Births and Adoptions
Melinda White (Danville, California) Our eight-year-old daughter, Cassidy, has a baby brother, Wyatt, who was born on December 31, 2019. After two days of labor, I gave birth to him via C-section in San Ramon, California, at the age of 50 and was fortunate to have a smooth, uneventful pregnancy. Being a parent while juggling a full-time career in technology is an integrative effort! I credit my Scripps background for giving me courage, confidence, strength, and unwavering tenacity.
Katherine Taylor (Des Moines, Washington) My husband, Andy Hicks, and I welcomed our son Leo William Hicks on New Year’s Eve 2019!
Nancy Shroyer Howard (Colorado Springs, Colorado) I’m still around and working for Joe Biden’s election. Walking with my first-ever dog keeps me quasi-fit. Missing my Scripps classmates; must do something about that. Cheers to everyone.
Perry McNaughton Jamieson (San Luis Obispo, California) So far we’re healthy and safe. I’m isolating at my son Jeff and his wife Deborah’s home here in San Luis Obispo. Be well and stay safe!
Members of the Class of 1967 have put together a tribute to the legacy of Professor Blaine, who passed away on April 14, 2020.
Mollyanne Brewer: Professor Brad Blaine was such a bright light. Ours was his first class at Scripps. We always included him in our reunion festivities. He always remembered all our names. After graduation, several of us took the “If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Belgium” trip to Europe. When Liz Neblett, Judy Robinson Conner, and I reached the ramparts of the old city of Carcassonne, France, we made sure we got a photo of us by a machicolated parapet to send to Brad. Many years later, I took my then sixth-grade daughter, Alexa, to England for the first time. At the first castle we visited, the architectural term she learned was, yes, “machicolated parapet.” She and Brad “met” via FaceTime in 2017, after our 50th reunion, when Myra McDonnell Cottingham and I visited Brad and his wife, Mary Anne, at Mt. San Antonio Gardens. But best of all, Alexa and I got to have lunch with the Blaines in March of 2019. She understood immediately why we loved him. I’ve been in touch with the Blaines a lot over the past few years; it’s been a privilege. I contacted as many classmates as I could with the sad news. Here are some of their comments: Judy Jenkins Onulduran: For a professor to be remembered so fondly after 55 years is tribute to his influence as a teacher! Myra McDonnell Cottingham: Brad was so important to us and such a remarkable person. Anne Lambert Hanssen: Brad Blaine was our guy! And one of those people who, when I think about him, even after all these years, I just have to smile. Martha Heimdahl Slavin: He made me think, but he did it with humor and affection. He will be missed. Sally Harrison Madge: We were lucky to have known him during our time at Scripps. Pat Dickman Hoffman: I remember Dr. Blaine as my favorite humanities professor. I looked forward to every lecture. He was so enthusiastic about the Middle Ages. We were delving into this mysterious period with surprising revelations. It was all so fascinating to me. I know he began at Scripps our sophomore year in 1964. I have always felt we were his favorite class. It only occurs to me now that probably many later students must share that same recollection. We were all very lucky.
Marga Rose Hancock (Seattle) I attended a local campaign event with Gabby Giffords ’93 in Seattle to support 36th District congressional candidate Liz Berry, who used to work in Gabby’s D.C. office. Susan Deborah King (Cumberland Foreside, Maine) A new book of mine has just been published by Antrim House Books. The title is Moon Dance: Island Poems. It’s my third book celebrating the natural beauty and human community of the Maine island my family has spent summers on for over 40 years. Scripps was a life-saving place and community for me. I reap the reward of it every day. I was going through old poems to create a new book and found this one that I’d forgotten about.
Something, as I passed through its gates
into its field, its bounded openness
out of a family in shambles,
was waiting for me there
in the olive grove, in the silvergreen leaves
quivering in the breeze whispering
Greeks and Jerusalem.
Something within the hedges
prickling my outstretched palm
along the path to the lecture hall,
in the teacups abandoned under courtyard trees
to the heat of conversation —
in the leaf shadows dappling them.
Something between library pages
fragrant with the knowing ages
opening like petals of a rose remontant;
upon the mountain over it, stunning
in snow-capped prophet clarity
or crouching in a smoggy shroud.
