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Infinite Horizon on the Road

This fall saw the beginning of a year-long lineup of connection events, bringing alumnae, parents, and friends together to hear stories of student impact and details of the plans for Emma Willard School's future.

After years of travel restrictions and concerns over gathering in groups, the Infinite Horizon campaign has given us a celebratory occasion to reconnect. After an exciting start in Washington, DC, our West Coast events this fall had the Emma Willard School Advancement team visiting Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The final event of the fall brought us back to Boston.



Emma Willard School hosted its first brunch in recent history in Portland, Oregon, filled with laughter, mimosas, and new connections. The group chatted about old memories of their times as students and were thrilled to see the sketches of the new Alice Dodge Wallace ’38 Performing Arts Center. The Portland alums are working on their next get together! Ibbie Atcheson ’70 has graciously offered to host a gathering to honor Emma Hart Willard’s Birthday. Stay tuned, Portland.


Back Row L to R: Alexis Murphy ’08, Cece Longo ’16, Director of Alumnae Relations Margaret Clark ’98, Elizabeth “Ibbie” Aldrich Atcheson ’70, Regional Director of Development Karlyn Wilkins. Front Row L to R: Crystal Cave ’05, Raissa Bump ’98, Caitlin Bump ’01, Rachel Klau Sandage ’78



Mary-Alice Pomputius ’82 and husband Walter Smith hosted a lovely gathering at their home to welcome Head of School Jenny Rao to Seattle. Each guest received handmade jester cards created by our hostess. Lisa Goldthwait Tourangeau ’82 joined Mary-Alice in creating a magnificent chapel trivia game, the grand prize of which was a coveted antique Emma Willard Wedgwood plate featuring Alumnae Chapel. We were excited to catch up with Caitlin Jones McClane ’04, daughter of Kent Jones (long-time director of College Counseling, now retired) and husband, Josh. Sue Gilbert ’67 and Ann Wright ’84 shared some of their funniest memories of their time as students, including the delicious ways marshmallow fluff was used in the dining hall and the senior prank that left a piano a bit wobbly.


L to R: Margaret Clark ’98, Caitlin Jones McLane ’04, Lisa Goldthwait Tourangeau ’82, Anne Wright ’84, Head of School Jenny Rao, Sue Gilbert ’67, Mary-Alice Pomputius ’82


San Francisco

The San Francisco Regional Event was held at The Box SF, the former William Randolph Hearst Printing Plant. The ambience could not have been better for creating new connections and hearing about the bright future of Emma Willard School. Head of School Jenny Rao delivered an exciting presentation including the schematics for the performing arts building stating, “We plan on preserving the external façade of the chapel and brilliant architectural design, as well as our grand pipe organ. We acknowledge this history and we will honor this building, and the stories of those who experienced its spiritual beauty.” After a lively Q&A session, Alumnae Association Council (AAC) President Valerie Gonyea ’82 shared with the crowd the reason she has stayed involved with Emma for the last 40 plus years: she loves seeing the next generation of Emma students flourish in the world. 

We were joined by Elizabeth Colton ’66 and Keven Bellows ’55, who reflected on their experiences at Emma Willard and Cathy Kennedy ’72, who recently returned to Mount Ida for her 50th Reunion. Erin Silverman Kim ’00 shared a bit about her career in Silicon Valley and the importance of having more women in the tech industry. Marcy Pattison ’64, wearing a headband with devilish features, shared about her travels overseas. Diane Hailey ’75 and Nancy Kirwan ’69 were road warriors, both driving well over an hour and half to join the group—and we are so glad they did! AAC member Leah Friedman ’02 who was just back on the west coast after a trip to Mount Ida for AAC meetings in October.  The crowd was delighted when former staff member Joe Hefta joined the conversation during the Q&A and expressed his excitement for our community on launching the capital campaign. The final treat of the night was the tour Danielle Shulkin ’11, Lauren Miller ’11, May Van Norman ’98 and Margaret Clark ’98 received of The Box SF and their amazing ephemera collection. 



Above L to R:  Margaret Clark ’98, Danielle Shulkin ’11, Lauren Miller ’11, May Van Norman ’98


Los Angeles

The Los Angles Emma Community gathered at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel to discuss the future of Emma Willard School. Members of the Class of 1968 Sherrill Smith, Anina Minotto, and Pam Barry exclaimed with joy “that’s my classmate” when seeing Susie Hunter ’68 featured in the Infinite Horizon campaign video. They are all hoping to get back to Mount Ida for their 55th Reunion in June. We were also delighted to be joined by the hotel manager, a past Emma Willard-Thatcher exchange student during the 1960s. 

Ariana Gadd ’00 joined her mom Anina at the event, along with Katie Smith ’14, who shared her hopes to have more women in commercial housing development. She generously offered to help young alums or current students looking to learn about real estate development. In addition, we welcomed Barb Vass ’78, who braved the wild LA traffic to join us, and Ruth Kramer Ziony ’61, who was sporting one of her signature colorful hats. Renowned photographer Ellen Friedlander ’78 escorted her dear friend Sue McNamara ’57 to the event. Marion Ruth and Mary Gillette of the class of 1953 brought their spunk and tales of the days of uniforms. By the end of the evening, Marion graciously offered to have the next LA event at her home. 

Back Row L to R: Ariana Minotto Gadd ’00, Anina Minotto ’68 P’00, Barbara Hathaway Vass ’76, Anastasia Pflug McGee ’81, Pamela Barry ’68, Katie Smith ’14, Margaret Clark ’98, Ellen Friedlander ’78. Front Row L to R: Susan Blackwell McNamara ’57 P’90, Mary Gillett ’53, Jenny Rao, Ruth Kramer Ziony ’61, Marion Ruth ’53


San Diego

The city of San Diego was the final destination on Emma’s West Coast Events. The city welcomed us with beautiful weather to enjoy brunch overlooking Petco Park on the balcony of Hotel Indigo. Kate Berry ’76, dedicated member of the Board of Trustees, gave a wonderful overview of the Alice Dodge Wallace ’38 Performing Arts Center along with insights into how Infinite Horizon: The Campaign for Emma Willard School would fund Emma’s strategic plan. 


Above L to R: Christine Mott ’00 with her two daughters, Margaret Clark ’98, Stephanie Sides ’73, Kate Berry ’76, Peggy Holl ’56, Jon Holl, Amir Feder, Caitlin Sutton ’01, Karlyn Wilkins, Nicki Kitajewski ’16, Nancy Lipton ’59, Justin Hall.



Over 60 alumnae gathered at the Hampshire House in Boston for an in-depth look at the future of Emma Willard School and its extraordinary campus. Campaign Co-Chair Linda Gill Anderson ’77 and Head of School Jenny Rao shared the impact that the Infinite Horizon campaign would have to secure the future of our school. It was exciting to see current Board of Trustees member and former President of the AAC, Betts Howes Murray ’73, laughing and planning the Class of 1973’s upcoming 50th Reunion with Sara Meyers, Sarah Treco, and Betsy Hetzler. We were also joined by current Board of Trustees member James Hackett P’20 and wife, Sharon along with Honorary Trustee Kendra Sterns O’Donnell ’60. Maggie Johnson ’83, co-vice president of the AAC, and former secretary of the AAC Hilary Denton Kohler ’83 arrived in style on the Emma Willard Party Bus!

So far, over 300 alumnae, parents, and friends have come out to rekindle connections and engage anew with the Emma Willard School mission. We look forward to seeing more of our extended community during our visits to New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Florida in the coming months!


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