2020 Annual Meeting

2020 Smith Club of MN Annual Meeting

Featured Special Guest
Samantha Earp
Smith College CIO and VP for Information Technology

Missed the meeting? Now worries! Click Event Recording to watch the meeting. Or read on…

Meeting Agenda

This year, the Smith College Club of Minnesota hosted its first-ever VIRTUAL Annual Meeting. Almost 40 alums gathered together online to vote for new Club officers (Andrea Smith – Vice-President and Christl Larson ’86 – Secretary,) thank outgoing officers, and hear from Club officers about Alumnae Admissions, the Club’s financial health and President Kate Lehman recap of the past year.  (Kate’s full report is below.)

Samantha Earp, Smith College’s Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Information Technology joined us and shared a brief presentation on how Smith moved to online learning in just 2 weeks!

Presidents Report

Welcome to the 2020 annual meeting of the Smith College Club of MN – and the first ever one being held in cyber space.  I am Kate Lehmann, current President of the Club.  Our club exists for two primary purposes – one is to assist in connecting potential students to the college and the other is to connect graduates of Smith college to each other in an enduring network of alumnae.  It’s a pretty challenging time to do both of these things but I think we have been successful and will continue to find ways to stay connected.

Looking back over the year I am happy to report that we continued the club tradition of having Smith Day (or Evening) during which we honored our own MN Smith Medal Winner – Jane Anderson – enjoyed tours of the Russian Museum’s collections, and raised money to fund a Praxis Scholarship.  Many of the “experiences’ sold as part of the fund-raising provided opportunities for club members to get together for special meals and to learn new skills.  We also met for Global Tea (well, brunch) in the Clouds, book discussions and walks and the drum group kept drumming…  When life changed radically due to COVID-19, we moved our book meetings online – and enjoyed talking with author and Smith faculty member Ruth Ozeki following our reading of her book “A Tale for the Time Being” …and the drum group moved online.  When George Floyd was killed by police and a new awareness of how deeply rooted racism affects all of us, we started tackling these issues by viewing the documentary “Jim Crow of the North” and talking about it – via Zoom of course.  Tonight, we are online again and looking forward to hearing about how our alma mater had to pivot to online education and what that means for the future.

In looking ahead, I am would like to propose we have an on-going series in which we give racism and anti-racism the kind of thoughtful attention that a group of smart, committed, and aware Smith alums are capable of.  I welcome input into what to include.  We want to keep it a focused and time sensitive effort but I am proposing this as a yearlong effort with discussions at 6-8 week intervals. We will also try to reschedule some of the events that have been sidelined when it seems prudent to do so.  These include a couple of events that were part of the auction at last years Smith Day.  And we’ll look for some opportunities to get together in outdoor settings this summer.  And through all of this, the drum group will keep on drumming.  In fact, we are looking forward to using an outdoor option next week. 

We’ll also have Smith Day (or Evening) – it’s been a continuous tradition for over 85 years – we can’t stop now!  We’ll hear more on this in a few minutes.

Ideas for any and all events are always welcome.    And ideas on how we can support our alumnae of all ages are encouraged.  Our older alums were grateful that we reached out to them as the pandemic took hold and our current students appreciated receiving cards and gifts in time for finals and graduation.  Our alumnae community can be a source of comfort and inspiration – thank you for being part of it.