Something I’d fervently sought as a child
was standing just off the stage where,
part by part, I fell flat at playing
someone I wasn’t, even stumbled
on lines of my own, was smiling
in the lab where I spun my wheels
on the Krebs cycle.
It urged me up flights
to the professor’s study heady
with tweed and pipe smoke
where, surrounded by tomes,
a cluttered oaken desktop between us,
we sat before the questions
trembling and exposed.
Something secreted in the walled garden
at the center in the small round chapel
reverberant with flute notes, their
lonesome invocations; in pressure
building inside dorm cells
to split the soul’s seed open.
Something diffused in
golden pools of pathlight
on lawn bedewed under eucalyptus
in love’s first bloody surrender —
Something in the arms of friends
opening to my griefs, their faces ever since
watchfires of faith, beauteous, beaming;
in riotous pre-finals shaving cream routs,
heedless drunken midnight joyrides,
in trying to cram it all in before it’s over.
It was there beside me on the candlelit
pilgrimages to the holy child,
on a black-armbanded march that wound out
ten miles through the towns, a luminous
serpent of protest and hope. And it arched
over us down the colonnade of elms
we passed through into the world beyond.
Something like a patient admirer, discreet
but eager for my real, true name,
a firetender, stoking and feeding
for the leaping of my flame, a force
that is for me, that once I entered
those holy precincts, away from the trouble,
could find me, get to me, and
follow me on.
Margaret Collins (Santa Cruz, California) I have been much more consistent in my meditation practice, particularly since I had gallbladder surgery in mid-April. My practice made going through hospitalization in the time of COVID-19 a much less stressful event. And that brought me back to the daily sittings and retreat attendance that I had been doing regularly in the years 2011 to 2017. So, in a way, I am back to cultivating my spiritual practice, an activity that I think many of us older people do naturally as we begin to look at our journey in this world as ending sooner rather than later and focus on making the most of our remaining life. The other thing I am doing is working on all the photo album projects that got delayed or just lost in the maelstrom of daily life. I am caught up on the most recent trip (Switzerland and Italy in October 2019). I have started on a Hawaii album of many trips to different islands. And when that runs out in a few months, I will take up redoing all the old albums done with non-photo-safe materials right back to 1972, when I took my first trip abroad. This is a way of traveling by proxy, because I am missing the enriching trips I have taken in the last 10 years. I am planning for all this album work because I don’t see any way to not continue to stay home and not do much socializing or eating out or going to movies or other activities until we have a vaccine that will make it safer to appear in public at our age; my best guess is that is at least six months off at the minimum. I hope all my classmates from Scripps’ Class of ’71 are happy, well, healthy, and safe.
Dana Mayhew Hart-Nibbrig (Altadena, California) My son Paul Mayhew Garcia is a fourth-year attorney at Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC.
June Konoya Wachi (Chiba-ken, Japan) It is wonderful to be able to remain connected with Scripps while in isolation during this COVID-19 lockdown. My family and I are all okay here in Japan. My husband, Yukio, continues to work as usual maintaining elevators in Tokyo, and my mom continues to go to senior daycare three times a week. Our church has temporarily stopped all activities—Sunday worship, Sunday school, Wednesday prayer meetings, children’s outreach, monthly art class, and monthly English class. So, I spend a lot of time making masks. Sending love to everyone! Praying for a speedy end to this pandemic! Take care!
Gayani DeSilva (Yorba Linda, California) I love living in SoCal again. I’ve been Skyping with Sarah Bennett-Deaves, Clara Cantorna, and my other favorite peeps and focusing on my podcast, Chat & Chai, bringing attention to my motto that there is no health without mental health. Contemplating a third parenting book. Loving being a mom to a teenager. Can’t wait for our 30-year reunion! Peace.
Allison Thompkins (Watertown, Massachusetts) Our response to COVID-19 has blessed me with a community that shares my love of spirituality and does spiritual practices together. I’ve studied spirituality and engaged in spiritual practices my entire life. However, due to my disability, attending yoga classes, church, or spirituality seminars in person is usually impossible . . . until now. With Zoom, I’m able to attend live chair yoga class with others, drum with people in a weekly drum circle, discuss how to apply spiritual principles during weekly church meetings, and meditate with people around the world daily. Here I am practicing yoga with my class. Love to all!
