Summer 2022 / Alumni News

Ring It Forward Presentation

The program matches donated rings with current students and other alums on occasion. These legacy donations “ring it forward” to a new generation of Wilson graduates, support the College’s traditions, and foster emotional ties between Wilson alumnae, alumni, and students.

Spring 2022

The Alumnae Association of Wilson College is grateful for these donor alumnae’s generosity. The rings’ new owners will add their Wilson stories to those of other graduates as they participate in this tradition.

Stori Boggs ’22 — Ring donated by Sarah Awan Johnson ’77 in honor of former dance professor and Orchesis advisor, Trina Collins. Due to engraving, we suspect the ring may have originally belonged to Sue Anne Tompkins ’59.

Olivia McDonald ’22 — Doris Oswell Brunot ’58

Johnson Ogunbisi ’22 — Rhona Applebaum ’76

Megan Potter ’20, M ’22 — Nancy Ingalls Crossfield ’62

Kelly Shank ’22 — Ring of Cecily Heroy ’72, given by her sister, Christine Heroy Muddell ’63

Marybeth Famulare, Director of Alumni Relations and Hon. ’17 — donated by Sarah Awan Johnson ’77 in honor of Professor Emerita Emlyn Edwards and retired librarian Ruth Edwards.

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A Decade of Service

Spring 2022 gave us a moment to pause and celebrate 10 years of service by Marybeth (Mb) Famulare as Director of Alumni Relations. Mb has been an outstanding partner, representing alums and fostering opportunities between the Association, the College, Class Officers, current students, and other volunteers.
In an age of pandemic restrictions, Mb turned challenges into opportunities, which will continue to benefit the community in the future. She led with creativity, organized monthly Zoom gatherings, and kept us engaged, informed, and connected. Mb has professionally and personally shown consistent respect and grace in dealing with many challenges over her decade at Wilson.

We sincerely thank her for: her dedication and always going above and beyond to maintain and encourage traditions; her steadfast commitment and sincerity in alum outreach; her never-ending smile, resilient positivity, and “can-do” attitude. And we appreciate that she has become a cherished friend to so many of us. We look forward with gratitude and hope to many more years of partnership!

As a token of appreciation and recognition, we invite you to join us and please make a gift to the Wilson Fund in honor of Marybeth Famulare. Sending an email or card of thanks would also be appreciated.

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What’s in a Name?

The AAWC changes her name with members’ input and support.

Wilson College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and especially to creating an environment that is welcoming and respectful to all of its students, is part of its heritage. As the AAWC Board considered the presence of men among the College’s students and graduates, as well as others for whom the issue of gender identity is not addressed by binary female/male language, we decided to consider if our Association’s use of a Latin word that referred specifically to a group of females might be in need of an update.

An ad hoc committee was formed, led by Janelle Wills and including members whose time at Wilson spanned many decades. They surveyed other formerly all-female colleges to see how they had handled the change in the composition of their students and graduates. They also solicited input from members of the AAWC and Erica Johnson, Ph.D., Wilson’s director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. They presented their findings at a very interactive gathering at the Association’s Fall Weekend: The word most commonly used in the academic world and regarded as gender-neutral for identifying those who attended and graduated from a school is “alumni.”

“Alumni” was deemed what we would propose using in the title of the Association. The ad hoc committee presented its proposal to the Board, and it was accepted. Members of the Association were invited to consider a motion to amend the name of the AAWC to “Alumni Association of Wilson College.” In voting cast in advance of and at the Grand Reunion, in which 238 votes were cast, 151 votes were in favor of the motion, and 87 opposed it. Accordingly, the motion was passed.

– Lynne E. DiStasio ’74, President, Alumni Association of Wilson College

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AAWC Awards and Recognition

Faculty Award — Larry T. Shillock Ph.D.

Professor Shillock’s record as a scholar, educator, and Chambersburg area community servant is enviable and impressive. Currently a professor of English, he served as the Assistant Academic Dean from 2006 to 2018 and still retains a position as College Marshall. He has taught every level and nearly every English course Wilson offers, from 101 Written Communication to 270/370 Topics of Seventeenth and Nineteenth-Century Literature, through 400 classes in Guided Study and Senior Advanced Study in Research.

And he hasn’t confined his efforts solely to the classroom. His numerous committee, club, and administrative services for the College include representation to the Board of Trustees in areas of finance, sustainability, and admissions and financial aid. He has been a presence in the life of students as a faculty adviser to the student literary magazine Bottom Shelf Review, as well as a co-adviser to the College’s theatrical troupe, the Kittochtinny Players (Wilson’s beloved “K.P.”). Off-campus interests have also benefitted from his time and talents. They include Chambersburg Youth Soccer, the Audubon Society, Trout Unlimited, the Cumberland Valley Chamber Players, and St. Andrew’s Church vestry.

