We would like to respond to Jessica Hilberman’s letter in the April 4th issue of the Weekly.
The Alumnae Association’s goal is to welcome graduating students as our newest alumnae and alumni with our annual events. They include the Graduation Reception held
in December, which honors both graduate and undergraduate students who finish their coursework in December, but technically the College states that the students will
graduate in January of the following year. We encourage the graduates to invite family and friends because this event is held in place of Commencement. Also, the
Alumnae Association sponsors the Alumnae Pearl M Dinner to which we invite seniors who graduate in January and May for the given calendar year.
Regarding the Alumnae Pearl M Dinner, the Alumnae Association’s intention is to include everyone, but the dining rooms on campus limit the number of guests that we can accommodate. This year, invitations were sent to 216 seniors including both January and May 2002 graduates, plus 45 guests including college officers, deans, and alumnae guests. Therefore, we invited 261 people and the Tea Shop seats 154. Adding the January 2003 graduates would not have been just 5 people as indicated, but in actuality would have been closer to 45. However, Ms. Hilberman does bring up a very good point about identifying with a certain class year and we would like to incorporate her idea into our future plans.
The Alumnae Association wants to promote class cohesion among its members and proposes to invite the January and May 2003, as well as the January 2004 graduates to our next Alumnae Pearl M Dinner in April, 2003 at a larger space. Thereafter, we will start on a cycle of inviting the May, 2004 graduates and January, 2005 graduates together.
The Alumnae Association will continue to hold the graduation reception in December to honor and applaud those students who graduate mid-year. Ms. Hilberman’s letter prompts us to consider a modified lantern ceremony at that event. We appreciate the fact that Ms. Hilberman took the time to give us feedback, and we are pleased that the ceremonial events we sponsor are meaningful to students.
Anne Gillespie Brown, ’68
Director of Alumnae Relations
Alumnae Association of Mills College