June 2013

A Word from Our Club President ...

June 2013

Thank you! I can’t believe it’s been two years since I was elected president of the club. The time has really flown by. I’ve been privileged to be your club president. I’ve met many amazing women, and my biggest regret is that I did not have the time or opportunity to meet and get to know even more of you. I will continue to be involved with club events and meet new members, and I encourage you to do the same. I guarantee your life will be enriched by the incredible women in this club!

Winter and spring proved to be a busy time. Since January, we have had seven club-related events, and all have included a wide age-range of alumnae, including very recent graduates, which is just great. And we still have the annual meeting coming up on Friday, June 14.

Club activities spanned from the creative to the cerebral. In January, Sheila Moar ’74 shared her voyage of moving from the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur, fulfilling her dream of creating and selling her own jewelry. She provided great tips to those interested in venturing out on their own. Thanks to Cecily Hines ’73 for hosting.

Emily Hagens ’10 and her mother reprised the valentine-making salon in February, giving attendees the opportunity to handcraft unique valentines and feast on the Hagens’ fabulous treats.

Another group of women (and one brave male guest) tapped into their creative side by learning to hand drum at the Women’s Drum Center in March. The group had fun creating beautiful rhythmic sounds and reduced their stress levels too. Don’t be surprised if you see a performance at a future Smith Club event!

April was packed with activities. Stephanie Ross ’86 shared her knowledge of the Enneagram to help us better understand our behaviors and the behaviors of others. Wendy Lutter ’89 hosted almost 20 of us for this fun and enlightening evening. Later in the month, Samantha Oestreicher ’05, one of our three Alumnae Admissions Coordinators (AACs), hosted a care-package salon. With donations from several club members, packages with food and fun treats were assembled and sent to 37 of Minnesota’s Smith students to help get them through finals week.

Despite one of our record April snowstorms causing a delay of the MissRepresentation salon, the evening was worth the wait. Over 30 club members and guests watched MissRepresentation, a film that looks at the portrayal of women in the media and advocates for change. After the movie, lively discussion, facilitated by two panelists from MinnPost (thanks to Laurie Kramer)―Beth Hawkins and Cyndy Brucato―made it a thought-provoking evening. In fact, both panelists made a point of telling me they were impressed by the caliber of the discussion!

The highlight of the spring was Carol Christ’s visit to Minnesota in April. As one of her final activities as Smith College president, Carol is traveling to select clubs as a farewell and to promote “Women for the World,” the campaign she launched. We were extremely fortunate to be chosen for one of her visits. And we showed the college that they chose wisely. Over 90 alumnae came to the Minneapolis Club to enjoy lunch and listen to President Christ reflect on her time at Smith and hear her lead a discussion with two well-known alumnae who had a big impact on Carol’s tenure at Smith: Shelly Braff Lazarus ’68 and Minnesota’s very own Marilyn Carlson Nelson ’61.

President Christ ended the luncheon by playing a video highlighting the importance and benefits of “Women for the World: the Campaign for Smith” (the video also has a segment on Marilyn Carlson Nelson). You can see a version of the video by going to www.smith.edu/giving/campaign.php.

One of the key points of the campaign is the importance of alumnae participation in giving to the college. While total funds are of course important, what the college is really looking for and is rated on by outside organizations is the proportion of alumnae who participate. No amount is too small—if you give, you’re counted! So even if you can give only a very small amount, it’s better than not giving at all. Development and event staff who traveled with President Christ said they love coming to Minnesota, as we are such a vibrant and engaged club. Let’s demonstrate that engagement even more by achieving a 100% Minnesota participation rate!

Our next club event, as summer kicks in, is our annual meeting on June 14. If you haven’t received your invitation, please contact Justina Roberts. We are very fortunate that well-known Smith College Economics Professor Andrew Zimbalist will be our guest speaker. Not only is he in high demand and hard to get for club events, he is also in demand by the national media whenever an issue about the economics of professional and collegiate sports arises. He will talk with us about the economic impact of stadiums and sports teams on communities.

In addition to our club events, we have several other areas where we have made our mark. In April, a group from our club presented a webinar on our Oral History Project to club leaders across the globe. The webinar was well received and is now posted on the Alumnae Association’s website. We have been contacted by alumnae to learn more and have sold some of our books to other clubs.

Because of the success of Smith Day this past year and our club’s financial position, we were able to send $18,000 to our endowed scholarship fund and $5,000 to support two Praxis scholarships. As of the end of December 2012, we have almost $2.2 million in our endowed scholarship fund, which generated almost $111,000 in income credit. From this, the college was able to provide scholarship funds to three current Minnesota students. See page 4 for letters to our club from students who have benefited from our efforts. What a significant accomplishment by our club. We should all feel proud. And it gives us an even bigger incentive to volunteer and shop at Smith Day!

Thank you to ALL of the wonderful women who have shared their talents, opened their homes, and made our club activities possible. I want to especially thank our club’s Executive Committee for their commitment and unending support. Their countless hours of work make this club successful. You, too, can get involved. Come to club events, volunteer at Smith Day, or step up to be a club leader. You will not be disappointed.

Barbara Klaas ’74

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