February 2017
Winter Newsletter

News and Views from the Class of ’49

Hello Classmates,

2017 began with unprecedented events. We are reminded of the value of education, and many of us are motivated to reconnect with Wellesley.

We have a few upcoming deadlines:

February 25: One of Gretchen’s joys in serving as class secretary has been hearing from you and keeping in touch. Please send her a line, pick up thephone, or e-mail her so she can share your news with our class: Dr. Gretchen Rous Besser, 3679 Stagecoach Road, Morrisville, VT 05661, grbesser@gmail.com, 802-888-3967. Deadline for the upcoming Wellesley magazine: February 25, 2017.

April 1: Nominations are due for the 2017 Sed Ministrare VolunteerAward. The awards recognize alumnae who have made significant or innovative contributions, shown superior performance and leadership, and

have exceptionally embodied the motto “Non Ministrari, sed Ministrare.” To submit nominations, please use the form on Wellesley’s website. Click here to get the online form.

And an annual mini-reunion on campus:

April 26: New England alumnae - Look for a “Save the Date” card in the mail. A mini-reunion on campus is again planned for Wednesday April 26th in conjunction with the Ruhlman Conference. The Conference fosters collaboration among students and faculty across disciplines. Join classmates in viewing student presentations on a range of fascinating topics and for a luncheon at noon at the College Club.

If other classmates plan to be in the area at that time and wish to be included, please contact Scottie as soon as possible: 802-649-1324, nhdean@comcast.net.

Scottie was happy to represent the class at the inauguration of our new College President, Paula Johnson. There were only two blue classes there, ’45 and ’49, so those two delegates marched together at the head of all the alums. The huge tent, which housed hundreds that day, was beautifully decorated. Highlights were the speeches of Senator Elizabeth Warren, representing the Commonwealth, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, and Smith College President Kathleen McCartney. Preparations had been made for rain, but it held off ‘til nearly 5 o’clock. Scottie took lots of photos, hoping to share them, but after she got home, her camera disappeared.

Marilyn was especially glad to meet President Paula Johnson when she visited the Wellesley club in Naples, Florida, for High Tea in January. Dr. Johnson gave an inspiring vision of Wellesley leadership, cutting-edge research, and expanding educational offerings. Marilyn also met recently

with Laura Adamczyk from Wellesley’s Office for Resources.

Gretchen reports that she and her husband Al have been in thrall to the peace and stillness of a good old-fashioned snowstorm, with thick flakes falling over pasture and woods, hushing sounds and bedecking trees. It was a welcome pre-Valentine gift for Vermont skisports lovers of all ages.

We are excited that in April 2017, Gretchen will be inducted into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. She has published “National Ski Patrol: Samaritans of the Snow”, written hundreds of articles for Ski Patrol Magazine, and served 32 years as Historian for the National Ski Patrol. We are inspired by her active lifestyle as she continues to hit the trails at Stowe with the “Dawn Patrol.”

Alice writes that our class percentage of donors so far this year is 36.6%. Congratulations and thanks to you all for your continuing loyalty! For your interest, the following bits of information were sent to Alice by Barbara Colonna in the Fund office, and with her permission, she passes them on to you:

• 60% of students receive financial aid.

• Our need-blind admission policy is backed by a commitment to meet 100% percent of a student’s demonstrated need.

• 95% of our average financial aid award is given in the form of a scholarship or grant that does not have to be repaid.

• Wellesley is widely recognized as one of the top 10 colleges in the country for students graduating with the least amount of debt.

• There are 10 active alumnae in the Wellesley network for every student on campus.

From these statistics, it’s really easy to see how our contributions make a difference to a student’s Wellesley

experience! Thank you all again!

The alums in New Hampshire and Vermont are preparing for the 5-college book sale in April so that we can send scholarship money for the College.

With sea changes taking place in our present world, it is more important than ever that young women receive a strong liberal education that will open their minds, buttress their self-confidence, and inspire their resolve to help build a bright future. As for us, let’s stay connected to each other and committed to Wellesley.

Very best wishes,

Marilyn (Pearson) King Isbrandtsen, President

Nancy “Scottie” Dean, Vice President

Gretchen Rous Besser, Secretary

Alice Warner Jones, Wellesley Fund Rep

Class Officers


Marilyn Pearson Isbrandtsen

Apartment 1812

8460 Abbington Circle

Naples, FL 34108

(239) 566-3713


Vice President

Nancy Hayes Dean

PO Box 318

5 Penny Lane

Norwich, VT 05055

(802) 649-1324



Gretchen Rous Besser

3679 Stagecoach Road

Morrisville, VT 05661

(802) 888-3967


Wellesley Fund Representative

Alice Warner Jones

4 Mariner Lane

Falmouth, ME 04105

(207) 781-2232