January 2012

A Word from Our Club President ...

January 2012

Autumn proved to be a busy time for the club.

Smith Day, in early September, was a huge success, thanks to our shoppers, volunteers, and donors. We have included a full article about Smith Day on page 2.

During October, club members participated in two theatrical salons. Polly Grose ’54 hosted a gathering where several Smithies demonstrated their theatrical talents reading Polly’s play “A London Concerto,” which is based on her life in London married to British husband David Grose. According to Polly, not only did the Smithies outperform professional readers, the audience of critics, who gave the play a “thumbs up,” also provided valuable insights. The next theatrical event was a preview performance of “The Birth of Venus,” written by Lisa Meyer ’11 and directed by 20% Theatre Company founder Claire Avitabile ’08. The play, which explores the depths of love and friendship, was performed at Smith in May 2011. The Minneapolis performance was its first professional production. The acting and directing were excellent; audience members enjoyed a lively discussion afterward with the playwright, director, and actors.

In November, club members created fascinator hairpieces that easily could have been worn by guests at the Royal Wedding. (See picture)

Upcoming events include another creative opportunity: Make Your Own Valentines (see below).

On Sunday, March 18, we’ll have the opportunity to take a tour of the historic State and Pantages Theaters on Hennepin. The tour begins at 3:30 pm and the cost is $5 per person. For those interested, we will adjourn for drinks and appetizers after the tour. (Watch your e-mail inbox for details about upcoming salons.)

The club’s Annual Meeting will follow in late April or May. Watch your mailbox for the invitation.

Some of you, I know, have watched your e-mail inbox and mailbox in vain for mailings from our club. I am really sorry, and perplexed, by the communication troubles some have had. Our club relies for addresses on the college’s Alumnae Directory. We use regular mail for our newsletters, Annual Meeting invitations, and Smith Day invitations; we use e-mail for salon announcements, club announcements, or other Smith College–related event announcements. E-mail, we hope, is timely, and it certainly helps keep our costs down.

To make sure that we have your addresses right, or if you know of another Smithie who is not getting mailings or e-mails, please go to www.smith.edu. Choose “For Alumnae” on the right side of the Web page. If you have an account, log in and make sure that both your mail and e-mail address are listed; it should also show that you are signed up for broadcast e-mails. If there is anything incorrect or missing, please update your profile (online, by phone, or by mail). If you or someone you know is not signed up on the Alumnae Directory, please click on “login” on the left side of the Web page, and you will be sent to the Alumnae Directory page. You will see “Not yet registered for the community” and then you can click on the link to register now. If you have trouble, please call me ([number removed]) or send me an e-mail message ([email removed]) and I’ll be happy to help you register.

We want all Minnesota Smithies to be connected to our club and events. There is now another reason to make sure you receive club e-mails: The Twin Cities Alumni Network (TCAN). TCAN, an association of select alumni clubs including Ivy League colleges, facilitates interclub events, including social, business, educational, and community-service activities. When appropriate and space permits, participating alumni clubs will include other club alumni in their club activities. Robin Hartwell ’86 has been instrumental in the creation of this network, and our club’s executive committee has agreed to try it out. You should have received an e-mail message on January 4 listing a couple of TCAN events. Let me know if you didn’t get it.

I also have very good news to report about the Smith Club of Minnesota Scholarship Fund. The college’s 2010-11 endowment return of over 19% increased the market value of the college’s portfolio to pre-recession levels. Our Scholarship Fund now has a market value of over $2.2 million. This is great news!

Finally, I had the good fortune of visiting Northampton right before New Year’s Day. Although the college buildings were locked up for break, the campus and the grounds looked spectacular. No snow and unseasonably warm weather meant green grass and open water on Paradise Pond. Baskin’s “The Owl” near Wright Hall looked ready to hoot and lay an egg; Elliot Offner’s “Great Blue Heron” by Lyman Plant House looked ready to take flight. Walking around Smith brought back many memories and a sense of gratitude for the wonderful educational experience it provides. Our club’s fundraising allows young women to experience Smith College, and our club’s activities allow us all to share the wisdom, experience, and talent of Smith graduates.

See you at our salons and our Annual Meeting!

Barbara Klaas ’74

@smithclubMN on Twitter