Kirkland Alumnae

Sharon Rippey

Dear Friends and fellow Kirkland Alumni,

Kirkland College alumnae have taken an increasingly active role at Hamilton over the past five years.  We now hold 14 seats on its Alumni Council – not as typical Class Presidents, but as representatives-at-large of the entire Kirkland community.  We are, as always, a unique cohort with a special relationship to an historic institution.

I’m writing, both as an AC member and new chair of the Committee for Kirkland College, to share our news and encourage you to remain in touch, or to re-connect if we haven’t heard from you.  You can easily do that by visiting our website or by visiting the Hill, where we often hold events.  New participants on the Committee or the Council are most welcome!

Every week we hear from another Kirkland graduate.  Some are beginning new careers, some have relocated to be closer to family, some are facing empty nests, and others are sending their offspring to campuses – including Hamilton’s – for the first time.  We want to share as much news as we can, both via the online Kirkland Matters and through your direct comments and recollections at the Kirkland Interactive Archive.

At the recent Fallcoming weekend Jo Pitkin, K’78 and Nin Andrews ’80 read their poetry to a rapt audience of that included Professors William Rosenfeld, Jay Williams and the inimitable Patsy Couper.  Susan Hartman ’74 brought Lori Grinker, a renowned photojournalist, to talk with students and alumnae at a thought-provoking luncheon, where new mentoring relationships were fostered.  We heard stories from newly-minted Kirkland Scholars like Galia Slayen H’13, who spent her summer interning at the Dept. of Agriculture with Christy Vilsack’s husband Tom (both class of ’72).

We’re also making plans for Hamilton’s bicentennial, the Charter Class 40th reunion, and another All-Kirkland Reunion.  And the new history of Hamilton, which will be published this spring includes a riveting chapter on the Kirkland decade.  Author Maurice Isserman, Prof. of American Studies, will embark upon a 25-city book tour starting in April, 2011.  I encourage you to attend a session – regional events are a great way to make new contacts and renew old ones.

Lastly – and most importantly, perhaps – Hamilton just admitted the first class under its new need-blind admissions policy.  This is a bold move in a period of economic uncertainty.  It increases access to learning and opportunity and ensures a more richly diverse student body, regardless of a student’s ability to pay.  This makes me very proud to be associated with the College, and I hope you will be too.

Warm regards,
Jennie Morris K’72