His instructional excellence has been recognized by Wilson with the bestowal of the Donald F. Bletz Award for Outstanding Devotion to the Art of Teaching, both as a junior and senior faculty member.

He has been a Humanities Division Research Scholar and held the Drusilla Stephens Mazur Research Professorship from 2005 to 2007. 2022 marks the year of his retirement, and we can think of no one more deserving of Wilson’s Faculty Award, as well as the College’s admiration and affection, than Larry Shillock.

Outstanding Young Alumna Award — Kacie Oberholzer Bachman ’12

Kacie Oberholzer Bachman set a high bar for achievement, even before her membership in the Navy as a program analyst in logistics; her service to the Horseshoe Valley Equine Center as a certified veterinary technician; and her ownership of Bachman Equine, LLC in Jonestown, Pa. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilson (Veterinary/Animal Health Technology), a Master of Business Administration from Liberty University, and certifications in supply chain and project management from Penn State.

Kacie was active in the Wilson College Government Association and the College’s eventing, dressage, and drill teams. She was awarded a Presidential Scholarship in 2008 as a student in the top 20 percent of her class, an AAWC Franklin County Club Scholarship, and a Curran Scholarship, and she also received the Sarah Wilson Award as an exceptional, all-around student. Kacie has volunteered her services within her church in the community and the Middle Creek Search and Rescue Mounted Team. She continues her Wilson alumni involvement with admissions letter writing, career networking, serving as a class officer, and donating to the Wilson Fund

Distinguished Adult Degree Program Award — De-Enda Rotz ’05

As the Director of Executive Services at Mercersburg Academy, De-Enda Rotz exemplifies both career and community success and service. She has served the school since 1993, working in advancement and public relations offices and, for the last four years, in the head of school’s office.

As a student in Wilson’s Adult Degree Program, De-Enda studied both communications and business and applied both disciplines to her endeavors. She has demonstrated continuous service to Wilson as a member of the AAWC Board, chairing the Recognition and Stewardship Committee, a donor to the Wilson Fund, and a supporter of career networking and Admissions Office activities. The AAWC is proud indeed to award De-Enda Rotz its Distinguished Adult Degree Program Award.

Distinguished Alumna Award — Anne Grimes ’82

Anne Grimes has been a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 28 years and is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Her previous postings have included Antananarivo, Madagascar, Surabaya, Indonesia, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as Mumbai, India, and Beijing, China. She speaks French, Indonesian, and Mandarin and joined the Office of International Visitors as office director in September 2018. She received a Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her work in Mumbai in the wake of the 9/ll terrorist attacks. Anne has received six Meritorius Honor Awards, two Superior Honor Awards, and two Meritorious Step Increases.

While at Wilson, Anne pursued a double major in history and French. She has donated to the Wilson Fund and the John Stewart Memorial Library Fund and has served as a class officer and volunteer with the Aunt Sarah Program, among other alum activities. She is married to Tala Ramiandrisoa, a professional jazz musician, and is the mother of two adult children: a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Joelle. In light of her distinguished history in service both to her country and Wilson College, the AAWC is pleased and proud to present its Distinguished Alumna Award to Anne Grimes.

Tift Award (Service) — Joan McCulloh ’52, Paired Nomination: Connie Hench Loarie ’66 and Marsha Haley Lamson ’66, Carol Ann Tschop ’72

Joan personifies the spirit of the AAWC’s Tift Award as a person “who has demonstrated exemplary efforts to promote the continuing growth of Wilson College.” A member of the Class of ’52, Joan has regularly participated in regional clubs and events such as the former Franklin County Club and the Blue and Silver Line at the College’s yearly commencement. She is a regular volunteer at the Hankey Center, an AAWC Board member (1998 – 2001), and a donor to both the Wilson Fund and the John Stewart Memorial Library Fund. As her current class co-president and former Reunion chairperson, Joan is also active in other alumni events, maintaining regular contact with her classmates and serving as the main contact for the Class of 1952 scholarship.

Joan earned her B.A. in English with a minor in history and has pursued a host of other academic post-degree studies, which she continues to put to good use as a member at large of the Mercersburg Historical Society and frequent contributor to its website as a researcher. Joan has written several articles on Mercersburg area history, emphasizing the betterment of the community and with a specific focus on the life of Harriet Lane Johnston. The Mercersburg Historical Society annually presents the Joan McCulloh History Award to a graduating senior in James Buchanan High School. Joan’s additional community service includes the Mercersburg Women’s Club, Quincy Care Auxiliary, First United Methodist Church of Mercersburg, Franklin County and Clear Spring Historical Societies, and the Allison-Antrim Museum.

