Women of '72
This webpage has been started by the women of the great Class of 1972. The place of the this class in Princeton history by virtue of their being the first class of women to graduate from Princeton is guaranteed. This page will hold any information they wish to share about their past, their present or their future.
Women of '72 at the 45th Reunion
Reunions turned out to be pretty darned special for the Women of '72, in my opinion. We enjoyed spectacular weather -- except for Saturday morning when we convened in Hamilton Courtyard for our Women's Brunch. Far from spoiling our fun, however, the rain and cold corralled us into an intimate circle, instead of the various separate conversation clusters that I recall from similar gatherings at our 35th and 40th. And we got even more comfortable after Lizz scouted a warmer location inside and we relocated to Hamilton Dining Hall. Sharing our stories, the time was way too short – it felt like we were just getting started.
The P-Rade a few hours later, under clear blue skies and bright sun, brought another special, spontaneous, and totally unexpected treat. As the class milled around at our designated site waiting to join the P-Rade, Pam recruited any of us she could find to carry our new banner proclaiming "1972 Women" – and we took turns on the front line and behind. It started as soon as we filed in behind the banner and joined the procession, and continued along the entire route, all the way to Poe Field. Waves of enthusiastic applause and cheers – and random call-outs of "thank you!" from men and women alike. Indescribable. I confess it brought tears to my eyes, and I know I wasn't alone….
We expect soon to add comments and additional photos in this space from other women of the class about our Reunions experience. For now, we owe very important call-outs to two people whose thoughtfulness laid the foundation for our deeply moving P-Rade experience. First, to Fritz Cammerzell, who entirely on his own initiative commissioned that simple-but-powerful banner for us. (All I asked for was small table sign welcoming us to the Women's Brunch….) And second, to Tony Tichenor, who Chris Loomis recently revealed was responsible for urging Pam to assemble the marchers. Our deepest thanks to both you guys! I don't know who brought the banner to the P-Rade route, but there's surely thanks due there too.
Women of '72 who attended our brunch and/or marched in the P-Rade are: Mary Wadsworth-Darby, Daryl English, Diana Foster, Helene Fromm, Jan Howard, Dotty Jannarone Kemper, Barbara Julius, Pam Lloyd, Chris Loomis, Holly Lovejoy, Elisa Marshall, Helena Novakova, Chris Robinson '73 h'72, Lizz Plater-Zyberk, Priscilla Stumm, Claudia Tesoro, and Chris Van Horne.
Above all, with gratitude to the amazing women of our class,
More reminiscences have been submitted:
While I missed the women’s brunch and missed marching behind the women’s banner in the P-rade, my experiences at our 45th echo the sentiments of others. As some of you know, and as many of you have already experienced, I’d spent the previous week sitting with my dying father, and I felt lucky even to be able to come to reunions and reconnect with dear friends, both male and female.
I was honored to have been selected to participate in an alumni(ae)[a!] panel on the Future of K-12 Education. Having typically been the only woman in most of my labs while earning my biochemistry degree at Princeton and having been told by various professors at the time that I wasn’t "up to” taking particular courses, I was amused and found it ironic that I was the only woman on the panel, including the moderator. I am proud to have held my own both in the labs and on the panel. Princeton and I have come a long way since 1972.
This particular reunion I treasured the intimate conversations I had with small groups of fellow female classmates. I cherished being able to march in the P-rade with my daughter (’97), my 11-year-old granddaughter, and my husband Tom (’72), who is a great sport about the family’s "independent” women. I enjoyed exposing this same granddaughter to the inspirational Alyea chemistry demonstration, hearing her candid evaluations of the Education panel participants, and watching her bond with girls her own age associated with the Class of ’97. I am thrilled that Princeton is truly a place where young women can follow their passions, experiment without fear of being called a failure, and become change makers of the world.
So many thoughts and strong feelings have been present for me since our weekend together at Princeton. I will say, again, that it was a watershed time for me. I have never felt so connected, comfortable and grateful to be among my fellow classmates as I did for this reunion. I think that with the passing of years there is, for me, a special intensity and poignancy associated with all things Princeton and it was especially true for me this time. The brief but very meaningful time spent at Saturday brunch with my fellow women graduates was a highlight. We seemed to be able to be so real and transparent with one another almost without preamble. How refreshing and liberating. The P-Rade march behind our banner was just overwhelming. Who could have imagined such a response? Why now after all these years? Perhaps Nancy Weiss Malkiel's recent history of the Princeton "pioneers" had something to do with it. Maybe it was indeed the banner calling attention to our special place in the University's history....Quite stunning and really unforgettable anyway...... I never gave much if any thought to having been one of the "first" during my time on campus . The lens of history has certainly added perspective and sharpness to those brief years on campus long ago.
I am so grateful to have shared our 45th with all of you who were on campus. I look forward to forging new connections and to strengthening existing friendships as the years go by.
Helena Novakova (posting to Chris Loomis' blog)
When I joined our class going into Junior year after two years of life "in a limbo” following my defection from Czechoslovakia, my mind-set was still under the influence of life and up-bringing behind the Iron Curtain. I did not immediately grasp the meaning of the "fuss” about coeducation at Princeton because I had come from coeducation. However, I observed and "filed” what was going on and slowly processed the impact. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to study at Princeton and benefit from the amazing intellectual power of the professorship as well as of my classmates. After the June Parade, however, I also realize and am proud of that we, girls, laid strong foundation for the generations of girls to come.
What a terrific reunions weekend—from start to finish it felt like a home run. I know a lot of work goes into this and everyone involved did a fantastic job. I didn’t make it to the brunch, but the boat house gathering was such a perfect setting to reconnect with old friends. In my opinion we are all holding up very well! My husband and I were at the class meeting and the moving memorial service, as well as President Eisgruber’s talk Saturday. His comprehensive overview of what is happening now and will be happening soon at the university left us with an added sense of connection.
Of course the P-rade episode was the highlight of the whole two days. Such special thanks must go to Fritz, Tony and Pam for making the march with the banner come together at just the right moment. I could never have anticipated being cheered with such enthusiasm, and it’s a bit scary to think I might have missed it!. As we walked the route passing the younger classes, I was struck by just how many women were on those sidelines—a sea of ladies compared with our little band 45 years ago. I am sorry my two daughters (’99 and ’01) could not be there this year, but they got the blow-by-blow from me. My son-in-law, (’97 ) took this shot of me with my grandson as we passed by. Who knew grandma was a pioneer?
My father, (’47) passed away last year and we thought of him all weekend. He would have loved seeing that banner. When we graduated he was celebrating his 25th reunion and this would have been his 70th.
Coming from Vassar as a junior, I only had two years at Princeton and they flew by, but as I age I reflect on them more and more with gratitude and affection. I am so happy I was there this year —Goin’ Back was never better than 2017
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