ORAL HISTORY PROJECT – 3rd Volume coming in the spring

The Minnesota Smith Club has now published two volumes in its exciting and unique oral history project, Strong Women Building Strong Communities. The project is known throughout the Smith College alumnae world, and many clubs are keen on doing something similar and interested in learning from us.

Book 1 of Strong Women Building Strong Communities was published in 2008 under the direction of Laurie Kramer ‘ 69 and Betsey Whitbeck ‘71 as part of the Executive Committee’s vision to bring the generations of Smith alumnae in the Minnesota area together in a shared experience. As Laurie stated in her introduction to the book, “oral history is intergenerational – and universal – in appeal.”

The first book profiled sixteen women, including Helen Woodhull Kramer ’34, Anne Hull ’38, Virginia Humphrey ’42, Janet Woodhull ’44, Helen Anderson ’44, Kathleen Ridder ’45, Perrin Lilly ’45, Joanne Von Blon ’45, Sally Pillsbury ’46, Martha Alworth ’47, Grace Norris ’47, Jane Noland ’49, Mary Vaughan ’49, Molly Woehrlin ’53, Marilyn Carlson Nelson ’61, and Ann Pflaum ’63.

A second book was published four years later, in 2012, when Barbara Klaas ’74 was Club President.

The women profiled in Book 2 are Elizabeth (Betty) Cowie ’45, Sarah (Sally) Ross ’45, Nadine Ide ’48, Harriet Spencer ’49, Carolyn (Connie) Donnelly ’51, Cornelia (Nina) Rothchild ’51, Margery (Marnie) Hensel ’52, Barbara Tuttle ’53, Olive (Polly) Gross ’54, Mary Taylor ’55, Helen Hartfiel ’56, Nancy Malmon ’57, Susan Allen Toth ’61, and Margaret (Peggy) Leppik ’65.

Copies of both hardcover books are available for $15 each, $25 for both, plus $4 for shipping. To order yours, please contact Club President, Kate Lehmann at president@smithclubmn.org.

The stories of these women’s lives are both fascinating and inspiring. Barbara had it right when she wrote “I know that I speak for all of us ‘younger’ alumnae in hoping that someday, we too will have our stories woven into this tapestry of Minnesota Smith College women.”

We are beginning interviews on our 3rd volume. The expected publication date is the spring of 2023.

If you are interested in getting involved in this project, please contact Club President, Kate Lehmann at president@smithclubmn.org.