The formidable accomplishments honored by the Tift Award, “exemplary efforts to promote the continuing growth of Wilson College,” are personified by Connie Hench Loarie and Marsha Haley Lamson in instituting the tradition of a 50th Reunion Class Gift. At their 40th Reunion class meeting in 2006, Connie presented a vision to her classmates: a substantial sum donated to the College to celebrate their upcoming 50th reunion ten years hence. Although the College’s challenging years of the late ’70s and early ’80s lay in the past, Connie reasoned that, rather than making a gift to the Wilson Fund, some alums might be more comfortable supporting a Class of 1966 legacy gift. By the time of the class’s 45th Reunion, Marsha had joined Connie in the ongoing effort to raise substantial sums for Wilson, which their classmates continue to this day.

The group has raised $220,000, which includes $50,000 for a conference room in the re-done John Stewart Memorial Library and just over $170,000 for the Class of 1966 Endowment Fund, which continues to grow. The “first of its kind” gift has continued ever since. Beginning with the Class of 1963 50th Reunion, every class has made a substantial monetary donation to the College in support of efforts deemed important to the future of Wilson. The Class of 1966 recognizes that without the vision and determination put forth by Connie and Marsha, Wilson’s future might have been remarkably different. To these two alumnae, then, the Tift Award seems particularly appropriate.

To say that Carol Tschop enjoyed a robust engagement with Wilson College is an understatement of gigantic proportions. Carol’s involvement with Wilson continued throughout her adult life, whether as a beloved member of the Class of ’72, as an indefatigable leader of the Save Wilson effort, or as a dedicated professional working in the public information, development, and advancement offices of the College. Somehow she also found the time to be a founding board member of the Cumberland Valley School of Music, an active member of the Council for the Arts, and a leader in the local healthcare efforts as founder of the AGE Institute as well as The Institute for Caregiver Education.

In recognition of her many and varied gifts to Wilson, Carol was honored with the first Outstanding Young Alumna at Homecoming in 1989. And in no small measure, Carol, whose musical abilities ran wide and deep, was gifted with the ability to bring people and causes together. As a classmate wrote of her, “She had the unique ability of lifting others up and found great reward directing that gift in her dedication to the power of education, especially at Wilson, and the care given to making every life stage rewarding and meaningful.” Much more was said and shared of Carol over the course of Reunion Weekend by the many who loved her and whose lives were made richer by her. It is fitting that her remarkable work at and for Wilson is recognized through her posthumous Tift Award.

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AAWC President’s Report

First of all, thank you ALL for your dedication to and support of Wilson College through the absolutely unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021. It’s been a time of change for everyone and for Wilson College, too.

Finally, with the arrival of 2022 came more opportunities for us to step away from many of the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, and we began to gather in person once again.

Your AAWC Board and other alums were on campus for our Fall Weekend late September. In addition to our regular Board meetings and sessions on giving and reunion planning, we had an informational presentation and discussion with members on the proposal to update the name of the Association. We also enjoyed a wonderful fall Sunday church service at the Rocky Springs Church, followed by a brunch on campus at which President Emerita Mary-Linda Sorber Merriam Armacost, Hon. ’91, spoke, and at which it was announced that Susan Breakefield Fulton ’61 had made arrangements with the College to name the chaplaincy after Nancy Adams Besch ’48 and Elisabeth “Nan” Hudnut Clarkson ’47. The logistics of planning for our Grand Reunion required that much of our committee work be completed in advance of our scheduled Winter Retreat in January, so the committees met via Zoom. As we considered the vagaries of weather and travel at that time of year, we decided to hold our Board Meeting via Zoom then as well.

Other colleges and universities also resumed in-person gatherings, and seven alums represented Wilson College at various presidential inaugurations over this past year.

Wilson had its own Commencement Weekend in May — one without the restrictions we had last year. So we were able to invite alums to join in our traditional Blue and Silver Line for the undergraduate commencement ceremony, and we appreciate all who participated.

That weekend, we also held our Ring It Forward ceremony, at which we “forwarded” six class rings donated by alums or their families to six new owners, who included women and (finally) a man graduating that weekend, as well as our own Marybeth Famulare, Hon. ’17. This brings our total of rings forwarded through this program to 50! If you have a class ring that you no longer wear and would be willing to pass it along to a new Wilson owner, please reach out to the Alumni Relations Office.