Noelle Champagne (Clarkston, Michigan) I was recently named the executive director of the Orion Area Chamber of Commerce. Brandy Jenner (Roanoke, Virginia) I started a new job as the associate director of teaching and learning excellence at the University of Baltimore in January; happily, I was able to share this joyous news with my dear father before he passed away at the beginning of February.
Leanna Namovic (St. Louis, Missouri) Elena Bishop ’08 and I met three years ago when we both began our occupational therapy doctorate program at Washington University in St. Louis. We became fast friends, and I have greatly appreciated our conversations about how Scripps has both changed so much and not at all in the nine years between our times there. Although we didn’t have an in-person graduation ceremony when we finished coursework this May, we had to get a picture together as former Scrippsies. Just goes to show that you can leave Claremont, but you never truly leave Scripps.
Philippa Haven (Washington, D.C.) My three-year post at the Congressional Budget Office came to an end this June. I am headed to Princeton University to obtain a master’s in public affairs.
Confidence, Courage, Hope
Our alums are making a difference at the front lines of COVID-19.
Laine Goudy ’18 is part of a research team at the Stanley Qi Lab at Stanford University that is exploring the potential for CRISPR gene-editing technology in COVID-19 therapeutics.
Richa Shah ’19 co-founded a COVID-19 social services resource database, the California Social Resource Database, which provides information on food banks, health clinics, emergency shelters, employment services, and other services for seven California counties.
Share your story from the front lines of the pandemic at scrippscollege.edu/confidencecouragehope.
Book Review of Kendra Atleework’s Miracle Country by Jil Harris Stark ’58
My husband, Jack, and I own a 1924 cabin on the shores of Silver Lake, about 60 miles north of the home of fellow alum Kendra Atleework ’11 in Bishop, California. One day in early July, I saw a small photo of her book’s cover in the local paper. Under the picture was written, “By a local author.” I spend lots of time reading about the Eastern Sierra and its history, so I went to my local bookstore and bought a copy. I couldn’t wait to begin.
The work is filled with the history of Owens Valley, of the Paiute Indians who first lived here, and of its early settlers. The book also delves into the history of William Mulholland, the nineteenth-century civil engineer who brought water from Owens Valley to Los Angeles—a history well known to those familiar with the California water wars.
At the heart of Miracle Country is the author’s mother, Jan Work, and the landscape and mystery of Owens Valley. Atleework writes: “I have a photograph of my mother on a rock ledge overlooking water, somewhere in the mountains.” This book is a tribute to that mother, to that water, and to those mountains, and as the story of the land and of three generations of Atleework’s family intertwine, she weaves a tapestry that shows the interconnection of self and place.
Atleework brings this reverence for her family and the Eastern Sierra south to Claremont—just as the water flows—as she recounts her move away from her hometown to college, contrasting the town at the boundary of Los Angeles County to the stark, pristine beauty of Owens Valley. “Pop drops me off in a suburb of Los Angeles County, in the brown foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, a range obscured by smog,” she writes. Finally alone in her residence hall after moving in, she finds herself “sitting in the cave beneath my bed, listening to a recording of my mother’s flute”—her mother had died the year before. Though the college is unnamed in the memoir, as I read this chapter, I couldn’t help but wonder: Where did this remarkable young writer go to school? I looked her up, and it was Scripps College—where she completed a self-designed major, creative writing for contemporary media, under the mentorship of Associate Professor of Writing Kim Drake.
Alumnae of Scripps, where Atleework’s writing was nurtured, and lovers of California’s environmental history alike will delight in this story of family, a changing landscape, and local pride. As this is a region so close to my own heart, I urge readers to support the local bookstore near to where our sister Kendra Atleework grew up and where she has now returned—her true home. The book is available at Bishop’s own Spellbinder Books and from local bookshops nationwide.
Just as Atleework’s full-circle story returns her to the Eastern Sierra, she ultimately returns to her mother, too. In the memoir’s final lines, Atleework recalls that her mother “asked me to fold my first published piece of writing into a paper airplane and throw it into the night sky. ‘I’ll get it,’ she said, ‘somehow.’”
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