took of the two of us just before our 1976-1996 disco at reunion. She says she has our red hat someone gave her in her locker. As I park, I see alumnae have come from near and far to be here today--West Virginia, Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire...
I get my name tag at the Lulu and stop in at the alumnae panel discussion in Alumnae Hall before going downstairs for lunch. Roaming around before lunch, I meet Phyllis Douglas '77, Sue Challenger, and Alecia DeCoudreaux. I sit at a random table for lunch and find myself lucky enough to be with a group of women who work with President Johnson's husband. At the next table is Donna Drvaric '77, we chat and discover that neither of us can remember how we originally met!
After lunch I head over to Jewett to be lined up with the other alumnae delegates. On the way, I meet a colleague, the Dean of Barnard College. Hey, what are you doing here?! Representing President Spar, of course. Once inside, I see that instructions have been followed to the letter. (We are, after all, Wellesley women!) Some are dressed head to toe in their class color; others are wearing white with beanies, feather boas, flowers in their hair, you name it. We are lined up by color and year, given our class pennant, and ponchos in case of rain.
The rain holds off, so we line up along side the tent so we can march in behind the faculty. The procession was led off by a dance troupe, then Wellesley faculty and academic representatives from other schools, followed by the alumnae delegates, (I felt like a rock star! The cheering, especially from students, was so enthusiastic!) and then Wellesley athletes. (Crew was in the lead, Susan Elizabeth Day!).
As for the speeches, you'll be able to see them on YouTube. I most enjoyed the President of Smith who spoke to represent Smith and women's institutions of higher learning (Salem College was there Marcia!) and described Smith's relationship with Wellesley as being like that of a younger sister with a slightly annoying, but highly accomplished older sister; the most touching was that of the head of security (proud father of a 2016 graduate) who represented Wellesley's unionized employees.
After the ceremony there's a reception in the library where I get to chat with retired faculty member Flick Coleman and run into Elizabeth Preis '91 who hosted a pre-reunion cocktail party for NYC alumnae last June. There was yet another reception in the Davis museum plaza where I run into Willajeanne McLean '77 who says I will see her again at ALC.
Finally, it's back to my hotel where Mary Young comes by for a drink. Always go drinking with Mary! Good things happen. First, we meet Avis Russell in the lobby. Then, as we are sitting in the bar, eagle-eyed Mary spots someone entering the hotel and says, Isn't that Mrs. Newell? Sure it enough, it was Mrs. Newell! Of course, we go speak to her and Mary snaps my photo with her. What a way to end inauguration day!