We are finally able to gather for our own Grand Reunion in June, celebrating three cycles of reunion classes at once. We presented our awards to alums and faculty in virtual ceremonies for the previous two reunions. This year, we look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of and honoring our alums and faculty in person. Our honorees are listed in this issue of the magazine.

While being on campus is a wonderful part of the work of the AAWC (and a part made all the more appreciated by a period when we could not come here), we have other points of connection. We have researched the history of the leadership of the AAWC and are preparing a plaque to commemorate the women (to this point) who have served as its president.

STUDENT CONNECTIONS

We also have a number of programs that connect us to students. Through our Silver Lining Fund, which provides relief to students when a financial emergency arises, we gave $1,100 to eight different students over the past year. We also donated $200 in Giant gift cards to Sarah’s Cupboard, the on-campus food pantry, to augment its food distribution. We also, as always, encourage alums to bring contributions to the pantry when they visit campus or send contributions of needed items as they are able.

Our Aunt Sarah/Uncle Wilson Program continues to be a strong point of connection between alums and students, with 115 pairings as of December 2021. Our younger alums are particularly engaged in this program, highlighting the value seen by those who have experienced it as students.

We also partner with the Alumni Relations Office for things like Halloween Treats, Food for Finals, and the Senior Bash, where local alums join with those from the office to share treats with students.

Money for these activities comes from our general fundraising and through contributions of generous alums to the specific funds for these activities. Most of the fiscal activity of the Association (both income and expenses) occurs in connection with reunion weekends. This past year, there has been minimal activity, and the details are available in the Treasurer’s Report.

We have been fortunate that some alums made donations even when we could not hold reunions, and we appreciate all who supported this work through contributions made when you registered for this Grand Reunion. We also use the proceeds raised through the Amazon Smile program to support this work. If you are an Amazon shopper, please consider shopping through their Smile portal and identifying the AAWC as the charity you want to support. Finally, we get funding from the sale of the book “The College That Refused to Die: The Untold Story of Wilson College 1979- 1989: A Documentary History.”

ZOOM TIME

Not everything about pandemic life was bad — we learned about the possibilities and benefits of remote gatherings. Even as it became possible to gather in person, we realized that we could reach many alums not able to come to campus for various reasons and allow them to join in events, and we have continued to do this. We appreciate the College for continuing to make the Vespers service available as a live stream in particular. Also, the Travel Tuesdays and Wilson Authors series presented with the Alumni Relations Office over Zoom proved very popular, both during the pandemic and beyond. It was wonderful to hear about trips people have taken, learn about their experiences, and share some of our own.

In fact, the presentation made by Angela Zimmann, vice president for institutional advancement, about a trip she and her husband led to the Holy Land was so inspiring that it led to a planned trip for Wilson travelers that will take place this November!

Authors have spoken about the books they wrote, and more recently, the scope of offerings has been expanded to include discussions about other passions of Wilson alums. I mention this for several reasons. These are great sessions, and if you can find the time in your schedule (typically around lunchtime and early evening), I hope you’ll join in. Perhaps you have a story you’d like to share about your own travels, writing, research, or other passion? We’d love to work with you to do a presentation.

Finally, this is an opportunity to remind you of Wilson’s Tours and Travel program. We sponsor trips and earn a fee for each of our travelers, but we also earn a fee if a Wilson traveler books personal travel through one of the participating travel companies. Please keep this in mind when you get back to traveling!

Some people have commented that they do not get news of goings-on at the College or about these events. In this day and age, you could certainly keep yourself informed of developments and activities by checking the website or the Facebook pages on your own initiative, but you might forget or miss something. If you are not getting any mailings or emails, check your spam filter. If you asked that the College not contact you at some point in the past, please consider changing that status so we can keep you connected to what is going on at Wilson now. You can contact the Alumni Relations Office for help.

Also, if you have an idea for a presentation or event at a future reunion, for a trip we might offer through our travel program, or for a new program we might develop for the benefit of alums and/or students, speak up!

GET INVOLVED

I’d also like to invite each of you to consider getting involved in the Association. It can be a lot of fun and a wonderful chance to meet others who came to Wilson at a time other than the years you were here, to come back to campus for AAWC meetings during the year, and to come to reunions when your class is not all here. Give it some thought. If this looks like something you’d like to do, or maybe you’d like to learn more about it, just let us know that you are interested!

If getting involved in AAWC isn’t for you right now, that’s fine; we understand. But please visit the campus as often as you can, and PLEASE continue to support the College. We are in a period of great challenge, and this is a time where our support and assistance can make a huge and important difference to Wilson’s future — once again, it is time for us all to step forward and show our love of and commitment to this institution.

Respectfully submitted,

– Lynne E. DiStasio ’74 President

 

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