What a great annual meeting! It was such a treat to hear from Professor John Davis at the Walker Art Center June 7. Thank you to our club’s Immediate Past-President Paula Prahl and Vice President Emily Beck for their efforts in organizing such a wonderful event. During the meeting, the chairs of Smith Day 2015, Stephanie Frost, Helen Leslie, and Laura Miller, announced the theme for this year’s sale—Minnesota Arts Celebration: Smithies Celebrating the Vibrant Minnesota Arts Scene. If you are interested in helping with Smith Day—whether it’s chairing a department or donating items or time—please contact Stephanie, Helen, or Laura (visit our contact form).
It was my honor to be elected to a two-year term as president of the Smith College Club of Minnesota at the Annual Meeting. I'm very excited about this role and am thankful to have watched and learned from past presidents, including Paula Prahl, Barbara Klaas, Laurie Kramer, Betsey Whitbeck, Ellen Van Iwaarden, and Marty Swain.
During my term, I hope to increase engagement in the club, especially for recent graduates, who may one day become club officers and Smith Day chairs! Also, through frequent programming during the year, I hope to encourage the development of relationships among club members.
A little bit about my background: I graduated from Smith in 2006, majoring in economics and French studies. After graduation, I moved to New York to work at a large corporate law firm as a mergers and acquisitions legal assistant. I then moved back to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota Law School and am currently a corporate associate at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
When I returned to Minneapolis in 2007, I immediately emailed the then-current president of the Smith Club and asked how I could help. I remember my first project was with Barbara Knott ’97 and Leisl Hargens ’98, the Alumnae Admissions Coordinators (AACs) at the time, hand-writing notes to about 350 prospective students. It's nice that Smith now has electronic post-cards! I then served as an AAC for a few years. Being an AAC is such a fun position, because you get to meet with amazing high school students and watch them grow into strong, independent women once they get to Smith.
After my time as an AAC, I served as the club’s vice president and also joined the nominating committee. In 2012, I began to volunteer as a Network Alumnae Admissions Coordinator (NAAC) for the Midwest Region. NAACs act as intermediaries between the Smith Admissions Office and AACs.
And now, I'm excited to serve as president of our Club! The Smith Club of Minnesota means so much to me. As many of you have also experienced, the Smith family is always there for you — in the good times and the bad. I feel so lucky to be part of this community.
We’ve already had one event this summer; Laura Miller, Mariquita Anderson, and I attended an improv show where Gubby Kubik ’11 performed (see page 5). While at the show, a new club within the club was formed—a Supper Club! Mariquita, who is a new member of our club, will be organizing those events, so stayed tune (see page 4 for our first one). I can't wait to try restaurants around town with other food-loving Smithies!
Coming up August 23 there will be an Executive Committee meeting to set the agenda for the year ahead. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how the club can serve you better, please feel free to reach out to me (see contact form).
I look forward to seeing you at future events!
Justina Roberts '06