Alumnae Spotlight: Smith Club West of Boston

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Starrs Maguire ’85 | Sam Baierl ’18, Lauren Tannen Zalkind ’85, Karin Honarvar ’17 and Kathleen Starrs Maguire ’85 at the Smith College Club West of Boston’s Rally Day Celebration.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Starrs Maguire ’85 | Sam Baierl ’18, Lauren Tannen Zalkind ’85, Karin Honarvar ’17 and Kathleen Starrs Maguire ’85 at the Smith College Club West of Boston’s Rally Day Celebration.

 

Hannah Elbaum ’19
Assistant Copy Editor

On Feb. 13, the Smith Club West of Boston (SCWOB) held their first Local Rally Day event, complete with tea and cookie decorating, in an effort to bring alumnae together and reach out to current and incoming Smithies.

Kathleen Starrs Maguire ’85 has been the driving force behind revitalizing the SCWOB, which currently encompasses 21 towns in the Greater Boston area that are home to over 1,000 alumnae. Originally founded in 1943 as the Smith Club of Wellesley (home to one of the other Seven Sisters, Wellesley College), the club grew and about 15 years ago expanded widely to include 20 other towns in the Greater Boston area. Eight years ago, the club went on administrative hiatus.

Last summer, inspiration struck when Maguire’s son was preparing to go off to college. She said she was impressed with the engagement and excitement of those local alumni in welcoming him and other incoming freshmen to the school community.

“I felt a flood of nostalgia. The Smith Club of New Haven had been so gracious to me when I was accepted to Smith,” she said. “I realized I knew two local Smith [first-years], and I felt I had to do something!”

Maguire prepared a small send-off for Class of 2019 Smithies in the SCWOB area a few days before they left for orientation and their first semester of college. Realizing the club would need some help in coming back to life, Maguire began reaching out to other local alumnae in the hopes of “creat[ing] a channel for Smithies at all stages to connect: students and alumnae from every era.”

Recently, Maguire sought to “rally the troops.” After looking for a way to connect to Smith tradition and reach out to even more Smithies in the area, she came up with a Local Rally Day event. Fifteen local alumnae, representing classes as far back as 1944 and as recent as 1993, attended and shared their excitement for building the network and community of Smithies in the area.

In addition to drinking tea, decorating cookies and sharing memories of their days at Smith, the Groove a capella group took a trip to the event and performed.

Sam Baierl ’18, assistant pitch of Groove, enjoyed meeting the alumnae and having tea together. “My mom went to Smith, class of ’85, and I was lucky enough to meet two alumnae that were in her graduating class. Turns out … my mom and the two alums all lived together for their senior year!” she said.

The alumnae loved having current Smithies present. “Beyond great entertainment, they brought energy from [campus],” Maguire said.

Maguire credits the support of the Alumnae Association for the success of the SCWOB so far and hopes to hold this event next year, as well as highlight the work and successes of Smithies in the Boston area.

Most importantly, Maguire said, “I am a mom of college-age children, and I appreciate the kindness that local alums from other schools extend to my children; I want to do my part for the Smith students in my area.”

*Note: The article has been revised to reflect the correct class year of the oldest alumnae in the club to be ‘1944’ – the original version of the article had indicated ‘1999.’

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