Featured Class Note
Alison Akers ’92 With immense gratitude, I am pleased to report that, thanks to the power of the Scripps College community, I am now eligible to receive a life-changing kidney transplant! After putting word out on Facebook—and 10 false starts— a member of the Scripps community stepped up. She wasn’t an ideal candidate, so her husband volunteered to participate in the paired exchange program. When somebody wants to donate a kidney to a particular person, but they have incompatible blood types, the donor is matched with a compatible recipient, and the original recipient—me—gets paired with a compatible donor. Though we are still about two years from completing the transplant process, now I have a fighting chance. It is literally the gift of life. It was a close call for my destiny. These altruists are selfless and their generosity is not to be surpassed.
Births and Adoptions
Emery Hilles Heffernan (San Mateo, California) My husband, Grant Heffernan CMC ’11, and I welcomed our first child, a daughter named Lila Bernice, on June 6, 2020. She is blissfully unaware of the pandemic and is a bright spot in a cloudy year.
Susan Diamond (Alexandria, Virginia) Dick Simmons and I married June 21, 2019, in Alexandria, Virginia. There can be life after widowhood! It just takes longer to inform alumnae/i offices because we move slower. (Dick has yet to mention it to Harvard.) My age group seems to not easily remember I didn’t change my last name. Small matter. We made it through the pandemic being together 24 hours a day in Dick’s home and now have resumed our once-a-month NYC trips to my apartment there. Life is definitely good!
Zoya Zeman (Lincoln, Nebraska) I married Dennis Dohner on May 19, 2019.
Patricia Fisher-Smith Welsh (Del Mar, California) Every day during these stressful times, I remember the wise words of my Scripps professors who prepared me for exactly what is happening now in the United States. Aristotle said that democracy always deteriorates into tyranny. Dr. Lord said it will happen again. Dr. Merling said that we were living through the “decline of the West” but told us why it was a good time to live. Also, Boethius’s life proves that one can have a great life in the worst of times. At age 91, I am still living alone in the home designed by my father-in-law, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, California.
Suzi Maschmeyer Weinert (Ashburn, Virginia) My fourth mystery-thriller novel, Woman at the Garage Sale, was published recently, just after my 85th birthday. My books can be purchased from Amazon, any bookstore, Kindle, Nook, or Audible.
Susan Arnsberg Diamond (Alexandria, Virginia) There is still hope for us older women. I got married to Dick Simmons at almost 80. Sadly, Bob died in 2016. My new life was unexpected, but it is wonderful.
Pat Sumner Bidlake (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) I moved, in the fall of 2020, to Calgary, Alberta, to be near my two children and their families. My big Labrador, Kluane, and I are in Huntington Manor. We miss the prairies, the wetlands, small-city life, and many good friends from the Brandon area. This is a pleasant place with good care but nothing much in the way of exercise (except walking around the building) or entertainment (except visits to doctors and dentist and welcome weekly visits from Jennifer and Geoffrey).
Leslie Lasher Monsour (Los Angeles, California) Although it has been a dark time, COVID-19 inspired me to have fun writing a new version of the Robert Burns song, “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye,” as “Comin Thro’ the Vi (rus)” for the Summer/Fall issue of Light Poetry Magazine. I also have poems in current issues of The Orchards Poetry Journal, the Alabama Literary Review, and the anthology Extreme Sonnets. “Steer toward the music . . .” is the title of the introduction I wrote for the Powow River Poets Anthology II, and my Colosseum Critical Introduction to Rhina R. Espaillat is currently available from Franciscan University Press and Amazon. My heart goes out to all those who have lost health, loved ones, and jobs to COVID-19, to those who struggle to survive financially, and to all the students and young people whose futures have been so drastically interrupted and altered by the pandemic. May better times be coming for everyone!
Hannah-Beth Jackson (Santa Barbara, California) I just concluded my service in the California State Senate. I am looking forward to doing some consulting work and having some quiet time, as well.
Roberta Simons Quiroz (Portland, Oregon) After what seemed like an eternity but was really just the longest four years of our lives (2016–2020, not only for political reasons), my husband, Victor, and I have finally relocated to Portland, Oregon, for our retirement. Unfortunately, since we got here in July, we have pretty much been quarantined in our apartment at the Terwilliger Plaza retirement community—which has given us time to (mostly) unpack and adopt a beautiful gray cat named Velvet while establishing relationships with what seems like an endless line of specialists at the local hospital/medical school. We have also taken advantage of Portland’s policy allowing anyone over 65 to audit any course they please at Portland State University for free, so we are enjoying two classes via Zoom: Jewish History from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era and a course on David Mamet. Like the rest of the country, we are eagerly awaiting our COVID-19 vaccinations so we can start enjoying our new city and meeting our new community (though we have met some of our neighbors on Zoom calls and in the hallways). I sincerely hope that everyone in the Scripps community is surviving this pandemic with minimal hardship, and I look forward to returning to Camp Scripps once it happens in person again!
Carol Woods (Sonora, California) I have recently retired from a 40-year teaching career, which was spent mostly in rural Northern California but also included Peace Corps stops in Niger and Poland and a Fulbright exchange in France. I am volunteering, working at the polls, sewing, and walking (like everyone these days). I am married to Rob Irwin, a nurse at our local hospital. Our son, Ross, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in May 2020 and has been guiding the work of Bridge USA, a college-based organization that fosters civil, political, and social discourse on campuses and beyond. Come visit me in the Sierra Foothills.
Katie Tutwiler Coby (Indianapolis, Indiana) I moved to a new state and city (Indianapolis, Indiana) in January 2020 with my husband and two little children (Jim, Finnegan, and Irene, respectively) just prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. It has certainly made acclimating to a new and much colder region more challenging. I currently work in pre-professional advising at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis. I am grateful this year for the occasional Zoom chats with my Scripps friends.
Lindsey Galloway (Arvada, Colorado) I’m excited to announce the sale of Rebel AI, a company I co-founded in 2016. It has been an adventurous five years, and I would love to connect with any entrepreneurial alums and students to share stories and encouragement!
Emily Walker (Brooklyn, New York) Emily Walker was named the executive director of the Broadway Mall Association, which oversees, advocates, and cares for the Broadway malls between 70th and 168th. Previously, she was the director of outreach and programs at New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P).
Manya Singh (Redwood City, California) I passed my comprehensive exam on April 8, 2021, and officially became a doctoral candidate! I’m finishing up my second year in the Botany program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. April 8 was also Sicily’s fourth adoption anniversary. I adopted her to be my emotional support animal during my sophomore year. I’m very excited about my research and continue to be very grateful for the support and opportunities I got at Keck, which have been instrumental in my success.
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