“Love comforteth like sunshine after rain”
~ William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis
Dear Friends and Fellow Shakespeareans, Warmest greetings. We hope this letter finds you all well, in safety and in health. This has been another challenging year for the world. Wherever you are, we are wishing you the comfort of family, friends, and summer sunshine. This was a challenging year for students, with many studying remotely in either the Fall or Spring semester, and access to the house restricted due to the campus social distancing guidelines. Even so, Society members stayed connected via virtual weekly meetings and other online social events. They are currently working on a “Shakespeare in Translation” virtual performance in collaboration with several language departments. Stay tuned for performance details on our website and Facebook page. Our wonderful new Alumnae Engagement Committee planned several virtual events to help us stay connected with one another and the undergraduates via technology:
In October, we hosted an online event that combined some of our favorite elements of the annual Traditions Tea with St Crispin’s Day celebrations. Both current students and alums gathered on Zoom to share stories and memories, compete in a Shakespearean trivia contest, and collectively read the rousing St Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V, followed by some social time in breakout rooms. Visit our Facebook page @ShakesAlums to view a video of the speech.
In April, current students and alums once again gathered online to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday. We enjoyed a musical performance by Colleen Sullivan ‘17, of two songs from Much Ado About Nothing (music by Colleen, text by Shakespeare), and attendees got to know each other in intergenerational breakout sessions. The event culminated in the creation--and hilarious dramatic reading--of several mad-libbed scenes from Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Also this Spring, alums signed up to send small gifts and notes of encouragement, a.k.a. “Shakes Grams”, to current students as an end-of-semester pick-me-up. Thanks to Paige Calvert ‘20, Colleen Sullivan ‘17, and Betsy Raymond ‘10 for coordinating this.
In fact, special thanks are due to all our committee members and volunteers for all their work on events this year: Betsy Raymond ‘10 (Committee Chair), Meaghan Daley ‘10, Kathleen Carr Foster ‘95, Amy Putnam ‘90, Paige Calvert ‘20, Colleen Sullivan ‘17, and Danielle Zarbin ‘16. As you may know, Reunion weekend will once again be virtual. Our Annual Meeting will take place on Saturday, June 5 at 3 PM EDT. To register for the Zoom link, go to www.shakesalum.org/events. While there, you can also pay your dues and sign up for our e-blast to receive updates about events. At the annual meeting, we will devote time to a group discussion of policies and procedures regarding WCSSAA Board elections. Please see “Elections” in our Announcements section, below, for more information. We look forward to seeing many of you on June 5. Until then, be well. In Faith and Service, Leah Hamilton French ‘11 President with Julie R (Mann) Brown ‘91 and Melissa Chu ‘10 Secretary Treasurer
Thanks and Thanks and Ever Thanks Susan R. Stark (Smith ’62), the mother of Shakespeare Society alumna, Allana Stark ’92, passed away on March 12, 2021. She was aware of the enormous importance the Shakespeare Society has had for Allana, and chose to honor that by making a generous gift to the Shakespeare Society in her will with the hope that it will assist in maintaining the many meaningful ways in which Shakes contributes to the lives of its members and to campus life. Allana remembers fondly taking her mother and father on a tour of the House and how delighted they were, not only with its beauty, but with the story of how it was built from the fundraising efforts of such a committed and ingenious membership! Many thanks to the Stark family for this incredibly generous bequest.
Announcements Stay Informed Want to stay up to date about our upcoming events and elections? Follow us on Facebook @ShakesAlums or visit www.shakesalum.org/blog to sign up for our e-blasts. Meet our new Archivist: Caroline ”Callie” Kovacs ’13 Callie was elected as Alumnae Board Archivist at our 2020 annual meeting. Her role includes working to catalog and preserve society history and artifacts. Callie received her master’s degree from King’s College London in 2018 and currently works in product management. She is a member of Sonnet LIV, and her favorite role was as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Committees Our Engagement Committee has been hard at work planning virtual events this year. If you would like to join them in planning future events, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also seeking members for our House Committee. All are welcome, but especially those with experience or interest in architecture, zoning, construction, and/or preservation of old homes. Elections Our constitution states that board members shall be elected to five year terms, may serve consecutive terms without limitations, and that elections are held at the annual business meeting. Our current board consists of:
President - Leah Hamilton French ‘11 - Elected 2019
Secretary - Julie (Mann) Brown ‘91 - Elected 2019
House Holder - Sarah Moazeni ‘10 - Elected 2019
Treasurer - Melissa Chu ‘10 - Elected 2019
Communications - Vannessa Greenleaf ‘14 - Elected 2019
Archivist - Caroline “Callie” Kovacs ‘13 - Elected 2020
We are seeking members’ input on the nomination process, term limits, voting procedures, and cultivating next generation leadership. If you are unable to attend the annual meeting but would like to share your thoughts, please visit the website to read board position descriptions and proposed amendments to the constitution and email us your comments. Please see the amendments up for vote here. Dues The WCSSAA funds the preservation of the Shakespeare Society House, the production of this newsletter, reunion, and other events each year with dues from our members. To pay dues, please click here to make a payment via PayPal or click here for a printable template to pay by check. All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Thank you for your generosity!
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